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Daily News

July 23, 2019

A recent trip to Mexico did little to assuage Democrats' concerns with USMCA’s enforcement language, Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) said on Tuesday, as Vice President Mike Pence continued to barnstorm in favor of ratifying the deal this year.

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President Trump is holding China accountable for its failure to deliver on promised agricultural purchases as the two sides resume talks, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said on Tuesday.

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U.S. companies see significant potential for increased trade in Africa despite areas of concern including intellectual property enforcement and digital trade, they said in comments submitted to the U.S. International Trade Commission ahead of a hearing on Wednesday.

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The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, joined by 600 other business associations across the country, is urging Congress to approve the U.S.- Mexico-Canada Agreement as soon as possible.

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July 22, 2019

The European Union’s Director General for Trade on Monday urged the U.S. to put trans-Atlantic trade fracases behind it so two of the three world’s largest economies could put up a unified front against the third and combat unfair Chinese trade practices.

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The U.S. has accused some World Trade Organization members of refusing to allow dispute settlement proceedings and documentation to be made public, arguing they are undermining the system by rejecting transparency.

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Concerns that a controversial de minimis provision could be included in the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement’s implementing legislation continue to vex House lawmakers from both sides of the aisle who have raised the issue in recent talks with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

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July 19, 2019

Despite some progress and “enhanced” engagement, the World Trade Organization negotiations to ban illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing subsidies are not on track to finish by the end of the year as members had agreed to, the U.S. said this week.

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Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said he will tell a visiting U.S. House delegation on Friday to conclude the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement’s “approval process ASAP.”

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Sens. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) are crafting legislation to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank and hope to introduce a bill before the August congressional recess, Cramer told Inside U.S. Trade.

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July 18, 2019

Mexican Ambassador to the U.S. Martha Bárcena on Thursday said that a budget to implement labor reform in Mexico will be decided by September -- responding to a key concern flagged by congressional Democrats as they consider whether to support the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

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As House lawmakers get set to visit Mexico City this weekend, House Ways & Means trade subcommittee chairman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) told Inside U.S. Trade he plans to get a “better perspective” on a roadmap issued by the Mexican government last month outlining labor reform implementation.

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Kelly Ann Shaw, the deputy assistant to the president for international economic affairs, on Wednesday said it was a shame that leaders did not choose to renew the Global Forum on Steel Excess Capacity at last month’s G20 leaders summit in Osaka, Japan, with one country tanking the effort.

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July 17, 2019

In a separate opinion issued as part of a World Trade Organization Appellate Body report, one of the body’s three members excoriated the other two members for their ruling in a case between the U.S. and China over countervailing duties the Commerce Department imposed on certain Chinese goods, claiming the body engaged in overreach, fact-finding, relied on precedent and created new obligations for members.

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House Democrats are trying to get more specific in their requests to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer for changes to the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal said on Wednesday after meeting with the USTR.

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The World Trade Organization’s agriculture negotiating body is not yet ready to engage in talks on domestic support -- the members’ main priority -- but requires additional technical discussions, the U.S. said on Monday, according to a Geneva source.

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July 16, 2019

Congressional Democrats want to ensure a vote on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement does not “languish into next year,” House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) told reporters on Tuesday after meeting with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).

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Securing commitments from China and determining logistics for in-person negotiations will likely dominate this week’s principal-level phone call between Washington and Beijing, according to sources familiar with the talks.

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Japanese and U.S. officials met for another round of trade talks in Washington, DC last week focusing on tariff cuts in agricultural and industrial goods, with some sources suggesting the U.S. is keen on striking an early deal that does not require Capitol Hill’s approval.

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July 15, 2019

President Trump on Monday signed another “Buy American” executive order proposing new rules that would raise the domestic content requirement for federal contracts from 50 to 55 percent for non-iron and steel products and to 95 percent for steel and iron products.

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