Review Category : Blog

President-elect Donald Trump will nominate lawyer Robert Lighthizer as U.S. trade representative, picking an experienced trade official who has questioned the conservative movement’s commitment to free trade. Experts say that veteran attorney Robert Lighthizer is uniquely qualified to transform the rhetoric into actual concrete policy. Where Robert Lighthizer differs from others  is his firsthand experience with the ins and outs of U.S. trade law.

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The Seafood Import Monitoring Program final rule to combat fish fraud and illegal fishing was issued on Dec 8, 2016. The rule requires that fish species most often passed off fraudulently or at risk of illegal fishing be tracked from their source of origin before they can be imported to the United States. It requires retention of supply chain data by the importer of record and extends an existing NMFS requirement to obtain an annually renewable International Fisheries Trade Permit (IFTP) to import the seafood and seafood products regulated under this rule.

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“The U.S. is not changing China’s status as a non-market-economy,” a senior U.S. administration official said in an interview. “China’s protocol of accession to the WTO doesn’t require the U.S. or any other WTO member to automatically grant China market-economy status after December 11, 2016.”

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As the year 2016 draws to a close, we sincerely thank AmCham companies, members, and business associations and government partners for their friendship and cooperation during the year in our efforts to help make Vietnam the best business and investment destination in Southeast Asia.

We wish you all health, happiness and prosperity in 2017, the TET Lunar Year of the Rooster, and the Year of APEC 2017 in Vietnam !

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There is a long forgotten but still intact statute that provides the President with broad tariff-setting authority. This authority, Section 338 of the Tariff Act of 1930 [Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act], is not mentioned in the “Overview and Compilation of U.S. Trade Statutes” published annually by the U.S. Congress. And although Section 338 has gone unused for decades, it remains on the statute books and is available to the president.

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President-elect Trump said he would withdraw from TPP on his first day in office. Japan’s PM Abe said the TPP would be meaningless without U.S. participation. House Ways & Means Chairman Kevin Brady, Trade Subcommittee Chairman Dave Reichert, and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch say TPP is still possible. Asked how he plans to persuade Trump to reconsider his stance on the Asia-Pacific deal, Hatch said, “well, I’m fairly persuasive sometimes.”

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President Obama has announced that he will no longer seek passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in Congress, leaving the fate of the treaty in the hands of President-elect Trump and the Congressional Republican leadership.

This matters for two reasons. First, within a decade, four of the five largest economies of the world will border the Pacific Ocean. The United States will be able to continue its global leadership role only if it retains an integral, active presence in the Pacific.

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Since the new Congress was sworn in on Jan 6, 2015, leaders of both the House and Senate have cited trade as a top bipartisan priority for the new year. In new U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) first official remarks, he noted the president has “already indicated a willingness to work with us on trade and infrastructure and comprehensive tax reform. Navigating the political pitfalls won’t be easy. But passing these types of things would represent a win for the American people.” In separate remarks, McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said they expect a bill on Trade Promotion Authority to be introduced soon.  The new leadership doesn’t guarantee passage, but it sidelines the biggest foe, former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV).[1]

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