Issue 60| April 17, 2015
Brewing trade battle in Congress

The debate over trade in Congress is expected to heat up as Senate Finance Committee leaders Orrin Hatch and Ron Wyden are prepared to introduce a "fast track" trade promotion authority bill with House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan. This piece of legislation, which will pit many Democrats and Unions against the White House, is crucial to Obama's ability to complete the Trans-Pacific Partnership pact. Union groups, environmental advocates and other opponents are prepared to pressure Congress to kill the bill, while farm and business groups are busy fighting for the bill as an opportunity to expand exports. Read more.

 

Potential benefits of expanding global trade

The United States has the most to gain from additional trade opening, as areas where we are most competitive, such as business services, are sectors where trade barriers are the highest. Service sectors like architecture, financial consulting, legal services and others provide twice as many U.S. jobs as manufacturing, and removing trade barriers could allow for stronger rules that prevent anti-competitive practices. Although there are many hurdles to pass regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, the success of these agreements could strengthen the competitiveness of the United States internationally. Read more.

 

U.S. Secretary of Commerce stresses importance of cybersecurity without barriers to trade 

During a visit to China, U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker spoke about the need to address cybersecurity threats without creating trade barriers, as China is now contemplating new cybersecurity regulations.  Pritzker indicated that the measures China is considering would create a lose-lose situation for China and United States, because American businesses will avoid the Chinese market and China will lose the opportunity to become an innovative economy without a broadly enforced intellectual property protection regime. Read more.

 

India should take mega-regional negotiations seriously   

India needs to be a part of defining new conditions in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) if it wants to have a strong presence in global governance of international trade. Although India is only a part of the RCEP negotiations, it will be required by companies operating in India to comply with international environmental and labor standards that will be set within the negotiations on the TPP and TISA.  As these mega-regional deals evolve, they will likely become the framework for future rounds of World Trade Organization negotiations, leaving India without a foundational voice if they don't participate. Read more.

 

U.S. Livestock exports to Mexico and Peru to resume 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture wrapped up negotiations in Washington D.C. last Friday to allow U.S. producers to export cattle for slaughter to Mexico and expand availability of U.S. fresh and chilled pork in Peru. Negotiations to end the trade dispute between the U.S. and Mexico have gone on since 2008, and similar negotiations between the U.S. and Peru have gone on since 2012. The USDA continues its push to eliminate all trade barriers to U.S. cattle stemming from past detections of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, better known as mad cow disease. Last year, U.S. farmers and ranchers exported a new record of $152.5 billion in food. Read more.

 

Dispute over U.S. poultry exports to South Africa threatens the African Growth and Opportunity Act

The U.S. and South Africa have failed to reach a deal on how much imported U.S. chicken can enter the country free of antidumping duties, threatening the renewal of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) which expires on Sept. 30. Senators John Isakson (R-GA) and Chris Coons (D-DE), both from chicken producing states, indicate the renewal of AGOA depends on greater access being given to U.S. chicken imports into South Africa.  As of now, the South Africa proposal would shrink South Africa's poultry industry by $66 million, while the U.S. proposal would shrink the industry by $175 million. Read more.

 

World Trade Week Kickoff Breakfast, March 5

 

For nearly 90 years, World Trade Week has been the most extensive and unique program of its kind in the country.  Join more than 600 executives and members of the diplomatic corps to commence a month-long celebration of world trade in Southern California.
Compiled by Global Initiatives Interns Michelle Dong and Benjamin Smith.

For more information, contact Aaron Borboa, 213.580.7583.