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Daily News

February 09, 2021

The World Trade Organization is poised to have its leadership restored next week when the General Council convenes on Monday to take up the appointment of Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as director-general. 

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February 08, 2021

Tariffs on some solar products, which were adjusted on Sunday, create additional costs for U.S. companies and hinder the Biden administration’s environmental goals, industry executives and attorneys say.

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The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative on Monday announced key staff members who will help President Biden “build back a better economy,” according to the agency, which revealed a slate of advisers including prominent analysts and Capitol Hill veterans.

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February 05, 2021

The Biden administration on Friday announced its “strong support” for Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the World Trade Organization’s next director-general, ending the previous administration’s block and opening the door to her quick appointment.

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The U.S. Court of International Trade this week upheld the legality of President Trump’s imposition of national security-based tariffs on steel imports, which could draw an appeal from the U.S. importers that lodged the challenge.

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Korean Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee has taken herself out of the running for the World Trade Organization’s top job, removing one of the major hurdles to Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala taking the reins of the leaderless organization.

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China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology last week announced it would create a semiconductor standards committee composed of 90 Chinese companies, including Huawei, ZTE, SMIC and others, that analysts suggest is an attempt by Beijing to advance its goal of technological self-reliance. 

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February 04, 2021

President Biden’s move to maintain national security-based tariffs on the United Arab Emirates likely isn’t indicative of how Section 232 duties will be handled broadly, industry sources said this week, suggesting the administration could opt to negotiate exemptions with key countries.

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The U.S., European Union and other mainly developed countries once again defended intellectual property protections at the World Trade Organization this week despite a push from proponents of an IP waiver to move the talks to text-based discussions, according to a Geneva-based trade official familiar with the talks.

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The House Ways & Means trade subcommittee this week welcomed five new Republican members including Rep. Darin LaHood (IL), co-chair of the U.S.-China Working Group.

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Mexico’s government hopes to address complaints about its recent actions in the energy sector without resorting to arbitration under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, a Mexican embassy official said on Wednesday.

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February 03, 2021

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday urged the Biden administration to launch a trade and technology council with the European Union, as the bloc has proposed, and cited conversations with the State Department in which they said officials had been “receptive” to the idea.

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Gina Raimondo, President Biden’s pick for Commerce secretary, has “no reason to believe” Chinese companies such as Huawei, ZTE and DJI should not be on the Bureau of Industry and Security’s Entity List, she told the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee this week.

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Reps. Linda Sánchez (D-CA) and Brendan Boyle (D-PA) have been added to the House Ways & Means trade subcommittee for the 117th Congress, according to Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA).

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Greta Peisch, an international trade counsel with the Senate Finance Committee, has been chosen to serve as the Office of U.S. Trade Representative’s general counsel, sources tell Inside U.S. Trade, saying that an announcement could be made this week.

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February 02, 2021

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on Tuesday announced that Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) will join the Finance Committee in the 117th Congress.

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President Biden’s pick to lead the Agriculture Department, Tom Vilsack, was questioned on Tuesday about trade-related issues that fall under the purview of USDA, including the role of the under secretary for trade and foreign agricultural affairs, country-of-origin labeling and dairy pricing.

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The European Union’s new investment deal with China was struck in part to “catch up” with the U.S. and other countries negotiating pacts with Beijing and should be viewed as part of a broader strategy that includes cooperation with Washington, EU Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis said this week.

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President Biden on Monday revoked a last-minute Trump administration move to lift Section 232 tariffs on aluminum from the United Arab Emirates in favor of a quota system.

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February 01, 2021

The Chinese State Council on Sunday issued instructions to all government departments on how to improve the country’s “socialist market economic system,” putting heavy emphasis on reforming intellectual property rights protections.

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