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Daily News

March 18, 2020

A “virtual” meeting of World Trade Organization negotiators discussing how to curb harmful fishing subsidies, planned for Friday, has been canceled due to technical difficulties and governmental restrictions in Geneva, sources told Inside U.S. Trade.

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President Trump on Wednesday said there was “no reason” to include tariff relief in his administration’s plan to mitigate the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, rebutting calls from many in the business community.

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President Trump’s decision to halt travel from many European countries in response to the coronavirus pandemic will hinder services trade between the two countries, analysts tell Inside U.S. Trade.

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Efforts to ensure a host of labor and enforcement commitments required by the time the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement enters into force -- which could be as soon as June 1 -- are picking up speed, according to government officials.

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White House trade adviser Peter Navarro’s push to “reshore” the pharmaceutical and medical supplies supply chain is unrealistic and ultimately will cause more harm than good to Americans, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said on Tuesday.

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March 17, 2020

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on Tuesday notified Capitol Hill that the Trump administration plans to negotiate a comprehensive trade deal with Kenya, setting up the start of negotiations as early as mid-June.

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As the Trump administration works to appease seasonal growers, Mexico is mulling how it might retaliate if trade restrictions are imposed on its agricultural exports, government and private-sector officials tell Inside U.S. Trade.

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The U.S. Chamber of Commerce this week established a task force to address supply chain and trade disruptions caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

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Export restrictions on medical supplies, which some countries are imposing, will make everyone worse off, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) said on Monday, calling on the Trump administration to work toward a global response.

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March 16, 2020

Business associations and a key Democratic lawmaker are assessing how a June 1 entry-into-force date for the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement might be achieved as U.S. companies face a rash of challenges related to the COVID-19 outbreak.

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March 15, 2020

The World Trade Organization has suspended meetings through April due to the COVID-19 outbreak and most Secretariat staff will work from home through March, Director-General Roberto Azevêdo told WTO members and staff on Sunday.

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March 13, 2020

China is implementing a series of measures aimed at boosting its foundering foreign trade numbers after the coronavirus outbreak ground Chinese economic activity to a halt in January and February, causing a sharp decline in exports.

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World Trade Organization members largely praised Australia’s policies during the country’s trade policy review this week, with only a few small criticisms offered in the first test of the virtual meeting capabilities of the WTO amid the global COVID-19 outbreak.

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The Canadian Senate on Friday voted to approve U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement implementing legislation without amendment, advancing the bill more quickly than expected in part due to COVID-19 concerns. 

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India and South Africa this week doubled down on their opposition to the World Trade Organization moratorium on imposing customs duties on electronic transmissions, arguing in Geneva that it prevents developing countries from utilizing electronic commerce tariffs in the same way developed members, like the U.S., have used tariffs for other industries.

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March 12, 2020

The Trump administration is pushing to ensure the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement enters into force by June 1, sources familiar with the plan told Inside U.S. Trade.

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The upcoming World Trade Organization ministerial conference scheduled for early June in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, “will not be feasible” due to the COVID-19 outbreak, WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo told members on Thursday after consulting with Kazakh officials.

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The Kazakh trade minister on Thursday said his country would hold “appropriate consultations” with the World Trade Organization Secretariat on whether to suspend the upcoming ministerial conference due to COVID-19 – contradicting other senior Kazakh officials who said the ministerial would be canceled.

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March 11, 2020

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer this week will consult with House and Senate advisory groups before officially notifying Congress of the administration’s intent to initiate trade talks with Kenya, he told Inside U.S. Trade on Wednesday.

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Democrats on the House Ways & Means Committee told U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on Wednesday that the administration should consider lifting tariffs to blunt the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, but several members said he was not receptive to the proposal.

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