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 Volume 24, Number 73                                                                                                                     Monday, April 14, 2015

Trade Reports International Group


Congress Back in Business

 Congress is back in business today after a two-week break with key lawmakers hoping to move quickly on legislation giving President Obama Trade Promotion Authority legislation (WTD, 4/10/15).

 Key House and Senate lawmakers still hope to roll-out a bipartisan, bicameral TPA bill within days – and make some legislative progress on it by the end of the month, according to Congressional aides.

 But as of Friday, differences between Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and ranking Democrat Ron Wyden (Ore) remained, according to their offices. The two have been trying to work out a compromise on the vote threshold that would be needed in the Senate to remove “fast track” legislative protections away from a trade agreement.

 Sen. Hatch said just before the recess that he remained committed to his off-stated timeline of getting a bill introduced and at least beginning the legislative process this month.

 For many lawmakers, Japanese Prime Minister Abe’s visit to Washington at the end of the month is seen as an “action-forcing” event that could prompt forward movement on TPA legislation, according to Congressional sources.  Many members believe the Administration will not be able to conclude the TransPacific Partnership negotiations without TPA in place.  And TPP cannot be completed until the United States and Japan reach accommodation in their separate bilateral market access negotiations on agriculture and autos trade.

 Prime Minister Abe’s address to a joint session of Congress on April 29 is increasing lawmakers’ awareness of the need to act on TPA, WTD was told.  But how quickly the legislative process can move beyond introduction of legislation remains unclear.



 Following is the legislative calendar for the 114th Congress –


Legislation House Senate Final

 

Africa.  Legislation (HR 1103) to expand US exports to Africa.

 Introduced February 26, 2015.   

AGOA.  Legislation to extend the African Growth and Opportunity Act (WTD, 4/9/15).

    

Buy America.  Legislation to ensure that US transportation projects use US steel (WTD, 10/31/14).

    

COOL.  Legislation to change the country-of-origin labeling program for imported agriculture (WTD, 3/27/15).    

Cuba Agriculture.  Legislation (HR 635) to facilitate the export of agriculture and medicine to Cuba (see related report this issue).

 

Introduced February 2, 2015.   

Cuba Sanctions.  Legislation (HR 274, HR 735, S 491) to lift the US trade embargo on Cuba (see related report this issue).

 Introduced January 12 and February 4, 2015.

 Introduced January 12, 2015.  

Currency.  Legislation (HR 820, S 433) to address manipulation of a country’s currency (see related report this issue).

 Introduced February 10, 2015. Introduced February 10, 2015.  

Customs Reform.  Legislation to reauthorize and reform US Customs and Border Protection programs (WTD, 7/29/14).

    

Energy.  Legislation (HR 156, HR 702) to repeal the US crude oil export ban (WTD, 2/4/15).

 Introduced January 6 and February 4, 2015.

   

Energy.  Legislation (HR 351) to expedite the export of natural gas (WTD, 2/4/15).

 Passed January 28, 2015.

   

Environment.  Legislation (S 735) relating to the environment and labor conditions in exporting nations.

  Introduced March 14, 2015.  

Export Administration Act.   Legislation to rewrite US export control regulations (WTD, 3/25/15).

    

Export-Import Bank.  Legislation (HR 597, HR 1008, HR 1031, HR 1605, S 819, S 824) to reauthorize the US Export-Import Bank (WTD, 3/24/15).

 Introduced January 28, February 13, February 24 and March 25, 2015.

 Introduced March 19, 2015.  

FCPA.  Legislation (HR 261) to strengthen the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

 Introduced January 9, 2015.   

GSP.  Legislation to extend the US Generalized System of Preferences program (WTD, 3/27/15)

    

Imports.  Legislation to strengthen enforcement of US import trade laws.

    

Iran Sanctions.  Legislation (HR 1540, S 269, S 792) to expand sanctions against Iran (WTD, 3/26/15).

