Sunday, April 20, 2014
Inside U.S. Trade - 11/04/2011

Tech Industry Presses Administration To Lock In ITA Deal With Russia

U.S. technology firms and industry representatives this week continued to press the Obama administration not to allow Russia to accede to the World Trade Organization without first making a binding commitment to join the Information Technology Agreement (ITA) as part of its accession package.1374 words

Administration Pushes Ahead On Export Control Reform In Face Of Fatigue

Administration officials hope to complete an important phase of the export control reform initiative within the next 12 months by easing controls on tens of thousands of munitions items and technologies, even as industry sources complain of fatigue with the lengthy liberalization process, which has yet to provide any short-term deliverables and could still ultimately be torpedoed by opposition in Congress.1312 words

Administration Identifies Problem, Alters Stance On Export Control Reform

In its effort to reform U.S. export controls by moving items from the U.S. Munitions List (USML) to the less stringent Commerce Control List (CCL), the Obama administration has identified a problem with its initial reform approach and, within the last several months, completely changed the way it is undertaking this process as a result.1614 words

USTR Tables Labor Proposal In TPP Talks, But Leaves Key Areas Blank

The United States last week tabled a long-awaited proposed text on labor rights in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations, but the partial text contains holes in several key areas. As last week was the first time negotiators had a chance to discuss the proposal, the talks were very preliminary in nature, sources said.1412 words

Japanese PM Works To Gain Support For Joining TPP Ahead Of APEC

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda is working to convince members of his cabinet and political party that Japan should seek to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations so that he can make an announcement to that effect at the upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum summit, a Japanese official said.995 words

Russia Accepts Swiss-Mediated Deal With Georgia For WTO Accession

Russian negotiators in Geneva this week accepted a Swiss-mediated deal that would lift Georgia's objections to Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization, according to Georgian Ambassador to the WTO Zurab Tchiaberashvili and Russian state media.442 words

U.S. Leaked TPP Proposal On Drug Pricing Sets Up Fight With New Zealand

A leaked U.S. proposal to establish transparency and procedural disciplines on national drug pricing and reimbursement programs in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations appears poised to set up a fight between the United States and New Zealand, sources said. 1164 words

U.S. TPP Regulatory Annexes Outline Disciplines In Three Specific Sectors

In the ongoing talks for a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal, the United States has tabled what appears to be binding language aimed at easing regulatory barriers to trade in three specific sectors, according to leaked texts of U.S. proposals. It did so in proposed annexes to the TPP's chapter on technical barriers to trade.1611 words

U.S. Proposal For TPP Regulatory Coherence Chapter Mostly Non-Binding

While the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative regularly touts the area of regulatory coherence in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks as one example of how the regional trade pact will embody a "21st century" approach, the leaked U.S. proposal outlining general provisions in this area is mostly comprised of non-binding provisions.1183 words

U.S., Colombia To Hold First Meeting On FTA Implementation Next Week

Officials from the U.S. Trade Representative's office will travel to Bogota next week to kick off the first round of technical talks on the implementation of the U.S.-Colombia free trade agreement, which the U.S. Congress approved last month, according to officials in both the U.S. and Colombian governments.881 words

Finance, Ways And Means Leaders Set Markers For Russia WTO Vote

Leaders of the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committees this week signaled to the administration that a vote on Russia's permanent most favored nation (MFN) is still a long-term prospect and can only come after the administration ensures progress in four areas of "significant consideration" for Congress.991 words

Importers, Producers Object To 'Gimped Yarn' Inclusion In U.S. TPP Rule

U.S. apparel importers, hosiery manufacturers and other affected parties are protesting the inclusion of "gimped yarn," which is used to make products such as pantyhose, under the general yarn-forward rule of origin for textiles and apparel that was tabled by the United States earlier this year in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations.1152 words

