Tag Archives: trade

NAFTA Modernization Talks – Round One Completed; Next Stop, Mexico

The first round of 5-day negotiations to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) concluded on August 20. In a joint statement released by trade officials from the United States, Mexico and Canada, they restated the commitment to updating the deal, continuing domestic consultations, and working on draft text. They also committed to a … Continue Reading

Tax Reform Efforts Continue; Section 385, BEPS Implementation Dominate Regulatory Agenda

Legislative Activity The Long March to Tax Reform Continues On June 24, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) released the House GOP’s Task Force on Tax Reform’s long-awaited tax reform “Blueprint,” which lays out the GOP’s tax policy agenda for 2017. Specifically, and as we discuss in greater detail in our alert, … Continue Reading

President Obama to Participate in the SelectUSA Investment Summit and the Global Entrepreneurship Summit; Congress to Examine the U.S. Economy

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden traveled to Orlando, Florida, last Thursday to meet with the families of the 49 victims of the shooting at a gay nightclub last weekend.  President Obama will participate in this week’s SelectUSA Investment Summit, which will be held in Washington, D.C.  Secretary of State John Kerry affirmed … Continue Reading

The House Armed Services Committee Marks-Up the NDAA, While the Full House Considers an MTB Reform Bill; A Senate Committee Marks-Up the DIGIT Act, While President Obama is in Germany at the Hanover Messe

President Barack Obama travelled to Saudi Arabia last week, meeting with Saudi officials on Thursday and attending the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Summit on Friday to discuss crises in the Middle East.  The President then travelled to the United Kingdom (UK), where he urged the UK to remain in the EU ahead of its June … Continue Reading

Senate to Vote on a North Korea Sanctions Bill, While the House Focuses on Oversight Hearings; President Obama Hosts Italian President Mattarella and Releases His Budget Proposal; With the TPP Agreement Signed, Republicans Warns of Slow Congressional Process

U.S. President Barack Obama hosted Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos at the White House last Thursday, while U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman signed the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal that day in New Zealand.  Some Republican Members warned that despite the U.S. signature the congressional process may take some time.  Last Tuesday, after missing an EU … Continue Reading

Washington Seeks to Protect the Homeland from the Rapidly Spreading Zika Virus; Ambassador Froman Heads to the TPP Signing Ceremony; Safe Harbor Negotiators Fail to Meet EU Deadline

Historic snowfall levels kept the U.S. Federal Government from officially reopening until Wednesday of last week.  President Barack Obama, however, met the day before with his health and national security teams to discuss the rapid spread of Zika and other mosquito-borne viruses in the Americas and steps being taken to protect U.S. citizens.  The President … Continue Reading

House to Vote on an Iran-Sanctions Bill and a Measure to Electrify Africa; Some Congressional Hearings to Focus on Countering ISIL and the U.S. Strategy for Syria and Iraq

The Senate was in session last week, while the House of Representatives remained in recess in observance of the Martin Luther King holiday.  On 16 January, Implementation Day of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran took effect, as did a prisoner swap.  Washington’s attention then quickly shifted to an impending historic blizzard … Continue Reading

Possible Announcement of a Comprehensive Deal with Iran; Greek Debt Crisis Still Unresolved; TTIP Negotiators Meet in Brussels; TPP Chief Negotiators to Meet at the End of the Month in Hawaii

Iran According to the press, the P5+1 negotiators and Iran plan to announce today that they have reached a historic deal that would address Iran’s nuclear program in return for sanctions relief. Though negotiators said that they had hoped to reach a nuclear agreement with Iran by last Friday, Secretary of State John Kerry announced … Continue Reading

Congress Scrutinizes Iran, as the Deadline for a Final Deal Approaches; Ceasefire Violations in Ukraine Continue; Congress to Hold Hearings on ISIL; The House is Expected to Turn to Trade Measures At Some Point in June

Vice President Mourns Death of Son Late on Saturday, 30 May, the White House informed the public that Vice President Joseph Biden’s son, Joseph R. “Beau” Biden III , passed away after a two-year battle with brain cancer. He was 46 years old. Iran Despite media reports last week that yet another delay may be … Continue Reading

Senate Foreign Relations Committee to Focus on Ukraine and the AUMF against ISIL; Obama Administration Still Holding on New Sanctions Related to the Situation in Ukraine; Senate Republicans Write an Open Letter to Iran’s Leaders

The Senate is in session this week, while the House of Representatives is in recess. Russia/Ukraine Crisis During a Wednesday hearing before the House Foreign Affairs Committee last week, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland said Russia would face new consequences should it: (1) continue “fueling the fire” in any … Continue Reading

Secretary Kerry Heads to Ukraine; President Obama Releases His FY 2016 Budget Request; Congress Focuses on Cuba

