Issue 106 | April 19, 2019
Japan, U.S. To Include Digital Trade In Trade Talks
Japan said Tuesday it has agreed with the U.S. to include digital trade in its negotiations for a bilateral trade agreement, which Washington views as a means to cut its trade deficit with Tokyo. Negotiations on trade included agricultural products and automobiles, and both sides have agreed to start talks on digital trade, an area including e-commerce, at an appropriate time. Additionally, Japanese economic revitalization minister Toshimitsu Motegi told U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer that Japan will not reduce tariffs on American farm products beyond levels the country has agreed in other trade pacts such as the revised Trans-Pacific Partnership and Japan-EU free trade agreement. Read more
 
China's Economic Growth Steady Amid Tariff Fight With U.S.
 
In an effort to reverse a looming slowdown, China's economic growth held steady in the latest quarter despite a tariff war with the U.S. China's economy expanded by 6.4 percent over a year earlier in the three months ending in March, the government reported Wednesday. That matched the previous quarter for the weakest growth since 2009. China's top economic official, Premier Li Keqiang, announced an annual official growth target of 6 to 6.5 percent in March, down from last year's 6.6 percent rate. Li added that the government intends to increase deficit spending this year to shore up growth. Read more
 
Steel Importers Ask Supreme Court To Review Trump's Tariffs
 
American steel importers are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review the constitutionality of a trade law provision that empowered President Donald Trump to impose duties on steel imports from around the world. The action comes after the steel importers lost the first round of litigation last month in the U.S. Court of International Trade, arguing that Section 232 of the 1962 Trade Expansion Act delegates too much of Congress' constitutional authority over trade to the president. The steel importers want to bypass appealing their case to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit because they believe only the Supreme Court has the authority to decide the issue. Read more
 
Mexican Senate To Debate Labor Reform Next Week
 
Mexico's Senate is about to begin deliberating the major labor reform law it must pass under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. According to Senate majority leader Ricardo Monreal, the goal is to pass the labor reforms by the end of the month. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has emphasized that the reforms are a domestic policy priority for his administration. Read more
 
U.S. Manufacturing Squeezed By Global Slowdown, Trade Pressures

American manufacturing production failed to bounce back last month after slumping earlier in the year. Output was stagnant in March after falling in the first two months of 2019, according to the Fed's data. Declines among wood products as well as motor vehicles and parts, both of which fell by more than 2 percent on the month, were the primary causes behind the slump in manufacturing output.
While the U.S. manufacturing sector is clearly pulling back from a robust 2018, it remains to be seen how sharp and persistent the slowdown might be. This sector is highly sensitive to shifts in global demand, making it a bellwether for the broader U.S. economy. Read more
 
E.U. Goods Trade Surplus With U.S. Grows, Deficit With China Widens
 
The European Union's trade surplus in goods with the U.S. increased to 21.6 billion euros in the first two months of 2019 while its deficit with China expanded to 37.8 billion -- figures that could increase global economic tensions. The U.S. has hit the EU with tariffs and threatened more in complaint over the trade balance. Both Washington and Brussels have also complained that China wants free trade without playing fair. Read more
How To Navigate Today's Global Trade Landscape
June 18, 2019
 
Join the Global Initiatives Council to hear from Ryan Patel, a senior fellow at the Drucker School of Management at Claremont Graduate University and frequent CNN commentator, for an in-depth discussion on how companies can remain competitive in a global marketplace complicated by constant economic and political fluctuations. RSVP here.
 
Compiled by Center for Global Trade & Foreign Investment interns James Benjamin Schiffbauer and Changyue Ma.
For more information, contact Jasmin Sakai-Gonzalez, 213.580.7569.