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 Volume 23, Number 183                       Monday, September 15, 2014

Trade Reports International Group

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Russian Sanctions Detailed

    The Commerce Department on Friday detailed additional sanctions against Russia that were announced by the White House a day earlier (WTD, 9/12/14).

 The actions were made in conjunction with an announcement by the Treasury Department that it is also imposing a new set of targeted prohibitions and designations against a range of Russian entities.

 Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security will add five companies operating in Russia’s defense sector to its list, which will now require a license with a presumption of denial for the export, reexport or foreign transfer.  BIS also will require licenses for an additional group of items destined for military end-use or end users in Russia.

 The companies added to the BIS Entity List are –

 ●        Almaz-Antey Air Defense Concern Main System Design Bureau, JSC – one of the world’s largest defense industry complexes, specializing in development of anti-air, anti-missile and space defense systems;

 ●        Tikhomirov Scientific Research Institute of Instrument Design – which specializes in the development of weaponry control systems for fighter planes and mobile medium range anti-aircraft surface to air missile defense vehicles;

 ●        Mytishchinski Mashinostroitelny Zavod, OAO – which manufactures and supplies ordnance and accessories, including naval, aircraft, anti-aircraft and field artillery products;

 ●        Kalinin Machine Plant, JSC – a designer and manufacturer of  machines for military and civil applications and

 ●        Dolgoprudny Research Production Enterprise – which develops and manufactures high-technology defense products.

Five Energy Companies

 In addition, Commerce added five Russian energy companies to the Entity List to require a license for the export, reexport or foreign transfer of items subject to export control regulations when the exporter knows that the items will be used directly or indirectly in exploration for or production from deepwater, Arctic offshore or shale projects in Russia.

 The cited energy companies are Gazprom; Gazpromneft; Lukoil; Rosneft and Surgutneftegas.  License applications will be reviewed with a presumption of denial.

 The Commerce actions were announced in conjunction with the Treasury Department that is also imposing a new set of targeted prohibitions and designations against a range of Russian entities.  In addition to imposing controls on the entities listed by Commerce, Treasury extended targeted financial sanctions to Russia’s largest bank – Sberbank.  In addition, Treasury tightened the debt financing restrictions by reducing from 90 days to 30 days the maturity period for new debt issued by the six Russian banks – Bank of Moscow, Gazprombank OAO, Russian Agricultural Bank, VEB and VTB Bank, along with Sberbank.

 Treasury also imposed sanctions on two additional Russian energy companies – Gazprom Neft and Transneft.

 “Given Russia’s direct military intervention and blatant efforts to destabilize Ukraine, we have deepened our sanctions against Russia today, in concert with our European allies.  These steps underscore the continued resolve of the international community against Russia’s aggression,” commented Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew.

 “It is essential that Russia work with Ukraine and other international partners to find a lasting settlement to the conflict.  If Russia does so, these new sanctions could be suspended.  If instead Russia chooses to continue its violations of international law, the costs will continue to rise,” the secretary stated.

       



Fighting for Long-Term Ex-Im Renewal

 Two key House Democrats warned their colleagues on Friday that a House Republican-backed short-term reauthorization of the US Export-Import Bank amounts to a backdoor tactic to kill the institution (WTD, 9/12/14).

 In a letter sent to colleagues, Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (Md) and Financial Services Committee ranking Democrat Maxine Waters (Calif) urged their fellow Democrats to continue pressing for a long-term reauthorization.

 The Bank’s charter is currently set to expire September 30.

 A short-term extension through June 30 was included by House Republicans in the continuing funding resolution (H J Res 124) that is expected to be on the House floor later this week.  The continuing resolution provides funding only until mid-December; Congress would have to pass a long-term spending bill when it returns for the post-election “lame duck” session.

 Bank supporters had wanted the short-term Ex-Im reauthorization also to expire mid-December with the expectation that a longer-term reauthorization would be part of the omnibus spending bill.  Reauthorizing Ex-Im into next year means its renewal will no longer be tied to a “must-pass” bill, giving opponents a better shot at trying to kill the Bank, the lawmakers warned.

