Saturday, January 31, 2015
Inside U.S. Trade - January 30, 2015

U.S. Signals Willingness To Agree To Ag Export Subsidies Ban In TPP Deal

NEW YORK -- The United States has indicated it is willing to agree to an unconditional and complete ban on agricultural export subsidies in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) region as part of a final deal if other negotiating partners drop their demands for new disciplines for export credits, according to informed sources.

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TPP Countries At Odds Over Whether, How To Define Biologic Drugs

NEW YORK -- Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiators here locked horns over whether the intellectual property (IP) chapter should include a definition of biologic medicines, and if so, how they should be defined, according to informed sources.

Hatch Says TPP, TTIP Must Include ISDS; Slams Idea Of Tobacco Carveout

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) on Friday (Jan. 30) said he will insist that all U.S. trade agreements -- including the U.S.-EU free trade deal and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) -- incorporate investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provisions, and that he would not accept a watering down of investor rights.

Vetter Arrives In New York For Meetings With Japan On Ag Market Access

NEW YORK -- Darci Vetter, chief agriculture negotiator in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, arrived here on Friday (Jan. 30) to hold talks on agricultural market access with Japanese official Hiroshi Oe, in a move that some sources said could be a sign of momentum in the talks.

With Focus On TPP, TPA, U.S. Emphasizes 'Technical Work' In TTIP Until Mid-2015

Senior U.S. trade officials have made clear to the European Commission that Washington's focus on concluding the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and renewing Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) will make it impossible to focus on the major political issues in the U.S.-European Union free trade talks in the first half of 2015, according to sources close to the negotiations.

Stiglitz Urges Other TPP Parties Not To Cave To U.S. Demands On Drug IP

NEW YORK – Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz on Wednesday (Jan. 28) urged foreign negotiators here not to give in to demands by the United States for strict intellectual property (IP) standards for medicines in a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, arguing that the U.S. may be willing to compromise on some of its proposals in order to get a deal across the finish line.

Pork Industry Says U.S. On The Verge Of Concluding High-Standard TPP

NEW YORK – A U.S. pork industry representative said Tuesday (Jan. 27) he believes the United States is on the "precipice" of concluding a "high-standard" Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, and that this is one reason why pork producers and other U.S. agricultural groups are throwing their support behind efforts to pass Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation.

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  • Froman Holds Open Possible WTO Challenge To China Cotton Subsidies

    U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman this week held open the possibility the United States could challenge Chinese cotton subsidies at the World Trade Organization, though he emphasized he has been largely looking at this issue in the context of creating new multilateral subsidies disciplines.

  • Davos Ministerial Shows Few Position Changes On Post-Bali Work Program

    An informal ministerial on the margins of the World Economic Forum produced few political signals from the 21 attendees that they were ready to make major changes to their approach on developing a post-Bali work program aimed at advancing the stalled Doha round, despite a strong plea from World Trade Organization Director General Roberto Azevedo to do so.

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  • U.S.-India Civil Nuclear Compromise On Liability Fails To Change Indian Law

    A compromise President Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced last weekend could provide an avenue for U.S. builders and suppliers of civilian nuclear power plants to move forward with long-stalled projects in India. The companies have held off on the projects because of an Indian law that exposes equipment suppliers to unlimited liability claims in the event of an accident.

  • Hatch, Ryan, Wyden Aim To Introduce TPA Bill In Late February: Sources

    Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Finance Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR) and House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) have set a target of introducing a new Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill in the last week of February, following the President's Day recess, according to congressional sources.

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  • Thune Warns Congress Could Reject TTIP Over Stalled EU Biotech Approvals

    Sen. John Thune (R-SD) has warned U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman that Congress may not approve the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) if the European Union remains unwilling to approve biotechnology products for import that have been deemed safe by EU experts.

  • Despite Progress, New York TPP Round May Not Be Last Technical Meeting

    NEW YORK -- As of mid-week, Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiators here were making progress toward their goal of resolving all outstanding issues except the sensitive ones to be taken up by ministers at a meeting in mid-March, but sources following the talks said it was difficult to gauge whether they would achieve their goal this week.

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