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World Trade Online
Presidential directives demanding trade actions have yet to produce tangible outcomes

December 29, 2017

Since taking office last year, President Trump has ordered a host of trade-related plans and reports to be completed by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and the Commerce Department, but the administration has not yet taken significant actions that can be traced back to those directives.

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World Trade Online
USTR still without a chief transparency officer after six months of NAFTA talks

December 29, 2017

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative remains without a chief transparency officer a year into President Trump's term and six months into the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

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Financial Times
A protectionist advance is far from inevitable

December 28, 2017

Every year for a decade or more, there have been dire warnings that this — this! — is the year in which the dams of international governance will break, and a flood of protectionism will inundate the world economy. The 9/11 attacks, the sustained episode of Chinese currency intervention, the collapse of the Doha round, the global financial crisis. Each was expected to pose a severe threat to trade. Each was much less damaging than feared.

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Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores
México profundiza el diálogo político con Canadá y las estrategias de cooperación trilateral

December 27, 2017

Durante 2017, el diálogo político al más alto nivel con Canadá tuvo un impulso sin precedente. Prueba de ello fue la visita oficial del Primer Ministro Justin Trudeau a México en octubre, así como las visitas de seis ministros canadienses a lo largo del año (Asuntos Exteriores, Recursos Naturales, Comercio Internacional, Transporte, Finanzas y Patrimonio Cultural)

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The Wall Street Journal
Deal Making Declines for Second Consecutive Year in Mexico

December 27, 2017

MEXICO CITY—Deal making by Mexican companies declined for the second year in a row in 2017 on concerns about the future of free trade with the U.S. and uncertainty related to next year’s presidential elections.

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World Trade Online
NAFTA won’t decide Mexico’s presidential race, analysts say -- but Trump could make it a major issue

December 27, 2017

When voters in Mexico head to the polls in July 2018 to vote in the country’s presidential election, the fate of the North American Free Trade Agreement isn't likely to be prominent in their decision-making, analysts say, but that could change if President Trump follows through on his threat to withdraw from the trade deal or antagonizes Mexico in other ways.

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New York Times
‘We’re Competing Against Everybody Just Like You’: Voices on Manufacturing in Mexico

December 27, 2017

At a time of uncertainty over the fate of the North American Free Trade Agreement, what does it feel like to work in a manufacturing plant in Mexico, where a surge of American companies have taken advantage of low labor costs?

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The Wall Street Journal
America’s Dairies Need Free Trade—Including a Better Nafta

December 26, 2017

Negotiators working to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement will meet in Montreal next month for another round of talks, but stark differences remain. As leaders of two of the largest dairy cooperatives in the Western U.S., we have some suggestions.

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World Trade Online
Congress departs without renewing GSP or passing MTB

December 26, 2017

Congress finished its work in 2017 without renewing the Generalized System of Preferences program or passing a Miscellaneous Tariff Bill largely because there was not enough time to move either, multiple sources told Inside U.S. Trade.

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New York Time
Mexico's Presidential Front-Runner a Wildcard for US Ties

December 23, 2017

MEXICO CITY — Mexico's leftist presidential front-runner is combative and unbending, and his personality-based campaign proclaiming honesty and fiery nationalism could set up a unique and combustible relationship with his northern counterpart should he win.

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World Trade Online
MacNaughton: NAFTA countries could reach ‘broad agreement’ by end of March

December 22, 2017

While the U.S., Canada and Mexico are unlikely to finalize all the details of a renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement by a self-imposed deadline in March, a “broad agreement on goals and objectives” is “absolutely” possible, Canada’s ambassador to the U.S. said this week.

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World Trade Online
Trump administration heads into 2018 without key USTR, Commerce, ITC officials

December 22, 2017

The Senate voted to confirm a slew of administration officials on Thursday, but two nominees for top Office of the U.S. Trade Representative slots were not among them..

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World Trade Online
Sen. Moran touts NAFTA at Senate hearing on freight movement

December 21, 2017

Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS) used a Senate hearing about freight movement on Wednesday to highlight the benefits of NAFTA and to question witnesses about what a withdrawal might mean.