 In an interview on C-Span Thursday, Mr. Hoyer said the continuing resolution will not pass without Democratic votes because the conservative Club for Growth is telling Republicans to vote against it.  Mr. Hoyer said he hopes that Republican leaders will allow the option during consideration of the budget resolution of a long-term reauthorization, which he predicted would pass with bipartisan support.

       



Campaign 2014

A Republican 114th Agenda

 Trade will be high on the agenda next year if Republicans win control of the Senate this November, Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) predicted last week.

 Giving President Obama Trade Promotion Authority will be on the Republican agenda for the first 50 days if the 114th Congress convening in January, the senator said.

 Sen. Portman – who also is vice chairman of the Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee – said there will be no final consideration of any new trade agreements as long as the President lacks TPA.  He spoke at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast.

 Sen. Portman – who served as US Trade Representative under President George W. Bush – said that President Obama’s lack of negotiating authority to bring home trade agreements has “hobbled” the US economy.  The fact that there is no TPA is one of the things the senator said keeps him up at night because the United States is falling behind while other countries negotiate their own free trade deals.

 Although trade is a tough issue politically for Democrats, the senator said he believes President Obama would sign a TPA bill if passed by a Republican-controlled Congress.

       



TISA Talks Coming Up

 Geneva – Negotiators pursuing a plurilateral trade in services agreement will begin another several-day round starting September 21 – aiming to accelerate work on sectoral market access and regulatory standards, WTD has learned (WTD, 6/30/14).

 The European Union will host the closed-door meetings of the 23-member group.  The round is expected to last five days.  TISA group members include – Australia, Canada, Chile, Taiwan, Colombia, Costa Rica, the European Union, Hong Kong, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Liechtenstein, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Peru, South Korea, Switzerland, Turkey, Pakistan, Paraguay and the United States.

 Negotiations will be held in plenary as well as parallel sessions.

 Movement of short-term services providers – Mode 4 – and financial services will dominate the discussions on the first day, WTD was told.  Turkey, the EU, Canada and Switzerland have separate Mode 4 papers; the United States and Panama are the chief demandeurs in financial services.

Mode 4, Financial Services

 Mode 4 and financial services are key to a successful agreement because they will demonstrate just how balanced a future TISA will be when concluded, one participant told WTD.  Some members want ambitious market-opening and robust regulatory standards in the financial services, but some major players have shown little enthusiasm for Mode 4.

 Negotiators will turn to maritime, road and air transport on the second day – also difficult topics.  There is considerable support for a Norwegian proposal to liberalize trade in maritime transport services, but the United States has not been anxious to offer much of substance, WTD was told.  To enable a modest opening in the maritime services, Norway has substantially lowered the overall level of ambition, others suggest.

 Discussions on road transport center on Turkey’s proposal that calls for unfettered carriage of goods across boundaries.

 The proposal also covers international and domestic freight transport services.  Air transport liberalization is backed by several industrialized countries – including Switzerland and Australia.

 TISA negotiators also will discuss new proposals on government procurement, environmental and health-care related services on the second day.  The EU has circulated a proposal on government procurement; the United States is a strong proponent for health care.

 Areas such as transparency, localization, electronic commerce, domestic regulation and telecommunications also are expected to be the focus of the final days of the week-long talks.

 On September 25 – the scheduled last day of discussions – negotiators will focus on professional services, competitive delivery services, distribution services, horizontal market access – including schedules and disciplines – and sectoral market access.

       



Around the Globe

            ●        President Vladimir Putin said on Friday new Western sanctions against Russia looked “a bit strange,” given his backing of peace efforts in eastern Ukraine, and warned he was considering taking fresh retaliation, Reuters news service reported (see related report this issue).  The European Union and the United States have tightened economic penalties on Moscow, accusing it of sending troops to back pro-Moscow separatists fighting Ukrainian government forces in eastern regions.

 Putin, who has regularly denied any involvement and already responded with import bans and other steps, said his government was looking at more ways to hit back.  “Regarding retaliatory measures, the government is thinking about them, but only those that will create better conditions for us will be applied,” he said after a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization security bloc. “We won’t do any damage to ourselves,” he added in Dushanbe, capital of the former Soviet republic of Tajikistan in Central Asia.

