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 Volume 23, Number 213                           Monday, October 27, 2014

Trade Reports International Group

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Ecuador’s Trade Views  

Geneva – In an address to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development on Friday, Ecuador President Rafael Correa Delgado called for free movement of labor on par with capital and “policy” space for developing countries so they can properly implement autonomous industrialization strategies.

 “While capital can move without any controls and cause huge volatility and damage to the international economy, movement of labor is criminalized,” President Correa said.  “This is unacceptable.  And it is absurd that movement of labor is often met with punitive measures, while governments are required to welcome capital without any barriers, the Ecuadorian leader maintained.

 The President went on to say developing countries get a “raw deal” from the current international trading system while industrialized nations make substantial gains – while at the same time maintaining selective barriers on imports from poor countries.

 “Globalization is a quest for global consumers but not global development,” President Correa said.

 Developing countries should adopt protectionist policies – just as the United States did under the leadership of Alexander Hamilton two centuries ago when it imposed high tariffs on imports from the United Kingdom, he noted.  Tariffs remained high until the US economy matured and reached a stage of dominance in the world.

Developing Countries’ Policies

 President Correa said developing countries – which are at a comparable of stage of economic development that the United States was at the time of Hamilton – must devise policies that push their economies into the global economic order.

 The strategies of “import-substitution-industrialization” and development of nascent industries are needed for developing countries, the President said.  He added, however, that those countries must ensure proper implementation of the ISI strategy.

 “Free trade and unfettered trade,” said President Correa, is a “fallacy” based on US ideas and neo-liberal economic policies.  While the United States and other countries preach free trade, they continue to impose barriers on exports from developing countries, the Ecuadorian President argued.  He pointed to the US trade embargo on Cuba as one of the most egregious violations of free trade.

 The President also criticized the workings of the current global intellectual property rights regime in the World Trade Organization.  IPR rules must serve the greater public good.  He suggested that the current rules do not allow equitable treatment in the sharing of genetic resources.

 The Ecuadoran leader also spoke about Latin America’s financial system.  Countries must create their own regional financial architecture so that they can pool their resources and create a reserve fund for their balance of payment problems.  “We must stop sending our reserves to prop up the US economy whose treasury bills are based on our reserves,” he said.  “Dollarization” of Latin American economies must be reversed.

       



A NAFTA Panel Request

 Mexico’s Grupo Simec has filed a request for a North American Free Trade Agreement dispute panel review over a September 15 Commerce Department final dumping determination on its concrete reinforcing bar shipments to the United States (WTD, 10/15/14).

 A panel review is limited to the allegations of error of fact or law.

       



Around the Globe

            ●          Japan and the United States will hold ministerial talks in Sydney on Monday to seek progress on a Pacific free trade initiative, the Japanese minister in charge said Sunday, as the two countries remain apart over farm tariff cuts and other issues, Kyodo news service reported (WTD, 10/24/14). The two largest economies in the Trans-Pacific Partnership framework are aiming to accelerate the broader 12-country negotiations by achieving progress at the upcoming bilateral meeting, based on the outcome of working-level talks.

 While some progress was made in the working-level talks, there are “still a number of difficult issues,” Japan’s TPP minister Akira Amari told reporters. “We’d like to create a guide, even if not more, to resolve major issues,” said Amari, who is visiting Sydney for an ongoing TPP ministerial meeting, the first since May.  Amari held bilateral talks Sunday with his counterparts from Mexico, Canada and New Zealand while attending a conference of all the trade chiefs to discuss such issues as the environment and fair competition, areas in which negotiations have lagged.

 The ministers will hold a press conference Monday after discussing intellectual property rights, one of the most contentious areas, and the future negotiation schedule.

 “My observations after the first day of talks are that the entire focus has gone up two notches,” said Australian Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb, host of the meeting, in a statement.  “There is a real sense that we are within reach of the finishing line. There is also a preparedness to make some of the difficult decisions,” he said. “There is now a real focus among the group on problem solving, but nothing is decided until everything is decided.”

