Thursday, April 17, 2014
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Under Pressure To Show TTIP Progress, U.S., EU Focus On Market Access

Under pressure to show progress in the lagging negotiations for a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and European Union Trade Commission Karel De Gucht have decided to focus first on advancing the market access part of the initiative, according to informed sources.

China Becomes World's Largest Trader, As Treasury Flags Dip In RMB

China in 2013 surpassed the United States as the world's largest trader as measured by the sum of its exports and imports, even as the U.S. remained the largest importer of goods, according to a new World Trade Organization report.

Japanese Official Says Obama, Abe Will Not 'Negotiate' On TPP During Meeting

Updated: A Japanese official said yesterday (April 15) that he does not expect President Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to "negotiate" on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) during Obama's trip to Tokyo next week, in an apparent signal that the two sides may not reach a breakthrough during the meeting.

U.S. To Seek WTO Panel On India Solar Program, Charges GATT, TRIMS Violations

The United States next week will request a World Trade Organization panel to challenge India's local content requirements in both phases of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM), an initiative designed to boost the country's solar power sector.

China Fleshes Out Appeal On WTO 'GPX' Ruling; U.S. Gets Extension

Updated: China is appealing one aspect of a mixed World Trade Organization ruling in which a majority of a three-person panel upheld a 2012 U.S. law that allows the Commerce Department to impose countervailing duties (CVDs) against non-market economies (NMEs), over the objections of one panelist.

U.S. Tech Industry Mulls Longer Tariff Phase-Outs To Spark ITA Progress

The U.S. technology industry has quietly begun discussing how it might scale back its demands to eliminate tariffs quickly under an expansion of the Information Technology Agreement (ITA), in the hope that this might help break the deadlock in the ITA talks caused by China's resistance to eliminating a wide range of tech tariffs in the near term.

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  • Froman Says U.S. Will 'Re-Engage' With India On IPR After Spring Elections

    U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman signaled during an April 3 House Ways and Means Committee hearing that the United States wants to resolve issues relating to India's intellectual property (IP) policies through negotiation rather than litigation, but that it is waiting to do so until after India's parliamentary elections this spring.

  • NGOs Blast PITAC As Not Adding Sufficient Balance To Advisory Panels

    Three civil society groups and two members of Congress last week blasted the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative's new Public Interest Trade Advisory Committee (PITAC) as not going far enough to incorporate input of civil society representatives in the advisory committee system, and argued that requiring PITAC members to sign non-disclosure agreements would stymie their ability to serve the public interest.

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  • Levin Calls For Bicameral TPP Working Group To Provide Structured Input

    House Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-MI) this week said he hoped to work with other members of Congress and the Obama administration to create a bicameral, bipartisan working group to provide input into the negotiations for a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) on a range of what he called major issues, including meaningful rules for curbing currency manipulation.

  • De Gucht Attacks U.S. Limits On Access To TTIP Negotiating Proposals

    EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht last week strongly criticized the Obama administration for the restrictions it has sought to place on the European Commission's ability to share U.S. negotiating proposals made in bilateral trade and investment negotiations with the European Parliament and EU member state governments.

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04/17/2014

Michaud Presses Obama To Address Currency Manipulation With Abe

Rep. Mike Michaud (D-ME), the chairman of the House of Representatives Trade Working Group, this week urged President Obama to raise what he charged is . . .

04/16/2014

Seoul Kicks Off 2nd Round Of TPP Consultations In Malaysia, Singapore

South Korea will kick off a second round of bilateral consultations on its possible entry into the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade initiative in meetings this . . .

04/16/2014

EU Delegation Co-Finances Panel Series Promoting GIs For U.S. Goods

The European Union's delegation in Washington has co-financed an effort to promote geographical indications (GIs) as beneficial for U.S. producers as well as EU producers. The . . .

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U.S., Unions Agree Colombia Must Improve Labor Rights; At Odds Over Action Plan

The Obama administration agrees with the AFL-CIO and Colombian labor groups that Colombia needs to take more steps to improve its labor rights regime and the protection of labor activists, but remains at odds with the labor groups over the extent to which Colombia has complied with its obligations under a labor action plan that was politically linked to the U.S.-Colombia free-trade agreement and had its third anniversary this week.

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