 The economies of Russia and Europe are deeply entwined – Richard Branson, the founder of British airline Virgin Atlantic said on Friday Russia would be the biggest loser if it carried out one threat to ban Western airlines from flying over its territory.  The drive for tougher EU sanctions is also facing growing opposition from a number of EU countries that fear retaliation from Russia, the bloc’s biggest energy supplier.  The EU has said it could lift some or even all of the sanctions if Moscow abides by fragile truce in Ukraine and other parts of a peace plan agreed this month to try and end the worst confrontation between Russia and the West.

 The latest sanctions target Russia’s top oil producers and pipeline operators, Rosneft, Transneft and Gazprom Neft, limiting their ability to raise capital on European markets.

             ●         The European Union said Friday it will delay implementation of a free trade deal with Ukraine by more than a year until the end of 2015, Agence France-Presse news service reported (WTD, 9/9/14).  EU Trade Commissioner Karel de Gucht said, after talks with Russian and Ukrainian ministers, that while the free trade agreement would be delayed, Brussels would still extend temporary preferential tariffs on Ukraine goods.

 EU sources said the trade deal was to have taken effect on November 14. The European Council of 28 members states must now sign off on the delay.  De Gucht said that once Kiev ratifies the EU Association Accord, expected next week and which was negotiated at the same time as the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement, then Brussels would offer “additional flexibility” in the hope of meeting Russian concerns that its economy would suffer if the DCFTA deal went ahead.  This would be done as part of efforts to “fully support the stabilisation of Ukraine,” he said after talks with Ukraine Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin and Russian Economy Minister Alexi Ulyukayev.

 “Such flexibility will consist in the delay until 31 December 2015 of the provisional application of the DCFTA,”

             ●         Major trade talks between the US and EU must not exclude healthcare, a UK health minister has said, according to the BBC (WTD, 9/10/14).  The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership talks, known as TTIP, are currently being negotiated.

 Campaigners say any deal which allows US health firms to compete more freely in the UK will undermine the NHS.  But Earl Howe says exempting health would not be in the interest of British pharmaceutical firms, which currently face trade barriers in the US.  Supporters argue a deal will boost growth and job creation in the UK and the rest of the European Union.  And they say removing trade barriers will allow British exporters of goods and services to expand sales in the American market.

 Earl Howe told the BBC it would not be in the interest of British pharmaceutical and medical technology companies, currently subject to trade barriers, to seek an exemption for health in the talks between European and America negotiators.  “The potential for them is immense – it would be highly unwise and detrimental in our view to exclude health,” he said.

             ●          Stefan Selig has been head of the U.S. International Trade Administration for only three months and the former bank executive has already learned how important Mexico is to the United States’ economic health, the El Paso Times reported (WTD, 7/24/14).  Selig, 51, expects to spend much of his time in his new job working on joint economic priorities with Mexico through the High Level Economic Dialogue launched by both countries late last year, he told a border economic conference in El Paso Thursday.

 One of those priorities, he said, is to get Mexico to speed up completion of its half of the Tornillo-Guadalupe international bridge in El Paso County’s Lower Valley. The U.S. side of the six-lane bridge was finished last fall.  “Outside observers may think we are approaching a time when the U.S.-Mexico relationship will be de-prioritized, given the president’s (attention) to the Asian-Pacific (region), or the political upheaval we are seeing in the Middle East.  But there is a very simple reason for why the U.S.-Mexico relationship can never be de-prioritized no matter what happens anywhere else on the globe. The simple reason is that we cannot afford to,” Selig told a luncheon audience at the Texas-Chihuahua-New Mexico Regional Economic Competitiveness Forum at the El Paso convention center.

 The relationship produced $550 billion in trade last year and it supports more than 6 million jobs in the United States, he said.

             ●         Canada confirmed on Friday that it has ratified a controversial trade deal with China after it was delayed for almost a year for its contentious content and lack of governmental support, Telesur reported.  International Trade Minister Ed Fast said in a press statement Friday that the agreement provides “the protection and the confidence Canadian investors need to expand, grow and succeed abroad.”

