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 Volume 24, Number 78                                                                                                                     Monday, April 20, 2015

Trade Reports International Group


Locked Out of Asia-Pacific Market

  President Obama cautioned on Friday that the United States risks being locked out of the Asia-Pacific market for decades to come if Congress rejects the TransPacific Partnership agreement that his Administration is negotiating with 11 other countries (WTD, 4/17/15).

 Speaking to reporters at a White House press conference with Italian Prime Minister Renzi, Mr. Obama acknowledged that trade can be a tough sell for his own political party because of concerns about outsourcing and job loss.

 “The point I’ve made to my labor friends and my progressive friends is that companies that are looking for just low-cost labor, they’ve already left.  We’re already at a disadvantage right now,” the President said.  The TPP “would actually strengthen our ability to force other markets to open and strengthen our position compared to where we are right now.”

 Opposing the TPP “is essentially a ratification of the status quo, where a lot of folks are selling here, but we’re not selling there,” the President continued.  “I don’t know why it is that folks would be opposed to us opening up the Japanese market more for US autos and US beef.  It doesn’t make any sense.”

 US Trade Representative Michael Froman is in Tokyo trying to close some of the significant remaining gaps in bilateral TPP talks on agricultural and auto market access.  The discussions with Japanese Economy Minister Akira Amari come on the heels of a “productive” round of negotiations last week and less than two weeks before Japanese Prime Minister Abe visits Washington.

 In remarks at a World Bank seminar on trade on Friday, USTR Froman suggested that a string of “intensive” negotiations will occur over the next few weeks.

 The Administration hopes that long-awaited introduction of Trade Promotion Authority legislation (HR 1890, S 995) will add momentum to the negotiations.  Other countries participating in the TPP – including Japan – have said they will not conclude the talks without TPA.

Novelli Perplexed

 Undersecretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment Cathy Novelli last Thursday echoed the President’s comments.  Speaking at the Bloomberg/BNA forum on TPP, she said the aim of the talks is simply to increase US exports, create jobs and assure a level-playing field – opposition to which she could not fathom.  In addition, principles that the United States is pursuing – such as higher environmental and labor standards – are real, she commented.  And what is agreed will be enforced through sanctions.

 The talks are far along, with only pockets of disagreements remaining.  Ms. Novelli said they include some outstanding issues on intellectual property rights, how to structure a investor-state dispute settlement mechanism and an understanding on how to treat state-owned enterprises.

 But House Ways and Means Committee ranking Democrat Sander Levin (D-Mich) disagreed.  He suggested that the negotiations are far from over.  All sides are well apart on the outstanding issues that Ms. Novelli mentioned – and members of Congress are far from satisfied with the direction the talks are taking.

 How to deal with currency manipulation is another major roadblock to Congressional approval of TPP, Mr. Levin added.  Despite letters signed by a majority of House and Senate members, the Administration has essentially ignored the issue.

 Also unresolved, Mr. Levin added, is the issue of poor countries’ access to affordable medicines, which he said was an integral part of the last delegation of Trade Promotion Authority to the President that lapsed in 2007.

 But the most disturbing part of the negotiations, Mr. Levin said, is the secrecy of the whole process.  Unlike past trade negotiations, Congress has simply been left out of the TPP process.  Congressional authority over trade is rooted in the US Constitution and, therefore, the Executive Branch has an obligation to involve Congress.  That has not been done, he stated.

 At a forum on Friday, USTR Froman disagreed, telling a World Bank audience that Congress is very much involved.

 Members are having a hard time seeing the negotiating texts – including what is put forward by the other negotiating parties.  And staff with security clearances do not have complete access to the texts, Mr. Levin added.

 On Friday, the member told reporters he is concerned the Administration and lawmakers are trying to push through the TPA bill before the Abe visit.  The Prime Minister makes an address to Congress on April 29. Rushing the bill through Congress now will take away lawmakers’ leverage to influence the final outcome of the TPP.

 Trade subcommittee chair Pat Tiberi (R-Ohio) said he could not disagree more with his colleague’s assessment.  Having a “yes” or “no” vote at the end of the process gives Congress enormous leverage.

 But “TPP is not where it needs to be right now, and the [TPA bill] does nothing to change that,” Mr. Levin told reporters on Friday.  “On all of the major issues, in the negotiations, the negotiating objectives are obsolete or woefully inadequate.  We can’t expect to get the best deal if we are not asking for the right things.”

 The TPA bill “dramatically reduces” chances for bipartisan support of TPP, the member told reporters.  “I deeply regret that.”

A Handful of Democrats

 In fact, Mr. Levin a day earlier said that no more than an handful of Democrats support TPP now.  On the same Bloomberg/BNA panel, Mr. Tiberi – a strong free-trader – suggested that if submitted to Congress today TPP would not pass.  There is not even a majority of Republicans that would support it, he said – “and Froman knows it.”

 Japan – and US approval of Trade Promotion Authority – is key to a successful final outcome for TPP, Singapore Ambassador to the United States Ashok Kumar Mirpuri told the Bloomberg/BNA conference.  If TPA is not passed, added New Zealand Ambassador Mike Moore, it would be a catastrophe for the United States in Asia – which goes well beyond trade.  The United States has made it clear that TPP is an integral part of its “pivot” to Asia.

 Speaking at another conference the same day, visiting New Zealand Trade Minister Tim Groser insisted that a failed TPP also would weaken US and European Union efforts to achieve their ongoing free trade agreement negotiations.  The two are linked and TTIP’s fate depends on the TPP.

 Mr. Mirpuri said getting TPP done by year’s end is urgent.  If not out of the way by then and in advance of the US electioneering season, Australia Ambassador Kim Beazley said, the agreement will not get done.

 But once the United States and Japan reach a good market access agreement and Congress approves TPA, the round could be completed within weeks, Mr. Beazley agreed.

