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Daily News

February 26, 2019

The European Union’s ambassador to the U.S. last week defended the EU Commission’s efforts to implement an EU-wide digital services tax, saying the EU must act to head off individual member state measures in lieu of a consensus at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

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An upcoming ruling by the Canadian International Trade Tribunal is a critical component of an ongoing Section 232 tariff dispute between Ottawa and Washington, according to a senior Canadian industry official.

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British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Tuesday she would allow Parliament to vote for a Brexit delay if her preferred deal fails to pass next month, a decision that followed Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn's announcement that his party would officially back a second referendum.

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February 25, 2019

The domestic steel industry last week exceeded the capacity utilization level targeted by the Commerce Department last year in its Section 232 report to the White House on steel imports, which was used to justify 25 percent tariffs on U.S. trading partners.

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The U.S. on Monday again refused to advance World Trade Organization Appellate Body nominations over concerns about its overreach and “disregard for rules.”

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February 24, 2019

National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow on Sunday called on governors from across the U.S. to help the White House ensure the congressional ratification of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, saying “it would give us momentum” in talks with China.

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February 22, 2019

Many European trade ministers this week expressed hope that the negotiating mandates for talks with the U.S. would be approved soon, but EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström said on Friday that some member states were still considering their positions.

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President Trump announced on Friday that the U.S. and China had reached an agreement on “currency manipulation” in trade talks that were extended through the weekend, predicting that a “real” deal was more likely than not.

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Business representatives and analysts believe the U.S. will agree to postpone a scheduled hike of tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods because U.S. and Chinese officials have made substantive progress in the drafting of six memoranda of understanding, but the two sides still need to iron out how those agreements will be enforced.

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A key British lawmaker said on Friday that a post-Brexit United Kingdom likely would take a more “pragmatic” approach to agriculture biotechnology issues like gene editing and genetically modified crops, a longtime U.S. demand of the European Union.

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February 21, 2019

House Democrats are drafting a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer calling for more balanced access to prescription drugs, urging USTR to achieve levels similar to those included in what is known as the May 10 agreement.

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Canadian Ambassador to the U.S. David MacNaughton on Thursday said he was confident a dispute over U.S. Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum would be resolved “in a few weeks.”

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Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue is “cautiously optimistic” the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement will be passed by Congress by this summer, he said on Thursday.

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Executives from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and U.S.-ASEAN Business Council this week debated whether a U.S.-Japan trade deal conducted in stages would require multiple rounds of congressional approval.

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February 20, 2019

The European Parliament’s International Trade committee on Tuesday passed a resolution endorsing the start of negotiations with the U.S., overhauling a draft resolution that called on member states to reject Commission proposals to launch formal trade talks.

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In comments submitted ahead of a U.S. International Trade Commission hearing on a potential U.S.-United Kingdom trade deal, industry groups offered a list of tariffs and other restrictions they hoped could be reduced or eliminated to improve U.S. market access in the UK, even as the scope of any deal is tied up in the result of Brexit.

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Analysts and former government officials say the partial government shutdown, upcoming elections and national security-based tariffs could delay -- and perhaps thwart -- the passage of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

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February 19, 2019

In a lengthy communication made public on Monday, China, India, South Africa and Venezuela defended the World Trade Organization practice of allowing members to self-designate as “developing” and accused the U.S. of being “profoundly disingenuous” in its recent criticisms.

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Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) on Tuesday said he was doubtful an “ideal” trade agreement with China would come to fruition in weeks.

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February 15, 2019

The United States on Friday proposed four criteria to determine whether a World Trade Organization member could access special and differential treatment, setting up specific parameters for which countries can claim developing status and restricting the practice of self-designation.

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