Washington Update

August 18th, 2014
Stephanie Henry

Nominees for key Treasury and trade posts advanced on July 31, bringing the nominees one step closer to confirmation. The Senate Finance Committee reported to the full Senate Nathan Sheets’ nomination as under secretary for international affairs at the US Treasury Department – a post formerly held by Lael Brainard – and Robert Holleyman’s nomination as Deputy US Trade Representative, who would replace Demetrios Marantis. The Senate will need to confirm both nominations, but with Congress in...

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 22nd, 2014
US-China Business Council

Two nominees to fill vacant trade positions in the Obama administration got the green light on Wednesday from the Senate Finance Committee. Stephen Selig, nominated to be Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade, and Darci Vetter, nominated to be Chief Agriculture Negotiator at the Office of the United States Trade Representative, were approved by committee members unanimously by voice voice on May 21. The nominations now proceed to the full Senate for confirmation. The Senate...

May 22nd, 2014
US-China Business Council

The US House of Representatives is expected next week to vote on FY15 Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS)appropriations bill, which will fund many of the United States’ trade and commercial functions. The House Appropriations Committee report on the measure included several China-specific provisions, some of which repeat previous funding restrictions, but others of which are new.
 
Returning restrictions proposed by House appropriators include limits on the Office of Science and...

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...

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