 “We remain committed to opening new markets around the world for Canadian companies, including in the fast-growing Asia-Pacific region. This FIPA will create jobs and economic opportunities for Canadians in every region of the country,” he added.  The Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA), which was signed two years ago, will now come into force October 1 of this year.  Under conditions laid out in the deal, China and Canada will be bound in FIPA for 31 years.  FIPA was supposed to be ratified last October, however it was delayed over controversy about state-owned Chinese firms investing in Canada, and divided opinion within Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government over how to deal with Beijing.

             ●          Australia is on track to sign a free-trade agreement with China at about the time of the G20 meeting in Brisbane, after the latest round of negotiations left senior ministers believing the deal can be clinched by the end of the year, The Australian reported (WTD, 9/5/14).  Tony Abbott and Chinese President Xi Xinping are due to meet twice in November, when a deal could be signed. They will meet at the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation forum in Beijing and in Australia, where Mr Xi will attend the G20 and address parliament.

 Trade Minister Andrew Robb said “solid progress” had been made at formal negotiations at the start of this month. But the Chinese were tough negotiators and there was a lot of work still to do. Australia continues to push to cut barriers to entry to the Chinese market for agriculture and services. China wants improved investment access, tariff reductions on household items such as electronics, and gains on people movements to Australia. However, this is likely to be within existing visa frameworks in areas of genuine skills shortage.

 Australia will offer China the same $1.078 billion foreign-investment screening threshold for -private investment as that given to South Korea, Japan, the US and New Zealand. This will not apply to state-owned enterprises, which are all subject to screening regardless of value.

             ●         Taiwan yesterday wrapped up the latest talks with China over a trade in goods agreement, but no significant breakthrough on further tariff reductions was made during the three-day negotiations, the Taiwan Times reported (WTD, 9/8/14). Taiwan and China restarted the trade in goods talks, which took place at the Evergreen Resort Hotel in Yilan County’s Jiaosi Township, after the negotiations had been put on hold for the past year.

 Taiwan has addressed local manufacturers’ concerns about the potential impact from a free-trade agreement between China and South Korea, as the pact could cause about NT$30 billion (US$1 billion) in damage, Bureau of Foreign Trade Director-General Jenni Yang told reporters. China and South Korea are likely to sign a bilateral trade pact by the end of this year and Yang said her Chinese counterpart, Chen Xing, head of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce’s Department of Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau Affairs, had got the message. As South Korea is a major rival to Taiwan primarily in the LCD panel, machinery tool and auto part sectors, Taiwanese manufacturers fear that they would lose out to their South Korean competitors if Taiwan and China do not sign a trade in goods agreement, including import tariff reductions, before the China-South Korea free-trade agreement goes into effect, she said.

             ●         The government will announce a new five-year foreign trade policy this month, which is likely to include incentives for domestic value-added products, new rules for special economic zones (SEZs) and a probable review of free trade agreements (FTAs) that India had signed with various countries and group of nations, the Hindustan Times reported (WTD, 9/9/14).  Last week, commerce and industry minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said that the new foreign trade policy (2014-19) will be “different.”

 The export policy is also likely to have incentives for “domestic value addition (DVA)” –  the proportion of exports truly produced in India that will be dovetailed with the “Make in India” programme, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi will unveil later this month.  A higher DVA component in exports is important for job creation and boosting domestic manufacturing. “The DVA component in exports has been declining – alternatively the foreign value-added (FVA) portion of exports has been on the rise due to greater integration with the global supply chain,” Crisil, a credit rating and research firm, said in a recent research report.

  In the textile sector, for instance, the FVA component of exports has more than doubled from 8% in 1995 to 18% in 2009. A similar trend was seen in electrical equipment and other manufacturing exports as well.  The government was also examining the tax policies governing SEZs including the minimum alternate tax (MAT) and the dividend distribution tax (DDT) levied on these export-focussed duty free enclaves.

             ●          An overnight decision to put a leading Turkish foreign trade body practically under government control created confusion in the business world on Friday, with investors saying that further political control over the privately run group threatens to spoil an NGO tradition and credibility in foreign trade relations, Today’s Zaman reported.

 The government passed an omnibus law in Parliament early on Wednesday that involved placing one arm of Turkey’s largest business chamber under government control. With the law, the government will have the authority to appoint a chairman and key figures to the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK), a branch of the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB). The decision comes on the heels of increased government pressure on NGOs and civil business groups and has created tension in the Turkish business world over which kinds of political interventions in the private sector might come next.