       



TPA – An Uphill Battle

 Congressional lawmakers this week turn their attention to newly introduced legislation (HR 1890, S 995) giving President Obama Trade Promotion Authority, but the President faces an uphill battle trying to round up support among his own political party, particularly in the House (WTD, 4/17/15).

 The Senate Finance Committee holds a hearing on TPA tomorrow, followed Wednesday by a hearing in the House Ways and Means Committee.

 President Obama made a strong pitch for TPA Friday at a White House press conference, calling it the “most-far reaching and progressive Trade Promotion Authority that we’ve seen going through Congress.”

 But a key House Democrat – Ways and Means ranking member Sander Levin (Mich) – told reporters Friday that he is “out to defeat” the TPA bill introduced last week by committee chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc), Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and ranking Democrat Ron Wyden (Ore).  Approval of TPA means lawmakers lose their power to determine what a final TransPacific Partnership deal with the 11 other countries will look like, he said (see related report in this issue).

 The overwhelming majority of House Democrats are opposed to TPA, Mr. Levin said.  There is only a small pool of potential “yes” votes among House Democrats, he added.

 In a telephone press conference with reporters late Thursday, Connecticut Democrat Rosa DeLauro expressed confidence that opponents have the votes to defeat TPA in the House.  But another Democratic opponent, Rep. Tim Ryan (Ohio), told WTD earlier in the week that the outcome on the floor might actually depend on how many House Republicans buck their leadership and vote against TPA.

 A Democratic aide told WTD it is unclear at this point how many Democratic votes s will be needed in order to assure passage.

Opposed on Principle

 In his remarks Friday, President Obama admitted that he faces a “set of Democratic senators and House members who traditionally have just on principle opposed trade because the unions, on principle, regardless of what the provisions are, are opposed to trade.”

 Even among moderate Democrats, support for TPA appears uncertain.  Only 11 members of the 46 belonging to the moderate New Democrat Coalition signed a statement Thursday tentatively endorsing the TPA bill.

 On the Senate side, the bill is opposed by top Democrats, despite the support of Finance ranking Democrat Wyden.  Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (Ill) said last week that he thinks about half of Senate Democrats are still undecided on TPA while the other half is evenly divided “pro” and “con.”

 Retiring Democratic Leader Harry Reid (Nev) has a long record of opposition to trade deals, and the senator expected to replace him – New York Democrat Chuck Schumer – made clear last week he is also opposed to TPA.  At a Finance hearing Thursday on the bill, Sen. Schumer said he once was a supporter of trade, but has changed his mind because trade deals have only benefitted corporation and not American workers.

 President Obama refuted that argument Friday.  “My whole Presidency has been about helping working families and lifting up wages, and giving workers more opportunity.  And if I didn’t think this deal was doing it, I wouldn’t do it,” he said.  “I didn’t get elected because of the sponsorship of the Business Roundtable or the Chamber of Commerce.  Those aren’t the ones who ‘brung’ me to the dance.”

 Supporters hope that moving legislation reauthorizing the Trade Adjustment Assistance program may help sway some Democrats to vote for TPA.  Sen. Wyden and Maine Republican Susan Collins introduced TAA legislation (S 1003) last week.  Similar legislation is expected to be introduced in the House.  But Ways and Means ranking Democrat Levin criticized the idea of moving the two measures together.  He said TAA “should not be bait” to get Democratic votes for TPA.

Currency

 Some members – including Sen. Schumer – want legislation cracking down on currency manipulation by making it a countervailable subsidy under US trade remedy laws to also move along with TPA.  At Thursday’s Finance hearing, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said the Administration has concerns about the bill.  There are “very serious questions” about whether it would be consistent with World Trade Organization obligations, he said, which “has a real risk of inviting retaliation.”

 Instead, Mr. Lew suggested that the Administration and Congress work together to find “tools” to supplement the semi-annual Treasury report on foreign exchange rates.  Lawmakers have long criticized the fact that China has not been cited under the report for currency manipulation because the country does not meet criteria set out by Congress.  Additional criteria like having a significant bilateral trade surplus with the United States, a huge current account surplus or intervention in foreign exchange markets could “set a standard to trigger some additional actions we could take...”

 For the first time TPA legislation includes a negotiating objective instructing the Administration to raise the issue of currency manipulation in trade negotiations.  But critics say the language is too vague and would not require the Administration to negotiate disciplines on currency manipulation.  Finance member – and former US Trade Representative – Rob Portman (R-Ohio) told Mr. Lew Thursday that he and Michigan Democrat Debbie Stabenow plan to offer an amendment to the TPA bill to give the currency provision “more teeth.”

       



AGOA

 The 10-year renewal of the African Growth and Opportunity Act trade preferences program unveiled last week by key Congressional lawmakers aims at making sure South Africa follows through on promises to end a long-standing bilateral dispute over US access to its poultry market (WTD, 4/17/15.

 Senators representing poultry-producing states have been threatening to hold up renewal of AGOA by insisting on the removal of South Africa from the program if the dispute is not resolved.

 Legislation (HR 1891) renewing AGOA, the Generalized System of Preferences program and two preferences programs for Haiti were introduced in the House Friday by Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc) and ranking Democrat Sander Levin (Mich).  A companion measure will be introduced in the Senate this week by Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and ranking Democrat Ron Wyden (Ore).

 South African Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies was here last week for meetings with US government officials and lawmakers on the poultry dispute.  He told reporters that the US and South African poultry industries are nearing an agreement that would ensure US poultry access to the South African market and end the antidumping duties Pretoria imposed over 10 years ago.

 US Trade Representative Michael Froman reminded the South African minister that programs like AGOA and GSP were not meant to be permanent.  One of AGOA’s goals is to integrate the economies of all of Africa and promote greater market access.  Eventually, he added, the preferential trade program would give way to a long-lasting reciprocal trade relationship.

