|Trade News Archive: 21 April - 27 April|
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U.S. international economic and trade policy.|
|Sunday, April 26, 2015|
Goodyear to Build $500 Million Tire Factory in Mexico
Comment: "U.S. tire maker Goodyear will build a half-billion-dollar factory in central Mexico that will produce 6 million tires a year for customers across the Americas, the company said Friday.
Goodyear is the third auto sector company to make a major announcement in Mexico since last week, following a $1 billion investment by Japanese giant Toyota and a $2.5 billion project by U.S. automaker Ford."
Sen. Warren calls on Obama to declassify trade deal details
Comment: “As a result of your administration’s decision, it is currently illegal for the press, experts, advocates, or the general public to review the text of this agreement,” the letter says.
Warren claims in the letter that corporate executives and lobbyists have had opportunities to not only read it, but to shape the terms, and calls for the American people to have the same ability."
|Saturday, April 25, 2015|
Obama Defends Trans-Pacific Partnership Deal
Comment: "But memories of the decline of manufacturing and industrial jobs after the North American Free Trade Agreement was signed in 1994 have caused some unions to oppose the deal."
|Friday, April 24, 2015|
GOP confident on fast-track votes
Comment: “In fact, we do have the votes to pass the bill,” House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions told POLITICO this week. His remarks on Wednesday came before the Senate Finance Committee approved a trade promotion authority bill 20-6 with seven of 12 Democrats voting “yes,” meaning the Senate will have a filibuster-proof majority in favor of the bill, barring any Republican defections."
Senators: China Could Join Trade Deal Designed to Counter Its Influence in Asia Pacific
Washington Free Beacon
Comment: "Sens. Thom Tillis (R., N.C.) and Gary Peters (D., Mich.) sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman on Wednesday raising concerns about China’s potential inclusion in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). China has so far been excluded from the negotiations between the United States and 11 other countries on the TPP, which is widely viewed as an attempt to counter Beijing’s rising influence in the region."
|Thursday, April 23, 2015|
The Trans-Pacific Partnership Won't Help U.S. Manufacturers
Comment: "The TPP is emphatically not the answer. Instead, it’s simply the latest in a long line of trade deals (like NAFTA, China, CAFTA, South Korea, etc.) that have opened the door to predatory trade with countries that have only their own interests at heart.For example, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, and China continually engage in currency manipulation in order to gain an advantage for their exports. In fact, Beijing has used an undervalued Yuan to boost its trade surplus with the U.S from $83 billion in 2001 to $342 billion in 2014, costing the U.S. more than 3 million jobs.Similarly, Japan has intervened in currency markets 376 times since 1991 to increase exports."
China's shadow looms over Senate trade debate
Comment: “When giant corporations get to see the details [of trade deals] and the American people don’t, we all lose,” the Massachusetts Democrat said in a blog post, referring to a set of congressionally mandated trade advisory committees that allow selected business, agriculture, labor and other interest groups to weigh in on deals as they are negotiated. “Let’s level the playing field: no vote on fast-tracking trade until the public can read the TPP deal.”
Obama: Liberal trade critics ‘don't know what they're talking about’
Comment: "Obama delivered a fiery speech at the Organizing for Action summit in Washington, designed to enlist his base to support the fast-track trade bill his administration says is crucial to finalizing a pair of international agreements at the top of his agenda."
Senate committee passes fast track trade bill, but major challenges ahead
Christian Science Monitor
Comment: "Despite relatively strong support for the bill in the Senate Finance Committee – it passed 20 to 6 and now heads to the Senate floor – it faces fierce opposition from many Democrats in both chambers. In the House, a significant number of Republicans also oppose the bill, making that an even harder sell for the president."
U.S. House panel passes fast track trade bill
Comment: "The House committee's 25 to 13 vote in favor of the bill provided an exhibit of this unusual alliance, with only two of the panel's 15 Democrats voting for the legislation - much less support than it received in the Senate panel."
Congressional Panels Approve Fast Track for Trade Deal, With Conditions
New York Times
Comment: "House and Senate committees this week easily agreed to give President Obama fast-track authority to negotiate a sweeping trade accord with Pacific nations, but the package of bills intended to speed completion of the deal also imposes difficult burdens on its negotiators."
Senate panel rejects tough currency rules for fast track
Comment: "The Senate Finance Committee voted 15 to 11 against an amendment that would have allowed sanctions against countries that deliberately weaken their currencies to make their exports cheaper as part of a fast-track bill."
Obama: Democrats should back free-trade deals
Comment: "When it comes to free trade, many Obama supporters agree with the criticisms of Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. She noted that, at this point, Americans are not allowed to look at the details of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership with Asia."
U.S. lawmakers to again push currency rules for trade deals
Comment: "A list of Democratic amendments to be offered during Thursday's committee debate includes two requiring stronger currency manipulation measures in the bill, which sets a goal of directing trading partners to avoid manipulating currencies but leaves the Obama administration discretion on how to achieve that goal. Critics say that is not strong enough."
