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Daily News

December 11, 2019

The Trump administration has until Sunday to decide whether to slap tariffs on $160 billion worth of Chinese goods, with a bevy of developments – domestically and with China – complicating that decision and leaving analysts to believe the administration will, at least for now, punt on the tariffs.

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For the first time in its nearly 25-year history, the World Trade Organization opened for business on Wednesday without a properly functioning mechanism to settle disputes among its membership, leaving WTO members, lawmakers and business groups wondering what’s next.

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The leaders of the House Financial Services and Senate Banking Committees are continuing to debate the length of a reauthorization period for the Export-Import Bank, Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) told Inside U.S. Trade.

The Ex-Im Bank’s charter is set to expire on Dec. 20, when a continuing resolution keeping the government funded will end.

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December 10, 2019

The U.S.-Mexico-Canada agreement will not be brought to a vote in the Senate before it adjourns for the year, Senate Majority Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said on Tuesday, adding that the deal likely will be voted on after the Senate concludes its impeachment trial of President Trump.

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At a signing ceremony for an addendum to the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement on Tuesday, Mexico’s chief trade negotiator disputed “declarations” he said were made in the U.S. by insisting Mexico did not accept a labor-enforcement mechanism involving the deployment of U.S. inspectors.

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GENEVA -- World Trade Organization Director-General Roberto Azevêdo’s political consultations to address the paralysis of the Appellate Body will focus on finding the “missing pieces of the puzzle” that were missed by the so-called “Walker process,” he said on Tuesday.

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Mexico has agreed to a “melted and poured” standard for steel used in auto production that won't take effect for seven years, sources tell Inside U.S. Trade.

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GENEVA -- The U.S. on Monday said it would not agree to new special and differential treatment provisions in World Trade Organization negotiations unless “certain members” forgo the use of those provisions.

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and House Ways & Means Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA), along with other Democrats, on Tuesday unveiled new tweaks to the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement and said a vote on an implementing bill could come as soon as next week.

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GENEVA -- World Trade Organization members have agreed to extend a moratorium on electronic transmission duties until the next ministerial conference in June 2020.

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December 09, 2019

After discussing the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Monday evening, key House Democrats said they expected an announcement of an adjusted deal to be made on Tuesday, when top officials from the three countries are slated to meet in Mexico.

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GENEVA -- As the U.S. comes under fire for handicapping the World Trade Organization’s dispute settlement system, it is charging that members’ non-market policies and practices are the actual threat to the WTO and must be addressed for the “continued vitality” of the organization.

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President Trump on Monday said he was “hearing from unions” that end-stage U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement discussions were turning a corner, lauding what he called an abundance of “strides over the last 24 hours” amid reports that U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer was planning to travel to Mexico on Tuesday.

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GENEVA -- The U.S. on Monday opposed the adoption of a World Trade Organization General Council draft decision aimed at forestalling the imminent paralysis of the Appellate Body, arguing that the U.S. had engaged substantially but did not believe other members had done so.

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A coalition of U.S. business and free trade advocacy groups has put forward a proposal designed to address U.S. concerns with the World Trade Organization’s Appellate Body ahead of a likely paralysis of the body beginning this week. 

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The European Union believes negotiations at the World Trade Organization and trans-Atlantic trade talks with the United States could be used to curb Beijing’s unfair trading practices, Finnish trade officials tell Inside U.S. Trade.

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December 08, 2019

After consulting the Mexican Senate on proposed changes to the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said on Sunday that his government would consider accepting a late-stage U.S. steel demand if it is implemented more than five years after the pact enters into force.

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December 06, 2019

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative is considering tariffs of up to 100 percent on a host of European goods including aircraft parts, agricultural goods and a variety of other products as part of its review of the retaliation it has imposed on the European Union for subsidies it provides to Airbus, according to a draft Federal Register notice set to be published next week.

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The U.S. ambassador to the World Trade Organization signaled on Friday that the U.S. was unlikely to agree to any Appellate Body resolution at the General Council meeting next week, reaffirming the Trump administration's stance that members must first identify the “underlying problems.”

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Despite new U.S. demands that have further complicated U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement talks, Mexican Under Secretary for North America Jesús Seade on Friday expressed confidence that all issues could be resolved.

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