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Ahead of a visit by Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff to Washington this week, the Obama administration took the first step toward reopening the U.S. market to imports of fresh beef from Brazil, in a move that the U.S. beef industry and food-safety advocates blasted as aimed at scoring political points ahead of the presidential summit.

Updated: President Obama on Monday afternoon (June 29) signed into law a bill renewing Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), along with legislation reauthorizing Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) and U.S. trade preference programs, starting the clock for the administration to take certain actions required under both bills.

The European Parliament's International Trade (INTA) Committee on Monday (June 29) failed to reach an agreement on investment protection language in a resolution outlining its priorities for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), but completed a procedural step to allow the resolution to move forward.

The head of Japan's largest business federation on Monday (June 29) said he expects the enactment of Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) by President Obama to accelerate negotiations toward a U.S.-Japan bilateral agreement that will help bring the full Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks to a conclusion.

U.S. business groups are pleading with Beijing to exempt them from the scope of a new Chinese draft law that aims to strictly regulate foreign-based non-governmental groups, fearing that if subjected to its requirements, the law would weaken their influence and force them to drastically reduce their presence in China.

World Trade Organization members who are participating in negotiations to expand the Information Technology Agreement (ITA) have tentatively scheduled a new round of talks for the week of July 13, but whether it will take place hinges on whether South Korea and China can show any willingness to break the current stalemate.

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World Trade Organization

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  • The top-ranking Republican and Democrat of the Senate Agriculture Committee indicated there are not enough votes in the Senate to fully repeal the country-of-origin labeling (COOL) law for beef, pork and poultry, instead saying they will work together to hammer out a consensus before the World Trade Organization decides the amount of U.S. trade Canada and Mexico can retaliate against.

  • Members of the World Trade Organization have advanced their efforts to advance the Doha round negotiations in the area of agricultural market access to the point of discussing three tariff-cutting methodologies, but instead of narrowing their disagreements, the discussion seems to reinforce their differences, according to Geneva sources.

Around the World

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  • The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) this week blasted language in a pending appropriations bill that would move the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative into the Department of Commerce, warning that it would be harmful to international trade negotiations without achieving any wider efficiencies.

  • China committed at this week's annual Strategic & Economic Dialogue (S&ED) that it will not use new regulations to discriminate against foreign companies that wish to sell information technology equipment to Chinese banks, and that it will only intervene in foreign currency markets when necessary because of "disorderly" market conditions.

FTA Central

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  • The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has reshuffled the U.S. team leading the textile and apparel negotiations in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) -- one of the most sensitive areas of the talks -- amid what officials have described as the home stretch of the initiative, according to informed sources.

  • After months of hammering away at restrictions they alleged were out of step with the U.S.-South Korea free trade deal, U.S. business lobbyists are expressing satisfaction with a new draft Korean rule that would largely deregulate cross-border transfers of financial data.