 Stressing that they had only little knowledge of the government decision, top DEIK officials sought an explanation from Ankara on Friday. “We did not see this coming, to be honest, and now we have to wait and see how the new DEIK will be shaped under these circumstances,” DEIK Chairman Rona Yircali told Today’s Zaman on the phone. He stressed that the government did not share full details with DEIK until the last moment and noted that the decision comes ahead of business council elections at the 28-year-old DEIK due in November. The government decision leaves around 50 DEIK employees without a job.

             ●          After years of negotiations between the East African Community (EAC)—the regional organization including Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania—and the European Union (EU), early reports suggest that the two partners will sign a comprehensive trade deal, an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), by the end of the month, according to a Brookings Institution report (WTD, 8/7/14).  This agreement will extend duty- and quota-free access to East African exporters targeting European markets, while also expanding the EU’s reciprocal market access in EAC countries – a measure that has been contested by some observers.

 Earlier this year, other African regional bodies such as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and Southern African Development Community (SADC) signed similar EPA agreements.  In recent weeks, some observers have criticized the EAC-EU arrangement, arguing that in its current form the “EPA cannot work for Africa’s development, given the extensive level of liberalization (82.6 percent) that the EU demands as part of the agreement.”

             ●          A monthly report on Israel’s foreign trade, issued by the Central Bureau of Statistics Israel (CBS), on Thursday, said that the deficit in the Israeli trade balance during the first eight months of this year rose by 7.87 per cent to 36 billion shekels ($10 billion), compared to the same period last year.  According to the report, a copy of which was obtained by Anadolu News Agency, the deficit of the first eight months in 2014 increased by 2.6 billion shekels ($743 million, compared to the corresponding period last year), reaching approximately 33.4 billion shekels ($9.27 billion) until the end of August 2013.  According to the CBS data, Israel’s total imports of goods during the current year (until the end of August) is nearly 175 billion shekels ($48.6 billion), compared to exports, which amounted to 139 billion shekels ($38.6 billion) during the same period. The report states that Israel’s goods exports fell by 14.2 per cent at an annual rate due to the decline of global economies, and the decline of the American dollar against the shekel during the first eight months of last year, as well as the European boycott of settlements.




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On the Web......

 

Asia


IPR.  Asian Development Bank report on the knowledge-based economy in Asia.  (available at:  http://www.adb.org/news/asia-uniquely-positioned-lead-global-knowledge-economy-adb?utm_source=daily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=alerts )  issued:  9/12/14.



Asia-Pacific


Tourism.  Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation statement on tourism in the region.  (available at:  http://www.apec.org/Press/News-Releases/2014/0913_tourismstatement.aspx and http://www.apec.org/Press/News-Releases/2014/0912_TMMacao.aspx )  issued:  9/13/14.



Business Practices


European Union.  European Commissioner for Competition Alumina remarks to Fordham University on antitrust issues.  (available at:  http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_SPEECH-14-592_en.htm )  issued:  9/12/14.



Canada


China.  Canada statement on its investment agreement with China.  (available at:  http://www.international.gc.ca/media/comm/news-communiques/2014/09/12a.aspx )  issued:  9/12/14.



China


Canada.  Canada statement on its investment agreement with China.  (available at:  http://www.international.gc.ca/media/comm/news-communiques/2014/09/12a.aspx )  issued:  9/12/14.


Foreign Investment.  US-China Economic and Security Review Commission paper on portfolio investment in China.  (available at:

http://www.uscc.gov )  issued:  9/12/14.


Foreign Investment.  Chinese government statement on foreign investment.  (available at:  http://english.mofcom.gov.cn/article/newsrelease/significantnews/201409/20140900727975.shtml )  issued:  9/12/14.


Foreign Investment.  Chinese statistics on outward foreign investment.  (available at:  http://english.mofcom.gov.cn/article/newsrelease/significantnews/201409/20140900727958.shtml )  issued:  9/12/14.


Foreign Investment.  Chinese government statement on foreign investment in Texas.  (available at:  http://english.mofcom.gov.cn/article/newsrelease/significantnews/201409/20140900727956.shtml )  issued:  9/12/14.