 House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing held January 27.

 Senate Banking Committee approves S 269  January 30, 2015; S 792 introduced March 18, 2015.

  

Korea (North).  Legislation (HR 757) to impose sanctions on North Korea (WTD, 1/6/15).

 Approved by Foreign Affairs Committee February 27, 2015.

   

MTB.  Legislation (S 260) to revise tariffs on certain industrial goods (WTD, 2/6/15).

 

 Introduced January 27, 2015.  

OPIC Reauthorization.  Legislation to reauthorize the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (WTD, 2/3/15).

    

Sugar.  Legislation (HR  1714, S 475) to reform the US sugar program (WTD, 1/28/14).

 Introduced March 26, 2015. Introduced February 12, 2015.

  

Syria Sanctions.  Legislation to expand sanctions against Syria (WTD, 5/23/13).

    

Textiles.  Legislation (S 589) to strengthen the enforcement on imports of textiles and apparel.

  Introduced March 26, 2015.  

Trade Adjustment Assistance. Legislation (HR 1088, S 568) to extend Trade Adjustment Assistance programs WTD, 3/4/15).

 Introduced February 25, 2015. Introduced February 25, 2015.  

Trade Policy.  Legislation (HR 764, HR 1403) to enhance reciprocal market access in US trade negotiations.

 Introduced February 5 and March 17, 2015.

   

Trade Promotion Authority.  Legislation to renew special Presidential trade negotiating authority (see related report this issue).

    

TransPacific Partnership.  Legislation to implement the TransPacific Partnership trade agreement (see related report this issue).

    



       



Treasury’s Currency Report

 The Treasury Department last Thursday issued its regular semiannual report to Congress on international economic and exchange rate policies – saying again that while China continues to interfere in the global financial markets to stem appreciation of the renmimbi, it does not reach the threshold where the United States would take action (WTD, 4/1/15).

 To the contrary, the report notes that China continues to work its way out of a significant undervaluation that led to large internal and external imbalances.  The report concludes that fundamental factors for RMB appreciation remain intact, highlighting the need for further strengthening over the medium-term.  In recent months, China has benefited from sizeable terms of trade gain from lower oil prices, with its monthly goods surplus repeatedly reaching new nominal highs.  The current account surplus exceeded $200 billion in 2014 – 2.1 percent of gross domestic product – up $60 billion from the year before.  And it is expected to remain on a rising trajectory in the year ahead, according to Treasury.

 Nevertheless, China’s currency needs to appreciate to bring about internal rebalancing toward household consumption that is a key goal of the government’s reform plans and necessary for sustained and balanced global growth.

 “While China has made real progress, with its real effective exchange rate appreciating meaningfully over the past six months, these factors indicate an RMB exchange rate that remains significantly undervalued.”

 The report notes that South Korea has intervened to resist won appreciation in the context of a large and growing current account surplus – now at 6.3 percent of GDP.

       



Subsidized Middle East Airlines

 The departments of Commerce, State and Transportation are pursuing allegations that three Middle East airlines are benefitting from subsidies from their home governments – the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.

 The airlines under attack are Emirates Airline, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways.

 The three departments are soliciting comments on the alleged unfair practices.

 According to the statement, the US government is interested in receiving insights and feedback from stakeholders before any decisions are made regarding what action should be taken.

 Attention was brought to the US government a month ago when American, Delta and United airlines and their unions released a report arguing that Gulf carriers received at least $42 billion in subsidies during the last decade.

 The US carriers say government subsidies – such as interest-free government loans, cheaper access to airports and services such as fuel and ground handling – make it impossible to compete for lucrative international travelers.  They also charge that the subsidies violate US Open Skies agreements with Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

       



Meat Markets Open in Mexico, Peru

 The Agriculture Department on Friday announced that US beef and pork exports have resumed to Mexico and Peru under a just-signed agreement.

 The two agreements will allow US producers to export slaughter cattle to Mexico and expand access to consumer markets in Peru for fresh and chilled pork.

