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Daily News

December 31, 2018

The terms of a potential U.S.-China deal -- if the two countries can reach an agreement by March 1 -- will set the tone for what could be a seminal year in trade policy. At a Dec. 1 meeting in Buenos Aires, President Trump effectively gave Chinese President Xi Jinping an ultimatum: Reach a trade deal with Washington by March 2 or face a tariff hike on $200 billion worth of goods, from 10 to 25 percent.

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December 28, 2018

U.S. involvement in plurilateral e-commerce talks in Geneva will hinge on whether members can agree to highly ambitious goals, including commitments to the free flow of data across borders and a ban on data localization, industry sources said.

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Ensuring the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement makes its way through Congress is the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's top priority in 2019 -- but steel and aluminum tariffs on Canadian and Mexican imports remain a major impediment, according to Myron Brilliant, the Chamber's executive vice president and head of international affairs.

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Ensuring the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement makes its way through Congress is the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's top priority in 2019 -- but steel and aluminum tariffs on Canadian and Mexican imports remain a major impediment, according to Myron Brilliant, the Chamber's executive vice president and head of international affairs.

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December 27, 2018

World Trade Organization members targeted U.S. Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum this year, setting up a showdown over when a country can invoke a national security exemption that could come as early as 2019 -- even as the Appellate Body could cease to function late in the year if the status quo remains.

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As Capitol Hill looks ahead to 2019 and a dramatically different Congress, several senators are pushing for a more comprehensive trade strategy, with some naming U.S.-China talks as the top trade priority for the year.

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December 26, 2018

GENEVA -- As World Trade Organization members look for a breakthrough amid an existential crisis -- perhaps the most serious the body has ever faced -- some believe the key to making progress on a host of issues it's facing is the outcome of bilateral talks between the U.S. and China.

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The Trump administration will have its hands full in 2019, with new talks slated to begin with Brussels, Tokyo, London and potentially more, as well as the implementation of a revised deal with South Korea. The fate of the U.S.-Mexico -Canada Agreement will also be determined next year by a new Congress.

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December 21, 2018

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative on Friday released a summary of negotiating objectives it intends to pursue in upcoming talks with Japan, starting the clock for formal negotiations to begin as soon as late January.

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A three-judge panel this week questioned the level of discretion afforded to the executive branch in Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, the constitutionality of which is being challenged by an international steel group that is taking aim at steel tariffs imposed by the Trump administration earlier this year.

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Customs and Border Protection and the Treasury Department this week issued a new set of duty drawback regulations banning producers from recouping tariffs on imported products if they export similar U.S.-made items that are exempt from taxes, claiming that U.S. industry is mistaken in its criticism of the change.

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December 20, 2018

Incoming Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) on Thursday outlined his priorities for the new Congress -- making clear he will insist that agriculture to be included in any U.S.-European Union trade agreement.

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In lieu of action by the European Union, France has announced a plan to implement a digital services tax in 2019, despite U.S. industry claims that the tax is a trade barrier that violates World Trade Organization rules.

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Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) this week said the chances that the U.S. will strike a bilateral deal with an African country remain slim, citing a lack of enthusiasm among African officials and recent conversations with Trump administration officials.

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December 19, 2018

U.S. Ambassador to the World Trade Organization Dennis Shea on Wednesday rebutted claims that the U.S. was at the center of the “deep crisis” at the WTO, instead laying the blame on China and its trade-distorting policies, which the U.S. sees as incompatible with the multilateral trading system.

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A World Trade Organization dispute settlement panel determined this week that while the Commerce Department could establish a chain of government control to prove an entity is a public body -- a key question in a case involving countervailing duties on two Turkish steel producers -- the U.S. did not provide sufficient evidence to support its claim.

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Auto groups are calling on the U.S. to prioritize regulatory cohesion with the European Union in a potential trade deal with Brussels, though the two parties initially agreed to leave cars out of the discussion.

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December 18, 2018

The U.S. on Tuesday elaborated on its contention that the World Trade Organization’s Appellate Body should not treat its rulings as precedent, saying that in doing so the Appellate Body exceds the authority granted to it by WTO members.

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Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and ranking member Ron Wyden (D-OR) have told the Commerce Department, despite modifications to the Section 232 product-exclusion process earlier this year, companies applying for immunity continue to be confused and disadvantaged.

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World Trade Organization Deputy Director-General Alan Wolff on Monday called for an overhaul of the way in which members self-designate as developed or developing countries.

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