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Inside U.S. Trade - November 21, 2014

Abe Move To Call Election Could Be Mixed Blessing For TPP, Experts Say

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's decision this week to call a snap election of the lower house of the Japanese Diet for mid-December may be a mixed blessing for the Obama administration's drive to conclude the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations as soon as possible, according to U.S.-based experts on Japan.

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Italy Pushes TTIP Deal By Early 2016, Highlights Strategic Risk Of Failure

Italy's top trade official is warning that a failure by the United States and the European Union to reach a "political agreement" on the substance of a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) deal by early 2016 would have broad geopolitical consequences and damage both sides' credibility on the world stage.

Malmstrom Sheds Light On TTIP Next Steps, Including February Round

New European Union Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom on Friday (Nov. 21) laid out a short-term timeline for how she will advance the EU's ongoing trade talks with the United States, including plans to hold the next negotiating round in early February.

U.S. To Host Next Informal TPP Round Dec. 7-12 In Washington

The United States will host the next meeting of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiators from Dec. 7-12 in Washington, according to a spokesman for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. One informed source said the meeting will likely involve chief negotiators as well as some working groups.

NAM Submits Input On MTB Process Changes, Calls For Passage ASAP

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) has submitted input to Congress on potential ways to change the process of drafting a miscellaneous tariff bill (MTB) in order to address objections by Republican lawmakers that its temporary tariff cuts amount to earmarks, and has called on Congress to pass such a bill as soon as possible.

Wyden Aide Says Transparency, Enforcement Key Priorities For TPA Bill

A senior aide to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) told a business audience late last week that improvements on enforcement and transparency language, along with a renewal of the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program, are the chairman's priorities when it comes to a pending Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill, according to informed sources.

GOP Taps Paul Ryan As Next Ways & Means Chair; Levin Retains Slot

House Republicans on Wednesday (Nov. 19) voted to approve Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) as the new chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee as part of a slate of committee chairs for the 114th Congress, which also includes Rep. Mike Conaway (R-TX) as the new leader of the House Agriculture Committee.

Daily News
World Trade Organization
Top Stories
  • U.S., China Reach ITA 'Breakthrough'; Duty Phaseouts To Reflect 1996 Deal

    The United States this week said it has convinced China to eliminate tariffs on tech goods like advanced semiconductors and medical devices, touting the development a "breakthrough" that would pave the way for the resumption of the talks to expand the scope of the Information Technology Agreement (ITA) a year after their collapse.

  • U.S.-India WTO Breakthrough Includes Council Decision On Peace Clause

    A deal announced by the United States and India on Thursday (Nov. 13) to resolve the impasse at the World Trade Organization includes as its key component an agreement that the General Council will simultaneously adopt a protocol to implement the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) and a decision clarifying the term of an existing food security "peace clause," according to U.S. trade officials.

Around the World
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  • Deputy USTR Nominee Lago Would Oversee Africa, Americas, Labor, Enviro

    President Obama on Nov. 12 nominated Treasury Department official Marisa Lago to serve as the next deputy U.S. trade representative, with a portfolio that will include trade relations with Africa and the Western Hemisphere, as well as labor and environment issues.

  • Levin Cites Work On Trade In Making Pitch To Keep Ways & Means Slot

    House Ways & Means Committee Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-MI) this week cited his desire to make sure the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations reflect their potential and live up to the standards set by Democrats as part of his pitch to his caucus to keep the top Democratic spot on the committee.

FTA Central
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  • New EU Trade Commissioner Expected To Lay Out TTIP Vision Next Month

    New European Union Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom in early December is expected to tell EU lawmakers how she plans to make a "fresh start" in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) talks, following what appears to be a period of consultation with stakeholder groups and EU member state trade ministers.

  • TPP Leaders Say End 'Coming Into Focus,' But Avoid Setting New Target

    Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) leaders following a Nov. 10 meeting in China welcomed "significant progress" in the negotiations and instructed their trade ministers to make concluding a deal a "priority," but steered clear of setting a target for finishing the talks as they had in previous years.

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