 Secretary Tom Vilsack made the announcements during a meeting with producers in Des Moines.

 The secretary said Mexico has a potential to import $15 million in live cattle from the United States; Peru could generate $5 million annually in additional pork sales.

 The US-Mexico accord – which takes effect immediately – will allow US producers to export slaughter cattle for the first time in over a decade.  Agriculture has been negotiating on the issue with Mexico since 2008.

 The department has conducted negotiations with Peru since 2012 to expand US pork access.

       



ITC Votes on Coated Paper

 In a preliminary ruling issued Friday, the International Trade Commission determined that there is a reasonable indication of injury from imports of supercalendered paper from Canada that are allegedly subsidized by the Canadian government (WTD, 2/27/15).

 The vote was unanimous.

 As a result of the determination, the Commerce Department will continue its investigation on imports of the product, with its preliminary countervailing duty determination due by May 22.

       



Around the Globe

             ●          President Barack Obama and Cuban leader Raúl Castro held a historic conversation on the sidelines of the VII Summit of the Americas on Saturday after Cuba took a seat at the hemispheric gathering for the first time, the Associated Press news service reported (WTD, 4/10/15).  “We are now in a position to move on a path toward the future,” Obama told Castro. “Over time it is possible for us to turn the page and develop a new relationship between our two countries.”

 After Obama spoke, the two leaders rose and shook hands. Through a translator, Castro said he agreed with the American president.  The former enemies, Castro said, might still have their differences, “but we are willing to discuss everything but we need to be patient, very patient.  We might disagree on something today on which we could agree tomorrow,” he added.  The two men rose again and shook hands as a press pool was ushered out of the meeting.

 Obama, who said the majority of Americans and Cubans have responded positively to the new Cuba policy, acknowledged the two countries’ deep and significant differences.  He said the United States would continue to speak out on its democracy and human rights concerns and he expected Castro would continue to raise the concerns about U.S. policy that he spoke of during his remarks to the summit earlier in the day.  At that point, Castro smiled.

 The potential meeting between the two men had been the buzz of the second day of the Summit of the Americas. But remarks made first by Obama, then by Castro at the opening plenary sessions had leaders riveted, too.  “I pledge to construct a new era of cooperation between the countries,” Obama said at the plenary. “That President Raúl Castro and I are seated here is a historic moment for the continent.  The Cold War has been over for a long time,” Obama said. “I’m not interested in having battles that, frankly, started before I was born.”

             ●          President Obama should have “fast track” authority in negotiating trade agreements, just as several Democratic and Republican presidents before him, according to Georgia’s senior U.S. senator, the website Online Athens reported (see related report in this issue).  But Sen. Johnny Isakson said he couldn’t say whether Congress would grant the president that authority. Isakson spoke Friday on international trade and economic growth to a small group on the University of Georgia campus.

 Because trade negotiations are so complex and detailed, the system works better when the executive branch negotiates such agreements under terms set by Congress, and Congress can either approve or not, but can’t filibuster or amend the agreements, Isakson said.  Giving the president that authority “is the right thing for America,” he told his audience in UGA’s Rusk Hall, home to UGA’s Dean Rusk Center for International Law and Policy.  But the two parties can’t agree on the limits of presidential and congressional authority, Isakson added, saying there are “people in the Senate who talk out of both sides of their mouth.”  Isakson, a Republican, chairs two Senate committees and is a member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and the Senate Committee on Finance.

 Separately, Maine Today reported that U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin said he’s considering whether to support a measure to let President Obama fast-track a trade deal with Pacific nations that New Balance says could jeopardize 900 jobs in Maine.  After a tour of the shoemaker’s Norridgewock plant on Friday, the Republican from Maine’s 2nd District said he was “still studying” the issue. Experts say his carefulness is no surprise, given a history of skepticism about trade deals in Maine.

