Washington Update

July 18th, 2014
Stephanie Henry

House committee talks China in hearing on WTO
 
China needs to make an “appropriate contribution” to negotiations on the Information Technology Agreement (ITA), according to Deputy US Trade Representative Ambassador Michael Punke at a hearing of the US House Ways & Means Trade Subcommittee on Wednesday. Punke told the subcommittee he’s hopeful that discussions will move forward before the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Senior Officials’ meeting in November, and said...

June 24th, 2014
Stephanie Henry

Assistant Secretary of State tells Senate US priorities for upcoming dialogue
 
A “new model” of US-China relations should not be"defined by strategic rivalry, but by fair and healthy competition…practical cooperation on priority issues, and by constructive management of our differences and disagreements,” Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Danny Russel said yesterday at a hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.  The hearing focused on regional...

May 28th, 2014
Stephanie Henry

The Obama Administration on Thursday announced it would nominate Bruce Andrews as Deputy Secretary of Commerce, filling a position previously held by Rebecca Blank.

Andrews has been Chief of Staff for the Department of Commerce since 2011. Prior to that, Andrews was General Counsel for the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. Andrews has also held positions with Ford, Quinn Gillespie & Associates, and with former Congressman Tim Holden (D, PA-17).

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May 28th, 2014
Stephanie Henry

The United States announced on Friday it had won a World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute against China over its imposition of duties on US auto exports. In bringing the case, the United States charged that China relied on limited and poorly-examined evidence, and did not adequately show that Chinese industry was harmed by US imports.

The case centered on China’s application of duties on US autos with engine capacities at or over 2.5 liters. China alleged that manufacturers of those...

May 19th, 2014
US-China Business Council

The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) today announced a US grand jury had issued indictments against five members of the Chinese military for cybertheft of US company secrets. China responded by suspending its participation in bilateral discussions on cybersecurity issues.

DOJ’s announcement, made on Monday morning in Washington, indicated that a grand jury in Pittsburgh handed down the indictments in relation to cyberespionage that occurred between 2006 and 2014 at five...

April 18th, 2014
Stephanie Henry

Continuing a 20 year-long trend, the US Treasury Department this week did not name China a currency manipulator, though said China’s currency remains “significantly undervalued.” In its Semi-Annual Report to Congress on International Economic and Exchange Rate Policies, the Treasury Department said China’s currency had appreciated 2.9 percent against the dollar over the course of 2013, but did not appreciate “as fast or by as much as is needed.” The report also raised concern over recent...

April 18th, 2014
Stephanie Henry

In a speech yesterday on the United States’ economic ties to the Asia-Pacific, US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker gave few new insights on US commercial engagement with China. Pritzker’s remarks at Johns Hopkins University’s SAIS campus underscored the importance of the region to the US economy, as well as initiatives like TPP and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation. On China, Pritzker noted China’s announcement at the Third Plenum to let the market play a “decisive role” in its...

April 3rd, 2014
Stephanie Henry

Members of the House Ways and Means Committee today asked US Trade Representative Michael Froman about the potential impact of the Shanghai Free Trade Zone (FTZ) on US-China trade negotiations, and raised concerns over China’s agricultural restrictions, currency, and participation in international trade negotiations during a hearing on the Obama Administration’s 2014 Trade Agenda.   

On the Shanghai FTZ, Froman noted USTR is monitoring the openings there closely, and remarked that the...

March 26th, 2014
Stephanie Henry

USTR Froman to Testify Before Congress

US Trade Representative Michael Froman will testify next week before Congress on the President’s trade agenda, according to news sources. Froman is expected to testify before the Senate Finance Committee on April 3, and the House Ways and Means Committee later in the week. 

The President’s 2014 trade agenda was issued in March, and highlighted trade priorities including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Transatlantic Trade and...

February 28th, 2014
Stephanie Henry

The Obama Administration on Wednesday nominated Robert W. Holleyman II as Deputy United States Trade Representative (USTR) with the Office of the US Trade Representative, which leads trade negotiations and coordinates investment policy on behalf of the Executive Office. Holleyman will manage the Asia-Pacific portfolio, assuming a role formerly held by Demetrios Marantis until his departure in May 2013. Since stepping down, Marantis’ position has been filled on an acting basis by Wendy Cutler...

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