Latest and Greatest on U.S. Trade


Tariffs: On October 15, Ways and Means committee members sent a letter, cosigned by 169 other House members, to the USTR pressing for the establishment of a tariff exclusion process for 10% tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports.


CPTPP: The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, formerly TPP, is on track to take effect after six nations filed notices of ratification. In mid-October, AustraliaNew Zealand and Canada completed domestic procedures to ratify the trade agreement. The US removed itself from the original Trans-Pacific Partnership in early 2017, but procedures to implement the trade agreement continued with the remaining eleven nations.


USMCA: Indiana State Department of Agriculture Director Bruce Kettler issued a statement regarding the deal’s impact to farmers and agribusinesses in the state. Indiana is considered a leader in agriculture and United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (formerly NAFTA) is regarded to be positive for the industry.


WTO: Thirteen trade ministers – including those representing the European Union, Japan and Canada – met in Ottawa in late October with the intent of revitalizing the World Trade Organization. They recognized three core areas “requiring urgent consideration”, and communicated a joint statement.


BUILD: The Better Utilization of Investment Leading to Development Act is a bipartisan bill recently passed by the US Congress. It will create a new agency, US Development Finance Corporation, connecting with the existing Overseas Private Investment Corporation, to jump start private sector investment in low and lower-middle income countries.


Trade Talks: On October 16, the White House officially notified Congress of the intent to negotiate trade deals with Japan, the European Union and the United Kingdom.


US-China: President Trump and China’s President Xi are expected to meet at the G-20 summit. The US has indicated it will only resume trade talks when Beijing presents a formal proposal to handle US complaints.


US-Philippines: On October 22, USTR Robert Lighthizer and Republic of the Philippines Secretary of Trade and Industry Ramon Lopez released a statement on trade collaboration.