 Poliquin’s party wants to work with the Democratic president to get a trade deal done, but the North American Free Trade Agreement of 1994 has been blamed for losses of blue-collar jobs nationwide and in Poliquin’s district, which has a rich manufacturing history that he says must be shielded in trade deals.  “Trade is fine as long as it’s fair trade,” Poliquin said. “Our workers and our companies must compete on the same level playing field as everybody else around the world. Under those conditions, we can beat anybody.”

             ●          Japan and the United States will resume working-level bilateral talks in Tokyo on Wednesday as part of Trans-Pacific Partnership multilateral free trade negotiations, Jiji press news service reported (see related report in this issue).  During the talks, the two countries hope to reach draft agreements on the contentious areas of auto trade and farm tariffs so that their ministers in charge of the TPP can work out a political settlement before the April 28 summit in Washington between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Barack Obama.

 Regarding agricultural issues, Japan wants to limit the proposed import quota for U.S.-grown rice to around 50,000 tons, while the United States is asking for more. The two sides are also apart over rules of origin for automobile parts subject to tariff cuts and elimination. Meanwhile, a Japanese negotiating team member pointed out that the U.S. side is unlikely to make major concessions at the upcoming talks at a time when congressional procedures have been delayed on Trade Promotion Authority, which gives the U.S. president significant power to negotiate trade deals.

             ●          Germany’s economy minister warned yesterday against overblowing expectations for an economic boost from a trade deal between the US and European Union (EU), but said the pact was needed to set high common standards for consumers, the Gulf Daily Times reported (WTD, 4/10/15).  The European Commission is trying to finalise a deal on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which some experts say could generate $100 billion a year in additional economic output on both sides of the Atlantic.

 It would eliminate all tariff barriers between the US and EU members, which together account for almost half the global economy.  “I don’t believe in the wondrous calculations for economic growth from the trade deal,” said Sigmar Gabriel, also chairman of Germany’s Social Democrats which shares power with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives.  “All the estimates about its impact give an impression of voodoo economics.”

 However, Gabriel, who has expressed reservations about some aspects of TTIP, said Europe urgently needed a deal.  “Our companies would profit because, with equal standards, they wouldn’t have to go through approval procedures twice.”

             ●         The China State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) released rules to further relax foreign exchange controls for foreign-invested enterprises on Wednesday to broaden the scope of foreign investment, Xinhua news agency reported (WTD, 4/6/15).  Starting from June 1, 2015, foreign-invested enterprises can make settlement of foreign exchange capital without submitting proof of use of funds in advance, according to a SAFE circular.

 Previously, a payment settlement system was used when foreign-invested enterprises make exchange settlement to prevent speculative exchange settlement.  The move aims to further promote the use of RMB and boost international trade and financing activities as well as increasing the flexibility and convenience of exchange settlement, said the SAFE.  The practice has been piloted in Shanghai’s free trade zone (FTZ) last year and achieved good results with a stable capital inflow, according to the circular.

             ●         Expecting the removal of trade sanctions imposed on it by western nations,

Iran has proposed a free trade agreement with India to boost bilateral trade and investment, the Economic Times reported.  The matter came up for discussion during the recent visit of Commerce Secretary, Rajeev Kher to Tehran. He was there for the first meeting of the joint working group (JWG) of the two countries.

 “Iran is very keen to enhance its trade relations with India. It wants to increase its share in the global trade and they said that India can play a very major role in fulfilling that ambition,” Kher said.  “Iran has proposed to negotiate a preferential trading agreement with us. I told them that India will consider this proposal very positively and will soon respond after taking the appropriate mandate from the government,” he added.

             ●       Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Iran and Ankara have decided to double the volume of bilateral trade while phasing out the US dollar as the dominant currency for their transactions.  The Turkish chief executive made the remarks following his recent visit to Iran during which he met and conferred with high ranking Iranian officials, including Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani, and the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei.

