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Daily News

March 26, 2020

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on Thursday called the Export-Import Bank more important than ever as the agency roll outs initiatives to help U.S. companies respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

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G20 leaders on Thursday pledged to enhance global cooperation to fight the coronavirus pandemic, committing to ensure any “emergency” trade measures are measured and temporary.

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The American Institute for International Steel is again asking the Supreme Court to consider its challenge to the Section 232 statute, weeks after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled the administration’s imposition of national security-based steel tariffs was legal.

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March 25, 2020

The World Trade Organization is weighing its options for rescheduling the 12th ministerial conference, now on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic, identifying next June or even December 2021 as the most likely candidates depending on the availability of a venue, according to a report summarizing the discussions.

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A group of Senate Finance Committee Republicans on Wednesday outlined a handful of ways the administration might use trade policy to combat the economic harm caused by the coronavirus pandemic, calling for multilateral cooperation and a “total moratorium” on new tariffs.

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Top officials from the U.S., Mexico and Canada are racing to implement the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, Mexican Economy Minister Graciela Márquez Colín said on Wednesday, adding that a teleconference on how best to continue those efforts would be held the same day.

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As pressures mount to ease the turmoil shaking up global supply chains, President Trump on Thursday will join other G20 leaders in a teleconference called to boost international coordination during the coronavirus pandemic, according to the White House.

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Steel industry associations and a group representing a cross-section of U.S. sectors are calling on U.S. Customs and Border Patrol to resume the collection of tariffs after the agency announced last week it would approve delayed payments of estimated duties, taxes and fees “on a case by case basis” due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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March 24, 2020

World Trade Organization Director-General Roberto Azevêdo urged members on Tuesday to be transparent about any new trade-related measures being imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative’s decision to review additional requests for Section 301 tariff exclusions is not enough to address the “tremendous strain” the coronavirus pandemic has placed on the country’s health care system and economy, three House Democrats said in a letter to administration officials on Tuesday.

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The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and the Agriculture Department this week again extolled Beijing’s ending of non-tariff barriers to agricultural goods under the terms of a phase-one trade deal with the U.S.

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As more countries consider export restrictions in response to the coronavirus pandemic, trade analysts are warning that such curbs could backfire and urging governments to instead prioritize global trade coordination.

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March 23, 2020

The economic downturn already underway as the world struggles to fight the coronavirus pandemic will engender a sharp contraction of U.S. and global trade flows that economists say could be mitigated -- somewhat -- by aggressive stimulus measures.

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Japan is lobbying additional Asian countries to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership in a bid to reduce supply-chain dependency on China, according to a report out of Japan.

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March 21, 2020

Aiming to “keep current” in the government's fight to stem the coronavirus pandemic, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative is inviting comments on possible modifications to the list of products from China subjected to Section 301 tariffs.

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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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