New Life for USMCA? both Democrats and Republicans work with USTR toward ratification before Aug

Key USTR officials negotiating the deal with Mexico and Canada are working both sides of the Capitol in an effort to ease concerns not only over the provisions of the pact but Trump’s ongoing tariff war with Mexico, Canada, Europe and China. Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her Democratic leadership team were upbeat about the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement as they left a meeting with Robert Lighthizer, Trump’s top trade official, saying he finally seemed to take heed of their demands to modify the trade deal. Some Congressional leaders believe it could be ratified  before August. Read more

USMCA Faces Mounting Resistance from Democrats, Labor

Apr 28, 2019. President Trump’s push to revamp North America’s trade rules is hitting a roadblock in Washington as Democrats and labor groups demand changes, dimming its chances of passage before next year’s presidential election. Read more

Like Toyota, Nissan to expand U.S. production to avoid North American tariffs under USMCA

TOKYO — Nissan Motor will start producing engines for a luxury crossover SUV in the U.S. to avoid tariffs under a reworked North American trade agreement (USCMA)  that requires 75% of a car’s parts to be locally sourced Read more

Toyota will “never leave” U.S., vows chief Akio Toyoda

Toyoda spoke at the U.S. capital at the invitation of the Economic Club of Washington, D.C., one day after the automaker announced $749 million in fresh investments in the country. As Trump weighs new tariffs on foreign-built autos, Toyoda said: “Regardless of the direction we go, we will never leave the United States. We will stay here.”

Toyoda came to Washington to emphasize the company’s contributions to the U.S. economy, ahead of trade negotiations between the U.S. and Japan set to start as early as next month.

The executive opened his speech by highlighting the 2018 induction of his grandfather and Toyota founder Kiichiro Toyoda in the U.S. Automotive Hall of Fame. He recounted the history of the automaker with a sense of humor, and thanked the U.S. for playing a key role in Toyota’s success.

View the video … Kiichiro Toyoda inducted into the U.S. Automotive Hall of Fame

Toyota raises U.S. investment by $3bn as tariffs loom

NAGOYA, Japan — Toyota Motor plans to invest nearly $13 billion in the U.S. over the five years through 2021, $3 billion more than previously pledged, as it boosts production there in a nod to President Donald Trump’s push to boost American manufacturing. Read more

TPP Ministers’ Press Conference in Atlanta, Oct 5, 2015

Watch the TPP Ministers’ press conference after the successful conclusion of the marathon talks in Atlanta, Mon, Oct 5, 2015 (59:46 min.) Read more

Marathon TPP talks in Atlanta to conclude on Sun, Oct 4

Autos and dairy seem to have been settled. Now only IP for biopharmaceuticals seems to remain. The U.S. has made a compromise proposal, moving from twelve years to eight, more than half-way to the Australian position of five years. U.S. congressional leaders have reminded negotiators that the TPP must be approved by U.S. Congress, along with eleven other legislatures.  TPA passed the U.S. House of Representatives with a 218 – 208 vote. Talks have been extended until Oct 4. Canada, Mexico, NZ Trade Ministers said they’ll stay until TPP is concluded. Japan’s Trade Minister said Read more

“We believe we are on track” to have a TPP deal, Canada’s Trade Minister Ed Fast

Canada’s Trade Minister Ed Fast said, “Canada is prepared to negotiate, to stay here until we have a deal. We believe we are on track to do so.” NZ Dairy Assn: “We won’t get everything we want, but in the end we’ve got to be reasonable.” U.S. Congressional trade leaders send letter to USTR asking for close consultations so that the deal will be approved by Congress. Companies, business associations, and four Canadian provincial agricultural ministers converge on Atlanta as the TPP conclusion appears near. Read more

Slow but sure progress in TPP Trade Ministers’ talks in Atlanta, Sep 30 – Oct 1 … or Oct 2 ?

Ministers will meet again on Thu, Oct 1, but no deal is seen likely before Fri, Oct 2, or maybe Sat, Oct 3. Auto sector rules of origin, dairy, IP for biologics remain the key issues. But there are indications of movements toward compromise on all three. Canada has proposed 50% TPP content for autos, lower than the NAFTA rules of 62.5% for autos. Japan has offered to accept higher percentages on auto parts. In addition, former NZ PM Helen Clark said it was “unthinkable” for NZ to be left out of TPP, while NZ Trade Minister Tim Groser said, “Is there a better alternative?” NZ Governments have “tried to negotiate FTAs with the U.S., Japan, Canada, and Mexico for 30 years and have completely failed. With these four giant countries , it’s this or nothing.” Read more

TPP talks near conclusion in Atlanta as dairy, auto, IP issues are sorted out

Japan’s minister responsible for the TPP negotiations, Akira Amari, has warned that failure to reach a deal in Atlanta could delay an agreement for years. “In order not to let the TPP negotiations drift about for another year or more, we want to make it the last ministerial session,” Amari said. Read more