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Various members of the World Trade Organization have put forward a series of proposals aimed at cutting domestic support, but these proposals do not appear to address the overarching problems plaguing the negotiations, namely that the United States and China cannot agree on what cuts the other should make to its domestic support programs.

IN TRADE

The top stories from this week’s issue of Inside U.S. Trade.

Fri, 5:42 PM

“Whenever we've had a slow-down process in the world economy, we start questioning the model,” the Mexican president said.

Fri, 1:56 PM

“I see much in it to like. I think it’s an upgrade of labor standards. I think it’s an upgrade of environmental standards. I think it’s an upgrade in intellectual property protections.”

Fri, 11:59 AM

“No longer will we enter into these massive transactions with many countries that are thousands of pages long and which no one from our country even reads or understands.”

Fri, 9:09 AM

“Going forward, we believe that it is critical that the United States and Europe work much more closely on enforcement matters.”

Thu, 2:55 PM

A series of proposals forwarded last month by Canada to share and spread best practices in dispute settlement at the World Trade Organization gained some support leading up to a July 21 Dispute Settlement Body meeting, but lacked signatures from major dispute settlement players such as the United States and China.

Australia's ambassador to the U.S., Joe Hockey, at the Republican National Convention this week said he had discussions with a key member of Congress on finding a path for a lame-duck vote on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, while casting doubt on the prospects for TPP if it isn't done this year.

Chinese steel company Baosteel is asking the U.S. International Trade Commission to uphold the suspension of a 337 investigation that seeks to block all Chinese carbon and alloy steel products from entering the U.S. market, on the grounds that the bulk of the case has been or can be handled by the Commerce Department in antidumping or countervailing duty investigations.

The Commerce Department has found improper subsidization and dumping of cold-rolled steel in a case involving Brazil, India, Korea, Russia and the United Kingdom, according to a press release issued July 21.

In a 16-page letter to nine U.S. cabinet-level officials, Food & Water Watch has teamed up with the National Farmers Union to urge the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States to block a proposed acquisition of Swiss agribusiness Syngenta by the Chinese state-owned enterprise ChemChina.

Australia's trade minister, Steven Ciobo, said this week he is “cautiously optimistic” about the Trans-Pacific Partnership getting through the U.S. Congress in a post-election lame-duck session and cited “some really good meetings” with key members of Congress, including Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT), on the market exclusivity period for biologic drugs.

Around the World
  • Canada's ambassador to the U.S., David MacNaughton, on July 20 pledged to take appropriate steps to protect Canadian interests should the U.S. and Canada fail to reach a new softwood lumber agreement by the end of the litigation standstill in October, and the U.S. then chooses to bring trade cases against the Canadian lumber industry.

  • The European Commission is exploring a new methodology for handling antidumping and subsidy cases in a move meant to ensure China does not gain market economy status, but fears have quickly surfaced that the Commission's pending proposal may drop the European Union's market economy criteria.

World Trade Organization

FTA Central
  • Climate change provisions offered by the European Union in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership do not appear to run afoul of language in the U.S. fast-track law that prohibit trade agreements from including obligations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

  • A draft text of the European Union's chapter on digital trade in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership does not contain an article on cross-border data transfer, a demand of transatlantic businesses, and also highlights different approaches taken by the EU and U.S. on how they respectively classify digital trade.