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USTR

(Daily News)
July 24, 2006

The Doha round of World Trade Organization talks was suspended indefinitely by WTO Director General Pascal Lamy today (July 24) after members failed once again to make any progress in bridging gaps on farm subsidies and agricultural market access. Members made no plans to meet again, and U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab acknowledged it would not be possible to submit a deal to Congress under the current trade promotion authority law, which expires next summer.


(Daily News)
July 17, 2006

Trade ministers from the U.S. and five other World Trade Organization members have agreed at a meeting today (July 17) to gather again twice this month in Geneva in an effort to push the struggling WTO talks forward. The new meetings were agreed following the G-8 summit in St. Petersburg, where World Trade Organization Director General Pascal Lamy warned that the talks were on the edge of failure.


(Daily News)
July 11, 2006

Oman’s government issued a royal decree on July 7 that a U.S. trade official described as significantly reforming that country’s labor laws, which have been criticized as too weak by House Democrats in advance of a floor vote on the U.S.-Oman FTA that is expected this month. The U.S. trade official said the royal decree shows Oman is serious about protecting labor rights and predicted the FTA would be approved by a “strong vote” in the House.


(Daily News)
July 07, 2006

U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab this morning (July 7) insisted the only Doha deal the U.S. will accept is an ambitious one, and stressed that this requires a definition of how sensitive agriculture products will be treated so that members will know exactly how much market access they are to get. Schwab acknowledged the failure of ministers to make any progress last weekend in Geneva, but insisted it is still possible to conclude the Doha round before the expiration of U.S. fast-track authority next summer.


(Daily News)
June 28, 2006

On the eve of leaving for Geneva negotiations, U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab and Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns conveyed the strong message that they will not accept a deal that does not offset cuts in domestic farm subsidies with substantial market access gains.


(Daily News)
June 19, 2006

Mexican Minister of the Economy Sergio Garcia de Alba late last week signaled to U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab that he is cool to a U.S. proposal for a short-term bilateral deal that would match access for Mexican sugar exports in the U.S. with access for U.S. exports of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) in Mexico.


(Daily News)
June 16, 2006

The first negotiating round for a free trade agreement between the U.S. and Malaysia this week saw the U.S. side stress the importance of market access for U.S. autos, while Malaysia made it clear that it wants more market access for its textiles and apparel, according to a U.S. trade official.


(Daily News)
June 09, 2006

U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab emphasized today (June 9) that the existing U.S. offer in the agriculture negotiations of the Doha round is conditional and could be improved or scaled back depending on trading partners’ willingness to make new concessions.


(Daily News)
June 09, 2006

U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab today (June 9) said it is her understanding that incoming Peruvian President Alan Garcia will not seek to renegotiate the country’s free trade agreement with the United States.


(Daily News)
June 05, 2006

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) signaled early this week that he is in no rush to lift a hold on Susan Schwab, President Bush's nominee for the position of U.S. Trade Representative, and Senate GOP leaders as a result are considering their options on how to move forward with her Senate confirmation.


(Daily News)
May 15, 2006

The U.S. and Vietnam this weekend announced the conclusion of a bilateral market access agreement in principle that would lift existing textile and apparel quotas upon the country’s entry into the World Trade Organization.


(Daily News)
May 08, 2006

The Senate Finance Committee is expected to hold a hearing next week on President Bush’s nomination of Susan Schwab to succeed U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman, but a Senate aide said it is unclear whether this would allow the full Senate to confirm Schwab before the Memorial Day recess, which begins on May 26.


(Daily News)
April 25, 2006

U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman today (April 25) said he would travel to Geneva early next week to meet with trading partners on the stalled World Trade Organization talks, despite the decision announced yesterday by WTO Director General Pascal Lamy not to hold a ministers meeting.


(Daily News)
April 18, 2006

U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman is leaving USTR to become director of the Office of Management and Budget, President Bush announced this morning. Bush also announced that Deputy USTR Susan Schwab will become the next USTR and called on Congress to confirm both nominees swiftly.


(Daily News)
April 18, 2006

The departure by U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman to become director of the Office of Management and Budget and the nomination of Deputy USTR Susan Schwab as the next USTR signals that trade has become a diminishing priority for the Bush Administration, according to several sources. As the Bush Administration struggles to improve its domestic standing, the moves suggest trade has taken a backseat to domestic political issues, they said.


(Daily News)
April 18, 2006

U.S. and Canadian officials have begun talks in Washington on a possible settlement to their long-running fight over U.S. countervailing and antidumping duties imposed on softwood lumber, according to informed sources. Some Canadian industry representatives are expected to travel to Washington later this week to consult on the on-going talks, which so far have just involved government officials, they said.


(Daily News)
April 04, 2006

U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman said today a weekend meeting between trade ministers on the Doha round in Brazil did not make a major step towards reaching an April 30 deadline for an agreement on formulas for cutting tariffs in agriculture and industrial goods and for domestic agriculture subsidies.


(Daily News)
April 03, 2006

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Thomas (R-CA) today (April 3) called on the Bush Administration to acknowledge that the ongoing Doha round of trade negotiations is completely stalled over European intransigence, and refocus its energies on completing negotiations for free trade agreements already launched before fast-track negotiating authority expires in July 2007.


(Daily News)
March 24, 2006

A U.S. trade official said this week that the free trade agreement the U.S. has negotiated with Peru may be signed as early as next month.


(Daily News)
February 28, 2006

The office of the U.S. Trade Representative is likely to announce the launch of free trade negotiations with Malaysia next week, according to informed sources.


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