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World Trade Online
Tax bill includes provision analysts believe could be an illegal export subsidy

December 20, 2017

The final version of the tax reform bill – expected to be finalized by Congress on Wednesday – contains a provision that links export performance to a lower tax rate, which analysts believe could create a prohibited export subsidy that would violate World Trade Organization rules.

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Washington Post
Mexico looks to Europe and beyond for free-trade allies as NAFTA falters

December 19, 2017

BRUSSELS — Mexicans want European customers for their cheese and orange juice. Europe’s manufacturers hope to sell toothbrushes and marble to Mexico’s growing middle class. And if Mexican revelers need some fizz to ring in the New Year, France wants it to be French champagne.

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World Trade Online
Lighthizer urges Senate Finance Republicans to help move trade nominees

December 19, 2017

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on Tuesday pressed Senate Finance Republicans to help ensure top trade officials are confirmed soon -- which Sens. John Cornyn (R-TX) and John Thune (R-SD) said could happen in a package if Democrats allow it.

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World Trade Online
Sources: U.S. auto rule-of-origin proposal designed to compel industry reaction, assistance

December 18, 2017

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative advanced its NAFTA automotive rule-of-origin proposal without first gathering underlying data to support it, sources briefed on the pitch told Inside U.S. Trade -- adding that USTR has said it developed the proposal hoping U.S. companies would provide the information needed to inform its approach in future negotiating rounds.

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World Trade Online
Mexico's chief negotiator says 'clear message' sent to U.S. in intersessional: '#nobacktracking'

December 16, 2017

The NAFTA nations are “entering a new phase” of negotiations after concluding an intersessional in Washington, DC, where Mexico sent a “clear message” to the U.S. about its trade priorities, according to Mexico's chief negotiator.

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World Trade Online
Tillerson to visit Canada next week to talk trade, other issues

December 15, 2017

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will head to Canada next week to meet with his Canadian counterpart, Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, and discuss trade and other issues with Canadian officials.

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World Trade Online
NAFTA energy efficiency annex completed, but U.S. says ‘serious’ engagement still lacking

December 15, 2017

While NAFTA negotiators this week “substantively” completed a sectoral annex on energy efficiency during an intersessional round of talks in Washington, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative said at its close that the U.S. remained unsatisfied with Canada and Mexico’s willingness to engage in “serious” negotiations

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Bloomberg
Nafta May Be on Track for an Unhappy New Year

December 15, 2017

The U.S., Mexico and Canada are heading into 2018 with no clear plan for saving the North American Free Trade Agreement.

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New York Times
Governors Look to Save Nafta Amid Washington’s Tough Talk

December 15, 2017

As the Trump administration continues to cast doubt on the future viability of the North American Free Trade Agreement, American business leaders, members of Congress and governors have paraded into the White House

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The Wall Street Journal
Mr. Trump’s Trade War

December 15, 2017

President Donald Trump has often been accused of being a protectionist. During the election campaign, he called for high tariffs on imports from China and Mexico, and in his inaugural address he said that, when it comes to trade, “protection will lead to great strength and prosperity.”

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Financial Times
US tax reform could hurt the peso, says Mexico central bank chief

December 15, 2017

Donald Trump’s proposed tax reform could hurt the peso. So says Alejandro Díaz de León, the new governor of the Bank of Mexico.

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World Trade Online
Sen. Johnson: Trump 'realizes' the economic damage a NAFTA withdrawal would do

December 15, 2017

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) said this week that he is confident the administration is aware of the damage a withdrawal from the North American Free Trade Agreement would do to the U.S. economy, citing recent meetings with administration officials in which he said senators delivered more direct pushback than in previous discussions.

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Reuters
Mexico plots open trade course to escape Trump's NAFTA threats

December 15, 2017

U.S. President Donald Trump’s ‘America First’ brand of economic nationalism is pushing Mexico to seek sanctuary in more open commercial ties elsewhere to soften the blow of a possible breakdown of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

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Reuters
Some Canada firms could move to U.S. amid NAFTA worries: survey

December 14, 2017

More a quarter of Canadian firms could move part of their operations to the United States amid uncertainty over the future of the NAFTA trade pact, the nation’s export credit agency said on Friday

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World Trade Online
Sources: NAFTA negotiators unlikely to close out chapters at intersessional

December 14, 2017

The U.S., Canada and Mexico are unlikely to close out any new NAFTA chapters during this week’s intersessional meeting even though some are ripe for it, sources told Inside U.S. Trade, saying that negotiators instead are trying to gain clarity on individual positions and teeing up a more dynamic round slated for next month in Montreal.

