What we’re covering this week –
US trade officials will up their effort to Congress to pass TransPacific Partnership implementation at several events this week. Meanwhile, African officials will be in town this week for the annual African Growth and Opportunity Act forum.
● Monday, US Trade Representative Michael Froman discusses TPP at Rice University in Houston and n Tuesday visits the George W. Bush Library to talk up the benefits of TPP.
● Tuesday, Deputy US Trade Representative Robert Holleyman gives a keynote address on the strategic benefits of TPP to the International Bar Association’s annual conference.
● Wednesday, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack testifies to the Senate Agriculture Committee on the current state of the farm economy.
● The Wilson Center sponsors a program on the US-
● Thursday, the United States hosts this year’s African Growth and Opportunity Act forum. Secretary of State John Kerry is the keynote speaker.
● The two-
● The American Enterprise Institute sponsors a program on the future of US trade policy. US Trade Representative Michael Froman and Sen. Jeff Flake speak.
● Australia Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull discusses US-
Volume 25, Number 147 Monday, July 25, 2016
Trade Reports International Group
In a communique following the weekend meeting, the leaders devoted seven paragraphs to deal with an expansive trade and investment agenda. Called for was an acceleration of the multilateral negotiations in “all three pillars of agriculture (i.e. market access, domestic support and export competition), nonagricultural market access, services, development, agreement on trade-
Immediate priorities in the international trade and investment portion of the final communique were problems created by excess capacity in steel and other industries along with distortions caused by subsidies and other types of support from governments. Without getting into details, the leaders emphasized that “a range of issues may be of common interest and importance to today’s economy, and thus may be legitimate issues for discussions in the WTO, including those addressed in the regional trade agreements and by the B-
The leaders said the G-
EGA members reaffirmed their commitment to “redouble efforts to bridge remaining gaps and conclude an ambitious, future-
Trade and Investment-
Robust International Trade and Investment
25. Our growth, to be strong, must be reinforced by inclusive, robust and sustainable trade and investment growth. We note with concern the slow growth in trade and investment globally and commit to enhance an open world economy by working towards trade and investment facilitation and liberalization. We recognize the importance of economic diversification and industrial upgrading in developing countries to benefit from more open global markets. We endorse the outcome of the G20 Trade Ministers Meeting held in Shanghai on 9-
26. We reaffirm our determination to ensure a rules-
27. We commit to ratify the Trade Facilitation Agreement by the end of 2016 and call on other WTO members to do the same. We note the important role that bilateral and regional trade agreements can play in liberalizing trade and in the development of trade rules, while recognizing the need to ensure they are consistent with WTO rules. We commit to working to ensure our bilateral and regional trade agreements complement the multilateral trading system, and are open, transparent, inclusive and WTO-
28. We reiterate our opposition to protectionism on trade and investment in all its forms. We extend our commitments to standstill and rollback of protectionist measures till the end of 2018, reaffirm our determination to deliver on them and support the work of the WTO, UNCTAD and OECD in monitoring protectionism. We emphasize that the benefits of trade and open markets must be communicated to the wider public more effectively and accompanied by appropriate domestic policies to ensure that benefits are widely distributed.
29.We endorse the G20 Strategy for Global Trade Growth, under which the G20 will lead by example to lower trade costs, harness trade and investment policy coherence, boost trade in services, enhance trade finance, promote e-
30. We also support policies that encourage firms of all sizes, in particular women and youth entrepreneurs, women-
31. We recognize that the structural problems, including excess capacity in some industries, exacerbated by a weak global economic recovery and depressed market demand, have caused a negative impact on trade and workers. We recognize that excess capacity in steel and other industries is a global issue which requires collective responses. We also recognize that subsidies and other types of support from government or government-
US, India At It Again in DSB
Geneva – The United States yesterday disagreed with India over its implementation of World Trade Organization dispute settlement body recommendations to remedy restrictive measures imposed on US poultry and poultry-
At a Dispute Settlement Body meeting, Washington insisted that India’s revised measures – which were published on July 8 – appear to retain many of the features of India’s prior measure that the DSB found to be inconsistent.
The United States has requested $450 million worth of retaliation on Indian goods because of nonimplementation of the DSB recommendations. Washington claimed India’s revised measure continues to impose even more severe import prohibitions.
India has made “good faith” efforts to resolve the issues. New Delhi suggested the best course now is to bring the issue to a compliance panel. India urged the US to suspend the arbitration proceedings to avoid “inefficient and avoidable legal uncertainties.”
In another dispute concerning US countervailing duties on Indian hot-
Neither has the United States provided any status report as it is required under Article 21.6 of the Dispute Settlement Undertstanding.
Washington has maintained that the provisions of the WTO on inconsistent domestic law have never been utilized in any investigation. But India maintained that the issue of non-
On a separate dispute concerning the continued distributions to US companies under the illegal “continued dumping and subsidy offset act of 2000" – the so-
Meanwhile, Colombia rejected Brussels’ call to establish a dispute settlement panel against Bogota’s discriminatory treatment of imported spirits on the grounds that its Congress is working on new legislation to address the concerns (WTD, 8/23/16).
DSB chair Xavier Carim set September 14 as the deadline for receiving new nominations for two vacant posts on the Appellate Body (WTD, 7/22/16). So far, there are seven candidates in the race.
And former New Zealand trade envoy and previous chair of the Doha agriculture negotiations John Adank was appointed director of the WTO’s legal division, WTD has learned.
