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Daily News

July 18, 2019

Mexican Ambassador to the U.S. Martha Bárcena on Thursday said that a budget to implement labor reform in Mexico will be decided by September -- responding to a key concern flagged by congressional Democrats as they consider whether to support the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

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As House lawmakers get set to visit Mexico City this weekend, House Ways & Means trade subcommittee chairman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) told Inside U.S. Trade he plans to get a “better perspective” on a roadmap issued by the Mexican government last month outlining labor reform implementation.

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Kelly Ann Shaw, the deputy assistant to the president for international economic affairs, on Wednesday said it was a shame that leaders did not choose to renew the Global Forum on Steel Excess Capacity at last month’s G20 leaders summit in Osaka, Japan, with one country tanking the effort.

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July 17, 2019

In a separate opinion issued as part of a World Trade Organization Appellate Body report, one of the body’s three members excoriated the other two members for their ruling in a case between the U.S. and China over countervailing duties the Commerce Department imposed on certain Chinese goods, claiming the body engaged in overreach, fact-finding, relied on precedent and created new obligations for members.

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House Democrats are trying to get more specific in their requests to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer for changes to the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal said on Wednesday after meeting with the USTR.

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The World Trade Organization’s agriculture negotiating body is not yet ready to engage in talks on domestic support -- the members’ main priority -- but requires additional technical discussions, the U.S. said on Monday, according to a Geneva source.

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July 16, 2019

Congressional Democrats want to ensure a vote on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement does not “languish into next year,” House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) told reporters on Tuesday after meeting with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).

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Securing commitments from China and determining logistics for in-person negotiations will likely dominate this week’s principal-level phone call between Washington and Beijing, according to sources familiar with the talks.

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Japanese and U.S. officials met for another round of trade talks in Washington, DC last week focusing on tariff cuts in agricultural and industrial goods, with some sources suggesting the U.S. is keen on striking an early deal that does not require Capitol Hill’s approval.

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July 15, 2019

President Trump on Monday signed another “Buy American” executive order proposing new rules that would raise the domestic content requirement for federal contracts from 50 to 55 percent for non-iron and steel products and to 95 percent for steel and iron products.

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India and eight other World Trade Organization developing members last week said development must remain at the “core” of the institution and any future reforms, frequently countering U.S. proposals and priorities.

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July 13, 2019

President Trump on Friday said he disagreed with the Commerce Department’s conclusion that uranium imports threaten U.S. national security, and created a working group to study the nuclear fuel supply chain instead of imposing trade restrictions.

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July 12, 2019

A U.S. paper on the importance of cross-border data flows in the digital economy prompted World Trade Organization members to debate the benefits and disadvantages of a liberalized digital economy and the need to balance public policy objectives with e-commerce ambitions, a WTO official said this week.

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The U.S. and India are at a “pivotal juncture” in their trade relationship, Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Jeffrey Gerrish said on Thursday, acknowledging the possibility of additional U.S. trade actions – including a Section 301 investigation – if New Delhi moves ahead with policies the U.S. has deemed unacceptable.

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July 11, 2019

House Democrats tapped to work with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on outstanding concerns with the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement lauded progress after talks on Wednesday, though one lawmaker assigned to address labor issues said tensions were rising over the pace of negotiations.

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The United Kingdom should not expect to be rewarded with a bilateral trade agreement with the U.S. if the country exits the European Union without a deal, House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) said on Wednesday.

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France’s economy minister said the passage of a digital services tax that will hit U.S. tech companies should compel the U.S. to push more stridently for an international solution to digital taxation.

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July 10, 2019

The leaders of the Senate Finance Committee, the ranking member of the House Ways & Means Committee and several business groups on Wednesday immediately threw their support behind the Trump administration’s decision to launch a Section 301 investigation into a French digital services tax that will hit U.S. technology companies.

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A leader of the House working group on U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement labor issues told Inside U.S. Trade on Wednesday that he will be traveling to Mexico next weekend to discuss “panel blocking” with Mexican officials.

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The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative is expected to launch a Section 301 investigation into French digital services taxes U.S. lawmakers and business groups say unfairly target U.S. tech companies, sources tell Inside U.S. Trade.

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