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Daily News

March 13, 2020

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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U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer this week is expected to notify Capitol Hill of the administration’s intent to begin trade talks with Kenya, sources tell Inside U.S. Trade

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March 10, 2020

The World Trade Organization announced on Tuesday that it will suspend its meetings through March 20 following news that a Secretariat staff member tested positive for COVID-19.

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A group representing the U.S. aluminum industry this week filed antidumping duty petitions against imports of common alloy aluminum sheet from 18 countries and countervailing duty petitions against four of them.

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A World Trade Organization Secretariat staff member has contracted COVID-19, a WTO official confirmed to Inside U.S. Trade, and the institution is taking “necessary measures” in response.

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March 09, 2020

The U.S. semiconductor industry could see its global market share reduced while China’s burgeoning semiconductor sector would benefit if export restrictions that prevent U.S. companies from selling to Chinese entities remain in place, according to a report by the Boston Consulting Group.

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The U.S. International Trade Commission last week said boosting the number of crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells that can be imported under the Trump administration’s safeguard measure on solar imports would likely reduce the cost burden on U.S. module manufacturers and improve domestic profitability.

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The U.S., Canada and Brazil last week proposed a draft World Trade Organization ministerial declaration on a new work program on sanitary and phytosanitary issues that would identify “common challenges” in implementing the WTO SPS Agreement as well as the impacts of “emerging pressures.”

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March 08, 2020

President Trump and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro have agreed to ramp up efforts to develop a “trade package” this year, the White House announced on Saturday.  

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March 07, 2020

The chairman and ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, along with other panel members led by Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA), have filed an amicus brief in support of a lawsuit filed to compel the Commerce Department to release its report on a Section 232 investigation of auto imports. 

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March 06, 2020

Whether the United States and China can come to terms on a broader, second trade agreement likely depends on their ability to overcome a host of U.S. national security concerns that have dominated the trade conversation, but the U.S. likely will be unwilling to discuss those issues in talks with Beijing, according to analysts.

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The paralysis of the World Trade Organization Appellate Body could have ripple effects in Geneva, analysts said this week, including the potential for more “flexible” thinking by dispute panels, implications for negotiations and the evolution of ad hoc dispute settlement.

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With an eye toward deepening bilateral trade relations, President Trump is set to meet with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Saturday at his home in Mar-a-Lago, the White House announced this week.

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At the behest of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., President Trump on Friday dissolved a 2018 acquisition of a Maryland-based mobile hotel property management system by a Chinese company and ordered the U.S. firm to immediately restrict access to hotel guest data.

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