 “I believe there is some trouble with transferring funds due to the sanctions [imposed on Iran],” Erdogan was quoted by Turkey’s Daily Sabah on Thursday.  He added, “We … want bilateral trade to be conducted in local currencies. Iranian Central Bank officials and our Halk Bank chairman will discuss the matter.”

             ●           Australia and the GCC countries may only be a few months away from signing a landmark Free Trade Agreement (FTA) deal “if a decision is made quickly,” with such a deal having multiple benefits for various Gulf-based businesses and stakeholders, said Australia Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb.  Speaking to Al Arabiya News in Dubai, Robb confirmed that in order to accelerate the signing of the FTA agreement, Australia is prepared to remove previous “road-blocks” such as car-tariffs and double taxation.

 “Gulf states got 5 percent tariffs on imported cars... Free trade agreements normally remove protection. We had insisted previously that the [car] tariff must be removed. We now have all the international manufactures of the cars in Australia leaving Australia by 2017 so we can leave the car tariff in place,” said Robb.  “The double taxation is an agreement that if the Gulf states invest companies in Australia they wouldn’t get taxed in Australia and back in the Gulf States. So there will be no taxation. We won’t have taxation in Australia; they will only have taxation in the countries that those companies come from,” he added.

             ●          The African, Caribbean and Pacific Group sugar suppliers to the EU market said they are deeply concerned with the sharp decline in the sugar prices, which has come much sooner than expected. The group said this is the direct consequence of the imminent abolition of EU sugar production quotas to which they had strongly objected. The ACP had called for a longer timeline to allow the fragile sugar industries to implement in full the on-going massive restructuring and reform programme with the support of EU funds. The EU Beet Growers Confederation had also supported the extension of the quota regime to at least up to 2020.



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On the Web......

 

Agriculture


Meat.  Agriculture Department statement on exports of beef and pork to Mexico and Peru.  (available at:  http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?contentid=2015/04/0093.xml&contentidonly=true )  issued:  4/10/15.


Trade.  Agriculture Department statement on foreign trade barriers.  (available at:  http://blogs.usda.gov/2015/04/10/removing-barriers-to-agricultural-trade-ensures-us-products-can-thrive-in-foreign-markets/ )  issued:  4/10/15.



Asia


ASEAN.  Association of Southeast Asian Nations statement on relations with Japan.  (available at:  http://www.asean.org/news/asean-secretariat-news/item/asean-japanese-business-leaders-seek-to-spur-economic-ties?category_id=27 )  issued:  4/10/15.



Aviation


Subsidies.  Statement by the departments of State, Commerce and Transportation on subsidies by foreign airlines.  (available at:  http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2015/04/240582.htm )  issued:  4/10/15.



Bahrain


Textiles.  Text of HR 1696 introduced March 26 by Rep. Graham to lower tariffs on imports of certain apparel from Bahrain.  (available at:  http://thomas.loc.gov ).



Canada


Chile.  Canadian government statement on modernization of free trade agreement with Chile.  (available at:  http://www.international.gc.ca/media/aff/news-communiques/2015/04/10b.aspx?lang=eng )  issued:  4/10/15.



Chile


Canada.  Canadian government statement on modernization of free trade agreement with Chile.  (available at:  http://www.international.gc.ca/media/aff/news-communiques/2015/04/10b.aspx?lang=eng )  issued:  4/10/15.




China


US Trade.  US Trade Representative’s office statement on trade cases against China and Indonesia.  (available at:  https://ustr.gov/about-us/policy-offices/press-office/press-releases/2015/april/united-states-moves-forward-assert-us )  issued:  4/10/15.



Colombia


Ex-Im Bank.  US Export-Import Bank statement on helicopter exports to Colombia.  (available at:  http://www.exim.gov/newsandevents/releases/2015/Ex-Im-Bank-Approves-Financing-for-Sale-of-American-Made-Helicopters-for-Use-in-Colombias-Offshore-Oil-and-Gas-Industry.cfm )  issued:  4/10/15.



