USTR/US Trade Representative

  The Office of the United States Trade Representative and the National Economic Council today announced the appointment of United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai to the White …

Deputy United States Trade Representative Jayme White met last week with Mexico’s Under Secretary of Economy for Foreign Trade Alejandro Encinas ahead of the second USMCA SME Dialogue. During the meeting, Ambassador White reiterated concerns about the recent surge in U.S. imports of certain steel and aluminum products from Mexico and the lack of transparency regarding Mexico’s steel and aluminum imports from third countries, and encouraged Mexico to enhance its monitoring of Mexican steel and aluminum exports to the United States in accordance with the 2019 Joint Statement by the United States and Mexico on Section 232 Duties on Steel and Aluminum.

In a speech at Washington's CSIS, United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai outlined the Biden-Harris Administration's vision for a reformed World Trade Organization (WTO). The Ambassador emphasized the need for the WTO to adapt to contemporary challenges like climate change and non-market economic policies. She also reiterated that the rules governing the WTO should not be static but must be updated through ongoing negotiations among member states.

The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), through the Trade Policy Staff Committee (TPSC), publishes the National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers (NTE Report) each year. USTR invites comments to assist it and the TPSC in identifying significant foreign barriers to, or distortions of, U.S. exports of goods and services, U.S. foreign direct investment, and U.S. electronic commerce for inclusion in the NTE Report.

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR)  2023 trade enforcement priorities as spelled out in their annual report to congress outlines a continuation of previous initiatives, elevating labor and environmental standards, but continuing a staunch America First approach to national security priorities in dealing with multilaterla and bilateral disputes.

The Interagency Labor Committee for Monitoring and Enforcement received a Rapid Response Labor Mechanism (RRM) petition from a Mexican aviation union July 31. The petition, from Asociación Sindical de Pilotos Aviadores de México (ASPA), alleged retaliation against union members from Aerotransportes Mas de Carga (Mas Air), an airline based in Mexico City.

The Administration Thursday pulled the trigger on establishing a dispute settlement panel under the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement challenging Mexico’s ban on biotech corn. At issue is Mexico’s February 13, 2023 decree, banning the use of biotech corn in tortillas or dough, and the instruction to Mexican government agencies to gradually substitute the use of biotech corn in all products for human consumption and for animal feed.

The United States and Mexico announced yesterday they have agreed on steps to address worker rights violations at a Mexican denim factory that is one of Levi’s largest suppliers. The course of remediation will address denials of rights at the Industrias del Interior facility in the state of Aguascalientes.

The U.S. Department of Commerce and the Office of the United States Trade Representative have announced that a U.S. delegation will travel to Bangkok, Thailand, from September 10-16 for the fifth negotiating round of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF). In Bangkok, the IPEF partners will continue to make progress on negotiations towards high-standard outcomes under Pillars I (Trade), III (Clean Economy), and IV (Fair Economy).

The USTR is mandated by law to annually report to Congress on Russia's implementation of WTO agreements, including agreements on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures and Intellectual Property Rights, as well as its progress towards acceding to the Information Technology Agreement (ITA) and the Government Procurement Agreement (GPA). The USTR is currently soliciting public comments for this year's report to gauge Russia's compliance with the commitments made during accession. Specific areas of interest include import and export regulations, subsidies, standards, sanitary measures, intellectual property rights, government procurement, rule of law issues, trade facilitation, and other WTO commitment

The Administration is expecting a panel decision in a dispute with Canada over its dairy policy under US-Mexico-Canada Agreement later this summer or early fall, Chief US Agricultural Negotiator Doug McKalip said Wednesday. The Administration remains “laser focused” on the issue and will keep up the pressure until US dairy producers have the full retail access to Canada’s market promised in the USMCA, he stated. “This battle is not over.”

The Administration is concerned about the potential threat posed by China’s growing electric vehicles industry, Brian Janovitz, chief counsel for China Trade Enforcement at the US Trade …

The top US and European Union trade officials had a “direct and candid” discussion yesterday on negotiations to create an agreement governing steel and aluminum trade. US Trade Representative Katherine Tai and European Commission Executive Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis met in Brussels as the two sides seek to reach agreement on the proposed Global Arrangement on Sustainable Steel and Aluminum by October.

The U.S. Trade Representative has to submit a report to Congress regarding the operation of the Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI) on or before December 31, 2023. The deadline for the submission of written comments is 11:59 EDT on August 18, 2023.

The United States and Mexico announced a course of remediation to address denials of rights at the Goodyear facility in the city and state of San Luis Potosí. The announcement marks the fourth time the United States and Mexico have agreed on a formal course of remediation under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA)’s Facility-Specific Rapid Response Labor Mechanism (RRM).   The July 19th announcement follows a request the United States sent to Mexico on May 22, 2023, asking Mexico to review whether Goodyear was failing to provide workers with the beneficial terms of an existing sector-wide agreement (contrato ley) in place for the rubber manufacturing industry.

The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has implemented adjustments to the ten-digit statistical reporting categories in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). These alterations impact two exclusions reinstated in association with the Section 301 investigation into China’s Acts, Policies, and Practices Related to Technology Transfer, Intellectual Property, and Innovation, originally outlined at 87 FR 17380 (March 28, 2022).

The third negotiation round of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) began last week in Singapore. Participants aim to make significant progress throughout the year. Acting Assistant US Trade …

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) continues her crusade to highlight the ability of major technology corporations  to unduly influence ongoing negotiations on digital trade under the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework. May 2 the senator released an investigative report prepared by her staff charging that “BigTech” is using “revolving door hires to gain backdoor access to key US Trade Representative and Commerce Department officials to prevent new regulations that could curb monopolies.

Sushan Demirjian is the new Assistant US Trade Representative for Small Business, Market Access and Industrial Competitiveness, USTR announced yesterday. She has served at USTR since 2007, most …

The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement’s Interagency Labor Committee for Monitoring and Enforcement announced a report detailing actions taken to address workers' rights allegations at the Unique Fabricating facility in Querétaro, Mexico.

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