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Daily News

January 27, 2021

“Untrusted vendors” like Huawei pose a threat to U.S. national security, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Wednesday, offering the first indication that the Biden administration won’t roll back actions targeting the Chinese telecommunications giant.

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The Biden administration’s efforts to engage allies in dealing with China will spur a shift in focus from the purview of the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to the State Department and the National Security Council, a longtime China analyst said this week.

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The U.S. and European Union must outrun China in the technology race while creating the rules needed to protect key innovations, EU Ambassador to the U.S. Stavros Lambrinidis said on Wednesday, arguing that “decoupling” was not possible and the two economies should instead work cooperatively to outpace Beijing.

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January 26, 2021

President Biden’s pick for Commerce Department secretary, Gina Raimondo, on Tuesday told a Senate panel the agency under her watch would put national security first in dealing with China, but would take a step back to review Trump administration moves against Beijing.

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The federal government -- led by the White House -- must craft a comprehensive strategy that will allow the U.S. to stay ahead of China as the two compete for dominance in the artificial intelligence sector, according to the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence.

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The “majority” of a prospective free trade agreement with the U.S. has been agreed by the two sides, British Trade Secretary Liz Truss said this week, insisting that concluding a deal remained in the best interests of both countries even as the Biden administration reiterates its plan to prioritize domestic issues over trade deals.

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Following the circulation of a consolidated text last month, more than 70 industry groups from around the world are pushing for the further advancement of plurilateral e-commerce talks ahead of the next World Trade Organization ministerial conference.

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January 25, 2021

President Biden on Monday signed an executive order to incentivize buying U.S.-made goods, attempting to distinguish himself from his predecessors by saying his actions go further than previous “buy American” initiatives.

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The Biden administration is reviewing a host of Trump administration actions that were aimed at China, including tariffs, the Commerce Department’s inclusion of Huawei on its Entity List and an executive order on restrictions on investments in companies tied to the Chinese military, according to White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki.

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If confirmed, Biden Commerce secretary nominee Gina Raimondo should immediately review U.S. export control policy and take action to roll back the Trump administration’s expansion of the foreign direct product rule and controls on military end users, a global semiconductor industry group said on Monday.

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The U.S. on Monday maintained its block on new nominations to the World Trade Organization’s appeals body in the first Dispute Settlement Body meeting since President Biden took office last week, with the U.S. delegate noting that the country was undergoing a change in administration.

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January 22, 2021

The European Union’s investment deal with China includes provisions on subsidies that mostly align with commitments Beijing has already made via the World Trade Organization, as well as a definition of state-owned enterprises that is more expansive than those commitments, according to the draft text released by Brussels on Friday.

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The U.S. this week told fellow World Trade Organization members it would not advance its positions in the talks on curbing harmful fisheries subsidies while it builds out the new administration, according to a Geneva-based trade official familiar with the negotiations.

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January 21, 2021

A draft Chinese law covering the management of rare earth elements could be a message to the Biden administration, analysts say, though some say it shows mainly that China is intent on addressing its own supply-chain issues.

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The U.S. Commerce Department improperly calculated some antidumping and countervailing duties on Korean goods, a World Trade Organization dispute panel report determined on Thursday, handing the Biden administration its first WTO conundrum.

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Canada should impose trade sanctions on the U.S. if President Biden does not reconsider his decision to block the completion of the Keystone XL pipeline and open a dialogue with the Canadian government, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said on Wednesday.  

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January 20, 2021

Maria Pagan, deputy general counsel in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative since the Obama administration, is serving as acting USTR, the White House officials confirmed on Wednesday.

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Trade negotiations between the U.S. and Switzerland were “stalled” by the pandemic as well as by Brexit-related complications and the U.S. presidential race, the former U.S. ambassador said this week, revealing that the negotiations were set to be a focus if former President Trump had won a second term.

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China on Wednesday announced sanctions on 28 outgoing and former Trump administration officials including former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former White House trade adviser Peter Navarro, both of whom were frequently criticized by Chinese officials for their adversarial approaches toward Beijing.

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Nora Todd, a longtime trade adviser for Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), this week will become chief of staff at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, according to an email obtained by Inside U.S. Trade

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