Issue 105 | March 15, 2019
U.K. Lawmakers Reject 'No-Deal' Brexit, and Defy Theresa May Yet Again
Having twice thrown out Prime Minister Theresa May's plan for Britain's withdrawal from the European Union, the fractious British Parliament defied her again on Wednesday, worsening the power vacuum atop British politics just 16 days before the exit is scheduled to take place. Against her wishes, Parliament voted against leaving the European Union without a deal at any date, with members of her own government rebelling. Read more
EU sets out 10-point plan to balance China economic ties
The European Commission set out a 10-point plan on Tuesday for more balanced economic relations with China, urging EU leaders to back its ideas to curb Chinese state-owned enterprises and increase their guard against cybersecurity threats. The action plan marks a shift in the bloc's stance toward its top trading partner and will be put to EU leaders to discuss at their next regular summit meeting in Brussels on March 21-22, before an EU-China summit on April 9. Read more
China and U.S. to push back Trump-Xi meeting to at least April
Despite claims of progress in talks by both sides, a hoped-for summit at U.S. President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort will now take place at the end of April if it happens at all. China is pressing for a formal state visit rather than a lower-key appearance to sign a trade deal. U.S. stock index futures dropped on the news. China's offshore yuan extended its drop to as much as 0.51 percent, the most since Feb. 1. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer this week pointed to "major issues" still unresolved in the talks, with few signs of a breakthrough on the most difficult subjects including treatment of intellectual property. Read more
Brazil, U.S. to discuss meat, sugar, ethanol trade - farm minister
Brazilian agriculture minister Tereza Cristina Dias said on Tuesday that she will discuss U.S.-Brazil trade in meat, sugar and ethanol in talks next week between officials of the two countries. Dias, who will travel with President Jair Bolsonaro to the United States, said one of her priorities is to reopen the U.S. market for Brazil's fresh beef exports, which were suspended almost two years ago over safety concerns. The U.S. halted imports of fresh Brazilian beef in June 2017 after a high percentage of shipments failed to pass safety checks. Read more
After meeting with Lighthizer, New Dems eye path forward on USMCA

Following a meeting with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and several members of the New Democrat Coalition, Reps. Suzan DelBene (WA), Ron Kind (WI), Lizzie Fletcher (TX) and Derek Kilmer (WA) told reporters the goal was to ensure the deal's passage by August. Kilmer serves as the pro-trade coalition's chair and DelBene is a vice chair. Kind and Fletcher are co-chairs of the group's trade task force. If the deal is to be passed before Capitol Hill retreats in August, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) "is going to have to make a determination on the schedule around here if she sees an opportunity," Kind told Inside U.S. Trade. Read more
Lawmakers: U.S.-EU deal 'unacceptable' without agriculture
A bipartisan group of 114 House members sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer urging him to "insist" on including agriculture in trade talks with Brussels. EU trade officials have been adamant against including agriculture in the negotiations. The letter, led by Republican Reps. Jackie Walorski and Virginia Foxx and Democratic Reps. Ron Kind and Angie Craig, says "an agreement with the EU that does not address trade in agriculture would be, in our eyes, unacceptable." Lawmakers said a trade deal that "fails to include agricultural products would be deficient, significantly jeopardizing congressional support." Read more
Compiled by Center for Global Trade & Foreign Investment
For more information, contact Jasmin Sakai-Gonzalez, 213.580.7569.