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What we’re covering this week –

   

   US Customs and Border Protection holds its annual trade symposium this week.  In Geneva, negotiators try to wrap up work on the Environmental Goods Agreement by the end of the weekend.


             ●          Monday, the Eurasia Center and Eurasian Business Coalition hold a conference on doing business with the Eurasian Economic Union.

             ●          The Wilson Center sponsors a program on prospects for US-Brazil relations in 2017.  US Ambassador to Brazil Liliana Ayalde is among the speakers.

             ●          The 18th round of negotiations on the Environmental Goods Agreement gets underway in Geneva.

             ●          Wednesday, the Farm Foundation holds a forum on the next farm bill.

             ●          Thursday, US Customs and Border Protection holds its two-day East Coast Trade Symposium.


 Volume 25, Number 211                     Thursday, October 20, 2016

Trade Reports International Group

_________________________________________________________  

 Campaign 2016                                          

NAFTA Again

   In the third – and final – debate before the November 8 Presidential election, Republican candidate Donald Trump last evening again promised to renegotiate the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement to the benefit of the United States (WTD, 10/14/16).

 If renegotiation is not possible or cannot be achieved, the Republican candidate said the United States would “part” company with Mexico and pursue good trade agreements with other countries.

 NAFTA, Mr. Trump continued, has been devastating for the economy, putting thousands of American workers out of their jobs.

 Mr. Trump said Democrat Hillary Clinton – as First Lady and later as senator for New York – strongly backed NAFTA.

 The Republican candidate also charged that Ms. Clinton supports the TransPacific Partnership trade agreement – despite her denials.  Once having seen the details of the finished agreement, Ms. Clinton said she stood squarely against the deal, calling it inadequate on several fronts.

 The Democrat said she opposes TPP now, will not back it after the election and will stand against it once she is President.

Clinton and Enforcement

 Enforcement of existing agreements, Ms. Clinton confirmed, will be the center-point of her trade policy.  She will create the first-ever “trade enforcer” for the country.

 Ms. Clinton also focused on cheating by China – especially its illegal dumping of steel and aluminum on the US market.  Republican challenger Trump aided that cheating by buying low-priced steel from China to construct his own buildings.

 The debate was held last evening at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas.

 Debate moderator Chris Wallace started off the economic segment of the debate with a question to Ms. Clinton about allegations that she supported a hemispheric common market with open trade and open borders.  The Democratic candidate suggested that her speech, leaked by Wikileaks, actually referred to prospects for a hemispheric energy market.

 Ms. Clinton went on to blast the Russian government for interfering in the US elections.

       



Getting TiSA By End of Year

 The United States still hopes a plurilateral Trade in Services Agreement will be completed before the end of this year, but there are some challenges to meeting that goal – particularly from the European Union, US Trade Representative Michael Froman said yesterday (WTD, 10/11/16).

 Brussels and a few other countries participating in the TiSA negotiations are holding up the talks by insisting on a carve out for new services, the US Trade Representative told the Coalition of Service Industries annual conference in a pre-recorded interview.

 Washington continues to talk with Europe to see if it is possible to find a way forward on the issue.  But Brussels is having a “hard time articulating” why they believe new services should be excluded from most favored nation treatment, Mr. Froman commented.

 Europe argues the carve out is needed in order to maintain the right of governments to regulate new services as they develop.  No one is seeking to undermine any country’s right to regulate, but the EU has been unable to explain how a carve out can be done without discriminating against services exports from other countries, Mr. Froman said.

 TiSA members are scheduled to table revised market access offers on Friday, in advance of the next formal round of negotiations beginning November 2.

 Speaking on the same program, Deputy Assistant USTR for APEC Affairs Ken Schagrin said that an effort within the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum to create a “roadmap” for services liberalization also is facing challenges.  Negotiators are trying to conclude the roadmap so it can be presented to APEC leaders at next month’s summit in Peru.  But some countries are insisting on a lower level of ambition than the goal being championed by the United States of removing barriers to services by 2025.

 Some countries also are seeking more flexibility in opening their services market.  But Mr. Schagrin argued that 2025 should provide countries enough time for implementation.

       



A US Loss On AD

 Geneva – A World Trade Organization dispute settlement panel yesterday delivered a mixed verdict that largely favored China in its complaint against US antidumping measures on a range of its products – by relying on the illegal “zeroing” methodology for calculating dumping margins and the questionable practice of targeted dumping, WTD has learned (WTD, 12/4/13).