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World Trade Online
Flake: Without NAFTA, U.S. would be 'crippled by subsidies'

December 14, 2017

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) took to the Senate floor on Thursday to deliver a broadside against the prospect of a NAFTA withdrawal, contending that some “inexplicably” believe exiting the deal would benefit the U.S. and saying its end would leave the country “crippled by subsidies.”

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World Trade Online
Trade-skeptical Democrats ramp up pressure on Trump to replace NAFTA

December 13, 2017

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and other lawmakers this week called on the Trump administration to “open the doors” to U.S. workers’ demands as the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement progresses.

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World Trade Online
Sen. Roberts: I told Trump that farmers and ranchers are ‘his people’ at NAFTA meeting

December 13, 2017

Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS) on Tuesday said he has tried to impress upon President Trump that the farmers and ranchers who would be affected by a withdrawal from NAFTA are “his people.”

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World Trade Online
U.S. says it will not accept permanent solution on public stockholding at MC11

December 12, 2017

During the second full day of negotiations at the World Trade Organization’s 11th ministerial declaration, the United States told other members it could not accept a permanent solution on public stockholding for food security purposes, sources here said.

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World Trade Online
Sources: Republican governors plan White House visit to push for change of course on NAFTA

December 12, 2017

A group of Republican governors is planning a visit to the White House to make the case against a NAFTA withdrawal and to plea for a change of course in the administration’s approach to the ongoing talks -- a message they also plan to reiterate in a letter to President Trump, sources told Inside U.S. Trade.

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Bloomberg
Mexico to Discuss Security With U.S. in Parallel to Nafta

December 11, 2017

Mexico’s top diplomatic and interior officials will visit Washington this week to discuss security cooperation with their U.S. counterparts at the same time that negotiators work to overhaul Nafta, according to four people familiar with the plans.

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World Trade Online
Sources: U.S. would reject 'TPP-minus' interim disciplines on fisheries subsidies

December 11, 2017

The United States will not accept a deal on fisheries subsidies disciplines that is less ambitious than language in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, throwing cold water on prospects for a deal to put interim disciplines in place while World Trade Organization members work toward a more ambitious agreement for the 12th ministerial conference in two years

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World Trade Online
Lighthizer: WTO becoming too focused on litigation, must concentrate more on negotiations

December 11, 2017

.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on Monday told other World Trade Organization members the U.S. believes some members are inappropriately using the WTO’s dispute settlement system to gain concessions at the negotiating table.

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World Trade Online
Azevêdo to ask Lighthizer for political commitment to show flexibility at MC11

December 8, 2017

World Trade Organization Director General Roberto Azevêdo today will ask U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer for a “political commitment” and a display of “political will” to show flexibility during negotiations at the WTO’s 11th ministerial conference.

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The Wall Street Journal
Protectionism Is a Negative-Sum Game

December 8, 2017

The Trump administration’s recent actions on trade indicate a narrow view of what drives America’s economic success. The only way for President Trump to attain his bold economic growth targets is to cultivate the job-creating potential that global connections and international companies provide.

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Financial Times
Trump trade tsar wields power over WTO destiny

December 8, 2017

The painting hangs in the hall, or over the mantelpiece in the sitting room. Some of the details relayed by those who have seen it over the decades are in dispute. But not the painting’s existence or the subject: Hung in Robert Lighthizer’s home is a painting of himself.  “I said: ‘Bob, you have a large portrait of yourself hanging on your wall’”

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The Wall Street Journal
Sen. Fischer: Trump asked to meet again soon with GOP Senate group to discuss NAFTA

December 8, 2017

President Trump told a group of senators this week he wants to meet with them again in a few weeks to continue discussions about the future of NAFTA, according to one participant.

