Government Policy

  • 2020-01-15 00:00

    --New EU Trade Czar's First Meeting With US Comes a Day After Phase One Signing

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The European Union's new trade commissioner Phil Hogan will meet with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer Thursday in Washington and seek to avoid a trade war over France's digital tax and farm subsidies.

    It's Hogan's first trip to the U.S. as the EU's trade chief, having served previously as Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development. The visit comes a day after President Donald Trump and top Chinese officials are due to sign a Phase One trade agreement.

  • 2020-01-07 16:10

    By Brooke Migdon

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - Distributors of European specialty foods and goods urged the U.S. Trade Representative to put an end to the digital tax dispute with France Tuesday, asserting the counter measures proposed by the U.S. government have little to do with the distribution of information or communication technologies.

    Hearing witnesses said the United States' proposed retaliatory tariffs of up to 100% on wine, cheese, handbags and other French products totaling $2.4 billion would threaten their bottom lines and cause consumer costs to skyrocket.

    "I can't think of a single instance where that cost wouldn't be passed on," said Joanna Rosenberg of Zwilling J.A.

  • 2019-12-12 19:44

    --White House No Comment On Talk On Breakthrough

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - While President Trump has signalled a deal with China, members of the U.S.

  • 2019-12-10 12:34

    By Brooke Migdon

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said Tuesday that the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement will "benefit all Americans" and will be a model for all future U.S. trade deals.

    "Thanks to President Trump's leadership, we have reached an historic agreement on the USMCA. After working with Republicans, Democrats, and many other stakeholders for the past two years we have created a deal that will benefit American workers, farmers, and ranchers for years to come. This will be the model for American trade deals going forward," a statement from Lighthizer's USTR said.

    House Democrats and Republicans reached an agreement on the revised trade accord Tuesday, with a vote expected next week, followed by a vote in the Senate.

  • 2019-12-03 15:55

    By Brooke Migdon

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - Donald Trump's imposing of tariffs on Brazil and Argentina is really an extension of his bigger fight with China and a message to factory and farm workers he needs in next year's presidential election, trade experts said.

    Trump announced tariffs on steel and aluminum imports Monday and said he was cracking down on currency manipulation and practices harming American farmers, after exempting the two nations last year from a national security review. With Brazil and Argentina already in economic turmoil, the political gains for Trump appear to outweigh the trade rationale, experts from the nonpartisan Atlantic Council said on a conference call Tuesday.

  • 2019-12-02 16:14

    By Evan Ryser

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee said Monday that the window of opportunity to ratify the replacement of the North American Free Trade Agreement in 2019 is closing.

    "The end of this year's legislative session is rapidly approaching. If a deal cannot be reached by the end of this week, I do not see how USMCA can be ratified in 2019," Senator Chuck Grassley said in the Senate chamber.

    The new NAFTA agreement, known in the United States as USMCA, was signed more than a year ago by the leaders of Canada, Mexico and the United States.

    "I've recently spoken with my colleagues in the House of Representatives and officials in the Administration," Grassley said.

  • 2019-11-27 14:00

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The following is the text of the summary section of the Federal Reserve's summary of economic conditions report, or Beige Book, released Wednesday:

    Overall Economic Activity

    Economic activity expanded modestly from October through mid-November, similar to the pace of growth seen over the prior reporting period. Most Districts reported stable to moderately growing consumer spending, and increases in autosales and tourism were seen across several Districts. In manufacturing, more Districts reported an expansion in the current period than the previous one, though the majority continued to experience no growth. The picture for nonfinancial services remained quite positive, with most Districts reporting modest to moderate growth.

  • 2019-11-20 14:25

    By Brooke Migdon and Alexandra Kelley

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - U.S. House Ways and Means subcommittee members criticized President Donald Trump's administration for circumventing Congress while reaching an initial trade accord with Japan, and said the deal needed to better assist American farmers.

    Members of Congress claimed Wednesday during a hearing on U.S.-Japan trade that consultations didn't take place before and during the U.S. Trade Representative's talks with Japan, as required under a 2015 act.

    "Sadly the USTR ignored our request for meaningful consultation while negotiations with Japan were ongoing," Ways and Means Chairman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) said in his opening statement.

  • 2019-11-18 12:20

    By Alexandra Kelley

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - U.S. House Democrats want to present a resolution Monday that would avoid a government shutdown by extending funding to Dec. 20, a spokesman for Representative Nita Lowey told MNI.

    A formal announcement from Congress may come out sometime later today, spokesman Evan Hollander wrote in an email.

    The bill will extend funding for the 12 annual spending bills, extending the deadline to prevent a government shutdown.

    House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer first announced announced a pending vote on a stopgap spending bill last week, saying the Senate needed more time to finish passing the remaining outstanding appropriations bills for the 2020 fiscal year.

  • 2019-11-08 15:47

    Democrats Seek to Avoid Shutdown, Trump Won't Rule One Out

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - U.S. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer agreed to a vote on legislation that would avoid a government shutdown as President Donald Trump declined to rule one out.

    Hoyer called the move necessary to give the Senate time to pass appropriations bills that fund all federal agencies. Hoyer wrote in a letter to Democrats he is "hopeful that we can finish our work and fully fund the government before the end of the year." The vote for the continuing resolution is expected to take place the week of November 18th, before a Nov.