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Robert Lighthizer, President Trump's nominee for U.S. Trade Representative, could be disqualified for the role by a section of the 1974 Trade Act unless Congress approves a waiver or amends the law to accommodate his nomination, according to documents obtained by Inside U.S. Trade and sources familiar with the issue.


“Barriers still exist for U.S. exporters,” agriculture groups say in a letter to Trump.

Mon, 6:23 PM

Trump is “looking at potential bilateral options going forward, whether it's in the EU, or in the Asia- Pacific arena, or in the Middle East.”

Mon, 5:17 PM

The UK must complete its exit from the EU before it can begin negotiating a trade deal with the U.S., according to EU law.

Mon, 3:33 PM

"There is a need for greater clarity and precision about the approach of the Trump administration."

Mon, 2:07 PM

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A memorandum signed by President Trump on Jan. 23 instructs the U.S. Trade Representative to take steps to remove the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement and any future negotiations under the framework of the deal as laid out in the final provisions of the TPP text.

President Trump on Jan. 23 signed a presidential memo formally withdrawing the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, assuring the Obama administration's flagship trade agreement will not come into force as negotiated and prompting TPP opponents to clamor for a larger reorientation of trade policy.

Maria Pagan, the deputy general counsel for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative during the Obama administration, is serving as acting USTR, according to a source familiar with the transition. Tim Reif, USTR's previous general counsel, will stay at USTR to advise Trump's pick for the head job, Robert Lighthizer, assuming he is confirmed.

Days after taking office, President Donald Trump told CEOs in a Jan. 23 meeting that businesses that move production operations outside of the United States and then ship products back into the U.S. will face a border tax. He also slammed foreign countries for erecting barriers to U.S. exports and not engaging in “free trade.”

The covered insurance agreement between the United States and European Union is being strongly welcomed by U.S. industry groups, but facing skepticism from state-level regulators that will be charged with implementing provisions in the deal.

U.S. Steel Corp. -- appealing an administrative law judge's termination order on an antitrust claim in an ongoing case against Chinese companies -- argues that demonstrating antitrust injury should not be required in any section 337 investigation and that such a requirement violates congressional intent to give the U.S. International Trade Commission latitude to stop price-fixing conspiracies.

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FTA Central
  • The incoming Trump administration will issue executive orders on the Trans-Pacific Partnership and North American Free Trade Agreement "very shortly" upon taking office and will not wait for trade-related administration nominees to be confirmed by the Senate, a Trump transition spokesman said today.

  • President-elect Trump’s pick for Commerce secretary, Wilbur Ross, said on Wednesday that he wants to overhaul how the U.S. negotiates free trade agreements, urging a “systematic re-examination” process that would assess where a deal falls short and listing reciprocity and simultaneity of concessions as two of the principles he wants to include in his model.