Friday, November 21, 2014
Inside U.S. Trade - November 21, 2014

Abe Move To Call Election Could Be Mixed Blessing For TPP, Experts Say

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's decision this week to call a snap election of the lower house of the Japanese Diet for mid-December may be a mixed blessing for the Obama administration's drive to conclude the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations as soon as possible, according to U.S.-based experts on Japan.

Wyden Aide Says Transparency, Enforcement Key Priorities For TPA Bill

California, NZ Dairy Industries Worry TPP Could Shortchange Key Products

Froman To Meet With Malmstrom; Seeks TTIP Work Plan On Tough Issues

Latest News

U.S. To Host Next Informal TPP Round Dec. 7-12 In Washington

The United States will host the next meeting of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiators from Dec. 7-12 in Washington, according to a spokesman for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. One informed source said the meeting will likely involve chief negotiators as well as some working groups.

NAM Submits Input On MTB Process Changes, Calls For Passage ASAP

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) has submitted input to Congress on potential ways to change the process of drafting a miscellaneous tariff bill (MTB) in order to address objections by Republican lawmakers that its temporary tariff cuts amount to earmarks, and has called on Congress to pass such a bill as soon as possible.

Malmstrom Says EU Will Publish TTIP Text Proposals, Boost Parliament Access

Cecilia Malmstrom, the European Union's new trade commissioner, has announced that the European Commission intends to publish its text negotiating proposals for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and improve the access that members of the European Parliament have to negotiating documents, in a bid to bolster the transparency of the initiative.

Korean Business Rep Pushes For Seoul's TPP Entry, Seeks U.S. Support

Han Duck-Soo, head of the Korea International Trade Association (KITA) and a former South Korean ambassador to the United States, is pushing Seoul to seek entry into the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) as soon as possible while also working to build support in Washington for South Korea's eventual participation in the trade deal.

GOP Taps Paul Ryan As Next Ways & Means Chair; Levin Retains Slot

House Republicans on Wednesday (Nov. 19) voted to approve Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) as the new chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee as part of a slate of committee chairs for the 114th Congress, which also includes Rep. Mike Conaway (R-TX) as the new leader of the House Agriculture Committee.

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  • U.S., China Reach ITA 'Breakthrough'; Duty Phaseouts To Reflect 1996 Deal

    The United States this week said it has convinced China to eliminate tariffs on tech goods like advanced semiconductors and medical devices, touting the development a "breakthrough" that would pave the way for the resumption of the talks to expand the scope of the Information Technology Agreement (ITA) a year after their collapse.

  • U.S.-India WTO Breakthrough Includes Council Decision On Peace Clause

    A deal announced by the United States and India on Thursday (Nov. 13) to resolve the impasse at the World Trade Organization includes as its key component an agreement that the General Council will simultaneously adopt a protocol to implement the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) and a decision clarifying the term of an existing food security "peace clause," according to U.S. trade officials.

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  • Deputy USTR Nominee Lago Would Oversee Africa, Americas, Labor, Enviro

    President Obama on Nov. 12 nominated Treasury Department official Marisa Lago to serve as the next deputy U.S. trade representative, with a portfolio that will include trade relations with Africa and the Western Hemisphere, as well as labor and environment issues.

  • Levin Cites Work On Trade In Making Pitch To Keep Ways & Means Slot

    House Ways & Means Committee Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-MI) this week cited his desire to make sure the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations reflect their potential and live up to the standards set by Democrats as part of his pitch to his caucus to keep the top Democratic spot on the committee.

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  • New EU Trade Commissioner Expected To Lay Out TTIP Vision Next Month

    New European Union Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom in early December is expected to tell EU lawmakers how she plans to make a "fresh start" in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) talks, following what appears to be a period of consultation with stakeholder groups and EU member state trade ministers.

  • TPP Leaders Say End 'Coming Into Focus,' But Avoid Setting New Target

    Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) leaders following a Nov. 10 meeting in China welcomed "significant progress" in the negotiations and instructed their trade ministers to make concluding a deal a "priority," but steered clear of setting a target for finishing the talks as they had in previous years.

This Week In Trade

TTIP Leaders Statement; Froman-Malmstrom Meeting; WTO Work Heats Up

This week promises to be a busy one for U.S. trade policy. Things kicked off with an effort by United States and European leaders to jump-start the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations by giving new political impetus to the talks, which have slowed in part due to the transition to a new European Commission.

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Trans-Pacific Partnership

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Short Takes


U.S., India Agree To Delay Appeal Deadline In WTO Poultry Challenge

The United States and India have agreed to delay by roughly 45 days the deadline for either party to appeal a World Trade Organization panel . . .


Froman Says Malmstrom Meeting To Focus On How To Advance TTIP In 2015

U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman said Monday (Nov. 17) that his meeting later this week with European Union Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom will provide both . . .


Malaysia's Value-Added Trade Would Diminish Under TPP Deal, Study Finds

Malaysia and at least six of the 12 other countries negotiating a potential Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement could suffer a significant erosion in the amount . . .

Short Takes

Featured Story

Portman Says U.S., EU Should Not Be 'Taking Things Off The Table' In TTIP

Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) is urging the United States and the European Union not to declare issues off-limits in their negotiations for a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), and signaled that he fears the two sides may already be diminishing the ambition of the potential trade deal.


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