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Daily News

March 05, 2020

World Trade Organization members are too focused on “horse trading” over tweaks to the appellate system and should instead engage substantively with the U.S. on its criticisms and on what comes next, former Appellate Body Chairman Thomas Graham said on Thursday.

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The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has announced plans to hold April hearings in Florida and Georgia on seasonal produce issues.

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U.S. and Brazilian officials on Thursday said recent and upcoming engagements between the two countries could provide sufficient momentum to spark the start of trade talks.

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March 04, 2020

Part of Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I-VT) strategy heading into the crucial Michigan Democratic primary next week will be to put a spotlight on the differences between his track record on trade and that of former Vice President Joe Biden’s, Sanders told reporters on Wednesday.

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The Agriculture Department is considering new rules for labeling meat that would not run afoul of the World Trade Organization, which struck down a previous country-of-origin labeling law, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said on Wednesday.

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The U.S. push to for an answer to “why” the World Trade Organization Appellate Body has strayed from its mandate remains a lonely quest, as fellow WTO members on Tuesday responded to a 174-page Office of the U.S. Trade Representative report on the Appellate Body with disappointment and repeated calls for the U.S. to propose, well, anything.

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An increase in antidumping and countervailing duty investigations and frequent changes to the Harmonized Tariff Schedule during the Trump administration have left the U.S. International Trade Commission in need of a significant funding boost, a House appropriator said on Wednesday.

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March 03, 2020

China on Tuesday accused the U.S. at the World Trade Organization General Council meeting of using its non-market economy proposal as “quite an obvious ‘scene-setting’” for its true desire -- new disciplines on subsidies, which China argued would not be supported by members.

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Several House Ways & Means Committee members on Tuesday backed efforts led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to find a multilateral solution to an international digital services tax dilemma this year.

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March 02, 2020

The United Kingdom is pressing the U.S. to remove its retaliatory tariffs on British products as a show of good faith in the upcoming trade negotiations, UK Secretary of International Trade Liz Truss said on Monday.

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U.S. Ambassador to the World Trade Organization Dennis Shea on Monday tried to reassure fellow members that the U.S. values the WTO but considers reform a top priority, especially in areas like special and differential treatment and non-market economies -- frequent U.S. targets.

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The World Trade Organization is “monitoring” the coronavirus outbreak, but the upcoming ministerial conference in June is “proceeding as planned,” Director-General Roberto Azevêdo told heads of delegations in Geneva on Monday.

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The White House last week formed interagency committees to help facilitate the enforcement of environmental obligations and provisions on trade in auto goods in the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

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In its newly released negotiating objectives for a trade deal with the U.S., the United Kingdom is pushing for “cutting-edge” digital trade provisions and “best-of-class” rules for service sectors while doubling down on its refusal to open up the National Health Service or compromise its food safety or animal welfare standards.

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February 28, 2020

A three-judge panel at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit this week rejected a challenge of the national security-based statute President Trump has utilized to impose restrictions on steel imports.

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President Trump this week decided not to impose Section 232 duties on titanium sponge imports despite the Commerce Department’s determination that they threaten national security. 

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The lack of a functioning Appellate Body led to the suspension of a World Trade Organization Dispute Settlement Body meeting on Friday, as the Philippines seeks the right to retaliate against Thailand while the latter appeals -- the type of scenario many said was inevitable given the paralysis of the body.

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February 27, 2020

European Parliament members this week met with U.S. trade officials and stakeholders seeking answers about whether the U.S. planned to raise its bound tariffs at the World Trade Organization or withdraw from the WTO Government Procurement Agreement, and they said on Thursday they were reassured but not convinced the U.S. would refrain from either move.

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World Trade Organization members this week discussed agricultural outcomes that might be achieved by the June ministerial, with most members believing a deal on transparency is within reach, according to a Geneva trade official, while solutions on market access and a special safeguard mechanism are seen as unrealistic.

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Congress should exercise its “power of the purse” to force the Commerce Department to release its Section 232 report on auto imports and compel testimony from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative if necessary, Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL) said this week.

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