Around the Globe
● China agreed to cooperate more closely with its trading partners on its politically volatile steel exports as leaders of major economies ended a summit Monday with a forceful endorsement of free trade and a crowded agenda that included the Koreas, Syria and refugees, the Associated Press news service reported (see related report in this issue). In a joint statement, Chinese President Xi Jinping, U.S. President Barack Obama and the leaders of Britain, Japan, Russia and other Group of 20 nations pledged to boost sluggish global growth by promoting innovation.
Beijing made trade a theme of the gathering in this lakeside city southwest of Shanghai but faces complaints that a flood of low-
In a concession to Beijing, the statement doesn’t mention China by name and says excess steel capacity is a global issue. However, U.S. and European officials say the vast Chinese state-
The president of the European Union’s governing body, Jean-
● U.S. President Barack Obama said on Monday that U.S. trading partners in Asia did not need to be persuaded of the benefits of the Trans-
Administration officials had said that Obama would make the case for the TPP during his visit to Asia, including in a speech he has scheduled in Laos on Tuesday. “I don’t have to sell it to Asian leaders here who were part of the negotiations because they see this as the right thing to do for their own countries,” Obama told reporters at the close of the G20 summit in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou.
“And what I’ll be telling them is that the U.S. has never had a smooth, uncontroversial path to ratifying trade deals, but they eventually get done,” Obama said. “Back home we’ll have to cut through the noise once election season is over. It’s always a little noisy there,” he said. The White House has said it could still win congressional approval of the trade pact before Obama leaves office, and warned that failing to do so would undermine U.S. leadership in the region and allow China to increasingly set the terms of world trade.
● Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe vowed Monday to press the parliament into ratifying the controversial free trade deal with the United States and ten other Pacific Rim nations, Sputnik news service reported from Tokyo. The Trans-
“Japan needs to urgently ratify the TPP agreement in the parliament. I plan to make every effort to achieve that because its prompt ratification by the Japanese parliament will be the first step toward building this partnership,” Abe said on the sidelines of the G20 summit. Speaking at the Hangzhou economic summit, the Japanese prime minister referred to the TPP pact as key to strategic economic development and lauded the advent of a “free, open economy.” China, which hosted this year’s summit of the world’s 20 major economies devoted to building an “inclusive world economy,” is not part of the agreement.
● The US and Japan have warned the UK that trade relations with the EU are more important to them than those with Britain in the context of Brexit, according to EU Observer (WTD, 9/5/16). US president Barack Obama spoke at a press conference with British prime minister Theresa May at the start of the G20 summit in Hangzhou, China, on Sunday.
He said “we are going to do everything we can to make sure the consequences of the decision [Brexit] don’t end up unravelling what is already a very strong and robust economic relationship” with the UK. But he said that his main priority would be to conclude a free-
He said it “would not make sense” for the US to start bilateral talks with the UK if that would imperil the EU deal.
“The first task is figuring out what Brexit means with respect to Europe. And our first task is making sure we go forward on TTIP negotiations in which we have already invested a lot of time and effort,”,he said.
Japan issued its warning in a 15-
It noted that about half of Japanese firms that are active in the EU, such as carmakers Nissan and Mitsubishi, or financial firm Nomura, had chosen the UK as a “gateway to Europe”, adding: “We strongly request that the UK will consider this fact seriously and respond in a responsible manner to minimise any harmful effects on these businesses.”
May, the British PM, said alongside Obama: “As we forge a new global role for the UK, we can and will seize the opportunities that Brexit presents, and make a success of it.” She told reporters on the flight to Hangzhou that “the reaction of the [British] economy has been better than some had predicted post the referendum”.
● German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s chief of staff is insisting that Berlin wants to press ahead with concluding a sweeping European Union-
Merkel’s conservatives, however, are standing by the Trans-
Meanwhile Belgian PM Charles Michel is the latest European politician to call for free-
● Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said on Monday he wants to negotiate a “very strong” free trade agreement with Britain after it leaves the European Union, Reuters news service reported (WTD, 9/5/16). Britain’s June decision to leave the 28-
Britain’s economy will suffer as a result of the decision despite signs in recent data that the impact has not been as severe as some predicted, Prime Minister Theresa May said on Sunday on her way to the G20 summit in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou.
Turnbull told reporters that May told the Australians she “remains very grateful for the assistance we are providing, both legislative and in terms of other resources. And of course, from our point of view, getting in to deal with the British early and making sure we can negotiate a very strong, very open free trade agreement once they are actually out of the European Union.”
● Mexico has set its maximum sugar export quota to the United States for the 2016/17 sugar cycle at 870,688.94, according to a notice published in the Diario Oficial. The quota applies to both cane and beet sugar.
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On the Web......
European Union. European Union latest report to the World Trade Organization on its tariff quotas. (available at: https://docs.wto.org/dol2fe/Pages/FE_Search/FE_S_S009-
Imports. World Trade Organization latest report on China’s countervailing duty activities. (available at: https://docs.wto.org/dol2fe/Pages/FE_Search/FE_S_S009-
US Relations. White House fact sheet on US-
Agriculture. European Union latest report to the World Trade Organization on its tariff quotas. (available at: https://docs.wto.org/dol2fe/Pages/FE_Search/FE_S_S009-
TTIP. Coalition of US and European business associations statement on the TransAtlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. (available at: http://transatlanticbusiness.org ) issued: 9/5/16.
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