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Category Archives: Trade Policy

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President Trump Signs Order on U.S. Manufacturing and National Security

Posted in Manufacturing, Trade Policy
As the Commerce Department prepares to issue its findings and recommendations in the ongoing Section 232 investigations into the national security implications of steel and aluminum imports, President Trump has signed a new Executive Order calling for a broader review of the state of the U.S. manufacturing and defense industrial base.  The Order, signed on… Continue Reading

USTR and Commerce Call For Comments on Performance of Trade and Investment Agreements, Preference programs

Posted in Trade Policy, World Trade Organization
In today’s edition of the Federal Register, the U.S. Trade Representative and the U.S. Department of Commerce, two federal agencies at the forefront of U.S. trade policy, request comments from the public regarding the performance of U.S. free trade and investment agreements, preference programs, and trade relations with countries that are members of the World… Continue Reading

Trump Administration Announces Curbs On Travel and Trade With Cuba

Posted in BIS, Economic Sanctions, Trade Policy
President Trump today announced plans to restrict tourism and trade with Cuba, retreating from certain aspects of the Obama Administration’s liberalization of ties with the communist regime. Intended to strictly enforce the statutory ban on tourism to Cuba and to restrict the flow of money to the Cuban military, intelligence, and security services, the new… Continue Reading

President Trump Calls for Section 232 Reports in June; Comments Made Available to the Public

Posted in Trade Negotiations, Trade Policy, Trade Remedies
On April 20, 2017, President Trump issued a Presidential Memorandum for the Secretary of Commerce calling for an investigation into the national security implications of steel imports pursuant to Section 232 of Trade Expansion Act of 1962.  This marked the first invocation of Section 232 since 2001, when the Department of Commerce (Commerce) investigated imports… Continue Reading

USTR Releases 2017 National Trade Estimate Report

Posted in Manufacturing, Trade Agreement Compliance, Trade Negotiations, Trade Policy
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) today released its 2017 National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers (NTE).  USTR publishes the NTE annually to provide the President and Congress with “an inventory of the most important foreign barriers affecting U.S. exports of goods and services, foreign direct investment by U.S. Persons, and… Continue Reading

Commerce Calls for Information on U.S. Pipeline Construction and Maintenance for Domestic Sourcing Plan

Posted in Manufacturing, Trade Policy
The Commerce Department’s Office of Policy and Strategic Planning is currently seeking information on the construction and maintenance of American pipelines to inform its forthcoming plan to the President for the domestic sourcing of pipeline materials.  In accordance with the President’s January 24, 2017 Presidential Memorandum on the “Construction of American Pipes,” the agency is… Continue Reading

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

ITC begins digital trade investigations as AEI calls for removal of Chinese digital trade barriers

Posted in Trade Policy, World Trade Organization
The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) is beginning a comprehensive three-part investigation into digital trade and the impact of digital trade barriers, just as the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) has released a new study calling for a World Trade Organization (WTO) case to be filed against China’s barriers to digital trade and e-commerce. The ITC… Continue Reading

U.S. Trade Representative Notes China’s Lack of Progress on Overcapacity, State-Owned Enterprises

Posted in Trade Agreement Compliance, Trade Policy, World Trade Organization
In a new report on China’s compliance with its WTO obligations, the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) highlights a number of shortcomings, including industrial overcapacity and the prominence of state-owned enterprises (SOEs).  The report emphasizes that “excess capacity in China . . . hurts U.S. industries and workers not only because of direct exports from China… 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

China’s WTO Subsidy Notifications – The Drama Continues

Posted in Dumping and Subsidies, Manufacturing, Trade Agreement Compliance, Trade Policy, Trade Remedies, World Trade Organization
In a World Trade Organization (WTO) submission filed on January 28, the United States once again took issue with the substance of China’s subsidy notifications to the WTO.  The WTO’s  Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures (SCM Agreement) requires WTO Members to provide annual notifications of any subsidy programs in a manner that is “sufficiently specific… 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

Congress Moves Forward on ENFORCE Trade Evasion Legislation

Posted in Dumping and Subsidies, Manufacturing, Trade Agreement Compliance, Trade Policy, Uncategorized, World Trade Organization
  Congress took an important step toward strengthening U.S. trade law enforcement by moving forward a conference report on the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 (H.R. 644), which includes the Enforcing Orders and Reducing Customs Evasion (ENFORCE) Act. ENFORCE addresses the serious and growing problem of evasion of antidumping and countervailing duties.… Continue Reading

USTR Submits Third China Subsidies “Counter-Notification” in Four Years

Posted in Manufacturing, Trade Agreement Compliance, Trade Policy, World Trade Organization
On October 19, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) invoked Article 25.10 of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures (Subsidies Agreement) to notify the Chinese government of a list of measures that the United States believes should be reported to the WTO as subsidy programs. This “counter-notification” is the third… 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

U.S. Trade Representative Asks for Data on Global and Telecom Trade Barriers for Annual Reports

Posted in Announcements, Dumping and Subsidies, Manufacturing, Trade Agreement Compliance, Trade Policy
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) is seeking input from companies and industry on trade barriers from around the world, in preparation for its annual National Trade Estimate (“NTE”) Report on Foreign Trade Barriers as well as a more focused report on violations of telecommunications trade agreements. USTR announced its request in an… 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

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
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