Cuba


US Relations.  Remarks by President Obama in Panama City with Cuban’s Raul Castro.  (available at:  https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/04/11/remarks-president-obama-and-president-raul-castro-cuba-after-bilateral-m )  issued:  4/11/15.



Export Controls


Syria.  Treasury Department final rule on exports of published material to Syria.  (available at: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-04-13/html/2015-08374.htm  )  issued:  4/10/15.



Export-Import Bank


Colombia.  US Export-Import Bank statement on helicopter exports to Colombia.  (available at:  http://www.exim.gov/newsandevents/releases/2015/Ex-Im-Bank-Approves-Financing-for-Sale-of-American-Made-Helicopters-for-Use-in-Colombias-Offshore-Oil-and-Gas-Industry.cfm )  issued:  4/10/15.



Indonesia


US Trade.  US Trade Representative’s office statement on trade cases against China and Indonesia.  (available at:  https://ustr.gov/about-us/policy-offices/press-office/press-releases/2015/april/united-states-moves-forward-assert-us )  issued:  4/10/15.



Japan


ASEAN.  Association of Southeast Asian Nations statement on relations with Japan.  (available at:  http://www.asean.org/news/asean-secretariat-news/item/asean-japanese-business-leaders-seek-to-spur-economic-ties?category_id=27 )  issued:  4/10/15.



Latin America


Central America.  Remarks by President Obama to the Presidents of Central America in Panama City.  (available at:  https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/04/10/remarks-president-meeting-sica-presidents )  issued:  4/10/15.


Summit of Americas.  Remarks by President Obama to the CEO forum at the Summit of the Americas.  (available at: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/04/10/remarks-president-opening-ceo-summit-americas   https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/04/10/remarks-president-obama-response-questions-ceo-summit-americas )  issued:  4/10/15.


Summit of the Americas.  White House fact sheet on the Summit of the Americas.  (available at:  https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/04/11/fact-sheet-us-participation-7th-summit-americas )  issued:  4/10/15.



Mexico


Agriculture.  Agriculture Department statement on exports of beef and pork to Mexico and Peru.  (available at:  http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?contentid=2015/04/0093.xml&contentidonly=true )  issued:  4/10/15.



Monetary Policy


Treasury Report.  Treasury Department latest report on international monetary policy.  (available at:  http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/international/exchange-rate-policies/Documents/Report%20to%20Congress%20on%20International%20Economic%20and%20Exchange%20Rate%20Policies%2004092015.pdf )  issued:  4/9/15.


Treasury Report.  American Iron and Steel Institute statement on the latest Treasury Department report on international monetary policy.  (available at:  http://steel.org )  issued:  4/10/15.


Treasury Report.  Alliance for American Manufacturing statement on the latest Treasury Department report on international monetary policy.  (available at:  http://americanmanufacturing.org )  issued:  4/10/15.



Panama


US Relations.  Remarks by Presidents Obama and Panama’s Varela after their meeting in Panama City.  (available at:  https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/04/10/remarks-president-obama-and-president-varela-panama-after-bilateral-meet )  issued:  4/10/15.



Peru


Agriculture.  Agriculture Department statement on exports of beef and pork to Mexico and Peru.  (available at:  http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?contentid=2015/04/0093.xml&contentidonly=true )  issued:  4/10/15.



Steel


Imports.  American Iron and Steel Institute statement on steel imports.  (available at:  http://steel.org )  issued:  4/10/15.



Syria


Export Controls.  Treasury Department final rule on exports of published material to Syria.  (available at: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-04-13/html/2015-08374.htm  )  issued:  4/10/15.



Textiles


Bahrain.  Text of HR 1696 introduced March 26 by Rep. Graham to lower tariffs on imports of certain apparel from Bahrain.  (available at:  http://thomas.loc.gov ).