Sens. Coons and Isakson

 But one of the key lawmakers on the issue – Finance member Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga) – said Thursday that he and Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del) came away from a meeting with Mr. Davies earlier in the day concerned that the South African side was “stringing out” the negotiations in hopes Congress would quickly pass AGOA.  Once the program is renewed, the pressure would be off South African producers to reach an agreement allowing US poultry back into the market.

 The AGOA bill contains provisions aimed at keeping that pressure on by giving the Administration flexibility to suspend, limit or terminate South Africa’s benefits if it does not open its market to US poultry.  It also provides for annual and out-of-cycle reviews of beneficiary countries to make sure they are meeting the program’s eligibility requirements and includes a sense of Congress provision specifically calling for a review of South Africa’s trade policies.

 Sens. Isakson and Coons released a statement Friday praising the language, saying it will help ensure that countries receiving duty-free access under AGOA do not engage in unfair trade practices.  But they said they are working on additional amendment language “reflective of our deep concern over South Africa’s continued disrespect for its trade relationship with the United States.

 At Thursday’s Finance hearing, Sen. Isakson raised the possibility of putting South Africa on a three-year probation, at the end of which it could be dropped from AGOA if it continues to block US access to its market.

AGOA Civil Society Network

 On the same day as the Finance hearing, a group of African ambassadors met with the AGOA Civil Society Network to get updated on the fast-moving situation.  

 South Africa had offered the United States 45,000-ton quota free access to the market for poultry; the United States had insisted on 125,000 tons in order to settle the decade-old antidumping action.  Sources told WTD that South Africa had agreed to accept the last US proposal, but was keeping its decision quiet.

 Vice President Biden discussed the issue last week with his South African counterpart – Cyril Ramaphosa.

 Industry-to-industry discussions were held in Portugal last week.

 One South African official had suggested to Washington years ago to bring its complaints about unfair antidumping duties to the World Trade Organization for adjudication.  The United States responded with a flat “no.”

 One ambassador told the group that AGOA members would continue to push for a 15-year extension as the legislation moves to the House and Senate floor.

       



China and the ‘Negative’ List

 China is having a difficult time understanding the concept of a “negative list” as part of a bilateral investment deal with the United States, but visiting Vice Minister of Finance Zhu Guangyao said he thinks one will emerge from the Chinese side within the next two months (WTD, 4/1/15).

 Mr. Zhu was here for the annual spring meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund and to talk to US financial officials.

 Significant discussions on a BIT began just last year after a BIT negotiation was pledged by the President Obama and Chinese President Xi in June 2013.  China, Mr. Zhu told a session at the Atlantic Council on Friday, remains committed to reaching agreement with the United States.

 The Chinese financial official suggested that Beijing will put forth its “negative” list – which would explicitly identify areas where foreign investment would not be allowed – this month or next.  That, he said, would pave the way for a successful conclusion to the negotiations – in hopes of signing one before the end of the Obama Administration.

 Mr. Zhu suggested that the more advanced regions in China – including Shanghai, Fujian, Shenzhen and Guangdong – are pushing Beijing hard for an agreement.

AIIB

 Also discussed during the Washington visit, Mr. Zhu said, was the establishment of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (WTD, 4/10/15).  The bank will focus chiefly on infrastructure projects mainly in Asia – and, therefore, will differ somewhat in practice from the other regional and multilateral development institutions, he said.

 It will strictly follow “rule-of-law” principles, but may differ depending of the standards of the participating countries.

 Mr. Zhu discussed the bank with representatives of the Group-of-20 nations here.  He said membership is open to all countries – including the United States, which has resisted so far.

 The AIIB, Mr. Zhu suggested, should be up and running within two to three months, once a mandate understanding is reached with the World Bank.

       



TISA Ambition

 Geneva – Negotiators for an ambitious plurilateral initiative on trade in services decided Friday to intensify consultations due to differences on the level of progress in sectors, WTD has learned (WTD, 4/14/15).

 The two dozen World Trade Organization members of the so-called TISA negotiations spent all of last week looking for some common ground.  Ahead of a “stocktaking” meeting in July, the envoys will hold inter-sessional consultations in areas where only limited progress has been made.  Last week’s round focused on areas where progress has been limited, said an EU official familiar with the meeting.

 Trade ministers will discuss priority areas at a special ministerial breakfast meeting in June on the margins of the annual Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development meeting in Paris, WTD was told.

 The official also said that more attention needs to be paid to TISA to the ongoing Doha services negotiations.

 TISA 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, the United States, Pakistan, Paraguay and Uruguay.

 Mauritius is expected to join the negotiations in July.  But there was no word last week on when China will do so.  Several members have underscored the need to admit China.

 During last week’s meetings at the EU mission, technical experts discussed financial services, telecommunications, domestic regulation, maritime transport and movement of short-term services providers under so-called Mode 4.  WTD was told that a consensus was emerging around big issues like financial services, telecommunications and domestic regulation.

 In other sectors, there are considerable divergences – particularly in air transport, maritime transport, road transport, movement of short-term services providers and health services, WTD was told.

 While some TISA members want to focus only on areas where there are prospects for consensus, another group wants all areas to be pursued without any a priori exclusion.

 Focused discussions will continue over the next two months before the July ministerial.

       



Food Security

 Geneva – Trade envoys of the Group-of-33 farm coalition at the World Trade Organization have challenged the United States to specify its intentions for finding a permanent solution to public stockholding programs for food security by the end of this year, WTD has learned (WTD, 3/25/15).

 Indonesia – coordinator for the G-33 farm coalition – on Friday told the United States that its proposal for discussing public stockholding for food security goes beyond the Bali mandate to find a permanent solution to the issue.  The US proposal underscores the need to review the efficacy and trade effects of the existing public stockholding programs for food security policies, to review the existing WTO rules and policies adopted by members and how these policies are constrained by existing rules.  It also calls for an agreement on best practices and commitments from members to implement those practices.

 Washington reiterated it wants “open markets” that would ensure food security for everyone.

