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Inside U.S. Trade - May 22, 2015

Senate Invokes Cloture On TPA Bill; Talks Ongoing On Other Amendments

The Senate on Thursday (May 21) invoked cloture on the pending Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill by a vote of 62 to 38, with the support of the 13 Democrats who had also voted in favor of last week's procedural motion to move to the bill

House Agriculture Committee Approves COOL Repeal Bill After WTO Ruling

Hatch, Wyden Float Currency Amendment As Alternative To Portman Text

TPP Ministerial Meeting In Guam Looking More Unlikely After TPA Delay

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The package of trade remedy changes championed by domestic petitioners faces an uncertain future as it is still unclear whether it will be considered as an amendment to the fast-track bill the Senate is now considering. If it is not added to TPA, the future of the package will then hinge on whether it can survive a conference with the House on the customs authorization bill.

In a formal statement, President Obama on Tuesday (May 19) signaled he wants to change several elements of a pending Senate customs and enforcement bill while praising the enforcement provisions in that legislation overall.

Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) on Tuesday (May 19) announced a compromise on human trafficking language in the pending Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill aimed at ensuring that a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal could still receive fast-track protection.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew is taking on Sens. Robert Portman (R-OH) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) with a new warning that the administration would veto a final Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill if it includes the senators' amendment on currency manipulation.

The World Trade Organization's Appellate Body has upheld the major findings of a compliance panel ruling that faulted revised U.S. country-of-origin labeling (COOL) rules for meat, dealing a final blow to the labeling regime after years of litigation pursued by Canada and Mexico.

Close to half of the Senate Democratic caucus has urged U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman to publicly release a report submitted to the administration by an advisory committee of labor representatives that takes a critical view of how the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations are handling many key areas.

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  • This week brought new signs that a meeting of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) ministers that had been penciled in for May 26-28 on the U.S. territory of Guam is unlikely to take place due to the failure of the U.S. Congress to pass Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) by that time.

  • Close to half of the Senate Democratic caucus has urged U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman to publicly release a report submitted to the administration by an advisory committee of labor representatives that takes a critical view of how the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations are handling many key areas.