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Daily News

March 03, 2021

Canada plans to negotiate sector-specific carveouts to the Biden administration’s Buy American policies in areas where the countries can “very easily align,” a top Canadian trade official said this week.

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The Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday voted to confirm Katherine Tai as U.S. Trade Representative, sending her nomination to the Senate floor.  

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March 02, 2021

The full Senate likely will vote to approve Katherine Tai, President Biden’s choice for U.S. Trade Representative, next week, according to several sources tracking the process. 

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Katherine Tai, President Biden’s nominee for U.S. Trade Representative, last week told the Senate Finance Committee she would provide her ideas on how to improve transparency in trade policy-making within 30 days of taking office.

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More than 100 World Trade Organization members plan to prepare a declaration on women’s empowerment through trade for this year’s WTO ministerial, agreeing to a work plan last week to intensify talks in the coming months, according to a Geneva-based trade official familiar with the talks.

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March 01, 2021

Chinese officials on Friday outlined aspects of Beijing’s plan to become technologically self-reliant, advancing its science and technology capabilities by focusing on enhancing semiconductor manufacturing, research and development policies and support of basic research.

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On her first day as director-general of the World Trade Organization, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala set about the difficult work of turning the enthusiasm – and expectations – around her appointment into results, cautioning against “too many expectations” for the 12th ministerial conference in December while outlining an ambitious series of “deliverables.”

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The Biden administration will consider imposing a carbon border tax as part of its efforts to combat climate change, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative said in a new trade agenda delivered to Congress on Monday.

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Addressing the “climate crisis” with U.S. trading partners will be a top priority during Katherine Tai’s first 100 days in office as U.S. Trade Representative if she is confirmed, she said this week.

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The World Trade Organization ministerial conference will take place the week of Nov. 29 in Geneva, the General Council decided on Monday after the original date in 2020 was postponed due to the pandemic. 

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February 26, 2021

Hundreds of civil society groups in the U.S., along with several progressive lawmakers, are keeping up the pressure on the Biden administration to reverse the previous administration’s opposition to a proposal to waive some intellectual property commitments at the World Trade Organization in response to the pandemic, an issue that has galvanized advocacy groups as a question of equity and, they say, hypocrisy.

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The U.S. must take a range of actions to address pandemic-related market shocks that have spurred high costs and long delays for U.S. importers and exporters, causing major disruptions to supply chains, according to industry representatives.

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The U.S. will no longer push to make new international tax rules optional for companies, dropping a position advocated by the Trump administration that isolated the U.S. in negotiations aimed at addressing the digital economy’s place in the international tax system, according to Germany’s finance minister,

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The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative under Katherine Tai will take a nuanced and comprehensive approach to tariffs, including those already in place, eyeing them as “legitimate” tools, the nominee said on Thursday.

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The Biden administration will strive to restore U.S. leadership at the World Trade Organization and work constructively with other members on reform, the president’s pick for U.S. Trade Representative said on Thursday.

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February 25, 2021

With Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala set to take up the director-general mantle next week, World Trade Organization members on Thursday expressed hope for the organization’s future and outlined their priorities for the upcoming ministerial, which is expected to take place in December.

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U.S. Trade Representative nominee Katherine Tai on Thursday pledged to hold China accountable under its phase-one deal with the U.S. and to work with the rest of the Biden administration to craft a long-term vision for how the U.S. can best compete with Beijing.

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Katherine Tai, President Biden’s pick for U.S. Trade Representative, told the Senate Finance Committee during her confirmation hearing on Thursday that if she is confirmed, trade will not be “put on the back burner at all” by the Biden administration.

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Katherine Tai, President Biden’s pick for U.S. Trade Representative, told the Senate Finance Committee during her confirmation hearing on Thursday that if she is confirmed, trade will not be “put on the backburner at all” by the Biden administration.

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The European Union’s agriculture sustainability strategy, known as “Farm to Fork,” is “straight up protectionism,” the former top agricultural negotiator at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative said this week, arguing that the bloc was claiming its blocking of new agricultural technology would make European agriculture more sustainable.

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