 China launched the trade dispute in December 2013 against the use by the Commerce Department of weighted average-transaction methodology in dumping margin calculations, treatment of multiple companies as a nonmarket economy-wide entity and the manner in which antidumping duties were determined.

 Products subject to the antidumping measures included machinery and electronics, metals and minerals – totaling some $8.4 billion in trade.

 The three-member dispute panel concurred with China that the application of differential pricing analysis involving the use of weighted average-to-transaction methodology in two of the three investigations was inconsistent with Article 2.4.2 of the antidumping agreement since it failed to take into account export prices for all purchasers.

 The United States also acted inconsistently with Article 2.4.2 by disregarding non-target prices below the alleged target price under the price gap test on certain oil country tubular goods and coated paper investigations.

 Commerce also was incorrect in using the weighted transaction-to-transaction methodology with “zeroing”.  The department failed to provide an explanation as to why the transaction-to-transaction calculation could not take into account the significant differences in the relevant export prices.

 The panel, however, rejected several claims by China that Commerce failed to properly find a pattern of export prices which differ significantly among different purchasers or time periods.

       



China’s GPA Offer

 Geneva – China is readying a revised offer to the World Trade Organization Government Procurement Agreement, WTD has learned (WTD, 10/3/16).

 At an informal Government Procurement Committee meeting yesterday Chair John Newham acknowledged progress made by China has been “slow but constructive.”  He asked members to step up consultations with Beijing.

 Several members reiterated their concerns about China’s overall pace of work for acceding to the GPA, underscoring the need for Beijing to come up with concrete new steps in the proposed new offer, WTD was told.

 China  is expected to include two more provinces, military procuring entities and possibly a few state-owned enterprises to its overall coverage, according to people familiar with the Chinese offer.

 The chair also indicated that Russia has confirmed its intention to make an Annex I offer by end of this year.

 Mr. Newham welcomed Kazakhstan as an observer at the meeting.

 Switzerland confirmed during the meeting that its internal procedures – intended to result in a harmonized system of federal and cantonal legislation – have been finalized by experts and will be sent to Parliament next month.

 Armenia explained its legislation to implement the latest revised GPA.  It said a price preference for suppliers from the Eurasian Economic Union would be applied only below the GPA thresholds.

 Australia recently submitted its revised offer.  Some members yesterday suggested the offer was close to being acceptable after the technical adjustments and clarification.  But a few members also expressed concerns with Canberra’s coverage at the sub-central levels as well as threshold levels at the sub-central government level for goods and services.

 The chair cited continued progress in the ongoing accession work of Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan.

       



Around the Globe

             ●          The European Commission believes it is unlikely that negotiations with the United States over a free trade deal will be completed under the current U.S. administration, a Commission source told Reuters on the condition of anonymity on Wednesday (WTD, 10/19/16).  It wants to preserve the interim status reached in negotiations between the European Union and the U.S. on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the source added.

 This would allow the Commission to continue negotiating with the next U.S. administration after President Barack Obama’s term expires in January.  The source said there has been some progress on some issues, which the Commission wants to preserve, instead of starting from scratch with a new U.S. administration.

 The U.S ambassador to Germany, John B. Emerson, told a German broadcaster on Tuesday that the two sides were close to bridging differences on many sticking points and that Obama would make a final push for a deal after the U.S. election on Nov. 8.

             ●          U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson said Wednesday that the national and state economies could suffer if the U.S. doesn’t join a global trade deal with countries that negotiated the Trans Pacific Partnership, the Wisconsin State Journal reported (WTD, 10/19/16).  They are among Johnson’s strongest comments yet to suggest he favors a trade deal with Trans Pacific Partnership nations. The issue has divided free-trade Republicans in the 2016 campaign from their standard-bearer, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who opposes the partnership.

 The comments from Johnson, R-Oshkosh, came in an interview with the Wisconsin State Journal editorial board.  Johnson repeatedly has declined to say if he supports the negotiated terms of the Trans Pacific Partnership, or TPP, which would create new trade ties between the U.S. and 11 other Pacific Rim nations. His election challenger, Russ Feingold, D-Middleton, opposes TPP and has chided Johnson for not taking a position on it.

 At the same time, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has walked back her past support for TPP to now oppose its current terms. Trump has highlighted his opposition to the deal -- a cornerstone of his presidential bid.  Johnson said Wednesday that “it’s incredibly important that overseas markets remain open to Wisconsin agriculture and manufacturing products.”  Moments later in the interview, Johnson, in reference to TPP, said he’s “more than happy to let the next president negotiate a better deal.  TPP represents about 40 percent of the world economy,” Johnson said, referring to the combined economies of nations included in the pact. “We don’t want to be on the outside looking in.”

