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Category Archives: Trade Negotiations

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The Trump Administration’s First Trade Policy Agenda: A New “Economic Nationalism”?

Posted in Trade Negotiations, Trade Policy, World Trade Organization
On March 1, 2017, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (“USTR”) published a truncated version of the new Administration’s trade policy agenda for the coming year.  The agenda’s objectives are stated in broad terms, and the document suggests that a more detailed agenda will be forthcoming once the Senate confirms the Trump Administration’s… Continue Reading

Could Section 301 Return to Prominence?

Posted in Trade Agreement Compliance, Trade Negotiations, Trade Policy, Trade Remedies, World Trade Organization
Of the policy questions related to the incoming Trump Administration, one of the most compelling is whether the new President will revive Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 as a major component of U.S. trade policy.  Mr. Trump’s call to “direct all appropriate agencies to use every tool under American and international law… Continue Reading

U.S. G20 Fact Sheet: Mixed Signals on Industrial Overcapacity

Posted in Trade Agreement Compliance, Trade Negotiations, Trade Policy, World Trade Organization
On September 5, 2016, the White House issued a Fact Sheet summarizing outcomes from the recent G20 summit in Hangzhou, China.  On the issue of overcapacity, the Fact Sheet incorporates language promoted by China leading up to the summit, characterizing “excess capacity in steel and other industries” as “a global issue that requires a collective… Continue Reading

China Absent from Statement on Steel Overcapacity

Posted in Manufacturing, Trade Negotiations, Trade Policy, Trade Remedies
On April 18th and 19th, leaders from some of the world’s major steel producing countries met in Brussels to discuss the overcapacity problem that is wreaking havoc on the global steel industry. Last night, the governments of Canada, the European Union, Japan, Mexico, Korea, Switzerland, Turkey, and the United States issued a statement agreeing, among… Continue Reading

WTO Panel Strikes Down India’s Domestic Content Requirements on Solar Cells and Modules

Posted in Manufacturing, Trade Agreement Compliance, Trade Negotiations, World Trade Organization
A World Trade Organization Panel today issued a report finding that Indian domestic content requirements covering solar cells and modules used by solar power generators violate Article III:4 of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and Article 2.1 of the Agreement on Trade-Related Investment Measures. This is a notable victory for the United… Continue Reading

Evaluating the Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement

Posted in TPA, TPP, Trade Negotiations, Trade Policy
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement has been available for more than a month now. While analysts are still sorting through the 30 chapters and more than 100 side letters, many are now weighing in with assessments of the agreement, including whether U.S. industries–and the public–will benefit or lose as a result. For instance,… Continue Reading

China’s SOE Reform Plan Will Strengthen the Hand of the State

Posted in Trade Agreement Compliance, Trade Negotiations, Trade Policy
The state-owned enterprise (SOE) reform plan issued recently by China’s State Council and Communist Party leadership has elicited mixed reactions. The consensus seems to be that this most recent proposal is little more than a reiteration of the same contradictory measures that have been in place for more than a decade, which largely failed to… Continue Reading

RMB Devaluation Reveals Continued Manipulation of Financial Markets

Posted in Manufacturing, Trade Negotiations, Trade Policy
The People’s Bank of China (PBoC) on Tuesday devalued the country’s currency, the RMB, by approximately 2%.  Just weeks after China’s stock market regulators engineered a “recovery” in share prices by allowing mass-suspensions in trading and forcing state-owned financial institutions to buy and hold shares, the move stands as another stark reminder of the extensive… Continue Reading

China Emphasizes Political Objectives Over Market Principles in New Statements on SOE Reform

Posted in Trade Agreement Compliance, Trade Negotiations, Trade Policy, World Trade Organization
Large portions of China’s economy are dominated by state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and financial institutions that do not operate on the basis of market competition.  Recent official pronouncements make clear that any reforms that may occur in the Chinese economy during the Xi Jinping era will not include relinquishing government control over these SOEs. A widely… Continue Reading