 Indonesia defended the more aggressive G-33 stance, saying that developing countries need policy space to effectively support low-income or resource-poor farmers to fight hunger and rural poverty.

 At a closed-door meeting of trade envoys from some 20 countries, Indonesia stated that “utter rejections” would not help anyone arrive at a permanent solution.

 Agriculture negotiations chair John Adank asked whether new rules are needed to increase the “policy space” to a defined degree subject to conditions.

 The G-33 is seeking amended rules for designing a possible solution without changing the structure of the WTO Agreement on Agriculture.  But any agreement must address the legitimate objectives of ensuring public stockholding programs for food security.

 Several developing and least-developed countries – including the Asia/Pacific/Africa members and the African caucus – backed the G-33.  Also speaking in support were the Philippines, China, India, Egypt and Brazil.

       



Szubin Promoted at Treasury

 President Obama announced Thursday his intention to nominate Adam J. Szubin to be Treasury  Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Crimes.

 Mr. Szubin has been serving in the position since February in an acting capacity.  He also serves as Director of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, a position he has held since 2006.

       



Around the Globe

             ●          Japan and the United States reported progress in top-level trade talks on Sunday that could pave the way for a broader trans-Pacific trade deal, although Tokyo cautioned that a bilateral accord was unlikely in time for a summit next week, Reuters news service reported (see related report in this issue).  Japan’s Economy Minister Akira Amari and U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman both said they had made good progress in the first of two days of cabinet-level discussions.

 “We exchanged opinions about areas where Japan and the U.S. will cooperate in dealing with others” in the multilateral talks, Amari told reporters. “We confirmed progress made at working-level meetings with regard to remaining issues.”  Access to Japan’s farm market and the U.S. car market remain obstacles to a bilateral deal between the two nations, vital to the success of a long-delayed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) pact. The world’s biggest and third-biggest economies account for some 80 percent of the economic output of the 12-member TPP.

 The ministers will meet from 9.30 a.m. on Monday (8.30 p.m. EDT on Sunday) to discuss remaining issues and “will earnestly hold discussions tomorrow about each specific item,” Amari said.  Before the talks, Amari said Japan would not accept a U.S. demand to boost minimum access for its rice imports, while pressing Washington to further open the U.S. car-parts market.  He reiterated that he did not expect a deal before a summit between President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Washington on April 28, but nonetheless hoped to make progress.

 “Negotiations can’t work if one side makes no concessions, but there are various domestic restrictions,” Amari told public broadcaster NHK. “Rice, in particular, is produced across Japan, so we are carefully negotiating while feeling a domestic sense of crisis. I can promise it won’t result in anything shocking.”  Japan is prepared to allow an import quota for U.S. rice of 50,000 tonnes a year, just a quarter of the U.S. demand, the Nikkei newspaper reported on Saturday.

 “We will not swallow the U.S. demand or close to it,” Amari said, adding that a breakthrough could be made in talks on bilateral car trade.

             ●         Australian Trade Minister Andrew Robb has hit back at critics of the government’s approach to the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal negotiations, saying the government is relying heavily on input from a wide range of community organisations, AFR Weekend reported (see related report this issue).  Debate about transparency over the 12-country United States-led trade deal is set to intensify now that the US Congress is on the cusp of giving President Barack Obama authority to formally negotiate a deal, after more than five years of secretive preliminary negotiations.

 Negotiators have been sworn to secrecy so far, despite some leaks that have fed opposition to the deal by a range of community groups but the US Congress is set to establish negotiating terms that will provide more clarity about what the final agreement might look like.  The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has conducted more than 1000 consultations since 2011, including groups representing agriculture, industrial sectors, health, intellectual property, resources and energy, business, peak bodies, community organisations, consumers, unions and academia.

 Despite new criticism from unions at protests last week, the Australian Council of Trade Unions has been consulted 14 times and its views have been influential in Australia’s approach to the labour chapters.  Some members of Parliament who have criticised the potential deal recently have not taken up offers from Mr Robb to talk about the likely shape of the agreement.  Mr Robb said the only way negotiators and the government could be properly informed about some very complex issues, as well as about the implications of possible decisions, was to consult those with expertise and intimate knowledge of each of the areas under negotiation.

             ●          So far, few Northwest Democrats are getting on board with a deal to “fast track” a pending Pacific trade agreement, The Trans-Pacific Partnership, NW News reported (see related report in this issue). On Thursday, Oregon’s senior senator, Democrat Ron Wyden, unveiled bipartisan legislation to clear the way and set sideboards around the biggest trade deal since NAFTA.

 In Seattle Friday, Washington Senator Patty Murray said she’s supportive given the importance of international trade to the Northwest. But she won’t sign on as a co-sponsor at this time.  “We need to be able to make and sell our products here overseas in order to keep our economy strong,” she said. “But we also need to protect Washington state workers and we need to make sure we’re not competing with foreign countries that don’t have strong labor and environmental practices.”  Republicans, including Washington Congressman Dave Reichert and Idaho Senator Jim Risch, sound the most amenable to giving the Democratic president expanded trade negotiating authority.

 Among House Democrats from the Northwest, Congressman Earl Blumenauer of Portland stood out by co-authoring an op-ed with Senator Wyden extolling the proposed trade framework. On his Congressional website, Blumenauer elaborated on Friday about why he believes the current trade proposal is “a dramatic improvement” over previous trade agreements.  At this juncture, Oregon Democrat Peter DeFazio is the lone Northwest Congressman to stake out a definitive position against giving the president expanded authority to negotiate a Pacific trade pact. DeFazio issued a statement Thursday in which he called fast track legislation a “raw deal for American workers and the environment.”  Wyden’s Oregon seatmate, Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley said the fast track legislation must be “strengthened” before he would consider giving it his support.