 ●        A Wednesday poll from the Consumer Technology Association showed that most registered American voters are in opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the landmark trade agreement being roasted along the campaign trail, while having an overwhelmingly positive view about the benefits of free trade, the Business Insider reported.  While 42% of respondents to the poll support the TPP, President Barack Obama’s keystone of the “pivot to Asia” in American foreign policy that involves 11 other Pacific Rim nations, 56% believe free trade agreements lead to job creation in the US.

 The research, conducted for CTA by the data-analytics firm 0ptimus, which was provided exclusively to Business Insider, also showed that 72% of voters believe trade agreements help keep consumer prices low, 70% said it strengthens the country’s global leadership, and 64% said the agreements ensure other countries will be penalized if they don’t adhere to trade rules.  It also found that 63% of millennial voters support the TPP, while 63% of black voters and 60% of Latino voters support the agreement as well.

 The CTA poll surveyed 1,600 registered voters and has a margin of error of 3 percentage points.

 ●        The largest and second largest opposition parties in Japan boycotted a parliamentary meeting on the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade pact on Wednesday, in protest against remarks by farm minister Yuji Yamamoto, Jiji Press news service reported (WTD, 10/19/16). The ruling coalition forcibly opened a meeting of the House of Representatives special committee on the TPP, some six hours later than scheduled, after the Democratic Party and the Japanese Communist Party walked out.

 The session was joined only by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, its coalition partner, Komeito, and another opposition party, Nippon Ishin no Kai. They voted to hold a public hearing outside Tokyo on Monday. The DP has demanded Yamamoto’s resignation and is poised to toughen its stance on the matter, possibly threatening the government’s plan to gain Lower House approval for the trade pact by the end of the month. Yamamoto has been under fire for signaling the possibility of railroading a proposal to ratify the pact. On Tuesday, Yamamoto said whether to forcibly hold a vote on TPP ratification at the special committee will be decided by Tsutomu Sato, chairman of the Lower House steering committee.

 Kyodo news service reported that Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Yuji Yamamoto apologized Wednesday for making a comment suggesting the ruling parties might railroad the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact through the Diet.  Yamamoto retracted the remark Wednesday afternoon before a board meeting of the lower house committee considering the free trade pact, which Japan and the United States inked with 10 other Pacific Rim nations in February. “I am sorry for making an inappropriate comment from (the perspective of) the government about something that should be decided in the Diet,” Yamamoto said.

             ●          Canada will fight U.S. softwood lumber tariffs in front of the World Trade Organization if a negotiated settlement can’t be reached, Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland says, according to Bloomberg news service (WTD, 10/13/16).  A tariff standstill expired last week and opened the door for U.S. industry to begin proceedings to add charges to Canadian lumber. The last softwood pact expired in 2015 and Canadian exports have since increased.

 Freeland, speaking Monday in the House of Commons, said the Canadian government is now taking a “two-track approach” – pursuing a negotiated deal while preparing for any WTO fight.  “We understand the way to get a great deal is to be prepared for the possibility there is no deal at all,” Freeland told lawmakers in Ottawa. “We want a good deal, not just any deal. And if we can’t achieve a negotiated agreement, Canada’s prepared to fight.”

 Freeland and her counterpart, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, pledged last week to continue to work toward a “durable and equitable solution” despite failing to reach a deal before the tariff standstill expired. Freeland addressed a portion of her comments directly to U.S. officials, saying “I want to assure them we are negotiating in good faith” while preparing for any WTO dispute.

             ●          Earlier this week Chicago-based Wheatland Tube, a division of Zekelman Industries, announced that Customs and Border Protection has decided to reject its petition alleging duty evasion by China on imports of circular welded pipe (WTD, 5/12/16).  This pipe is being used in solar projects, which may receive Federal tax breaks, the company said in a statement.

 Wheatland provided CBP with public import data demonstrating that the 56,774 metric tons of welded pipe imported by Company “X” from China since November 2015 were subject to the AD/CVD orders, requiring cash deposits in excess of $81.5 million.

             ●         US and Japanese officials yesterday met to discuss implementation and expansion of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum Cross Border Privacy Rules system, the Commerce Department reported.  Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Industry and Analysis Ted Dean met with Secretary General Mari Sonoda of Japan’s Personal Information Protection Commission.

