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The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiating group on intellectual property (IP) is holding an intersessional meeting this week in Mexico and will discuss IP protections for pharmaceuticals, among other issues, according to a spokesman for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.

Acting Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Wendy Cutler on Thursday (Feb. 26) signaled that a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) ministerial meeting sources say is planned for mid-April has not been finalized, and that its timing will depend on how much progress negotiators make at an informal round taking place March 9-15 in Hawaii.

Sens. Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) have announced they plan to soon introduce a bill with other senators to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank that they believe would pass the Senate and also meet demands by House Republicans to reform the agency.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) has opted to postpone indefinitely a hearing on the trade agenda slated for Thursday (Feb. 26) that was intended as a placeholder for a hearing on a Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill he had hoped to unveil this week.

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) on Wednesday (Feb. 25) introduced a bill to expand the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program in order to provide retraining and other benefits to service sector workers and employees who lose their jobs due to imports from countries that are not U.S. free trade partners.

An informal Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiating round slated to take place March 9-15 in Hawaii will be held at the Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa on the Big Island, according to informed sources.

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  • The European Union has opened a new chapter in the long-standing fight with the United States over subsidies each side provides to its respective manufacturers for the development of large civil aircraft by seeking a dispute settlement panel in the World Trade Organization over a new round of tax breaks provided to Boeing by Washington state.

  • A majority of participants in the Trade In Services Agreement (TISA) talks last week refused to engage in discussions on a Turkish proposal for a health care services annex, arguing that they do not see this area as a trade issue, according to informed sources.

Around the World

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  • The House Ways & Means Committee last week made clear that it does not intend to consider legislation to extend the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program in the coming year, and will instead focus on passing bills to renew Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), extend the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) and the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), and reauthorize the trade...

  • Supporters and opponents of the agreements suspending trade remedy cases against imports of Mexican sugar made their respective cases to the International Trade Commission (ITC) on Feb. 19 as part of its analysis on whether the suspension agreements meet the statutory requirement of eliminating all injurious effects caused by these imports.

FTA Central

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  • Public sector labor activists are having difficulty mobilizing opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in the Asia-Pacific because their affiliates there are less aware of the trade deal, lack necessary resources, and have different labor "traditions," according to Rosa Pavanelli, general secretary for Public Services International (PSI).

  • A congressional delegation led by House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) this week pressed senior Malaysian officials to make concessions in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations on issues such as intellectual property (IP), state-owned enterprises (SOEs), labor and market access, and raised the prospect that Malaysia could be left out of a deal altogether.