IPR.  Commerce Department statement on patent protection in China.  (available at:  http://www.commerce.gov/blog/2014/09/12/us-patent-and-trademark-office-welcomes-chinese-delegation )  issued:  9/12/14.



European Union


Antitrust.  European Commissioner for Competition Alumina remarks to Fordham University on antitrust issues.  (available at:  http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_SPEECH-14-592_en.htm )  issued:  9/12/14.


Ukraine.  Joint statement by the European Union and Ukraine on the free trade agreement.  (available at:  http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_STATEMENT-14-276_en.htm )  issued:  9/12/14.



Export Controls


Russia.  Commerce Department statement on additional sanctions against Russia.  (available at: http://www.bis.doc.gov/index.php/about-bis/newsroom/press-releases/107-about-bis/newsroom/press-releases/press-release-2014/742-u-s-commerce-department-expands-export-restrictions-aimed-at-russia-s-defense-sector )  issued:  9/12/14.


Russia.  Treasury Department statement on increased sanctions against Russia.  (available at:  http://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/jl2630.aspx and http://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/USTREAS/bulletins/cf1074 )  issued:  9/12/14.


Russia.  Statement by Rep. Hoyer on additional sanctions against Russia.  (available at:  http://www.democraticwhip.gov )  issued:  9/12/14.



Export-Import Bank


Reauthorization.  Letter from House Democratic Whip Hoyer and Rep. Waters on extending the US Export-Import Bank.  (available at:

http://www.democraticwhip.house.gov  )  issued:  9/12/14.



Foreign Investment


China.  Canada statement on its investment agreement with China.  (available at:  http://www.international.gc.ca/media/comm/news-communiques/2014/09/12a.aspx )  issued:  9/12/14.


China.  US-China Economic and Security Review Commission paper on portfolio investment in China.  (available at:


China.  Chinese government statement on foreign investment.  (available at:  http://english.mofcom.gov.cn/article/newsrelease/significantnews/201409/20140900727975.shtml )  issued:  9/12/14.


China.  Chinese statistics on outward foreign investment.  (available at:  http://english.mofcom.gov.cn/article/newsrelease/significantnews/201409/20140900727958.shtml )  issued:  9/12/14.


China.  Chinese government statement on foreign investment in Texas.  (available at:  http://english.mofcom.gov.cn/article/newsrelease/significantnews/201409/20140900727956.shtml )  issued:  9/12/14.



Imports


Bonds.  Commerce Department interim final rule on reinstatement of exemptions

related to temporary exports, carnets and shipments under a temporary import bond.  (available at:  http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-09-12/html/2014-21779.htm )  issued:  9/12/14.



India


US Relations.  Statement by Sen. Mark Warner on US-India relations.  (available at:  http://www.scribd.com/doc/239565890/Sen-Warner-U-S-India-First-100-Days-Actions-Taken-2-3 )  issued:  9/12/14.



Intellectual Property Rights


Asia.  Asian Development Bank report on the knowledge-based economy in Asia.  (available at:  http://www.adb.org/news/asia-uniquely-positioned-lead-global-knowledge-economy-adb?utm_source=daily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=alerts )  issued:  9/12/14.


China.  Commerce Department statement on patent protection in China.  (available at:  http://www.commerce.gov/blog/2014/09/12/us-patent-and-trademark-office-welcomes-chinese-delegation )  issued:  9/12/14.

Russia


Sanctions.  Commerce Department statement on additional sanctions against Russia.  (available at: http://www.bis.doc.gov/index.php/about-bis/newsroom/press-releases/107-about-bis/newsroom/press-releases/press-release-2014/742-u-s-commerce-department-expands-export-restrictions-aimed-at-russia-s-defense-sector )  issued:  9/12/14.


Sanctions.  Treasury Department statement on increased sanctions against Russia.  (available at:  http://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/jl2630.aspx and http://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/USTREAS/bulletins/cf1074 )  issued:  9/12/14.


Sanctions.  Statement by Rep. Hoyer on additional sanctions against Russia.  (available at:  http://www.democraticwhip.gov )  issued:  9/12/14.



States


China.  Chinese government statement on foreign investment in Texas.  (available at:  http://english.mofcom.gov.cn/article/newsrelease/significantnews/201409/20140900727956.shtml )  issued:  9/12/14.



