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Inside U.S. Trade - 05/18/2018
  • Lighthizer: 'Skinny' NAFTA deal unlikely; some 'backsliding' in talks

    In a meeting with Democratic lawmakers on May 16, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer downplayed the possibility of a pared-down or "skinny" NAFTA agreement while acknowledging some "backsliding" in the talks with Canada and Mexico.

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  • Capitol Hill to China's Liu: Lower trade barriers, respect U.S. IP

    Members of both congressional trade committees on May 16 met with a Chinese trade delegation led by Vice Premier Liu He and pushed for stronger protections for U.S. intellectual property and lower trade barriers for U.S. companies, but lawmakers said the general discussion did not include commitments from the Chinese side.

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  • Appellate Body finding in Airbus fight gives U.S. option to seek tariffs

    The United States can continue to plan on retaliating against the European Union for subsidies granted to Airbus after a World Trade Organization Appellate Body panel found the EU had not fully complied with previous adverse rulings saying its aid to the airplane manufacturer breached WTO rules and harmed U.S. company Boeing.

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  • Outcry ensues over use of ZTE as trade chip in talks with China

    As a top Chinese official arrived in Washington for a new round of negotiations, lawmakers from both parties criticized President Trump's suggestion that relaxed U.S. sanctions on Chinese telecom giant ZTE could be part of a trade deal.

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  • Ross says WTO rules prevent 'reciprocal' trade with EU, China

    Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on May 14 lamented that the World Trade Organization's' most-favored nation principle and bound-tariff rates prevent the U.S. from reciprocal trade with its partners, including China and the European Union.

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  • Outbound investment language nixed from CFIUS bill ahead of mark up

    The discussion draft of the Foreign Investment Risk Review Act that the Senate Banking Committee will mark up on May 22 does not include language that would authorize the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States to review outbound investments for technology transfers that could harm U.S. national security, a win for companies and business groups that had lobbied against it.

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  • Sen. Ernst, business groups press Trump to back away from 301 tariffs

    U.S. Senator Jodi Ernst (R-IA) and a slew of U.S. and Chinese business groups have requested that President Trump not impose tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods, arguing that doing so would not cause Beijing to change its intellectual property practices, inspire retaliation from China and harm the U.S. economy more than help it.

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  • Wire, metal, wood, ribbon companies call for additions to 301 tariff list

    Six companies on May 16 told Trump administration officials that additional tariff lines covering a range of finished or semi-finished products should be added to the initial U.S. Section 301 list of Chinese goods, arguing that Chinese companies are either circumventing existing antidumping and countervailing duties on those products or are receiving subsidies from Beijing.

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  • Korea launches DSB consultations with U.S. over 201 safeguards

    South Korea on May 14 launched consultations with the U.S. under the World Trade Organization's dispute settlement mechanism over safeguard restrictions the Trump administration has imposed on solar products and large residential washers, a move that puts Seoul one step closer to requesting the formation of a dispute settlement panel.

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  • GOP senators want utility-scale solar panels exempted from 201 duties

    A group of Republican senators is urging the administration to exclude some utility-scale solar panels from the scope of items subject to safeguard duties imposed by President Trump earlier this year.

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  • Rubio introduces legislation aimed at curbing 'Made in China 2025'

    With the U.S. and China tangling over tariffs and other trade concerns, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) last week introduced wide-ranging legislation he said was designed to thwart Beijing's ambitions of becoming a global leader in key industries.

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  • USTR accepts pork industry plea to review Thailand's GSP eligibility

    The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has accepted a National Pork Producers Council appeal to challenge Thailand's eligibility for the Generalized System of Preferences.

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  • U.S., Indonesia discuss trade, intellectual property, GSP

    U.S. and Indonesian officials met on May 15 to discuss a slew of trade issues including intellectual property and a U.S. review of Indonesia's eligibility under the Generalized System of Preferences.

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  • Environmental groups issue endgame warning on NAFTA

    As NAFTA negotiators rush to hammer out an agreement, a coalition of environmental advocacy organizations is warning it will not support a new deal without key environmental protections.

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  • China on the verbal offensive: U.S. could 'fatally undermine' WTO's functioning

    To hear the Chinese ambassador to the World Trade Organization tell it, any one of three U.S.-induced issues ("three hard blows," he calls them) could "fatally undermine the functioning of the WTO." In a May 16 interview with Bloomberg, conducted via email, Zhang Xiangchen talks of a "sense of crisis" among "many" WTO members and the "essential" need to challenge that sense to lift the WTO "out of the difficulties."

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  • Lawmakers push to exempt medical devices from Section 301 tariffs

    A bipartisan group of 40 House members is calling on U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to exempt medical devices from potential tariffs on Chinese goods stemming from a Section 301 investigation.

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  • Senators introduce bill to delay U.S. duties on Canadian paper

    A bipartisan group of lawmakers on May 14 introduced a bill that would put on hold a trade remedy investigation into Canadian groundwood paper and temporarily suspend duties the Commerce Department has imposed.

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  • Commerce initiates AD, CVD probes into Chinese quartz exports

    The Commerce Department on Monday triggered antidumping and countervailing duty investigations into the imports of some quartz products from China.

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  • House lawmakers press Ross to exclude tinplate steel from Section 232 tariff

    A bipartisan group of House members last week urged Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to exclude four categories of steel used "exclusively for can manufacturing" from the Section 232 tariff on steel imports imposed in March.

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  • Global steel forum ministerial set for June 20 in Paris

    The Global Forum on Excess Steel Capacity will hold a ministerial-level meeting in Paris on June 20, with working-level meetings two weeks earlier in Buenos Aires, according to the G20 calendar.

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  • Canadian deputy ambassador: A 'skinny' NAFTA deal could be coming

    Canadian deputy ambassador to the U.S. Kirsten Hillman on May 16 said the three NAFTA countries could agree to a "skinny" deal that includes many of the modernization aspects that negotiators have either completed or are close to completing, though the U.S. was said to be opposed to a pared-down agreement.

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  • NAFTA ministers leave town without deal, will be on call

    Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and Mexican Economy Secretary Ildefonso Guajardo left Washington, DC, last week after a series meetings with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer that did not produce a breakthrough in the NAFTA talks.

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  • Trump directs USTR to prioritize IP, market access to lower drug prices

    President Trump has directed U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to ensure that intellectual property and market access policies in trade deals contribute to lower drug prices in the United States.

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