 The CBPR system aims to facilitate trade and economic growth through enhancing electronic commerce and strengthening consumer privacy protections across the Asia Pacific region, Commerce said. The PPC’s recent decision to recognize the system as a mechanism for international data transfers in the implementing guidelines for Japan’s amended privacy law marks an important milestone for the development of the APEC CBPR system in Japan.  

 With Japan joining the United States as fully operational participants in the CBPR system, the continued expansion of the system across APEC countries will further enhance global trade and ensure that consumer privacy and data flows are protected throughout the APEC region, commerce said.

             ●        Belgium’s French-speaking Wallonia region will not approve the EU-Canada trade deal before a Friday deadline set by the EU, regional minister-president Paul Magnette has said according to the EU Observer (WTD, 10/19/16).  “We won’t be able to sign before Friday,” he told Belgian public radio RTBF on Wednesday morning (19 October), adding that he realised this would have political consequences.

 Magnette, a centre-left politician, said that the demand was “not reasonable” and denounced a “pressure agenda.”  Last week Wallonia’s parliament adopted a resolution opposing the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (Ceta).  Magnette said the agreement was now “unravelling” and that a few months were needed to “reopen the negotiation.”

 “An interpretative declaration is not enough,” he said, pouring cold water on EU effort to address Wallonia’s concerns through an annexe document to the treaty.

             ●          China and the European Union (EU) on Tuesday hailed the outcomes of a high-level trade dialogue in Brussels, Xinhua news agency reported from Brussels.  The sixth China-EU High-level Economic and Trade Dialogue was co-chaired by Chinese Vice Premier Ma Kai and European Commission Vice President Jyrki Katainen.

 Ma said the dialogue, since inception nine years ago, has played an important role in promoting bilateral economic and trade cooperation.  The sixth dialogue held on Tuesday deepens mutual trust, promotes pragmatic cooperation, and actively implements the agreements reached during the 18th China-EU summit and the G20 Hangzhou Summit, Ma said.  At the Dialogue, China and the EU reached consensus on cooperation on digital economy, third-party market and intellectual property rights.  China and the EU should further coordinate on macro-policies and join hands in developing their economies, Ma said, adding that they should also enhance cooperative work on trade and investment.

 Ma pointed out that as a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), the EU should fully fulfill its obligations under Article 15 of the Protocol on China’s accession to the WTO. Article 15 requires WTO members to stop using an alternative calculation method in anti-dumping investigations against China after Dec 11 this year.  Stressing that the EU pays high attention to the trade dialogue with China, Katainen said the bloc is willing to strengthen coordination on macro-policies with Beijing and will make efforts to fulfill the obligations aforementioned.

             ●         Faced with a deep recession at home, Brazilian President Michel Temer on Wednesday sought to lure Japanese investments, saying there is “much potential” in investing in the country’s airport, oil and gas sectors, Reuters news service reported.  Temer, making the first visit to Japan by a Brazilian head of state in 11 years, aims to repair ties frayed by his predecessor Dilma Rousseff, who twice cancelled official visits to Japan.

 “There are around 700 Japanese companies in Brazil. The goal of our trip (to Japan) is to promote trade, investment, and industrial relationships,” Temer told a Japanese business lobby in Tokyo.  Temer last month launched a sweeping plan to auction off licenses to operate oil and gas, electricity and infrastructure projects in an attempt to boost private investment and pull the economy out of Brazil’s deepest recession since the 1930s.  His centre-right government plans to sell concessions for private companies to operate airports and railways and build roads and port terminals needed to ship out exports by the South American agricultural powerhouse.

 Besides the aim of attracting Japanese investment in Brazilian infrastructure, Temer also hopes Japan’s markets will be opened to Brazilian commodities such as fresh beef and fruit.

             ●         Nearly 100 health, community and development organisations working in the Asia-Pacific region issued a call for trade ministers negotiating the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade agreement to “reject provisions that would negatively affect access to generic medicines,” Intellectual Property Watch reported (WTD, 10/12/16).  Negotiators are meeting from 17-22 October in China, and the concern is about the intellectual property chapter of the deal.

 In addition, a letter was sent to ambassadors based in India by the Delhi Network of Positive People and International Treatment Preparedness Coalition- South Asia (ITPC-South Asia), organisations “working with people living with HIV and HCV with an aim to achieve universal access to treatment and care.” According to the 95-group letter, the IP chapter of an earlier leaked draft of the agreement appeared to be lifted from the US-Korea free trade agreement and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. That draft showed that South Korea and Japan were “pushing for data exclusivity, a measure that could delay regulatory approval for medicines that are off patent, and provisions that will lengthen medicine patent monopoly periods. This will only serve to delay the market entry of affordable generic medicines,” the letter said.