 Bickering between Japan and the United States over tariff elimination remains one of the biggest sticking points, with Washington urging Tokyo to drastically open up its agricultural market that has traditionally been protected.  They have struggled to move closer, particularly on tariff-cut rates and safeguard measures for beef and pork products, a main area of interest for the United States among Japan’s politically sensitive farm products.

 US Trade Representative Mike Froman said since the last TPP meeting in Singapore in May, trade ministers had been in “almost constant” negotiations.  “‘Going into this weekend we are enjoying a great deal of momentum and focus across the board, and it’s up to us to seize that momentum and make sure that this meeting is maximally productive,” he said.

             ●          AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said Friday that Colombia is not fully complying with basic labor rights as it committed to do under the labor action plan for the US-Colombia free trade agreement (WTD, 9/22/14). The labor plan remains “largely unfulfilled,” Mr. Trumka said in a statement.

 He called on the US government to tell Colombia the labor action plan will not end until workers in Colombia have basic labor rights.  “Employers still avoid direct employment relationships and workers still face intimidation and violence when they exercise their internationally-recognized worker rights,” he said.

             ●          Syria has applied to be part of a free trade zone with Russia, Reuters news service report (WTD, 10/20/14).  The proposal will be discussed at a Eurasian Economic Commission’s (EEC) session, scheduled for December 23.

 Russian Deputy Economic Development Minister Aleksey Likhachyov said Friday that Syrian authorities submitted an application earlier in October. He said talks on forming a free trade zone had been held before the war erupted in Syria.  “We have reached agreements in some sectors that are of particular importance for our country. And there are more hidden opportunities that will let us develop further cooperation,” Syrian Finance Minister Ismail Ismail said Friday during a session of the Russian-Syrian Intergovernmental Commission in Sochi.

 During the meeting the parties discussed bilateral projects in the areas of trade, agriculture and energy, TASS reported.  Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin stressed Russia is willing to assist Syria.

             ●        The European Union and Japan on Friday concluded another week of negotiations aiming at concluding an ambitious free trade agreement, the EU said (WTD, 10/17/14).  The 7th round of negotiations brought together over 100 negotiators from the EU and Japan.

 The two countries made further efforts to advance the talks in almost all the areas under negotiation: tariffs, technical barriers to trade, access to public tenders, trade in services, rules on investment competition, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, regulatory cooperation, transparency and protection of intellectual property, including geographical indications. Rules of origin, as well as trade facilitation and customs will be discussed during the period between the formal negotiating sessions.

 The next round is scheduled for second week of December in Tokyo.




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Asia-Pacific


TPP.  Welcoming remarks by US Trade Representative Froman at the TransPacific Partnership ministerial meeting.  (available at:   http://www.ustr.gov )  issued:   10/25/14.


TPP.  Public Citizen statement on the TransPacific Partnership.  (available at:  http://www.citizen.org )  issued:  10/24/14.


TPP.  Letter from Sens. Wyden, Hatch, Rockefeller and Thune to US Trade Representative Froman on data flows in the TransPacific Partnership negotiations.  (available at:  http://www.finance.senate.gov/newsroom/chairman/release/?id=5664b1be-9ad4-4c5d-b91c-abcc716f153f )  issued:  10/24/14.



China


Foreign Investment.  Chinese statement on revised guidelines on foreign investment.  (available at:  http://english.mofcom.gov.cn/article/newsrelease/significantnews/201410/20141000771582.shtml )  issued:  10/24/14.



Colombia


Labor.  AFL-CIO statement on labor conditions in Colombia.  (available at:  http://www.aflcio.org/Press-Room/Press-Releases/AFL-CIO-President-Richard-Trumka-Colombia-Continues-to-Deny-Basic-Labor-Rights-Must-Continue-Labor-Action-Plan )  issued:  10/24/14.



European Union


Japan.  European Union statement on its free trade talks with Japan.  (available at:  http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/press/index.cfm?id=1168 )  issued:  10/24/14.