Merkley takes lead on 'made in U.S.' construction bill
Portland Business Journal
Comment: "Merkley joined follow Democrat Tammy Baldwin Wednesday in introducing the Invest in American Jobs Act. The bill would require those working on federally funded transportation projects to use American steel, iron and manufactured products when possible."
|Wednesday, April 22, 2015|
U.S. Senate panel approves tougher rules against currency cheating
Comment: "U.S. senators on Wednesday backed tough rules against currency manipulation by trading partners as part of a package of trade bills key to sealing a Pacific trade pact.The rules backed would punish currency cheating with import duties, despite warnings from the U.S. Treasury that such a move could open the door to retaliation against the United States.
A separate provision, approved unanimously by the Senate Finance Committee, opens the door to restricting government purchases from nations deemed to be manipulating their currencies or even blocking them from future trade deals."
Top House Democrat backs plan on currency sanctions in trade bill
Comment: "The statement followed Democratic Representative Sander Levin's announcement that he would offer an alternative to a trade promotion authority bill under consideration that does not require sanctions for currency manipulators.
"I support the Levin substitute," House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement."
Hill Dems to Hillary Clinton: Get off the fence on trade
Comment: "A number of Democrats say their party’s front-runner should lay out her views and concerns with the so-called trade promotion authority bill that’s now dividing their party. The bill would give Obama the ability to finalize trade deals and Congress an up-or-down vote, essentially preventing lawmakers from making any changes."
Hillary Clinton praises President Obama, but not on trade
Comment: "A Clinton spokesman on Friday said the deal must protect American workers and strengthen national security, but Republicans have been quick to say this amounts to a flip-flop from her support during her time in Foggy Bottom. In a 2012 speech in Australia, Clinton referred to TPP as “the gold standard in trade agreements to open free, transparent, fair trade, the kind of environment that has the rule of law and a level playing field.”
The trade deal, explained for people who fall asleep hearing about trade deals
Comment: "But the business community -- and therefore most Republicans and pro-business Democrats -- loves these deals, because they open up new markets. (And, in the past, because companies have been able to cut costs by moving jobs to, say, Mexico.) This led to the unusual spectacle this week of the Chamber of Commerce, which opposed Obama's reelection, arguing in favor of giving Obama fast track and the AFL-CIO, which backed his reelection, arguing against it."
Progressives ready big ad buy targeting trade deal
Comment: "The so-called Coalition to Stop Fast Track, which includes the AFL-CIO, declined to disclose its targets, but a coalition spokesman said the ad would be aimed primarily at members who had yet to take a public position on the proposal, known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership fast-track bill. It’s also set to run in Washington."
Dick Morris: TPP = Mass immigration
Comment: "The draft treaty, now under discussion among 12 Pacific Rim nations, including the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Vietnam and Japan, makes provision for needed labor to move across national boundaries without restraint. While much of the commentary on the deal has been focused on high-skill, white-collar migration, it could easily be interpreted as allowing farm workers and others to flow back and forth without legal regulation."
Jeb Bush knocks Hillary Clinton over Asia trade talks stance
Comment: "On Tuesday, Clinton said any trade deal "has to produce jobs and raise wages and increase prosperity and protect our security." Bush called those tests "poison pills" that amount to a change of position.
"I haven't changed in my view even though Hillary Clinton has," Bush wrote in a post on the blog publishing site Medium. "It is time to move forward as even recent Democratic presidents have recognized - and Sec. Clinton shouldn't stand in the way for political gain."
Trade bill key to Pacific pact clears Senate panel
Comment: "Fast-track authority could now go to the full Senate for a vote as early as next week, just as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is due in Washington to address lawmakers at a joint meeting of Congress, but it needs to be approved by the House of Representatives as well."
Democrats' trade spat becomes a full-on brawl
Comment: "O’Malley also took to Twitter. Shortly after Clinton spoke in Concord, N.H., on Tuesday, he tweeted a short video titled “Bad Trade Deals” and wrote, “When US jobs are on the line, it’s not a hard choice – it’s common sense.”
Trade is becoming wedge issue in Md.
Comment: "The liberal Democrat argued Van Hollen’s opposition to fast-track authority is a reversal meant to win over working-class voters, and that her record on the issue has been more consistent.
“Well, you know that you can’t just run for the United States Senate and then try to get right with the American worker,” Edwards told The Hill after speaking at an anti-fast-track rally on Capitol Hill."
Elizabeth Warren: Obama is the one who is wrong on trade
Comment: "Warren’s missive is the latest blow in an escalating fight between Obama and his fellow Democrats over what is expected to be the largest trade deal in history, covering more than 40 percent of global GDP. A number of progressive Democrats fear the deal could undercut U.S. wages and ship jobs overseas."
