Issue 54| September 26, 2014
TPP discussion between U.S. and Japan
Japanese Economy Minister, Akira Amari and U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Michael Froman met in Washington this week to tackle issues in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) bilateral negotiations. The discussion focused on solving the two country's disagreements about five farm product categories protected by Japan, including beef and pork. Japan and the U.S. are two of the largest players in the TPP discussions and the course of their conversations is key to completing the agreement. Read more.
Ratification process for Korea-Australia FTA begins  
This week, South Korea started its process to gain parliament approval for the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Australia. This agreement is expected to help South Korea industrial output increase by about $2.4 trillion won ($2.31 billion) over 15 years and reduce its trade deficit with Australia. The agreement will be in effect 30 days after the two countries inform each other of the conclusion of the ratification process within their own country. Read more.
South Africa aids in revitalizing multilateral trade  
The South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) is researching how to overcome current and emerging challenges in order to restore multilateral trade co-operation.  Some of these challenges include adapting to the rise of mega-regional Free Trade Agreements that may distract from participation in the World Trade Organization.  A new World Bank-funded project coordinated by the SAIIA is focusing on how these challenges can be overcome by hosting multiple round tables and dissemination events. Read more.
Long-term renewal for U.S. Ex-Im Bank 
The U.S. Export-Import Bank is pushing for a long-term extension of its charter as early as November after its previous renewal left the bank's future undecided.  Last week, congress extended the export credit agency's mandate through June 2015, the middle ground between conservative critics' bid to close Ex-Im and supporters' calls for a multi-year or event permanent extension.  Closing the bank would hurt U.S. companies that rely on Ex-Im financing to make sales and compete with foreign firms. Read more.
Farm Bureau's efforts to reduce trade barriers abroad 
Bob Stallman, President of American Farm Bureau Federation will lead a delegation to Europe to discuss efforts to increase trade through comprehensive agreements. The agreement will reduce or eliminate government-imposed barriers to agricultural trade. "Regulatory, barriers, particularly those not grounded in scientific standards, have limited the flow of agricultural trade between the U.S. and E.U. markets for too long," said Stallman. Even though there is a readiness for assurance of real action, the negotiations must reflect an important net gain for U.S. farmers and ranchers. Read more.
U.S. states exports to main countries 
Data collected from the U.S. Census Bureau point out that the majority of U.S. states export heavily to Canada compared to any other country.  In 2013, Canada was the most popular export market for 35 states with a sum of $300.2 billion in exports.  Main exports were vehicles, oil, machinery and natural gas. Six states export more to China compared to other countries. Four western states, California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas export more products such as electric machinery and copper to Mexico. Read more.

The Future of Trade: Digital Economies

Join the Global Initiatives Council for a special look at the latest implications of trade via e-commerce. Christine Bliss, assistant USTR for Services and Investment, Telecommunications and E-commerce, will discuss how the emergence of digital trade is both an opportunity and challenge to international trade, including privacy and online security measures. 

Register Now! 

Compiled by Global Initiatives Interns Michelle Dong and Ranika Perera .

For more information, contact Aaron Borboa, 213.580.7583.