             ●          More than 200 demonstrations took place across Germany on Saturday as demonstrators marched to protest at the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), a free trade agreement currently being negotiated between the European Union and the United States, Agence France-Presse reported (WTD, 4/13/15).  Thousands of people attended rallies in cities and towns including the capital, Berlin, Hamburg, Frankfurt and Stuttgart. In all, some 600 anti-TTIP protests were planned across the world for Saturday.

 Opposition to the TTIP is fierce in Germany, with a recent poll from YouGov showing that 43 percent of people thought the pact would be bad for the country, against 30 percent who see it as good.  In another sign of the degree of resistance to the agreement in Germany, one million of the 1.7 million signatures collected in Europe by the European collective “Stop TTIP” came from Germany - ten times the number in France and 50 times that in Italy.

 Critics of the free trade agreement, which is supported by the German government, say it could lead to a lowering of health and safety standards, particularly with regard to the EU’s strict regulations on food additives, genetically modified crops and the use of pesticides.  Another major concern for opponents of the agreement is a clause allowing corporations to sue governments for policies they consider detrimental to their business interests in tribunals that do not answer to national law. Critics say this would allow big businesses to override measures decided upon by democratically elected administrations.

             ●          Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Thursday he will not block a vote to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank, despite his opposition to it (WTD, 4/16/15). McConnell told USA Today he expects its reauthorization to pass, though he didn’t offer a timeline for when he will bring it to a vote. Lawmakers must vote to extend its charter by June 30, or the bank shuts down.

 “I’m not a supporter of it. It’s become much more controversial in recent years,” McConnell added. “I think it probably enjoys a majority in the Senate, and I don’t think we should deny it the opportunity to be voted on.”  Sens. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) introduced legislation that would reauthorize the bank through September 2019. “This is good news from Leader McConnell and I hope we can get a vote on our bipartisan bill as soon as possible. I’ll keep pushing to make that happen,” Heitkamp told The Hill.

             ●          Gov. Cuomo heads to Cuba Monday on a trade mission that critics charge is aimed more at generating headlines than creating economic opportunities for New York, the New York Daily News reported (WTD, 4/15/15). Cuomo will leave Monday morning and will spend just over a day on the island nation in what administration officials insist is an effort to open pathways for New York businesses.

 The taxpayer-funded trip is the first by a U.S. governor since President Obama decided in December to normalize relations with Cuba.  “This trade mission, part of the broader Global NY initiative, will guarantee that New York businesses are first in line to take advantage of this new, emerging economic market,” said Cuomo spokeswoman Melissa DeRosa.

             ●          U.S. poultry exports will fall by 8.5 percent this year under the pressure of avian influenza and the stronger dollar, says the Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook according to the Ag Insider. Two major importers of U.S. poultry meat, China and South Korea, have restricted shipments as a precaution against spread of bird flu. The two Asian countries bought 5.5 percent of U.S. poultry exports last year. Their bans reduced U.S. sales by 25.5 million pounds in February, when bird flu was not as widespread as now.

 “The dollar’s high exchange rate is expected to make it more difficult to compete with other exporters and has contributed to lower substitution to other markets than was expected following HPAI-related bans on U.S. poultry exports,” said the USDA, referring to highly pathogenic avian influenza.  Poultry exports are forecast for 7.5 billion pounds this year, compared to 8.2 billion pounds in 2014, a drop of 8.5 percent for broilers and 10.5 percent for turkey meat. The ongoing ban by Russia on food imports from many Western nations contributed to the dimmer outlook. More than 18 percent of U.S. poultry is exported in most years. The USDA’s current forecast is 16 percent.

             ●          India’s trade deficit for March worsened to $11.79 billion from $10.95 billion in the same month last year, RTT News reported. Exports declined 21.06 percent and imports fell 13.44 percent.  During the financial year ended March 31, the trade deficit widened to $137.01 billion from $135.79 billion in the previous year. Exports dropped 1.23 percent and imports fell 0.59 percent.  Oil imports tumbled 52.68 percent annually for the month of March and were down 16.09 percent for the financial year.  Meanwhile, non-oil imports for March grew 10.55 percent from a year ago and were higher by 8.35 percent for the full year.  Citing data from the Reserve Bank of India, the ministry said services trade showed a surplus of $6.20 billion for February.




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On the Web......

 

Africa


AGOA.  Statement by Rep. Bass on the African Growth and Opportunity Act.  (available at:  http://bass.house.gov )  issued:  4/17/15.


Economy.  African Development Bank Group report on Africa’s economy.  (available at:  http://www.afdb.org/en/news-and-events/article/africa-rising-economic-growth-and-development-successes-continue-14167/ )  issued:  4/16/15.



Agriculture


TPA.  Agriculture Department statement on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?contentid=2015/04/0098.xml&contentidonly=true )  issued:  4/16/15.


TPA.  National Corn Growers Association statement on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  http://www.ncga.com/news-and-resources/news-stories/article/2015/04/ncga-urges-swift-passage-of-trade-promotion-authority )  issued:  4/17/15.


TPA.  Sweeteners Users Federation statement on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  http://sweetenersusers.org )  issued:  4/17/15.


TPA.  International Dairy Foods Association statement on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  http://idfa.org )  issued:  4/16/15.


TPA.  American Soybean Association statement on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  https://soygrowers.com/committee-deal-reached-on-moving-trade-promotion-authority-forward-2/ )  issued:  4/16/15.


TPA.  American Farm Bureau Federation statement on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  http://fb.org )  issued:  4/16/15.


TPA.  US Wheat Associates statement on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  http://wheat.org )  issued:  4/16/15.


TPA.  Statement by Rep. Conaway on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  http://agriculture.house.gov )  issued:  4/16/15.


TPA.  Dairy Industry statement on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  http://www.nmpf.org/latest-news/press-releases/apr-2015/dairy-groups-urge-quick-congressional-action-new-tpa-legislation )  issued:  4/16/15.


TPA.  National Farmers Union statement on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  http://www.nfudc.org )  issued:  4/16/15.


