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Daily News

May 19, 2021

The U.S. must “take a seat at the table” in setting global technology and digital trade standards, former U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman said on Tuesday.

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May 18, 2021

A host of U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement committees briefed U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai and her North American counterparts on the deal’s implementation during an inaugural Free Trade Commission meeting on Tuesday, touching on a host of thorny issues including sanitary and phytosanitary measures and rules of origin, according to statements from the three countries. 

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Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) on Tuesday introduced a bill to re-instate the lapsed Generalized System of Preferences through 2027 with new labor and environment conditions for beneficiaries.

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Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on Tuesday released the full text of a legislative package aimed at increasing U.S. competitiveness vis-à-vis China, including a placeholder for domestic semiconductor manufacturing incentives, leaving in place lowered funding levels for a new tech directorate at the National Science Foundation and incorporating legislation passed by several Senate committees.

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Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on Tuesday released the full text of a legislative package aimed at increasing U.S. competitiveness vis-à-vis China, which proposes appropriating $52 billion for domestic semiconductor manufacturing incentives and includes slashed funding levels for a new tech directorate at the National Science Foundation, as well as a slew of legislation passed by several Senate committees.

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Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta remains hopeful that a “free trade arrangement” between the U.S. and Kenya can be struck to help spur broader U.S.-Africa ties, he said on Tuesday.

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The remaining opponents of a proposed waiver of World Trade Organization intellectual property rules for COVID-19-related products should support moving to text-based negotiations “as soon as possible,” the co-sponsors said this week, pledging to kickstart those talks by releasing a revised version “soon.”

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The Biden administration is asking the Court of International Trade not to block the liquidation of duties on goods from China while litigation against those duties unfolds, laying out in detail its arguments for why the refunds importers are seeking are unwarranted.

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May 17, 2021

U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai and her Canadian counterpart "on the eve" of the first Free Trade Commission meeting under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement discussed the two countries’ long-standing lumber dispute, dairy tariff-rate quotas and Canada’s recently proposed digital service tax, among other trade issues, USTR said on Monday.

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The first environment committee meeting under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement will be held virtually on June 17, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative announced on Monday.

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The European Union will temporarily suspend plans to boost retaliatory duties imposed to counter U.S. Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum, European Commission Executive Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis announced on Monday, joining the U.S. in announcing new talks on global steel and aluminum overcapacity.

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May 14, 2021

A House Science, Space and Technology subcommittee on Thursday approved legislation seen as an alternative to the Senate “Endless Frontier Act” that is less focused on China, setting up a potential showdown between the House and Senate over the research agency’s future role in countering Beijing’s attempt to become a technological superpower.

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South African and Indian officials this week provided U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai updates on revisions to a proposed waiver of World Trade Organization intellectual property obligations for COVID-19 vaccines, which the two countries began pushing last year.

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Four years of Trump administration moves spurred a “loss of faith” in the U.S.’ commitments to its trade obligations, says Josh Meltzer, a senior fellow in global economy and development with the Brookings Institution. But with a new administration and a renewed focus on the economic integration of North America via the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, he sees an opportunity to improve the discourse on trade policy -- and to help ensure the U.S. and the other parties to the deal are living up to their promises.

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May 13, 2021

The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee on Wednesday approved a version of the “Endless Frontier Act,” the centerpiece of a China-focused legislative package the Senate is expected to vote on later this month, but drastically cut proposed funding for a new technology directorate within the National Science Foundation.

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The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Wednesday approved three “Buy America”-related bills the committee intends to push for inclusion in a package of China-focused legislation the Senate is expected to vote on later this month.

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U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai told House lawmakers on Thursday she is interested in working with Congress on a new version of Trade Promotion Authority that has strong bipartisan support, though she did not commit to a timetable for the legislation.

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Bolivia has waded into the fray over intellectual property rights at the World Trade Organization, notifying this week that it intends to import COVID-19 vaccines via a built-in compulsory license framework – a WTO-compliant pathway that has frequently triggered U.S. ire in the past.

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May 12, 2021

The European Union’s carbon border adjustment mechanism will first apply to just a handful of sectors, a European trade official said on Wednesday, citing electricity, cement, steel and fertilizers as likely options -- sectors under review in an EU impact assessment.

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U.S. Trade Representative Katherina Tai on Wednesday defended the Biden administration’s decision to support talks on waiving some World Trade Organization intellectual property protections for COVID-19 vaccines, telling skeptical senators she acted within her authority to take that position without congressional input.

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