Trade Policy


TPA.  Statement by Rep. DeLauro on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  http://delauro.house.gov )  issued:  4/10/15.


US.  Editorial by Commerce Secretary Pritzker and US Trade Representative Froman on US trade policy.  (available at:  http://www.commerce.gov/news/opinion-editorials/2015/04/117-million-reasons-lead-trade )  issued:  4/10/15.


What we’re covering this week –

   Congress returns from a two-week break with rumors swirling of possible introduction of Trade Promotion Authority legislation as early as this week.  Meanwhile, foreign finance and economic officials are in town for the annual spring meeting of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

 Here are some of the events we’ll be following this week:

             ●          Monday, the US-India Business Council hosts a forum on bilateral trade ites with speakers including Deputy US Trade Representative Robert Holleyman.

             ●          The European Institute sponsors a program on the TransAtlantic Trade and Investment Partnership’s implications for the European Free Trade Association with EFTA Secretary-General Georges Baur.

             ●          Tuesday, the Woodrow Wilson Center sponsors a program on the US-African Union trade and investment partnership.  US Trade Representative Michael Froman and AU Chair Nkozasana Dlamini-Zuma are among the speakers.

             ●          The State Department’s Advisory Committee on International Economic Policy holds an open meeting.

             ●          Wednesday, the Center for Strategic and International Studies sponsor a program on the US-India commercial partnership.  Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Undersecretary of State Catherine Novelli are among the speakers.

             ●          Reauthorization of the US Export-Import Bank is the subject of a joint hearing of House Oversight and House Finance Services subcommittees.  ExIm Chairman Fred Hochberg testifies.

             ●          Also Wednesday, US Trade Representative Michael Froman addresses the Outdoor Industry Association fly-in.

             ●          Deputy USTR Robert Holleyman speaks to the American Apparel and Footwear Association’s conference on strategic sourcing, customs and logistics integration.

             ●          Members of Congress and groups opposed to Trade Promotion Authority hold a rally outside the US Capitol to oppose TPA legislation.

             ●          Thursday, USTR Froman, House Ways and Means trade subcommittee chairman Pat Tiberi and Rep. Sander Levin are among the speakers at a conference sponsored by Bloomberg Government.

             ●          The American Security Project sponsors a conference on the geopolitics of the TransAtlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with speakers including Netherlands Foreign Trade Minister Lilianne Ploumen and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Tong.

             ●          The Bertelsmann Foundation holds a financial conference.  On the agenda are New Zealand Trade Minister Tim Groser and Rep. Sander Levin.

             ●          Friday, the World Bank/IMF spring meeting goes into full swing.

             ●          Tthe Atlantic Council sponsors a program on China’s vision for the Asia-Pacific region with China’s Vice Minister of Finance Zhu Guangyao.



Our  Blog


Updated:    4/3/15

 WTD’s

Friday Afternoon

Podcast

2015podcast0417.mp3

Straight talk.   

Click the highlighted text to hear snippets from WTD’s straight talk.

•  A brief intellectual exchange on trade between AFL-CIO President Richard Tumka and Peterson Institute for International Economics President Adam Posen heard March 18.

•  Here’s an impassioned response from trade critic Rep. Rosa DeLauro to a stock “blame it on China” response about why we need a TransPacific Partnership agreement given during a House Appropriations agriculture funding hearing by Administrator of the Foreign Agricultural Service Phil Karsting on March 19.

•  The sound of one hand clapping.  Here’s the applause President Obama got on March 9 when he spoke to the National League of Cities asking for their support for his trade policies.

•  Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch tells WTD that he will talk to his ranking Democratic Ron Wyden again on Trade Promotion Authority legislation, but  he is death on any proposal to make trade more difficult than it already is.

•  Comments by two veteran trade officials on secrecy in the TransPacific Partnership negotiations – first Chile Ambassador to the United States Juan Galbriel Valdes and then Taiwan Minister of Economic Development John Chen-Chung Deng.