TPA.  National Pork Producers Council statement on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  http://nppc.org )  issued:  4/16/15.


WTO.  World Trade Organization statement on collaboration with the World Agriculture Organization on food security.  (available at:  https://www.wto.org/english/news_e/news15_e/igo_17apr15_e.htm )  issued:  4/17/15.



Asia


Central Asia.  World Bank report on the economies of Eastern Europe and Central Asia.  (available at:  http://worldbank.org/eca )  issued:  4/17/15.



Asia-Pacific


TPP.  Statement by Sen. Sanders on the TransPacific Partnership.  (available at:  

 http://sanders.senate.gov )  issued:  4/17/15.


TPP.  Economic Policy Institute report on the TransPacific Partnership.  (available at:  http://us4.campaign-archive1.com/?u=ec2361f981a14ee1d45cccaa9&id=71045ee99f&e=df69b55c5a )  issued:  4/19/15.



Banking and Finance


European Union.  SIFMA statement on the upcoming TransAtlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations.  (available at:  http://sifma.org )  issued:  4/19/15.



China


Business.  Remarks by Commerce Secretary Pritzker on entrepreneurship in China.  (available at:  http://www.commerce.gov/news/secretary-speeches/2015/04/us-commerce-secretary-penny-pritzker-highlights-importance )  issued:  4/16/15.


Energy.  Commerce Department statement on clean energy cooperation with China.  (available at:  http://www.commerce.gov/news/blog/2015/04/secretary-pritzker-and-deputy-energy-secretary-sherwood-randall-meet-chinese and http://www.commerce.gov/news/blog/2015/04/solarreserve-helping-expand-us-china-clean-energy-cooperation-combat-climate  )  issued:  4/17/15.



Customs


ACE.  Customs Bureau update on ACE Deployment E.  (available at:  http://apps.cbp.gov/csms/viewmssg.asp?Recid=20654&page=&srch_argv=15-000224&srchtype=all&btype=&sortby=&sby= )  issued:  4/17/15.


Containers.  Text of HR 1773 introduced April 14 by Rep. Marchant relating to residue in cargo containers.  (available at:  http://thomas.loc.gov ).


Containers.  Text of S 989 introduced April 16 by Sen. Coats relating to residue in cargo containers.  (available at:  http://thomas.loc.gov ).



Developing Countries


Commodities.  UNCTAD report on developing countries’ dependence on commodities.  (available at:  http://us6.campaign-archive2.com/?u=3592d5dcafd1b9278dd78095f&id=c6677f751b&e=50ef3b05da )  issued:  4/17/15.


GSP.  Alliance of Developing Countries statement on the Generalized System of Preferences program.  issued:  4/17/15.


World Bank.  World Bank/IMF Development Committee communique.  (available at:  http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2015/04/18/world-bank-imf-spring-meetings-2015-development-committee-communique )  issued:  4/18/15.



Energy


China.  Commerce Department statement on clean energy cooperation with China.  (available at:  http://www.commerce.gov/news/blog/2015/04/secretary-pritzker-and-deputy-energy-secretary-sherwood-randall-meet-chinese and http://www.commerce.gov/news/blog/2015/04/solarreserve-helping-expand-us-china-clean-energy-cooperation-combat-climate )  issued:  4/17/15.


Natural Gas.  Statement by Rep. Thompson on natural gas exports.  (available in the Congressional Record of April 15 ).



European Union


Government Procurement.  European Commission statement on trade and government procurement.  (available at:  http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/docs/2015/april/tradoc_153347.pdf )  issued:  4/17/15.


TPA.  Transatlantic Business Council statement on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  http://transatlanticbusiness.org )  issued:  4/16/15.


Trade Agreements.  European Union list of bilateral trade agreements.  (available at:  http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/docs/2009/august/tradoc_144247.pdf )  issued:  4/17/15.


Trade Balance.  European  Union current account balance.  (available at:  http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_STAT-15-4792_en.htm )  issued:  4/17/15.


Trade Policy.  European Commissioner for Trade Malstrom speech on trade policy.  (available at:  http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/press/index.cfm?id=1291 )  issued:  4/1/15.


Trade Policy.  European Commissioner for Trade Malstrom speech in France on trade policy.  (available at:  http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/press/index.cfm?id=1290 )  issued:  4/16/15.


TTIP.  Group of insurance associations statement on the TransAtlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.  (available at:  http://acli.org )  issued:  4/16/15.



Export Controls


Iran.  Justice Department statement on indictment for illegal shipments to Iran.  (available at:  http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/four-companies-and-five-individuals-indicted-illegally-exporting-technology-iran )  issued:  4/16/15.



Export-Import Bank


Awards.  US Export-Import Bank announcement of export awards.  (available at:  http://www.exim.gov/newsandevents/releases/2015/The-ExportImport-Bank-Announces-first-Recipients-of-Fiscal-Year-2014-Export-Awards.cfm )  issued:  4/17/15.



Fish and Fishing


Imports.  Customs Bureau announcement of tuna tariff-rate quotas.  (available at:  http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-04-20/html/2015-08979.htm )  issued:  4/20/15.



Food and Beverages


Cheese.  Commerce Department latest list of quota cheese.  (available at:  https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2015/04/20/2015-09030/quarterly-update-to-annual-listing-of-foreign-government-subsidies-on-articles-of-cheese-subject-to )  issued:  4/20/15.



Government Procurement


European Union.  European Commission statement on trade and government procurement.  (available at:  http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/docs/2015/april/tradoc_153347.pdf )  issued:  4/17/15.



Intellectual Property Rights


TPA.  International Intellectual Property Alliance statement on Trade Promotion Authority.  issued:  4/17/15.



Iran


Export Controls.  Justice Department statement on indictment for illegal shipments to Iran.  (available at:  http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/four-companies-and-five-individuals-indicted-illegally-exporting-technology-iran )  issued:  4/16/15.



