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Inside U.S. Trade - November 27, 2015

Japanese Official Holds Door Open To TPP Fixes Without Renegotiation

A Japanese embassy official last week held open the possibility that Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) countries could find some creative way to address objections by U.S. lawmakers to certain provisions of the agreement in a way that does not change the text itself, although he ruled out a full-fledged renegotiation of the deal.

TPP Procurement Chapter Shields Malaysia's 'Bumiputera' Preferences

Levin Backs Away From CVD Currency In Customs Bill, Floats New Approach

JCCT Fails To Yield ITA Progress, But U.S. Industry Likely To Acquiesce

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In the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Canada has increased the level of government procurement open to U.S. companies compared to the revised Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) by expanding its coverage of central government entities, federally owned "Crown corporations," and services sectors.

Trade officials negotiating the Environmental Goods Agreement (EGA) over the past two months have removed nearly 300 products from serious consideration to be covered by the deal in hopes of presenting and agreeing upon a draft final list of goods at the Dec. 15-18 WTO Nairobi Ministerial, according to Geneva sources.

The Chilean government is claiming victory on at least three controversial issues in the intellectual property (IP) chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) for which it says it will not need to change its current law to comply with the agreement's obligations.

The just-concluded Joint Committee on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) meeting resulted in Chinese pledges to refrain from discriminating against foreign companies through information and communications technology (ICT) regulations focused on security as well as a commitment for better protection of trade secrets amid an outcome that otherwise offers little more than promises of further discussing bilateral trade promises.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Monday (Nov. 23) announced that China has "indicated" it will move expeditiously to review authorization applications for 11 pending agricultural biotechnology traits, but only pledged to continue talks on market access for U.S. beef products. He expressed hope for progress both issues in the next two months.

U.S. business associations with cross-sectoral membership such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) are still consulting with members about their views on the final text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, but private-sector sources said they expect these groups to take formal positions on the deal in early December.

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  • The International Trade Commission (ITC) on Nov. 17 predicted that its report on the economic impact of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will not be ready until May 18, effectively pushing congressional consideration of a TPP implementing bill past that date.

  • The U.S. government official leading talks with the European Union on testing of hormone-disrupting chemicals has said those discussions are separate from the ongoing trans-Atlantic trade negotiations and that a bilateral "workshop" last month in Brussels did not wade into the EU policy debate on how to regulate such substances.