As Chief Negotiators Meet, Assessing TPP and Other Free Trade Agreements

Posted in TPA, TPP, Trade Negotiations, Trade Policy
With chief negotiators for 12 nations meeting in Hawaii this week to try and finalize the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, trade experts and lawmakers are watching to see if the largest-ever U.S. free trade agreement will be concluded. But a more important question will remain—is TPP a good free trade agreement (FTA)? Free trade agreements… Continue Reading

President Obama Signs Into Law Trade Promotion Authority, Including Significant New Changes to Strengthen U.S. Trade Remedy Laws

Posted in TPA, TPP, Trade Negotiations, Trade Policy, Trade Remedies
Today, June 29, 2015, President Obama signed into law trade promotion authority (TPA), giving his administration the ability to negotiate international trade agreements subject to approval by Congress without amendment.  This is the first time TPA, which last expired in 2007, has been approved for the Obama Administration. The White House announcement is here. Today’s… Continue Reading

Will GSP Renewal Be Caught Up in Last Week’s Trade Legislation Fallout?

Posted in Customs Law, TPA, Trade Negotiations
The big trade story in Washington this week is House Democrats’ refusal to go along with the plan laid out by the Administration, Senate, and House Republicans for passage of a group of trade bills—most importantly, a bill to provide a “fast-track” through Congress for trade agreements currently being negotiated by the president. Both Senate… Continue Reading

Senate Reaches Agreement on Consideration of TPA, Customs Enforcement, and other Trade Legislation

Posted in Trade Negotiations, Trade Policy, Trade Remedies
The Senate yesterday reached an agreement on the process for considering a set of trade bills, which would ultimately allow the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act 2015 (“TPA bill”) to proceed to debate and amendment on the Senate floor.  On Tuesday, a vote to invoke cloture for the TPA bill failed to pass… Continue Reading

TPA Bill Fails to Advance In Senate

Posted in Trade Negotiations, Trade Policy
Legislation to provide President Obama with Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) encountered a setback on Tuesday, when the U.S. Senate voted down a procedural measure that would have permitted the Senate to bypass lengthy further debate on the bill.  The bill, the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 (“TPA Bill”), would provide so-called… Continue Reading

Senate Finance, House Ways and Means Committee Leaders Introduce Long-Awaited Trade Promotion Authority Legislation

Posted in Trade Negotiations, Trade Policy
After months of negotiation, Senate Finance Committee and House Ways and Means Committee leaders introduced a bill to grant President Obama Trade Promotion Authority.  The introduction of the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 earned statements of support from President Obama, United States Trade Representative Michael Froman, and Secretary of Commerce Penny… Continue Reading

Trans-Pacific Partnership Complicates Trade Promotion Authority Debate

Posted in Trade Negotiations, Trade Policy
The confluence of the debate over trade promotion authority (TPA) and the “end game” of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations has complicated President Obama’s objective of getting a bi-partisan TPA bill through Congress.  In his 2015 State of the Union address, President Obama emphasized TPA, or “fast track” legislation, as one of his Administration’s trade… Continue Reading

Using Stronger Trade Laws to Build Support for TPA, TPP

Posted in Dumping and Subsidies, TPA, TPP, Trade Agreement Compliance, Trade Negotiations, Trade Policy, World Trade Organization
The Obama Administration and Congress have what many experts view as a critically important opportunity to create jobs, expand trade and manufacturing, and improve the global rules of international trade.  This opportunity comes by way of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade negotiations, which are now drawing to a close.  If approved, TPP would be… Continue Reading

Trains, Chips, and Servers: China Moves to Corner the IT Market

Posted in Manufacturing, Trade Agreement Compliance, Trade Negotiations, Trade Policy, World Trade Organization
The China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) has issued a plan calling for “sinification” of the Chinese banking industry’s IT infrastructure, including computers, network equipment, data storage equipment, security devices, software, and other items. The plan would require that 75 percent of this IT infrastructure be Chinese-sourced by 2019.  While this state-mandated shift to domestic products… Continue Reading

Legal Changes in Brunei – Will They Affect TPA?

Posted in Trade Negotiations
The United States is currently involved in negotiations to create a new free trade agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).  Through the TPP, the United States seeks to enhance trade among member countries, reducing tariffs and facilitating transactions.  In order to conclude a final agreement, President Obama has requested – but not yet obtained from Congress… Continue Reading
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