Italy


US Relations.  Remarks by President Obama and Italian Prime Minister Renzi at the White House.  (available at:  https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/04/17/remarks-president-obama-and-prime-minister-renzi-italy-joint-press-confe )  issued:  4/17/15.



Japan


Trade Policy.  World Trade Organization trade policy review of Japan.  (available at:  https://docs.wto.org/dol2fe/Pages/FE_Search/FE_S_S009-DP.aspx?language=E&CatalogueIdList=131543,131535,131523,131524,131525,131542,131526,131533,131538,131541&CurrentCatalogueIdIndex=0&FullTextSearch= )  issued:  4/16/15.



Labor


TAA.  Statement by Rep. Kaptur on Trade Adjustment Assistance.  (available in the Congressional Record of April 16 ).


TPA.  AFL-CIO statement on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:

http://aflcio.org )  issued:  4/18/15.


TPA.  AFL-CIO statement on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  http://aflcio.org )  issued:  4/16/15.


TPA.  Communications Workers of America statement on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  http://cwa.org )  issued:  4/16/15.



Latin America


Economy.  World Bank report on Latin America’s economy.  (available at:  http://www.worldbank.org )  issued:  4/17/15.



Motor Vehicles


TPA.  American Automotive Policy Council statement on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  http://americanautocouncil.org )  issued:  4/17/15.



North American Free Trade Agreement


Statistics.  Datamyne report on trade in the North American Free Trade Area.  (available at:  http://www.datamyne.com/ )  issued:  4/16/15.



Services


TPA.  Aflac statement on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  http://aflac.com )  issued:  4/17/15.


TPA.  Coalition of Services Industries statement on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  http://uscsi.org )  issued:  4/16/15.


TPA.  American Council of Life Insurers statement on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  http://acli.com )  issued:  4/16/15.


TTIP.  Group of insurance associations statement on the TransAtlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.  (available at:  http://acli.org )  issued:  4/16/15.



Textiles


Imports.  Text of S 952 introduced April 15 by Sen. Ayotte to provide for zero tariffs on certain recreational outerwear.  (available at:  http://thomas.loc.gov ).


Imports.  Outdoor Industries Association statement on zero tariffs on certain recreational outerwear.  (available at:  http://outdoorindustry.org )  issued:  4/17/15.


TPA.  National Council of Textile Organizations statement on Trade Promiton Authority.  (available at:  http://www.ncto.org )  issued:  4/17/15.


TPA.  American Apparel and Footwear

Association statement on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  http://wewear.org )  issued:  4/16/15.


TPA.  US Fashion Industry Association statement on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  http://usfashionindustry.com )  issued:  4/16/15.



Trade Policy


TPA.  Text of the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 introduced April 16.  (available at:  http://waysandmeans.house.gov/uploadedfiles/tpa_bill_text.pdf ).


TPA.  House Ways and Means Committee announcement and background on the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015.  (available at:  http://waysandmeans.house.gov )  issued:  4/18/15.


TPA.  Statement by Sen. Thune April 15 on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available in the Congressional Record of April 15 ).


TPA.  National Corn Growers Association statement on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  http://www.ncga.com/news-and-resources/news-stories/article/2015/04/ncga-urges-swift-passage-of-trade-promotion-authority )  issued:  4/17/15.


TPA.  House Ways and Means Committee statements on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  http://waysandmeans.house.gov )  issued:  4/17/15.


TPA.  American Automotive Policy Council statement on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  http://americanautocouncil.org )  issued:  4/17/15.


TPA.  AFL-CIO statement on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at: http://aflcio.org )  issued:  4/8/15.


TPA.  Statement by Rep. Mike Kelly on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  http://kelly.house.gov )  issued:  4/17/15.


TPA.  Statement by Sen. Wyden on Senate Finance Committee hearing on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  http://finance.senate.gov )  issued:  4/17/15.


TPA.  Consumer Federation of America statement on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at: http://consumerfed.org

 )  issued:  1/17/15.


TPA.  Credo statement on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  http://www.credo.org )  issued:  4/17/15.


TPA.  Statement by Rep. Levin on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  http://democrats.waysandmeans.house.gov )  issued:  4/17/15.


TPA.  Sweeteners Users Federation statement on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  http://sweetenersusers.org )  issued:  4/17/15.


TPA.  US Council for International Business statement on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  http://uscib.org )  issued:  4/17/15.


TPA.  NDN statement on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  http://ndn.org )  issued:  4/17/15.


TPA.  International Intellectual Property Alliance statement on Trade Promotion Authority.  issued:  4/16/15.


TPA.  Microsoft statement on Trade Promotion Authority.  issued:  4/16/15.  


TPA.  American Association of Exporters and Importers statement on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  http://aaei.org )  issued:  4/16/15.


TPA.  International Dairy Foods Association statement on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  http://idfa.org )  issued:  4/16/15.


TPA.  American Soybean Association statement on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  https://soygrowers.com/committee-deal-reached-on-moving-trade-promotion-authority-forward-2/ )  issued:  4/16/15.


TPA.  Americans for Limited Government statement on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  http://getliberty.org/hatch-ryan-capitulate-to-big-labor-to-move-trade-authority/ )  issued:  4/16/15.


TPA.  Statement by Rep. Tim Ryan on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  http://timryan.house.gov )  issued:  4/16/15.


TPA.  Information Technology Industry Council statement on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  http://www.itic.org/news-events/news-releases/tech-group-iti-welcomes-bipartisan-trade-promotion-authority-bill-says-it-would-supercharge-us-economy-innovation )  issued:  4/16/15.


TPA.  American Farm Bureau Federation statement on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  http://fb.org )  issued:  4/16/15.


TPA.  Public Citizen statement on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  http://citizen.org )  issued:  4/16/15.


TPA.  Statement by Rep. Levin on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  http://democrats.waysandmeans.house.gov )  issued:  4/16/15.


TPA.  Transatlantic Business Council statement on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  http://transatlanticbusiness.org )  issued:  4/16/15.