Obama’s fight for trade powers faces altered political landscape
Comment: “There’s a trust issue with the executive,” said Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.), who circulated a letter among House Republican freshmen in support of the trade deal. “The response that I would generally hear [among Republicans] was, ‘Hey, I don’t want to give this president, this administration, any more authority.’ ”
As Congress moves on trade bill, blowback shows the challenges ahead
Christian Science Monitor
Comment: “Let's send a loud message to our trade officials: No vote on a fast-track for trade agreements until the American people can see what’s in this TPP deal,” she wrote, referring to the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal being negotiated by the administration."
Obama's Republican Collaborators
Comment: "Why the capitulation? Why would Republicans line up to kiss the royal ring? Is Middle America clamoring for “fast track”? Are blue-collar workers marching in the streets to have Congress grant “Trade Promotion Authority Now!” to Barack Obama?No. Pressure for fast track is coming from two sources.First, the editorial pages of papers like The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post that truckle to the transnational corporations that provide the advertising revenue stream keeping them alive.Second, Obama is relying on Congressional Republicans who, for all their bravado about defying his usurpations, know on which side their bread is buttered. It’s the Wall Street-K Street side.Fast track is the GOP payoff to its bundlers and big donors."
Obama facing Dem revolt on trade push, Reid says ‘hell no’
Comment: "Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., a fierce opponent of the trade push, invoked a Senate scheduling rule to sideline the committee's actions for hours. "This job-killing trade deal has been negotiated in secret," said Sanders, who made a lengthy Senate speech denouncing the legislation."
Trade Wars: Obama vs Warren … vs Hillary?
Comment: "The Administration says I’m wrong – that there’s nothing to worry about. They say the deal is nearly done, and they are making a lot of promises about how the deal will affect workers, the environment, and human rights. Promises – but people like you can’t see the actual deal."
|Tuesday, April 21, 2015|
Top US Labor Group Raps Fast-Track Trade Authority
Comment: "If we eliminate currency manipulation, we have the chance to gain almost six million jobs," Trumka told the Senate Finance Committee, which is scheduled to hold a vote on the TPA bill on Wednesday."
Deal on Trade Pact Gives Obama Authority but Builds In a Delay
New York Times
Comment: "Republican lawmakers and the White House have agreed to subject any trade deal negotiated by President Obama to a monthslong review by Congress and the public, a concession aimed at winning the support of Democrats who view trade agreements as a threat to American workers."
U.S. Senator Reid warns against moving too fast on trade bill
Comment: "Another top Democrat, Senator Chuck Schumer, said there was strong bipartisan support for a measure to discourage China from currency manipulation that could be part of the "trade promotion authority" legislation that is being considered by the Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday."
Clinton hedges on hot-button trade deal, amid pressure from left
Comment: "But Clinton’s fuzzy position on the new legislation has resulted in an array of critics -- from conservative PACs to potential primary challenger former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley -- suggesting she’s staying mum to gauge the political winds.They argue Clinton has already changed her positions on gay marriage and immigration reform, and coming out against the trade deal would be a clear reversal just days into her fledgling White House campaign."
Obama administration warns currency provisions could sink trade talks
Comment: "Our partners fear that a trade agreement with an enforceable currency discipline could constrain the ability of their monetary authorities to conduct appropriate macroeconomic policies, and that is a risk they are unwilling to take," Lew said in the letter made public by the Treasury."
Hillary Clinton hedges on trade deal opposed by liberals
Comment: "That fell short of an endorsement of the Trade Promotion Authority bill, which would give President Obama and Congress renewed authority to “fast track” approval of trade deals. That authority, which lapsed in 2007, would speed up two pending trade deals with Asia and Europe."
Trade war heating up among Democrats
Comment: "On the Republican side, most of the declared and prospective candidates hew to GOP orthodoxy in favor of free-trade deals. But the fissures also are widening on that side of the aisle as the fight for the Republican nomination gets underway and candidates give voice to grass-roots conservatives’ frustrations about the economy."
Obama: Warren 'wrong' on trade deal
Comment: "This is the most progressive framework for trade we have ever had," Obama said, saying the trade promotion bill contains strict labor and environmental protections."
Obama turns up the heat on trade
Comment: "A House aide said that, after seeing the White House whip dozens of Democrats to vote for the so-called “cromnibus” last year, there is an expectation that 30 Democrats could support fast-track or trade promotion authority (TPA), which would limit Congress to an up-or-down vote on trade agreements.Other trade experts peg the number closer to 20. Eleven members of the centrist New Democrat coalition have already issued a statement suggesting they’ll back the legislation."
Why the Pittsburgh City Council may speak out against a Trans-Pacific trade deal
Pittsburgh Business Times
Comment: "Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto said in a statement. "For example, they would override ‘buy local’ and ‘sweatshop-free’ ordinances like those passed by our democratically-elected City Council, they would give multinational corporations sweeping new powers to offshore jobs and profits, and they would limit the ability of sovereign governments to regulate environmental quality, land use, food safety, and telecommunications."