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The Wall Street Journal
Tear Down the Littlest Trade Barrier

December 7, 2017

With trade talks regarding the World Trade Organization and North American Free Trade Agreement under way, the Trump administration can help American exporters, especially small businesses, by urging other countries to relax a barrier on small trades.

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World Trade Online
Dispute settlement, procurement not on NAFTA intersessional schedule

December 7, 2017

NAFTA negotiators are not planning to address hot-button issues like government procurement and dispute settlement at an intersessional meeting in Washington, DC, that will begin on Dec. 9 and end on Dec. 15, according to a schedule obtained by Inside U.S. Trade.

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World Trade Online
Finance Democrats: Lighthizer offered no reassurance on NAFTA, said withdrawal decision is Trump's

December 7, 2017

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer this week failed to reassure Democratic members of the Senate Finance Committee that he could prevent a NAFTA withdrawal, several senators told Inside U.S. Trade -- and Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) said the USTR “acknowledged that agriculture is in big trouble.”

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World Trade Online
Industry says dropping NAFTA energy chapter would hurt the sector

December 7, 2017

Representatives from the U.S. and Canadian energy sector want the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to reverse its effort to eliminate the energy chapter in the North American Trade Agreement and instead seek to strengthen its provisions.

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Bloomberg
Canada Courts Labor Leaders With U.S. Resisting Nafta Proposals

December 7, 2017

The Canadian government is meeting with some of the country’s biggest labor groups to discuss Nafta as talks on the deal are set to resume.

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The Wall Street Journal
U.S. Panel Locks in Final Tariffs on Canadian Softwood Lumber

December 7, 2017

The U.S. locked in final tariffs on softwood lumber from Canada, ratcheting up economic pressure with a top trading partner and showing the Trump administration’s determination to punish what it sees as unfairly traded imports

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World Trade Online
Goldman Sachs economists expect Trump to announce NAFTA withdrawal

December 7, 2017

Economists at Goldman Sachs expect the Trump administration to announce its intent to withdraw from NAFTA in the coming months, according to a note published Wednesday

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Bloomberg
On Twitter, Farmers Are Begging Trump Not to Bail on Nafta

December 6, 2017

President Donald J. Trump was largely supported by American farmers during the election, even as he made a campaign promise to exit the North American Free Trade Agreement. But now many of those farmers are worried President Trump will follow through on that promise. And they are taking to Twitter to plead with him not to

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Bloomberg
Nafta Renewal Would Benefit Investors

December 6, 2017

The fifth round of negotiations to revise the North American Free Trade Agreement ended in acrimony in Mexico City on Nov. 21. Rather than just posturing to reach a better deal, negotiators from the U.S., Canada and Mexico appear to be hopelessly apart in their demands

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Bloomberg
Canada-U.S. Trade Deal Possible If Nafta Fails, Trudeau Says

December 6, 2017

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he would consider one-on-one talks with the U.S. on trade, if negotiations to update the North American Free Trade Agreement fail

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The Wall Street Journal
Ford to Move Electric Car Production to Mexico, Tags U.S. Plant for Driverless Car

December 6, 2017

Ford Motor Co. plans to produce a future electric car in Mexico rather than make it in the U.S., reversing plans announced in January to make its Flat Rock, Mich., assembly plant near Detroit its main electric-vehicle production site

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The Wall Street Journal
Mexico’s Auto Production and Exports Having a Record Year

December 6, 2017

Mexico’s production and exports of light vehicles this year through November have already surpassed the record levels set in 2016 as demand increases from the U.S. and Canada, auto industry officials said Wednesday

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World Trade Online
Commerce Committee Republicans press Ross on NAFTA and agriculture

December 6, 2017

Republican members of the Senate Commerce Committee, in a meeting with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on Wednesday, urged the administration to ensure that the agriculture industry benefits from a renegotiated NAFTA.

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World Trade Online
Graham: Trump showed interest in adding an energy 'component' to a new NAFTA

December 6, 2017

President Trump this week showed interest in the addition of an energy “component” to a retooled North American Free Trade Agreement, according to two senators who met with him on Tuesday.

