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Daily News

December 15, 2017

While NAFTA negotiators this week “substantively” completed a sectoral annex on energy efficiency during an intersessional round of talks in Washington, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative said at its close that the U.S. remained unsatisfied with Canada and Mexico’s willingness to engage in “serious” negotiations.  

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Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) said this week that he is confident the administration is aware of the damage a withdrawal from the North American Free Trade Agreement would do to the U.S. economy, citing recent meetings with administration officials in which he said senators delivered more direct pushback than in previous discussions.

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Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) this week warned Vice President Mike Pence and other senior administration officials not to “harm global trade” in its approach to the NAFTA negotiations.

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December 14, 2017

The U.S., Canada and Mexico are unlikely to close out any new NAFTA chapters during this week’s intersessional meeting even though some are ripe for it, sources told Inside U.S. Trade, saying that negotiators instead are trying to gain clarity on individual positions and teeing up a more dynamic round slated for next month in Montreal.

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Former Defense, Treasury and Commerce department officials told a House subcommittee on Thursday that the watchdog Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States needs more resources to perform its duties.

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December 13, 2017

BUENOS AIRES -- Just after the close of the 11th World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference here, the U.S. declared that the path forward for the WTO lies in “sectoral agreements by like-minded countries.”

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BUENOS AIRES -- World Trade Organization members have struck an 11th-hour deal to renew a moratorium on e-commerce duties as well as a moratorium that prevents members from bringing non-violation cases under the WTO’s intellectual property agreement, sources said.

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BUENOS AIRES – The World Trade Organization’s 11th ministerial is expected to close without the issuance of a ministerial declaration after the U.S. and India locked horns over whether to include a reference to the Doha Development Agenda, sources here said.

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BUENOS AIRES – The World Trade Organization’s 11th ministerial will come to a close without the issuance of a ministerial declaration after the U.S. and India locked horns over whether to include a reference to the Doha Development Agenda, sources here said.

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BUENOS AIRES – Ministers from at least 60 countries will issue a joint statement outlining their goal of concluding negotiations on domestic regulations in services by the World Trade Organization’s 2019 ministerial conference after members were unable to reach a multilateral outcome at the 11th ministerial here.

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Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), the ranking member of the Senate Banking Committee, on Tuesday said that committee Chairman Mike Crapo (R-ID) will not move President Trump’s nominees for the Export-Import Bank as a group – effectively sealing the fate of Trump’s controversial pick to lead the bank, former Rep. Scott Garrett (R-NJ)

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BUENOS AIRES – After talks for an agreement on interim disciplines on subsidies for illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing fell apart here yesterday, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative said it was willing to continue work to bridge gaps on the issue, along with “many others at the WTO.”

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December 12, 2017

BUENOS AIRES -- As the last full day of negotiations at the World Trade Organization’s 11th ministerial came to a close on Tuesday, negotiators were narrowing their focus to outline post-ministerial outcomes rather than possible deals here.

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BUENOS AIRES – Talks on interim disciplines for subsidies for illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing, as well as overfishing, have broken down here, with ministers debating whether to include a 2018 deadline for reaching a deal in a statement on continuing negotiations, sources here told Inside U.S. Trade.

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BUENOS AIRES – During the second full day of negotiations at the World Trade Organization’s 11th ministerial declaration, the United States told other members it could not accept a permanent solution on public stockholding for food security purposes, sources here said.

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BUENOS AIRES -- A growing group of members at the World Trade Organization’s 11th ministerial conference is planning to issue a joint statement on e-commerce on Wednesday as a way to pressure other members that are blocking the formation of a new work program on the issue, according to informed sources.

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A group of Republican governors is planning a visit to the White House to make the case against a NAFTA withdrawal and to plea for a change of course in the administration’s approach to the ongoing talks -- a message they also plan to reiterate in a letter to President Trump, sources told Inside U.S. Trade.

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December 11, 2017

BUENOS AIRES – Some World Trade Organization members are preparing to launch plurilateral negotiations on e-commerce rules if countries gathered at the 11th ministerial here don’t agree to a new work program, according to officials attending the negotiations.

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BUENOS AIRES – The United States will not accept a deal on fisheries subsidies disciplines that is less ambitious than language in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, throwing cold water on prospects for a deal to put interim disciplines in place while World Trade Organization members work toward a more ambitious agreement for the 12th ministerial conference in two years, sources with knowledge of the U.S. negotiating position told Inside U.S. Trade.

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BUENOS AIRES – U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on Monday told other World Trade Organization members the U.S. believes some members are inappropriately using the WTO’s dispute settlement system to gain concessions at the negotiating table.

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