Export-Import Bank


North Carolina.  US Export-Import Bank statement on new relationship with North Carolina exporters.  (available at:  http://www.exim.gov/newsandevents/releases/2014/EXIM-BANK-LINKS-WITH-DEVELOPMENT-AUTHORITY-OF-THE-NORTH-COUNTRY-TO-BOOST-REGIONAL-EXPORTS.cfm )  issued:  10/24/14.



Foreign Investment


China.  Chinese statement on revised guidelines on foreign investment.  (available at:  http://english.mofcom.gov.cn/article/newsrelease/significantnews/201410/20141000771582.shtml )  issued:  10/24/14.



Imports


Duties.  Customs Bureau announcement of collection of Byrd Amendment duties in fiscal 2014.  (available at:  http://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/speeches-and-statements/2014-10-24-000000/statement-us-customs-and-border-protection )  issued:  10/24/14.



Internet


TPP.  Letter from Sens. Wyden, Hatch, Rockefeller and Thune to US Trade Representative Froman on data flows in the TransPacific Partnership negotiations.  (available at:  http://www.finance.senate.gov/newsroom/chairman/release/?id=5664b1be-9ad4-4c5d-b91c-abcc716f153f )  issued:  10/24/14.



Japan


European Union.  European Union statement on its free trade talks with Japan.  (available at:  http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/press/index.cfm?id=1168 )  issued:  10/24/14.



Korea (South)


US Relations.  Commerce Department statement on mission to Korea by Secretary Pritzker.  (available at:  http://www.commerce.gov/blog/2014/10/24/secretary-pritzker-meets-korean-leaders-expand-trade-and-grow-economic-partnerships )  issued:  10/24/14.



Labor


Colombia.  AFL-CIO statement on labor conditions in Colombia.  (available at:  http://www.aflcio.org/Press-Room/Press-Releases/AFL-CIO-President-Richard-Trumka-Colombia-Continues-to-Deny-Basic-Labor-Rights-Must-Continue-Labor-Action-Plan )  issued:  10/24/14.



States


North Carolina.  US Export-Import Bank statement on new relationship with North Carolina exporters.  (available at:  http://www.exim.gov/newsandevents/releases/2014/EXIM-BANK-LINKS-WITH-DEVELOPMENT-AUTHORITY-OF-THE-NORTH-COUNTRY-TO-BOOST-REGIONAL-EXPORTS.cfm )  issued:  10/24/14.



Steel


Imports.  American Iron and Steel Institute report on steel imports for September.  (available at:  http://www.steel.org/~/media/Files/AISI/Press%20Releases/2014/IMP1409.pdf )  issued:  10/24/14.


What we’re covering this week –

    This week opens as trade ministers for the 12 countries negotiating the TransPacific Partnership conclude a meeting in Sydney aimed at wrapping up as many of the outstanding issues as possible before leaders meet next month.  US Trade Representative Michael Froman returns to Washington to speak at two major conferences later in the week.

             ●          On Monday, the TPP trade ministers are slated to conclude their meeting.

             ●          On Tuesday, Irish Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton speaks to the European Institute.

             ●          The State Department Advisory Committee on International Economic Policy holds a public meeting.

             ●          Wednesday, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation sponsors a program on Trade Promotion Authority.  Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va) is among the speakers.

             ●          The Atlantic and Aspen Institute kick off their two-day Washington Ideas Forum, with speakers including Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker and US Export Import Bank Chairman Fred Hochberg.

             ●          On Thursday, the US Council for International Business holds a conference.  USTR Froman and Undersecretary of State Cathy Novelli are among the speakers.

             ●          Mr. Froman also speaks Thursday at the Atlantic/Aspen Institute Washington Ideas Forum.

             ●          Friday, World Trade Organization Director General Roberto Azevedo addresses the heads of delegations.

             ●          Also at the WTO on Friday, discussions on expansion of the Information Technology Agreement are held.


Our  Blog

Updated:  10/27/14

WTD’s

Friday Afternoon

Podcast

Straight talk.   

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

•  Canadian Ambassador to the United States Gary Doer comments on Trade Promotion Authority and the TransPacific Partnership on October 9 at the Financial Services Roundtable.

•  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.

 


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