US Congressional Republican leaders made their pitch on February 1 and 2 for handling NAFTA renegotiation and border taxes. Trump’s earlier China commitments seem to have disappeared.
Though possibly temporary, the May 12 US Senate rejection of a proposal to speed up approval of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) also imperilled progress on other key trade issues – such as renewing of the AGOA programme, which expires on September 30. By late May 13, Senate deals seemed to offer greater likelihood of progress.
In mid-April American Democrat and Republican politicians announced an agreement designed to speed up US approval of the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). In a recent FlanaRant I explained why I’m still sceptical a TPP deal will pass into law soon – and why it won’t be the deal US retailers have been chasing.
The six-monthly US Treasury report on currency rates claims that China’s RMB “remains significantly undervalued” and that “China should allow the market to play a greater role in determining the exchange rate.”
The US President’s Trade Agenda released on March 4 says “in 2015, [the US] will conclude negotiations with TPP countries.” But the day before, Orrin Hatch, the Republican chairing the Senate Finance Committee, told reporters Congressional discussions on Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) – a legal procedure designed to speed its ratification – are “kind of stuck.”
Attempts to create a US Congressional consensus for tabling Trade Promotion Authority legislation had made little progress by the end of February.
In a move probably aimed above all at US politicians, the US government announced on February 11 the first steps in a formal WTO case against Chinese export subsidies for seven product groups, including textiles and apparel.