Issue 24 | July 6, 2012

Canada and Mexico to become new Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiating Partners
Canada and Mexico will become members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations following the successful completion of domestic procedures. They will join nine other countries, including the United States, on the TPP negotiations. The TPP aims to promote trade with the Asia-Pacific region and the Obama Administration hopes that these ties will support the creation and retention of jobs in America with increased exports to the countries of this region. The TPP has completed 12 rounds of negotiations and will complete the next round July 2-10. Read more.  


China decreases entry barriers for overseas investors
In an attempt to build up their capital markets, the Chinese government looks to lower entry barriers for overseas investors who are looking to purchase publically traded securities. The minimum requirement on assets will be lowered for companies wanting to obtain a license under the Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor Program and foreign investors will be required to have at least two years of experience, compared to the current five year minimum. The China Securities Regulatory Commission Chairman Guo Shuqing announced that he wants to restore confidence in the Chinese stock market and enforce stricter regulations over the over-pricing of initial public offering shares and insider trading. Read more.

Possible U.S.- E.U. trade agreement supported by President Barack Obama
The United States and the European Union are pushing for a free trade agreement to eliminate remaining tariffs and limit "non-tariff" barriers that hinder transatlantic trade. "Non-tariff" barriers include health and safety regulations that can delay trade for foreign businesses. Both sides also hope to negotiate a mutual acceptance of product standards so that products will not have to undergo tedious testing and approval in each country that the product is distributed. Although some progress is being made, officials from both countries are concerned that an agreement may not be made in a timely manner. Read more.
How the surface transportation bill will affect shippers
With the passage of the recent transportation bill, there come a number of changes that will affect freight movement within the United States. Included are changes to federal funding mechanisms for land and port infrastructure and the development of a National Strategic Freight policy. Additionally, trucking companies and freight forwarders will face additional costs geared toward improving safety and transparency in the industry. Read more.
Panama Canal Authority delays planned rate hikes
Rate hikes scheduled to take affect this month will be delayed until October due to the Panama Canal Authority delaying the two-step increases to provide carriers with more time to adjust. Canal authorities are working with shippers and other interested parties to implement the toll hikes that are designed to reflect the true cost and value of transit through the canal. Changes to the designation of vessels with certain cargo types are also being reviewed. Read more.
Compiled by Ashley Arikawa, Simon Huang and Devin Raymond, Global Initiatives Interns

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