TPA.  Bluegreen Alliance statement on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  http://bluegreenalliance.org )  issued:  4/16/15.


TPA.  Association statement on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  http://wewear.org )  issued:  4/16/15.


TPA.  US Wheat Associates statement on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  http://wheat.org )  issued:  4/16/15.


TPA.  Statement by Sen. Sanders on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  http://budet.gov.democrats )  issued:  4/16/15.


TPA.  Institute for Policy Innovation statement on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  http://ipi.org )  issued:  4/16/15.


TPA.  Intel Corporation statement on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  https://blogs.intel.com/policy/2015/04/16/intel-applauds-introduction-of-tpa-legislation/ )  issued:  4/16/15.


TPA.  Statement by Sen. McConnell on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  http://mcconnell.senate.gov )  issued:  4/16/15.


TPA.  AFL-CIO statement on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  http://aflcio.org )  issued:  4/16/15.


TPA.  Statement by House Majority Leader McCarthy on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at: http://www.majorityleader.gov/2015/04/16/free-trade-helps-strengthen-americas-economy/ )  issued:   4/16/15.


TPA.  Business Roundtable statement on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  http://brt.org )  issued:  4/16/15.


TPA.  Communications Workers of America statement on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  http://cwa.org )  issued:  4/16/15.


TPA.  Statement by Rep. Pocan on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  http://pocan.house.gov )  issued:  4/16/15.


TPA.  Retail Industry Leaders Association statement on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  http://rila.org )  issued:  4/16/15.


TPA.  Software and Information Industries Association statement on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  http://siia.net )  issued:  4/16/15.


TPA.  WeRHere Coalition statement on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  werherecoalition.org )  issued:  4/16/15.


TPA.  Coalition of Services Industries statement on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  http://uscsi.org )  issued:  4/16/15.


TPA.  Statement by Rep. Conaway on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  http://agriculture.house.gov )  issued:  4/16/15.


TPA.  House Speaker Boehner statement on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  http://speaker.house.gov )  issued:  4/16/15.


TPA.  Telecommunications Industry Association statement on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  http://tiaonline.org )  issued:  4/16/15.


TPA.  Statement by Sen. Carper on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  http://carper.senate.gov )  issued:  4/16/15.


TPA.  Business Forward statement on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  http://businessfwd.org )  issued:  4/16/15.


TPA.  Dairy Industry statement on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  http://www.nmpf.org/latest-news/press-releases/apr-2015/dairy-groups-urge-quick-congressional-action-new-tpa-legislation )  issued:  4/16/15.


TPA.  Technology industries’ statement on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  http://itic.org )  issued:  4/16/15.


TPA.  Statement by the Coalition to Stop Fast Track on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  http://coalitiontostopfasttrack.org )  issued:  4/16/15.


TPA.  Statement by Rep. Reichert on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  http://reichart.house.gov )  issued:  4/16/15.


TPA.  American Council of Life Insurers statement on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  http://acli.com )  issued:  4/16/15.


TPA.  US Fashion Industry Association statement on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  http://usfashionindustry.com )  issued:  4/16/15.


TPA.  US Chamber of Commerce statement on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  http://uschamber.com )  issued:  4/16/15.

TPA.  National Farmers Union statement on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  http://www.nfudc.org )  issued:  4/16/15.


TPA.  Democracy for America statement on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  http://www.democracyforamerica.com )  issued:  4/16/15.


TPA.  Trade Benefits America statement on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  http://tradebenefitsamerica.org )  issued:  4/16/15.


TPA.  Grocery Manufacturers Association statement on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  http://gmaonline.org )  issued:  4/16/15.


TPA.  National Pork Producers Council statement on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  http://nppc.org )  issued:  4/16/15.


TPA.  National Association of Manufacturers statement on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  http://nam.org )  issued:  4/16/15.


TPA.  Footwear Industries Association on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  http://www.fdra.org )  issued:  4/16/15.


TPA.  Statement by Sens. Cardin, Schumer, Stabenow, Menendez, Sherrod Brown  and Casey on Trade Promotion Authority.   (available at:  http://brown.senate.gov )  issued:  4/16/15.


TPA.  Statement by US Trade Representative Froman on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  https://ustr.gov/about-us/policy-offices/press-office/press-releases/2015/april/statement-us-trade-representative )  issued:  4/15/15.


TPA.  Statement by President Obama on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2015/04/17/president-obama-welcomes-italian-prime-minister-renzi-white-house and https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/04/17/remarks-president-obama-and-prime-minister-renzi-italy-joint-press-confe )  issued:  4/17/15.


TPA.  White House statement on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/04/16/statement-president-bipartisan-congressional-trade-priorities-and-accoun )  issued:  4/16/15.


TPA.  Agriculture Department statement on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?contentid=2015/04/0098.xml&contentidonly=true )  issued:  4/16/15.


TPA.  Commerce Secretary Pritzker statement on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  http://www.commerce.gov/news/press-releases/2015/04/statement-us-commerce-secretary-penny-pritzker-introduction-bipartisan )  issued:  4/16/15.


TPA.  US Export-Import Bank statement on Trade Promotion Authority.  (available at:  http://www.exim.gov/newsandevents/releases/2015/Bipartisan-Congressional-Trade-Priorities-and-Accountability-Act.cfm )  issued:  4/16/15.


What we’re covering this week –

   This is a slow week in Washington because of the Memorial Day holiday.  Congress is on break for the entire week.  European Union Vice President Andrus Ansip will be in town later in the week to discuss the EU’s digital single market proposal.

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

             ●          Thursday, the Brookings Institution sponsors a program on the EU’s proposed digital single market with EU Vice President Andrus Ansip.

             ●          Friday, EU Vice President Ansip holds a press conference.



Our  Blog


Updated:    4/3/15

 WTD’s

Friday Afternoon

Podcast

2015wtdpodcast0524.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.