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Inside U.S. Trade - May 6, 2016

McConnell Casts Serious Doubt Over Lame-Duck Vote On Trade Deal

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) this week strongly downplayed the chances for a congressional vote on the Trans-Pacific Partnership in a lame-duck session, though he stopped short of completely ruling it out by saying he could make “no guarantees” on the fate of TPP this year.

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“Supporters of TPP are not likely to have a more enthusiastic president for the Trans-Pacific Partnership in 2017.”

Fri, 1:30 PM

Rep. Bill Shuster (R): “After reviewing TPP I do not believe that it is good for the people of the 9th Congressional District and for our country.”

Fri, 12:52 PM

Kerry, Moniz, EU leaders cite “potential to foster free trade in energy and low-carbon technologies by diminishing trade and investment restrictions.”

Fri, 12:24 PM

“It badly distorts the debate and focuses it away from the real issues.”

Fri, 9:47 AM

A new World Trade Organization report focuses attention on the perceived “lack of trade finance” as a “significant non-tariff barrier to trade” for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), primarily in developing countries.

Thu, 4:00 PM

Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton signaled opposition to holding a lame-duck vote on the Trans-Pacific Partnership in a candidate questionnaire released May 6 by an anti-TPP activist group.

Japanese Ambassador to the United States Kenichiro Sasae on May 6 warned that failure on the part of Congress to pass the Trans-Pacific Partnership would undermine U.S. economic and geopolitical influence in the Asia-Pacific while setting back U.S.-Japan relations.

U.S.-China Business Council (USCBC) President John Frisbee said this week that China’s new law ramping up state security oversight of foreign non-governmental organizations will not impede U.S. businesses operating in China and signaled that the USCBC is unlikely to be affected by the law.

Congressional opponents of the Trans-Pacific Partnership on May 5 said they do not believe the unfavorable political landscape surrounding the trade agreement will prevent the Obama administration from trying to secure congressional approval before leaving the White House.

The United States is refusing European Union demands to include in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership stricter rules on export competition than were agreed in the World Trade Organization at the Nairobi ministerial in December last year, according to a leaked March document laying out the state of play in the negotiations.

Christofer Fjellner, a European Parliament International Trade (INTA) committee member and vice-coordinator of international trade for the European People's Party (EPP), told Inside U.S. Trade this week that some members of the World Trade Organization plurilateral Environmental Goods Agreement (EGA) are seeking to conclude the deal by the G20 Leaders Summit on Sept. 5-6.

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  • Christofer Fjellner, a European Parliament International Trade committee member and vice-coordinator of international trade for the European People's Party, told Inside U.S. Trade this week that some members of the World Trade Organization plurilateral Environmental Goods Agreement are seeking to conclude the deal by the G20 Leaders Summit on Sept. 5-6.

  • The United States and Mexico clashed last week over the next steps in the longstanding fight over U.S. dolphin-safe tuna labeling requirements, taking diametrically opposed positions on whether the dispute should focus on calculating the amount of trade retaliation to which Mexico is entitled or on determining whether a policy change the U.S. made in March brings it into compliance with trade...

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  • Three members of the majority Japanese Liberal Democratic Party on May 3 expressed confidence that the Trans-Pacific Partnership would be approved in an upcoming extraordinary session of the Japanese Diet despite some resistance from opposition parties, Japanese farmers and the lack of movement in the United States Congress.

  • European Union chief negotiator Ignacio Garcia Bercero on May 2 rejected as unacceptable U.S. proposals in the negotiations for a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) that would seek to speed up the approval process for biotechnology and pressure the EU to accept traces of unauthorized biotechnology products in otherwise approved shipments to avoid "unnecessary" trade...