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Inside U.S. Trade - February 12, 2016

Key Innovations In TPP SPS Chapter Carved Out From Dispute Settlement

The Trans-Pacific Partnership chapter on sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures fleshes out and clarifies the core obligations of the World Trade Organization SPS Agreement, but two key provisions that tighten the WTO standards to make it harder for countries to restrict imports on food safety grounds are not subject to dispute settlement.

Treasury Working With Companies, Regulators On TPP Financial Data Issue

U.S. Official Says Hatch's Specific Proposals For TPP Fixes Nearly Ready

Obama Budget Aims To Cover TPP Implementation, Predicts Drop In Tariff Revenue

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A bipartisan group of 67 House lawmakers, including 17 members of the House Ways & Means Committee and six Democrats who voted for fast track last year, have warned the ambassador of Japan in a letter that expanded subsidies for Japanese pork producers could cost votes for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

A senior U.S. trade official said Thursday (Feb. 11) that the Obama administration is working with the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) and the Japanese government to clarify the details of an expanded pork subsidy program that Tokyo plans to implement along with the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), but stopped short of saying the U.S. was seeking changes to the program.

World Trade Organization members are holding informal talks on the body's negotiating agenda for 2016 in various small group and bilateral meetings, but a small contingent of developing countries including India is resisting proposals to bring in new issues that were not a part of the Doha round, according to Geneva sources.

The Senate on Thursday (Feb. 11) approved the conference report on the long-pending customs bill (H.R. 644) by a vote of 75-20, bringing an end to months of wrangling over the legislation, which first passed in the Senate in May last year and in the House last June.

Despite declaring their support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), U.S. poultry producers are complaining that access to the Malaysian market promised under the deal is essentially meaningless because of their inability to secure crucial certifications showing compliance with Malaysia's halal meat requirements.

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) said Tuesday (Feb. 9) there is insufficient support in Congress right now to pass the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), offering a yet another sign that the trade deal will not be taken up by lawmakers any time soon.

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  • World Trade Organization members are holding informal talks on the body's negotiating agenda for 2016 in various small group and bilateral meetings, but a small contingent of developing countries including India is resisting proposals to bring in new issues that were not a part of the Doha round, according to Geneva sources.

  • For the third time in three weeks, the World Trade Organization has delayed the release of a panel report reviewing U.S. claims that India violated trade rules by imposing local content requirements in a massive solar project.

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  • President Obama's budget for fiscal year 2017 drops last year's proposal to combine the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) and the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) into a single food safety agency, while boosting funding for a number of trade-related USDA functions.

  • The Senate on Feb. 11 approved the conference report on the long-pending customs bill (H.R. 644) by a vote of 75-20 after reaching a deal to overcome a procedural objection by senators including Minority Whip Richard Durbin (D-IL) to an Internet tax provision in the customs legislation.

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