Chinese WTO Notification Raises Questions On Nature Of Its Subsidies

The Chinese official notification of its agricultural subsidies for the calendar years 2005 to 2008, circulated to World Trade Organization members last month, raises a litany of questions regarding the nature of Chinese spending and whether this spending complies with WTO rules, observers said.1365 words

U.S. Officials Discuss Beef Market Access, Traceability Rule With Chinese

Obama administration officials last month reopened stalled talks with Chinese authorities aimed at easing Beijing's restrictions on imports of U.S. beef and beef products, but so far the two sides have not yet scheduled a follow-up meeting at the technical level, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) spokeswoman.738 words

Senate Passes Robust Funding Bill, Begins Conference With House

The Senate this week approved by a 69 to 30 vote a large appropriations bill that provides funding for several federal agencies for fiscal year 2012, including the Commerce Department, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.1099 words

U.S., Industry React With Skepticism To EU Solution For GMO Approvals

A U.S. State Department official this week called into question the effectiveness of a forthcoming European Commission plan to help smooth its approval system for genetically modified organisms (GMOs), saying it will do nothing to solve the blockage of approvals and long delay times caused by political opposition from member states who object to GMOs.1451 words

Action Unlikely On Berman Satellite Bill Until Obama Files Sec. 1248 Report

House Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Member Howard Berman (D-CA) introduced bipartisan legislation this week that would restore the president's authority to remove commercial satellites from the U.S. Munitions List (USML). However, industry and congressional sources said the bill has a slim chance of advancing toward floor action this until the administration delivers a report explaining the risks and benefits of placing such items under the less stringent controls of the Commerce Control List (CCL).921 words

Observers: APEC TPP 'Framework' Deal Will Not Divulge Content Of Talks

While the United States and other countries participating in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks are slated to unveil a TPP "framework" agreement next week during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum summit, this does not mean that the TPP countries will divulge details of the progress made thus far in the talks.484 words

U.S., Korea Establish Working Groups On SMEs, Services And Investment

U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk and South Korean Trade Minister Kim Jong-hoon this week exchanged two sets of letters in which they agreed to establish two governmental working groups, one on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and another on services and investment, as soon as the U.S.-Korea free trade agreement enters into force.240 words

Senate Approves Hirschhorn, Johanson By Unanimous Consent

The Senate this week approved Eric Hirschhorn to be the undersecretary of Commerce for export administration and David Johanson to be a member of the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), meaning the Senate has now acted on nearly all of the long-stalled Obama administration trade nominees.390 words

Obama Taps Blank To Permanently Fill Deputy Commerce Secretary Post

President Obama this week nominated Rebecca Blank to be the deputy secretary of Commerce, a position she has held on an interim basis for a nearly a year, according to an Oct. 31 White House announcement.204 words

House Panel Approves Two Bills Strengthening Sanctions On Iran, Syria, North Korea

The House Foreign Affairs Committee this week unanimously approved two bipartisan bills aimed at bolstering U.S. sanctions on Iran, Syria and North Korea, and authorized Chairman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) to seek passage of the bills on the House floor under suspension of rules.382 words

AFL-CIO Urges Obama, Santos To Follow Through With Action Plan

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka this week implored President Obama and Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos to take action to address two labor conflicts underway in Colombia and thereby demonstrate their commitment to action plan they signed in April to improve worker rights protections in the country.368 words

Businesses Unveil Free Data Flow Objectives, Plan To Highlight At APEC

A coalition of technology, financial and industrial firms will try to garner support for a set of principles to protect an open Internet at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum next week, in hopes of laying the groundwork for a strong agreement on cross-border data flows in the context of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks, business officials said.1212 words

Rockefeller Cites 'Lax Oversight' Of Mexican Trucks Program In Two Areas

Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John D. Rockefeller (D-WV) this week blasted what he said was "lax oversight" of the Obama administration's new cross-border trucking program with Mexico, citing two specific instances that he said raise doubts about whether the administration is giving adequate scrutiny to the safety records of Mexican trucking companies.574 words

China Update

From ChinaTradeExtra.com, Inside U.S. Trade's sister news service649 words

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