Thursday, November 27, 2014
Inside U.S. Trade - November 28, 2014

WTO Poised To Break TFA Impasse This Week After Last-Minute Obstacle

Members of the World Trade Organization at mid-week were set to break the impasse over the implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) by overcoming a last-minute hurdle posed by demands from developing countries that delayed a General Council meeting by one day to Nov. 27.

Trade Committee Leaders Warn Of TTIP Fallout From EU Digital Resolution

Mexico Seeks To Head Off Potential Unravelling Of Sugar Suspension Deals

ITA Round Set For Dec. 4-10; Members Aim For Final List By General Council

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WTO Action On TFA Delayed By One Day Over Objections From Argentina, Others

A meeting of the World Trade Organization's General Council to formally resolve the impasse over the implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) was pushed back by one day until Thursday (Nov. 27).

Next ITA Round Set For Dec. 4-10; Members Aim For Final List By General Council Meeting

Spurred by the breakthrough reached earlier this month between the United States and China, participants in the effort to expand the Information Technology Agreement (ITA) are now aiming to conclude talks on the product scope of the deal during a Dec. 4-10 negotiating round, in time for the World Trade Organization's Dec. 10-11 General Council meeting.

New EU Transparency Push Leaves Out Market Access Offers, U.S. Texts

The European Commission has formally approved a plan under which Brussels will publicly release all EU text proposals for the "rules" aspect of its free trade talks with the United States, but continue to restrict access to its market access offers for goods, services and procurement, as well as joint U.S.-EU texts.

Australian Official Eyes Mid-2015 To Compile EGA Product List; Outlines Hurdles

An Australian trade official last week said countries participating in the negotiations for a plurilateral agreement to eliminate tariffs on environmental goods are hoping to compile a complete list of products that could be subject to tariff cuts by mid-2015 at the latest, although he identified several challenges that members could face in the negotiations.

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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.

Editor's Note: There will be no updates posted Nov. 27 or 28 in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday.

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Short Takes


Schumer Says Dems Cautious On Trade As Unions, Business Duke It Out

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) this week said Congressional Democrats will be cautious about backing any legislation to promote increased trade due to voter perceptions that . . .


Administration Warns Congress Over Potential Tax Extenders Package

Senior U.S. officials are publicly warning that the Obama administration will not support a bicameral tax extenders package if it does not meet President Obama's . . .


Obama To Meet With Modi, Indian Officials In New Delhi In January

President Obama will travel to India in January 2015 to meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other Indian officials to "expand the U.S.-India strategic . . .

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AFTI Says U.S.-India TPF Must Lead To Changes On Indian IPR, Localization

Ahead of the first U.S.-India Trade Policy Forum (TPF) in four years, a group of U.S. business associations are calling for this dialogue to "ultimately lead to concrete steps" that would resolve what they see as trade problems with India's intellectual property rights (IPR) policies and localization requirements.


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