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World Trade Online
Trump talks NAFTA with GOP senators as lawmakers grow warier about withdrawal

December 5, 2017

While President Trump on Tuesday met with GOP senators to hear their concerns about NAFTA, a meeting that “pleased” one senator who is particularly concerned about agriculture, lawmakers are growing increasingly concerned Trump may soon issue a withdrawal notice as a negotiating tactic -- especially now that he appears close to a legislative “win” on tax reform

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Politico
Talking trade with Trump

December 5, 2017

Several pro-trade Republican senators met with President Donald Trump on Tuesday to impress to him the importance of staying the course on NAFTA. U.S. officials have taken a hard line in the latest round of talks that just wrapped up in Mexico, raising fresh concerns that the negotiations could collapse and Trump could pull out.

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World Trade Online
Verheul: Canada ‘struggling’ to figure out what U.S. needs for a NAFTA ‘win’

December 5, 2017

Canada is having a hard time identifying what the Trump administration considers a “win” in the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, Canada’s chief NAFTA negotiator told members of Canada’s Parliament this week.

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World Trade Online
White House taps DiMicco, Duvall for top trade advisory panel

December 5, 2017

President Trump has picked former campaign trade adviser Dan DiMicco and American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall to serve on a panel of outside advisers chartered to offer guidance on trade policy and agreements to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.

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Politico
Tax reform holds Trump at bay on trade

December 5, 2017

Free traders were one group in Washington that breathed a sigh of relief when the tax bills began to come together in Congress, for reasons that have little to do with taxation rates

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World Trade Online
Report: Canada willing to deal with Trump administration on counterfeit imports

December 5, 2017

The Canadian government is in talks with the Trump administration over a renewed US demand that Canada crack down on imports of fake goods, CBC News reports.

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World Trade Online
Survey: Business economists see trade protectionism as a top 2018 economic risk

December 4, 2017

Business economists see trade protectionism as a top risk to the U.S. economy in 2018, according to a survey released on Monday.

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World Trade Online
Rights-holders coalition warns USTR on NAFTA safe harbor provisions

December 4, 2017

A coalition of U.S. rights-holder groups is warning against the inclusion of “overly-broad safe harbor provisions” in NAFTA and taking issue with the language on intellectual property rights in the updated negotiating objectives recently released by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative

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World Trade Online
Steel manufacturing group: Senate tax bill's passage should spark 232 action

December 4, 2017

The Senate passage of the tax bill on Dec. 2 frees up the administration to focus on the Section 232 investigation into the national security implications of steel imports, the Steel Manufacturers Association said on Saturday.

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World Trade Online
Sen. Moran: 'Every indication' that Trump 'is going to terminate NAFTA'

December 4, 2017

Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS) is “nervous” because he believes the administration is preparing to terminate NAFTA as a negotiating ploy.

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The Wall Street Journal
Canada’s Trudeau Says China Trade Talks to Proceed at ‘Proper Pace’

December 4, 2017

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday he was ready to forge ahead with formal talks toward a free-trade deal with China, but at “a proper pace” and with assurances any pact addresses the environment, labor standards and gender rights.

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World Trade Online
South Korea makes headway on KORUS requirements; ag groups urge Moon to take harder line

December 4, 2017

South Korea last week completed a second public hearing in accordance with its statutory requirements for renegotiating trade deals, advancing the process for U.S. and Korean officials to officially begin talks on the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement.

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Washington Post
Senate GOP tax bill passes in major victory for Trump, Republicans

December 1, 2017

Senate Republicans passed a $1.5 trillion tax bill early Saturday morning that bestows extensive benefits on corporate America and the wealthy while delivering mixed blessings to everybody else.

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Washington Post
Republicans’ tax bill still has some major hurdles to get over before it becomes reality

December 1, 2017

Now that Senate Republicans have passed a tax bill in the wee hours of Saturday morning, the hardest part is over. The Senate and the House of Representatives have both passed a version of a tax code rewrite

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Politico
Trump’s idea of new NAFTA deal is ‘take, take, take,’ Canadian envoy says

December 1, 2017

The United States promised Canada and Mexico a new "win, win, win" NAFTA deal, but the Trump administration's approach is more like “take, take, take,” Canada’s ambassador to the United States told POLITICO

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