Review Category : Blog

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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Visiting Nashville, Tennessee, U.S. Trade Representative Froman said the TPP would benefit exports of Tennessee whiskey makers, auto producers and the country music industry, as he continued the administration’s campaign to build support for Congressional approval of the TPP during the “lame duck” session. Tennessee’s whiskey exports were valued at $691 million in 2015, making up 65% of all U.S. whiskey exports. Import duties on spirits of up to 45% would be slashed under the agreement.

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The $1.5 billion of wind projects are expected to comprise both greenfield and partially developed sites, are intended to include co-operation with local and international developers, and will receive financing through a Mainstream and GE Energy Financial Services joint development agreement. The aim of the agreement is to compliment the 1GW initiative that GE and Ministry of Industry and Trade signed in May 2016 to accelerate large-scale Vietnamese wind project buildout.

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 Textiles, footwear and leather products made in Vietnam have been added to a list of goods produced using child or forced labor, compiled by the U.S. Department of Labor. The “List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor” or TVPRA list, mandated by the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act 2005, is released by the Department’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs every two years. The report is based on data from a survey released by the Vietnamese government and the International Labour Organization.

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Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer skirted a question about how he would vote on TPP, should it come to the floor this fall, by simply saying that it would not. “It’s not going to come to a vote,” When pressed, he added: “And neither Clinton’s for it. Trump’s not for it. The majority leader has indicated he’s not going to put it on the floor. It’s not coming to a vote.”

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