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Daily News

December 12, 2019

The United States is expected to cut in half tariffs on roughly $360 billion on Chinese goods in exchange for a promise from Beijing to purchase more U.S. goods if President Trump agrees to the terms U.S. and Chinese negotiators have reached on a phase-one trade deal, according to sources close to the talks.

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The Senate Finance Committee will not hold a mock markup of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement implementing bill, trade subcommittee Chairman John Cornyn (R-TX) said on Thursday, lamenting what he called a break from decades of precedent.

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In the late-stage U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement negotiations that ended this week, Mexico accepted a version of a labor enforcement mechanism and penalties for workers’ rights violations it had initially rejected because of a range of additional requirements that were attached to the proposals, Mexico’s chief trade negotiator told Inside U.S. Trade in an interview this week.

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The European Commission on Thursday proposed an amendment to its trade enforcement law that would allow it to impose retaliatory tariffs on countries that block the resolution of a dispute at the World Trade Organization.

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December 11, 2019

The Trump administration has until Sunday to decide whether to slap tariffs on $160 billion worth of Chinese goods, with a bevy of developments – domestically and with China – complicating that decision and leaving analysts to believe the administration will, at least for now, punt on the tariffs.

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For the first time in its nearly 25-year history, the World Trade Organization opened for business on Wednesday without a properly functioning mechanism to settle disputes among its membership, leaving WTO members, lawmakers and business groups wondering what’s next.

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The leaders of the House Financial Services and Senate Banking Committees are continuing to debate the length of a reauthorization period for the Export-Import Bank, Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) told Inside U.S. Trade.

The Ex-Im Bank’s charter is set to expire on Dec. 20, when a continuing resolution keeping the government funded will end.

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December 10, 2019

The U.S.-Mexico-Canada agreement will not be brought to a vote in the Senate before it adjourns for the year, Senate Majority Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said on Tuesday, adding that the deal likely will be voted on after the Senate concludes its impeachment trial of President Trump.

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At a signing ceremony for an addendum to the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement on Tuesday, Mexico’s chief trade negotiator disputed “declarations” he said were made in the U.S. by insisting Mexico did not accept a labor-enforcement mechanism involving the deployment of U.S. inspectors.

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GENEVA -- World Trade Organization Director-General Roberto Azevêdo’s political consultations to address the paralysis of the Appellate Body will focus on finding the “missing pieces of the puzzle” that were missed by the so-called “Walker process,” he said on Tuesday.

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Mexico has agreed to a “melted and poured” standard for steel used in auto production that won't take effect for seven years, sources tell Inside U.S. Trade.

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GENEVA -- The U.S. on Monday said it would not agree to new special and differential treatment provisions in World Trade Organization negotiations unless “certain members” forgo the use of those provisions.

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and House Ways & Means Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA), along with other Democrats, on Tuesday unveiled new tweaks to the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement and said a vote on an implementing bill could come as soon as next week.

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GENEVA -- World Trade Organization members have agreed to extend a moratorium on electronic transmission duties until the next ministerial conference in June 2020.

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December 09, 2019

After discussing the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Monday evening, key House Democrats said they expected an announcement of an adjusted deal to be made on Tuesday, when top officials from the three countries are slated to meet in Mexico.

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GENEVA -- As the U.S. comes under fire for handicapping the World Trade Organization’s dispute settlement system, it is charging that members’ non-market policies and practices are the actual threat to the WTO and must be addressed for the “continued vitality” of the organization.

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President Trump on Monday said he was “hearing from unions” that end-stage U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement discussions were turning a corner, lauding what he called an abundance of “strides over the last 24 hours” amid reports that U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer was planning to travel to Mexico on Tuesday.

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GENEVA -- The U.S. on Monday opposed the adoption of a World Trade Organization General Council draft decision aimed at forestalling the imminent paralysis of the Appellate Body, arguing that the U.S. had engaged substantially but did not believe other members had done so.

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A coalition of U.S. business and free trade advocacy groups has put forward a proposal designed to address U.S. concerns with the World Trade Organization’s Appellate Body ahead of a likely paralysis of the body beginning this week. 

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The European Union believes negotiations at the World Trade Organization and trans-Atlantic trade talks with the United States could be used to curb Beijing’s unfair trading practices, Finnish trade officials tell Inside U.S. Trade.

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