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Daily News

August 26, 2020

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Japanese Foreign Affairs Minister Toshimitsu Motegi on Wednesday addressed what they see as an “urgent” need to reform the World Trade Organization, including its dispute settlement system, according to the Japanese Foreign Affairs Ministry.

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The Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security on Wednesday published a long-anticipated draft advance notice of proposed rulemaking on “foundational technologies” and asked for industry input as the agency crafts a definition for the term, which was not clearly delineated in the notice.

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August 25, 2020

TikTok is suing the Trump administration over an Aug. 6 executive order requiring the company be sold to a U.S. entity or banned from operating in the U.S., saying it does not meet the statutory requirements needed to invoke the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.

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The World Trade Organization is becoming increasingly irrelevant, a former Trump administration official said on Tuesday, drawing on her experience in a White House where she said the institution was a low priority.

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August 24, 2020

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He held a much-anticipated six-month check-in on the U.S.-China phase-one trade agreement on Monday night, saying they “see progress” and are committed to implementing the deal.

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What the World Trade Organization needs is not only an “active, dynamic” leader who can shepherd the institution out of the past and into reform, but also one with courage who can resist further politicization, according to former Moldovan Foreign Minister Tudor Ulianovschi, who is the country’s candidate for director-general.

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The tariff-reduction deal announced last week by the U.S. and the European Union is a testament to the advocacy of Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) and other Maine lawmakers, a top U.S. trade official said on Monday, calling the accord a “great result that hopefully will yield further agreement.”

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A World Trade Organization dispute settlement panel on Monday ruled the U.S. inappropriately applied countervailing duties on Canadian softwood lumber, prompting U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to hold up the ruling as an example of the flaws of the WTO’s dispute settlement system in claiming the U.S. would “reject” the verdict.

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August 21, 2020

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on Friday began to answer the question many in Geneva have long been asking: What does the U.S. want from the World Trade Organization? And the answer is, largely, a total reset in five acts -- on tariffs, on bilateral free trade agreements, on special and differential treatment, on rules and on dispute settlement.

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The U.S. and the European Union on Friday announced a tariff agreement aimed at increasing trans-Atlantic market access, calling it the first such deal between Washington and Brussels in more than two decades.

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A bipartisan group of lawmakers this week urged U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to negotiate the termination of what they call Brazil’s “prohibitive” restrictions on U.S. ethanol imports, which they fear will be extended.

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August 20, 2020

Mexican Undersecretary for North America Jesús Seade on Thursday criticized what he called a “perception” that he is not among the frontrunners to lead the World Trade Organization, insisting he is “among the leading pack.”

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Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on Thursday pleaded for help from lawmakers, agriculture industry representatives and farmers as the administration works to develop a “realistic” solution to their longstanding concerns that imports of seasonal products from Mexico are harming the U.S. industry.

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The U.S. and China will hold a high-level check-in on the implementation of the phase-one trade deal in the “coming days,” the Chinese Ministry of Commerce said on Thursday.

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August 19, 2020

The U.S. and European Union should be working to resolve their longstanding World Trade Organization disputes over aircraft subsidies before China’s “fully subsidized” aircraft flood the market in the near future, EU Ambassador to the U.S. Stavros Lambrinidis said on Wednesday, calling China’s plans the “real security threat.”

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Key members of the Congressional India Caucus, along with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s U.S.-India Business Council, are hopeful the U.S. and India can strike a limited trade deal ahead of the U.S. presidential election.

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The phase-one trade agreement between the U.S. and China has been heralded as the lone remaining bright spot in the rapidly deteriorating U.S.-Sino relationship, but a six-month check-in between U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and his Chinese counterpart will not be held because the Trump administration is “frustrated” by the spread of the coronavirus, according to White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.

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August 18, 2020

As the administration begins to review long-awaited challenges brought under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement’s labor chapter, industry groups are calling for more transparency and clarifications to improve labor complaint-submission procedures under the chapter as well as those for a new rapid-response tool.

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The Trump administration should not pursue a trade agreement with Taiwan if doing so could derail discussions with China, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) told reporters on Monday.

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Hoping to prevent Chinese telecom giant Huawei from circumventing U.S. export controls, the Commerce Department on Monday announced it would broaden its foreign direct product rule to capture more U.S. exports, sparking an outcry from the semiconductor industry.

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