Russia/Ukraine Crisis Secretary of State John Kerry travels to Kyiv, Ukraine, on 5 February to meet with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin, and members of Ukraine’s parliament. Media reports indicate the Obama Administration may be reconsidering its position on providing Ukraine with lethal assistance, which is likely to be a topic … Continue Reading

Countering Extremism Summit Announced (18 February) in the Aftermath of Terrorist Attacks in France; President Obama to Host U.K. Prime Minister Cameron

Charlie Hebdo Terrorist Attack After the horrific terrorist attack last Wednesday on the offices of Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris, President Barack Obama spoke with French President François Hollande, expressing condolences for the loss of twelve civilian lives and solidarity with France. Countering Extremism On Sunday, the White House announced it will host a Summit … Continue Reading

Why Congress Should Pass Trade Promotion Authority

Following a dramatic end to the 113th Congress – which saw year-end compromises around defense spending authorization and the so-called “cromnibus” appropriations bill – President Obama and the newly-elected Republican majority in the Senate are under pressure to demonstrate to the American people their capacity to govern for the next two years. As the new … Continue Reading

Washington Hosts an Informal TPP Round as the 113th Congress Wraps Business

Russia/Ukraine Crisis Despite previous failed attempts to revive the Minsk ceasefire agreement, last week Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko announced the Government would observe a “day of silence” on Tuesday and that heavy weapons would be drawn down from the frontlines if the pro-Russian separatists maintained the ceasefire. Last Thursday, Vice President Joe Biden spoke with … Continue Reading

Congress Remains Focused on Iran, Ebola, and ISIL; President Obama Returns to Washington

Presidential Trip G-20 Summit. Over the weekend, President Barack Obama participated in the G-20 Leaders Summit in Brisbane, Australia. While the Summit agenda focused on the global economy, the global banking system and closing tax loopholes for multinational corporations, Western leaders also met and discussed the situation in Ukraine. On Sunday, the White House released a … Continue Reading

Washington Focuses on Crises: Iraq/Syria & Ukraine

Iraq/Syria Crisis Early last week, on Tuesday, President Barack Obama authorized the deployment of approximately 275 U.S. military personnel to provide support and security for U.S. personnel and the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.  On Thursday, President Obama provided the nation with an update on U.S. action in response to the Islamic State of Iraq in the Levant … Continue Reading

Negotiators Expected to Resume Talks with Iran; President Obama Outlines Broad Agenda for 2014 State Of The Union Address

Executive and Legislative Branch Activity Iran With the P5+1 interim agreement in effect (as of Monday, January 20), P5+1 negotiators are expected to resume talks with Iran next month.  House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Ed Royce (R-CA) issued the following statement on last Monday’s implementation of the interim nuclear deal: “The U.S. now begins suspending … Continue Reading

Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities Act of 2014 Introduced; Lawmakers Face January 15 Deadline to Pass Spending Bill

Executive and Legislative Branch Activity Iran As of last Friday, January 10, the bipartisan Senate bill (S. 1881) to increase sanctions on Iran had reportedly garnered a filibuster-proof majority – at least 60 Members supporting it.  While speculation is high as to when the bill will come to the Senate floor, many expect the bill … Continue Reading

Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Negotiations to Continue in 2014

Executive and Legislative Branch Activity Trade The third round of Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) discussions get underway this week in Washington. U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht are expected to meet in either January or February to start a “political review” of the progress made in the … Continue Reading

WTO Adopts Multilateral Trade Facilitation Deal; Mourning Nelson Mandela

Executive and Legislative Branch Activity Trade Over the weekend, the White House welcomed the news that the World Trade Organization (WTO) adopted a multilateral trade facilitation deal reached in Bali, Indonesia. The United States and India compromised on food subsidies, and a Latin American bloc led by Cuba dropped its opposition to an agreement. At … Continue Reading

Defense Authorization Act Heads to Senate Floor; Senators Introduce Syria Sanctions Enhancement Act; U.S. Negotiators for TTIP Indicate Flexibility in Financial Services Regulation

Executive and Legislative Branch Activity Defense Authorization The Fiscal 2014 National Defense Authorization Act (S.1197) is expected to come to the Senate floor this week. Speculation is high the Senate debate will be truncated in order to conclude before the Thanksgiving congressional recess. Iran Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry continued … Continue Reading

OPCW Confirms Syrian Government Met Deadline in Chemical Weapons Elimination Program

Executive and Legislative Branch Activity Iran The Senate is in session this week, while the House is in recess. The Obama Administration continues to urge the Senate to delay acting on new sanctions over Iran’s nuclear program. This week, the P5+1 Talks with Iran resume in Geneva, Switzerland (November 7-8). Syria The Organization for the … Continue Reading
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