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MTB Reform Bill Hotlined In Senate; Vote Could Happen As Early As Today

The Senate Republican leadership on Thursday afternoon (April 28) notified Senate offices that it is seeking to pass under unanimous consent the House-passed legislation to reform the process for compiling miscellaneous tariff bills (MTBs), according to informed sources. Absent objections, the Senate could pass the bill, H.R. 4923, as early as Thursday evening, they said.

Leaked EU Memo Fleshes Out Arguments About U.S. Procurement Data

A European Commission memo leaked last week provides the first detailed arguments to back up its claims in the context of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership that the U.S. overestimates the amount of government procurement that is open to EU companies, though the U.S. government disagrees with these claims.

New Balance Scores Initial Win As Shoe Provision Added To Defense Bill

Massachusetts-based shoe maker New Balance and its congressional supporters on Wednesday (April 27) secured an initial win in their fight to ensure the Department of Defense (DOD) buys U.S.-made athletic shoes for military recruits, as legislation put forward by Rep. Niki Tsongas (D-MA) to force the Pentagon's hand was included in an annual defense policy bill.

New Balance Scores Initial Win As Shoe Provision Added To House Defense Bill

Massachusetts-based shoe maker New Balance and its congressional supporters on Wednesday (April 27) secured an initial win in their fight to ensure the Department of Defense (DOD) buys U.S.-made athletic shoes for military recruits, as legislation put forward by Rep. Niki Tsongas (D-MA) to force the Pentagon's hand was included in an annual defense policy bill.

Treasury Poised To Unveil TPP Data Fix; Coalition Plans Letter Campaign

The Treasury Department has signaled to the financial services industry that it plans to unveil next week its proposal for addressing their complaints about being excluded from a ban in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) on local data storage requirements, according to informed sources.

USTR To Develop Action Plans For Chile, Others On 301 Priority Watch List

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative will develop “action plans” by the end of June for 11 countries placed on the priority watch list of its “Special 301” report on intellectual property rights released on April 27, as required by a provision in the customs bill enacted on Feb. 24. Among these countries are China, India and Chile, which is the only Trans-Pacific Partnership country for which an action plan is required.

World Trade Organization

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  • The United States and China appear to have tabled in March differing proposals on tariff phaseouts in the World Trade Organization's plurilateral Environmental Goods Agreement, with the U.S. proposal aligning with phaseouts used in the Information Technology Agreement and the Chinese proposal offering developing countries more protection than developed countries would receive, according to documents obtained by Inside U.S. Trade this week.

  • Concluding a plurilateral Environmental Goods Agreement, completing negotiations on a bilateral investment treaty (BIT) and addressing China's overcapacity in steel and other products are among the Obama administration’s top remaining economic priorities with respect to China, U.S. officials told the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on April 26.

Around the World

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FTA Central

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  • A European Commission memo leaked last week provides the first detailed arguments to back up its claims in the context of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership that the U.S. overestimates the amount of government procurement that is open to EU companies, though the U.S. government disagrees with these claims.

  • Massachusetts-based shoe maker New Balance and its congressional supporters on Wednesday (April 27) secured an initial win in their fight to ensure the Department of Defense (DOD) buys U.S.-made athletic shoes for military recruits, as legislation put forward by Rep. Niki Tsongas (D-MA) to force the Pentagon's hand was included in an annual defense policy bill.