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On the Web......

 

Asia-Pacific


TPP.  US Chamber of Commerce statement on the TransPacific Partnership.  (available at:  https://www.uschamber.com/above-the-fold/the-case-the-tpp-responding-the-critics ) issued: 10/19/16.


TPP.  Consumer Technology Association survey on the TransPacific Partnership.  (available at: http://cta.tech  ) issued: 10/19/16.



China


Antidumping.  World Trade Organization dispute panel findings on US antidumping duties on Chinese goods.  (available at:  https://www.wto.org/english/news_e/news16_e/471r_e.htm ) issued: 10/19/16.


European Union.  European Union statement on the EU-China economic summit.  (available at:  http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/press/index.cfm?id=1563 ) issued: 10/19/16.



European Union


China.  European Union statement on the EU-China economic summit.  (available at:  http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/press/index.cfm?id=1563 ) issued: 10/19/16.


Imports.  European Union statement on import defenses.  (available at:  http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/press/index.cfm?id=1564 ) issued: 10/19/16.



Korea (South)


US Trade.  Korea Economic Institute report on US-Korea trade by Congressional district.  (available at:  http://www.keia.org/page/congressional-trade-statistics-2016 ) issued: 10/19/16.



World Trade Organization


Market Access.  Draft 2016 report on market access by the World Trade Organization Committee on Goods.  (available at:  https://docs.wto.org/dol2fe/Pages/FE_Search/FE_S_S009-DP.aspx?language=E&CatalogueIdList=231997,231991,231989,232014,231995,231990,231992,231996,231994,231993&CurrentCatalogueIdIndex=4&FullTextHash=371857150 ) issued: 10/19/16.


TRIMS.  Draft 2016 report of the World Trade Organization Trade-Related Investment Measures.  (available at:  https://docs.wto.org/dol2fe/Pages/FE_Search/FE_S_S009-DP.aspx?language=E&CatalogueIdList=231997,231991,231989,232014,231995,231990,231992,231996,231994,231993&CurrentCatalogueIdIndex=3&FullTextHash=371857150 ) issued: 10/19/16.


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FRIDAY

AFTERNOON

PODCAST


Straight Talk.

Click the underlined text to hear snippets from WTD’s straight talk. (mp3 files)

 •  Watch President Obama slow jam on the TransPacific Partnership.

 •  Here’s what veteran Congressman Darrel Issa (R-Calif) says about the free-trade conundrum evident in the Presidential election campaign.

 •  Here’s what Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told NPR about working with the White House on Trade Promotion Authority.

  •  Campaign 2016  –  Here’s how Republican Presidential contender Donald Trump is at a loss to explain China’s positive reaction to his sharp criticisms.

 •  Here’s what New Democrat free-trader Rep. Henry Cuellar (Texas) tells WTD in an interview about trade and the upcoming elections.  

•  Here’s an introduction by Woodrow Wilson Center Director Jane Harmon -- a rare species known as “pro-trade Democrats” -- of US Trade Representative Michael Froman on the TransPacific Partnership.

•  Campaign 2016 -- Republican Presidential contender Donald Trump explains his China trade policy to a crowd on Iowa.

•  Campaign 2016 -- Here’s what Republican Presidential contender Donald Trump says about “Made in USA”.

•  Campaign 2016 -- Republican Pr-esidential contender New Jersey Governor Chris Christie says why he’s against the Obama TPP agreement.

•  Here’s why Democratic Presidential contender Hillary Clinton opposes the TransPacific Partnership.

•  A question to and answer from Republican Presidential contender Jeb Bush on the US Export-Import Bank -- and OPIC.

•  Here’s how Nucor steel company CEO John Ferriola describes the Chinese economic monolith.

•  Negotiating in Geneva -- or Can You Hear Me?  --  From chief WTO services negotiator Abdel-Hamid Mamdouh.

•  Here’s how the United States views the future of the Doha Development Round according to Deputy US Trade Representative Michael Punke.

•  Here’s a comment from Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker about why he doesn’t want to get into reauthorizing the Overseas Private Investment Corporation -- ala the Ex-Im mess.

•  Here’s a response from World Trade Organization Director General Roberto Azevedo at the Peterson Institute for International Economics on whether the Doha Development Agenda is a vampire.






2016wtdpodcast1202.mp3