Issue 61| May 22, 2015

Senate votes to consider 'Fast Track' Trade Bill

The Senate voted 62-38 to move forward on a bill that would give Obama "fast track" authority to negotiate, without the threat of congressional filibusters or added amendments, a massive 12-nation trade pact known as the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). The TPP, and the fast-track bill, which must precede it, has deeply divided Democrats and put Republicans in the unusual position of siding with the president. While the vast majority of Republicans support the trade pact, many Democrats oppose it saying it will cost American jobs and result in lowered middle class wages. Read more.


Nike says trade will help hire 10,000 people in the U.S.

The CEO of Nike made a bold prediction last Friday- if congress pushes a huge trade deal with 12, Pacific Rim countries, the company might create 10,000 jobs in the U.S. However, this statement is considered untrustworthy, as Nike has shown to experience massive job loss within the past year. According to Mark Muro, scholar at the Brookings Institution, any remaining low-skilled production is likely to disappear. The only remaining incentives for Nike to produce within the U.S. are low energy costs and the proximity to local engineers. Read more


California comes out a winner in Pacific trade deal 

After Senate Democrats abandoned the president earlier this month by blocking a vote on bipartisan Trade Promotion Authority legislation, they revisited their previous commitment and agreed to proceed on the bill. However, other California Democrats in the House, appear ready to leave the president during one of the biggest pieces of his economic agenda. By embracing free and open trade with our allies and by giving Congress a strong voice about how trade deals are negotiated, Californians can count on more jobs and more markets for their goods. Read more.


WTO blocks country of origin labels on meat

This past Monday, the office of the U.S. Trade Representative stated that the World Trade Organization (WTO) has rejected a final U.S. appeal, deciding that the U.S. "country of origin" labels put Canadian and Mexican livestock at a disadvantage. The Obama administration has already revised the labels to try to comply with WTO obligations. Agriculture Secretary, Tom Vilsack, has said that if the WTO ruled against the final U.S. appeal, Congress will have to weigh in to avoid retaliation from the two neighbor countries. Read more.


China Is investing billions in the U.S. despite tensions between the governments

According to a study prepared by the Rhodium Group, a New York research firm, to be released on Wednesday, Chinese companies have invested $46 billion in the U.S. since 2000, with most coming in the last five years. At the same time, geopolitical tensions with China have been rising. Washington is worried about China's construction of artificial islands and at least one military-grade airstrip on disputed shoals, as well as the country's deployment of multiple, independently targeted hydrogen bomb warheads. The Obama administration has also raised concerns about the new Chinese-led development bank. Read more



Five global banks to pay $5.7 billion in fines over currency manipulation

The Justice Department, in a high-profile investigation into the manipulation of currency markets, announced a $5.7-billion settlement that included rare criminal charges against five global banks.  Citi, JPMorgan, Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland Plc pleaded guilty to a felony count of conspiring to violate the Sherman Antitrust Act. Switzerland's UBS AG, which was granted immunity in the antitrust case, pleaded guilty to manipulating the global benchmark lending rate known as Libor, for London interbank offered rate. Read more.


China - Market Entry Strategies for U.S. Brands, June 10

Join the Global Initiatives Council and special guest speaker Frank Lavin, CEO of Export Now, to learn how U.S. companies can thrive in the Chinese business market. Many leading U.S. brands do exceptionally well in China, such as Nike, Levi's and Chevrolet; yet other U.S. brands find themselves struggling. As your brand examines entering or expanding in the China market, what are the considerations your firm should review to enhance the prospects for success in that rewarding, but challenging market? Register now or contact Jasmin Sakai-Gonzalez.

Compiled by Global Initiatives Interns Jordan Ulves and David Word.

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