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Daily News

March 20, 2020

President Trump on Friday announced his intent to nominate Michael Nemelka, a special adviser to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, to serve as deputy USTR.

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The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, like all other federal agencies, is adapting to life during a global pandemic that has radically overhauled how many work. But how, exactly, the new reality is affecting its operations is not known -- and USTR isn’t saying. 

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March 19, 2020

The phase-one trade agreement between the U.S. and China, which Trump administration officials have hailed as a landmark breakthrough, “will go down as one of the biggest political and economic failures in a generation” if the two sides cannot agree to a more comprehensive follow-on pact, according to a group of U.S. businesses with operations in South China.

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Dan DiMicco, a member of USTR’s chief advisory panel and a longtime adviser to President Trump, said the administration’s trade team is working on business as usual despite complications caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

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World Trade Organization members will exchange written comments and questions about recent proposals in the negotiations to curb harmful fishing subsidies before the chair of the talks puts out a consolidated negotiating text after April 6, when the initial back-and-forth is finished.

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March 18, 2020

A “virtual” meeting of World Trade Organization negotiators discussing how to curb harmful fishing subsidies, planned for Friday, has been canceled due to technical difficulties and governmental restrictions in Geneva, sources told Inside U.S. Trade.

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President Trump on Wednesday said there was “no reason” to include tariff relief in his administration’s plan to mitigate the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, rebutting calls from many in the business community.

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President Trump’s decision to halt travel from many European countries in response to the coronavirus pandemic will hinder services trade between the two countries, analysts tell Inside U.S. Trade.

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Efforts to ensure a host of labor and enforcement commitments required by the time the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement enters into force -- which could be as soon as June 1 -- are picking up speed, according to government officials.

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White House trade adviser Peter Navarro’s push to “reshore” the pharmaceutical and medical supplies supply chain is unrealistic and ultimately will cause more harm than good to Americans, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said on Tuesday.

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March 17, 2020

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on Tuesday notified Capitol Hill that the Trump administration plans to negotiate a comprehensive trade deal with Kenya, setting up the start of negotiations as early as mid-June.

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As the Trump administration works to appease seasonal growers, Mexico is mulling how it might retaliate if trade restrictions are imposed on its agricultural exports, government and private-sector officials tell Inside U.S. Trade.

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The U.S. Chamber of Commerce this week established a task force to address supply chain and trade disruptions caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

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Export restrictions on medical supplies, which some countries are imposing, will make everyone worse off, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) said on Monday, calling on the Trump administration to work toward a global response.

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March 16, 2020

Business associations and a key Democratic lawmaker are assessing how a June 1 entry-into-force date for the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement might be achieved as U.S. companies face a rash of challenges related to the COVID-19 outbreak.

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March 15, 2020

The World Trade Organization has suspended meetings through April due to the COVID-19 outbreak and most Secretariat staff will work from home through March, Director-General Roberto Azevêdo told WTO members and staff on Sunday.

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March 13, 2020

China is implementing a series of measures aimed at boosting its foundering foreign trade numbers after the coronavirus outbreak ground Chinese economic activity to a halt in January and February, causing a sharp decline in exports.

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World Trade Organization members largely praised Australia’s policies during the country’s trade policy review this week, with only a few small criticisms offered in the first test of the virtual meeting capabilities of the WTO amid the global COVID-19 outbreak.

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The Canadian Senate on Friday voted to approve U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement implementing legislation without amendment, advancing the bill more quickly than expected in part due to COVID-19 concerns. 

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India and South Africa this week doubled down on their opposition to the World Trade Organization moratorium on imposing customs duties on electronic transmissions, arguing in Geneva that it prevents developing countries from utilizing electronic commerce tariffs in the same way developed members, like the U.S., have used tariffs for other industries.

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