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Daily News

July 20, 2018

Lawmakers have agreed to rely heavily on the Senate’s version of the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act that will be included in the final National Defense Authorization Act, although some changes have been made, and House language on export control reauthorization will be included, according to sources and a July 20 draft of the language obtained by Inside U.S. Trade.

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As a handful of World Trade Organization members lay the groundwork for the launch of negotiations on an e-commerce deal, divergent views on the prospective scope of an initiative involving the U.S., European Union and China could prevent their inclusion in an eventual plurilateral.

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EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström this week stopped short of fully endorsing a plurliateral solution to solve an auto trade dispute with the U.S., saying it was something that should be “explored” but not a surefire way to ease trade tensions.

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Honduras has issued proposals to spur discussions among WTO members about issues affecting the Appellate Body and how to resolve a World Trade Organization disagreement over the so-called Rule 15 issue, which the United States has used as a justification to block appointments to the Appellate Body, according to a Geneva trade official.

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President Trump on Friday morning reiterated a willingness to hit China with tariffs on $500 billion worth of exports to the U.S., which would cover essentially all U.S. imports, and pledged to recoup losses from what he alleged to be currency manipulation by China and the European Union.

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July 19, 2018

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) is “seriously considering” supporting President Trump’s new nominee to lead the Export-Import Bank but will maintain his hold on three bank board nominees, preventing the board from operating with a quorum, he said on Thursday.

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If the Trump administration hits Seoul with tariffs as a result of its Section 232 autos investigation, the amended U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement “becomes meaningless,” Korea’s minister of trade, industry and energy said on Thursday.

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During the first half of a daylong Section 232 hearing on the national security implications of auto and auto parts imports, U.S. government officials focused their questions to representatives of the U.S. auto industry on rising imports of technology related to electric vehicles as well as increasing import penetration of foreign autos and parts.

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The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee this week addressed the U.S. reliance on foreign sources for critical minerals, with some members expressing concern that Trump administration tariffs could reduce access to key inputs for technology products.

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A group representing fruit growers in the Pacific Northwest is calling on the Trump administration to insist that countries whose products receive exclusions from Section 232 tariffs reduce their retaliatory duties by an equivalent amount.

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July 18, 2018

Mexican Economy Secretary Ildefonso Guajardo will travel to Washington, DC on July 26 to meet with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Mexican sources confirmed to Inside U.S. Trade.

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Disputing the idea that imports of autos and auto parts pose a national security threat, more than 140 lawmakers are urging the Trump administration to use taxpayer dollars on “other endeavors."

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The Commerce Department on Wednesday initiated a Section 232 investigation into the national security implications of uranium imports, a probe requested in January by two U.S. uranium mining companies.

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The European Commission on Wednesday announced it would impose provisional tariff-rate quotas on steel imports to counter diversions into the EU market caused by the United States’ Section 232 tariffs on steel products.

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July 17, 2018

Automakers operating in the U.S. will meet this week with lawmakers and congressional staff members to push Congress to take a harder line on the administration’s Section 232 probe into imports of autos and auto parts.

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Mexico and Canada will be exempt from new U.S. tariffs on autos and auto parts the U.S. if the three NAFTA countries successfully renegotiate the deal, Mexico's ambassador to the U.S. said on Tuesday.

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Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) on Tuesday threatened to advance legislation to roll back President Trump’s trade authority if the administration doesn’t change course on tariffs.

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Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue intends to unveil a plan to provide relief for U.S. farmers suffering from retaliatory tariffs by Labor Day and believes that NAFTA negotiators are closing in on a conclusion, he said Tuesday.

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July 16, 2018

The U.S will back down in its escalating trade fight with China only when Beijing “changes course,” Vice President Mike Pence pledged on Monday.

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Companies from the natural gas and oil industry are decrying the Commerce Department's Section 232 steel product exclusion process, arguing that the department has been “arbitrary” and unclear in deciding whether to grant or exclude certain steel products from a newly imposed 25 percent tariff.

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