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Daily News

December 16, 2020

The World Trade Organization ministerial postponed earlier this year is likely to be pushed back more than a year to December 2021 as countries weigh ongoing pandemic-related uncertainty, the lack of a director-general and a new U.S. administration.

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The U.S. and India are not “far away” from concluding a limited market-access deal that likely won’t be forged before the end of the Trump administration, outgoing U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said on Wednesday, advocating for a comprehensive trade agreement between the two.

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The Treasury Department has named Vietnam and Switzerland as currency manipulators and placed 10 other countries on its monitoring list, according to a semiannual report released on Wednesday.

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December 15, 2020

Many of Mexico’s labor obligations under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement remain unimplemented, an independent review board says in its first report to Congress, outlining a slew of concerns while offering recommendations for how the country can better fulfill its commitments.

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The World Trade Organization is not suffering from a lack of trust but a “lack of like-mindedness” on key issues, U.S. Ambassador Dennis Shea said on Monday, delivering a parting message to colleagues in Geneva urging members build a “shared purpose” centered on shared values.

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Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) on Tuesday said renewing the Generalized System of Preferences could be “very difficult” before it expires at the end of the year.

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U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer appeared on Monday to dash the dreams of a last-minute Boeing-Airbus resolution while he’s still in office, or a nearly complete U.S.-United Kingdom deal to hand off to the Biden administration.

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December 14, 2020

Mexican Ambassador to the U.S. Martha Bárcena, who will retire in the coming months, on Monday outlined a raft of trade and investment challenges she expects the two countries to tackle next year.

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World Trade Organization members will fail to meet the end-of-year deadline for an agreement to curb harmful fisheries subsidies in 2020, the chair of the talks said on Monday, calling on countries to capitalize on growing “momentum” to secure a deal as soon as possible, though no new deadline was set.

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Five World Trade Organization ambassadors on Friday implored the incoming Biden administration to restore the U.S. leadership role at the WTO, arguing that reform of the organization cannot move forward without the largest members on board -- especially the U.S.

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December 11, 2020

President-elect Joe Biden’s choice for U.S. Trade Representative, Katherine Tai, said on Friday that she planned to “harness” U.S. trade relationships to help the administration revitalize the economy.

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As the Trump administration, in its waning days, continues to inflame tensions between the U.S. and China, officials in Beijing continue to say they hope to de-escalate and reset the relationship with Washington once President-elect Biden takes office.

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A new mechanism to address trans-Atlantic data flows must be a top priority for the Biden administration, Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) said this week, joining other senators in exhorting administration officials and private-sector representatives to map a path forward following a European court's invalidation of Privacy Shield.

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Citing fears of “possible anticompetitive behavior,” Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) has asked U.S. International Trade Commission Chairman Jason Kearns to explain how the agency conducts investigations and decides whether to extend cases.

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The U.S. should “embrace” Europe’s recent overture to improve trade relations with the U.S. and forge a new arrangement to counter China’s “intensifying” ambitions, House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) said this week.

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The Biden administration could achieve significant trade, energy and supply chain-related goals by better securing domestic access to rare earth minerals, private-sector representatives and an Energy Department official said this week.

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December 10, 2020

World Trade Organization members agreed on Thursday to continue discussing a proposal to waive certain intellectual property protections amid the pandemic after a 90-day deadline passes, though consensus on the waiver remains unlikely as many of the largest developed members remain against it.

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U.S.-Ecuador trade negotiations during the Biden administration might prove even more constructive than they were under President Trump, the country’s ambassador to the U.S., Ivonne Baki, told Inside U.S. Trade this week.

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House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) this week continued to press the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to take enforcement actions he said would "support Mexico’s labor reform" and address "persistent" violations, but sources say the coronavirus pandemic has made it challenging to submit and process challenges.

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President-elect Joe Biden’s pick for U.S. Trade Representative, Katherine Tai, will help the U.S. “dig out of the COVID-induced economic crisis,” he said on Thursday in formally announcing his intent to nominate her.

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