Issue 108 | June 21, 2019
Lighthizer Plans Call With Chinese Counterpart Ahead of Trump-Xi Talks

U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer announced his intention to contact Chinese Vice Premier Liu He at a hearing with a committee that oversees trade.  This announcement comes at a time when the U.S. and China have been renewing their aggressive trade tactics against each other. A day earlier, U.S. President Donald Trump had stated that he has organized a meeting with China's leader, President Xi Jinping, at the upcoming G20 summit in Japan. Lighthizer, who spoke positively about the Chinese negotiators, will also travel with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to meet Chinese officials in Osaka, Japan. Read more
 
Trump Plan Seeks to Double U.S.-Africa Two-Way Trade

The Trump administration's leading program in Africa, called Prosper Africa, has set a goal of doubling trade and investment in both directions between the developing continent and the United States. In order to avoid risk while investing, the plan will provide blended finance, loan guarantees and market intelligence. Mark Green, an administrator for the U.S. Agency for International Development, stated that the strategy will help to match U.S. companies with African supply and value-chain partners, and create blueprints for individual African countries on how to improve private investment. Read more
 
U.S. House Speaker Pelosi cites key problems in way of USMCA trade pact approval
 
Prior to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's arrival in Washington, D.C. to secure final approval for the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement, U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi went over several significant obstacles in the way of congressional approval of the immense trade pact. Speaker Pelosi stated that the deal had to be meaningfully different than the previous deal, North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). While speaking at a breakfast sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor, Pelosi said the main concerns with the deal were enforcement tools, labor and environmental protections and provisions on pharmaceuticals. She did not give a specific date when the House would begin legislation to approve the agreement. Read more
 
Mexico Ratifies Trade Pact with U.S., Canada
 
Mexico became the first country to ratify the new trade deal, which governs itself, the United States, and Canada. Its senate voted nearly unanimously in favor of the deal, called the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), the speedy ratification of which was praised by many. The U.S. and Canada are likely to face more challenges in passing the deal. Several members of the U.S. House have stated that they want to analyze the deal more closely, while U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has stressed the importance of quick approval. Mexico passed the agreement in the face of threats of tariffs from President Trump if Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador didn't reduce the flow of U.S.-bound illegal immigration from Central America, a threat that was later suspended. Read more
 
U.S. Warns British Firms Not to Use Huawei's Wireless 5G Gear

The U.S. has added Chinese company Huawei Technologies Co. to an export blacklist, which will hinder progress of U.K. wireless carriers which are using their equipment to build fifth-generation networks after the ban goes into effect Aug.19. This comes as several rival U.K. phone carriers are installing Huawei antennas in order to account for increasing data demand. However, the companies have notably decided not to use Huawei phones for their 5G launches, which U.S. Ambassador Rob Strayer, deputy assistant secretary for cyber and international communications and information policy claimed is due to their supply being in jeopardy. The White House asserts that Huawei is being used by the Chinese government to spy and disrupt vital infrastructure. Strayer said that carriers' estimates on the price of a Huawei ban are blown out of proportion. Read more
 
U.S. tells India it is mulling caps on H-1B visas to deter data rules 
 
In a move that heightens current tariff and trade conflict between the two countries, the United States has told India that it may enforce caps on skilled worker visas for countries that impose local data storage rules on foreign companies. The U.S. government proposal may lower the amount of Indians on H-1B visas via an annual quota to 10 to 15 percent, which would be a drastic decrease. The plan, which may target other countries as well, follows up on the Trump administration's pledge to combat stricter data storage rules around the world, which increases costs and slows development. The Indian IT sector would be the most impacted by this move, and officials are hurriedly attempting to figure out how this move could affect both countries. Read more
 
Compiled by Center for Global Trade & Foreign Investment intern Nicholas Collins.

For more information, contact Jasmin Sakai-Gonzalez, 213.580.7569.