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Daily News

September 18, 2020

Democrats and human-rights advocates on Thursday expressed disappointment with the Trump administration’s move to ban imports from specific companies believed to be using forced labor in China’s Xinjiang province, while apparel industry representatives testifying at the same hearing defended targeted actions rather than a region-wide ban.

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World Trade Organization director-general candidates from Kenya, Nigeria, Korea, the United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia will move forward to the next round of the selection process, the General Council chair announced on Friday, while those from Mexico, Moldova and Egypt will be asked to withdraw their bids. 

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September 17, 2020

President Trump has repeatedly used the World Trade Organization as a political punching bag, presiding over an administration that has handicapped one of the WTO’s core functions while calling for fundamental reforms that are unlikely in the near term. A dispute settlement panel’s ruling this week against one of Trump’s landmark trade actions – a slew of Section 301 tariffs on China – further immerses the WTO in a political quandary that has made even its most ardent supporters question whether the organization can deal with the most pressing trade issues, namely those involving China.

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U.S. trading partners dealing with Trump administration trade officials are keeping an eye on November -- and some believe “we're going to go back to where we were” if Joe Biden wins the presidential election, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said this week.

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The World Trade Organization director-general race has seen its first surprise cut in Mexico’s Jesús Seade, an official familiar with the situation told Inside U.S. Trade on Thursday, one day ahead of the official announcement.

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The coronavirus pandemic has complicated the already Herculean task of negotiating multilateral rules on industrial subsidies targeted at China, former Trump administration trade official Kelly Ann Shaw and Hinrich Foundation research fellow Stephen Olson said on Wednesday.

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Despite the Trump administration’s push for U.S. companies to reshore their operations, most U.S. businesses in China are not leaving or are choosing to shift production to other markets, with many citing mild improvements in Beijing’s regulatory environment, according to a new report.

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September 16, 2020

United Kingdom Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab met with administration officials and lawmakers on Wednesday in an attempt to ease concerns over the Good Friday Agreement as the UK tries to ensure trade talks with the U.S. are not deterred by a Brexit fallout.

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The European Union should take the lead on reforming the World Trade Organization, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Wednesday, chastising “major powers” for taking the WTO “hostage” instead of working for change.

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The five World Trade Organization director-general candidates with the most support to move on in the selection process will be announced on Friday, Geneva sources have told Inside U.S. Trade.

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Unless the Commerce Department’s steel and aluminum tariff exclusion process is significantly improved, companies will continue to encounter delays in obtaining relief from Section 232 duties, the Government Accountability Office said this week.

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September 15, 2020

The U.S. and European Union should not prioritize a comprehensive free trade agreement in rebuilding their relationship, EU Director-General for Trade Sabine Weyand said on Tuesday, arguing that a bilateral deal would not address the major challenges facing the global economy like the deterioration of the rules-based system and the emergence of China as an economic powerhouse.

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Following consultations with the Canadian government, the U.S. will refrain from imposing a 10 percent tariff on non-alloyed, unwrought aluminum from Canada, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative said on Tuesday.  

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A World Trade Organization dispute settlement panel on Tuesday ruled U.S. Section 301 tariffs on Chinese goods violate WTO rules, rejecting U.S. claims that the two sides had reached a mutual resolution to the case and that the duties were needed to protect public morals.

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The Agriculture Department’s approach in directing payments to farmers for damages sustained due to Trump administration trade policy has been “unfair” and benefitted large Southern operations over the rest of the country, Senate Agriculture Committee ranking member Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) said on Monday, citing a new government report.

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September 14, 2020

U.S. Customs and Border Protection on Monday moved to block goods made by forced labor in China’s Xinjiang province by issuing five withhold-release orders, instructing CBP officials to seize hair, apparel, cotton and computer parts from specific companies but delaying a broader order that would cover all cotton and tomato products from the region.

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The Commerce Department and the Russian government have reached a preliminary deal to extend and amend a suspension agreement capping uranium imports from Russia through 2040.

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The U.S. and Brazil on Monday will begin “results-oriented” discussions on ways to improve market access for ethanol, sugar and corn, the countries announced last week.

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Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY), eyeing larger and “more aggressive deals” under the Export-Import Bank’s novel China program, last week promoted new legislation he said would, in part, relax domestic content requirements for export financing in the high-tech industry.

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September 11, 2020

A teenager in Oklahoma uploads a video of herself mimicking the latest dance craze to an app on her phone. Is that a national security risk? Should the government ban the app?

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