Travel and Tourism


APEC.  Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation statement on tourism in the region.  (available at:  http://www.apec.org/Press/News-Releases/2014/0913_tourismstatement.aspx and http://www.apec.org/Press/News-Releases/2014/0912_TMMacao.aspx )  issued:  9/13/14.



Ukraine


European Union.  Joint statement by the European Union and Ukraine on the free trade agreement.  (available at:  http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_STATEMENT-14-276_en.htm )  issued:  9/12/14.


What we’re covering this week –

   Congress is on recess until after the November elections.  Here in Washington, attention this week is focused on the TransPacific Partnership negotiations as the 12 countries try to see how much progress they can make in advance of November’s meeting of Asia Pacific leaders.

    And negotiators in Geneva all week will sit down and discuss new Trade in Services Agreement negotiations.  They started on Sunday.

             ●          Monday, the Peterson Institute for International Economics releases a new policy brief on whether South Korea should join the TPP.  Speakers include House Ways and Means chief trade counsel Angela Ellard and Senate Finance Committee Republican chief trade counsel Everett Eissenstat.

             ●          Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Gil Kerlikowske discusses his agency’s priorities at a program sponsored by the Migration Policy Institute.

             ●          On Tuesday, US Trade Representative Michael Fromand and Japan’s chief TPP negotiator, Akira Amari, begin two days of intensive talks on bilateral market access issues relating to the TPP.

             ●          Acting Deputy US Trade Representative Wendy Cutler speaks at a Center for Strategic and International Studies program on “womenomics.”

             ●          Also Tuesday, the Brookings Institution holds a discussion on Indian Prime Minister Modi’s upcoming meeting with President Obama.  Rep. Eliot Engel is among the speakers.

             ●          Thursday, Brookings holds a discussion on the challenges facing cross-border data flows in the digital economy with speakers including Assistant US Trade Representative Christine Bliss.

             ●          Friday, the World Trade Organization Dispute Settlement Body meets.



Our  Blog

Updated:  9/20/14

WTD’s

Friday Afternoon

Podcast

Straight talk.   

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

•  House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp speaks to WTD about prospects for Trade Promotion Authority legislation on September 18.

•  Visiting South African President Jacob Zuma was asked at the National Press Club on August 4 what impact has President Obama’s color had on US relations with Africa.

•  Comments by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden to the press on trade and transparency on July 16.

•  Australia News Network interviews World Trade Organization Director General Roberto Azevedo during his visit to the G-20 meetings in Sydney on July 17.

•  New House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy on June 22 tells Fox News Sunday why the US Export-Import Bank should end.

•  Here’s why Congressional ignorance can be very dangerous when it comes to willy-nilly support for free trade agreements, according to consumer advocate Ralph Nader.

 •  Here’s what’s at stake with Trade Promotion Authority and why Louisiana Republican Rep. Charles Boustany can’t sleep at night.

 •  Here’s what Wisconsin Republican Rep. Tom Petri said on the House floor April 10 about TTIP and Bratwurst.

 •  Here’s a brief interview with the Heritage Foundation’s Foundry report with House Financial Services Chair Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) on the dangers of renewing the US Export-Import Bank given April 17.

 •  Here’s a brief snippet from remarks April 8 by Senate Finance Committee ranking Republican Orrin Hatch saying he is befuddled over why the President says he supports Trade Promotion Authority but doesn’t do anything about.

 •  Here’s Aspen Institute scholar and former Reagan Administration Assistant Secretary of Commerce speaking about with WTD on the many iterations of a US-European Union free trade agreement after a recent Hudson Institute event.

 •  Here’s what veteran House Democrat Richard Neal (Mass) – one of four cochairs of the new House TTIP Caucus – told WTD during a reception celebrating the caucus creation on April 3.

 •  Here’s what World Trade Organization chief spokesperson Keith Rockwell said in Washington on how and why the WTO is back.

 •  Here’s what Council of Economic Advisors Chair Jason Furman told the Joint Economic Committee last week about why there is so little mention of trade in the Economic Report of the President.

 •  This is why the European Union is wrong when it says it will never allow imports of US hormone-treated beef, Agriculture Secretary Vilsack tells WTD.