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USTR Requests Comments on Possibility of Japan, Canada, and Mexico Joining TPP; Senate Finance to Meet with USTR on TPP

Textile Development Memo for December 7, 2011

In This TDM:

USTR Requests Comments on Possibility of Japan, Canada, and Mexico Joining TPP; Senate Finance to Meet with USTR to Discuss Expedited Trade Negotiating Authority for the Agreement

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative published three Federal Register notices today, December 7th, requesting comments on the possibility of Japan, Canada, and Mexico joining the TPP negotiations. The notices ask for comments that will assist USTR in determining whether these countries can comply with TPP’s “high standards for liberalizing trade and specific issues of concerns to the United States” on agriculture and manufacturing in particular. Comments are due by January 13th, 2012. The notices are linked below.

Japan 

Canada

Mexico 

In other TPP news, Inside U.S. Trade reports that U.S. Senate Finance Committee members are scheduled to meet with U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk in a “closed-door, executive session meeting” on December 8th, 2011, to discuss trade issues including expedited trade negotiating authority for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). This authority would allow the Administration to submit the final TPP deal to Congress for an “up or down” vote without amendments. This meeting comes after Kirk’s remarks last week in which he said that the Administration would seek this authority. [See Textile Development Memo for November 30]

According to the report, the U.S. House Ways and Means subcommittee on trade may schedule a hearing on the TPP negotiations during the week of December 14th.

U.S. and EU Announce Agreement on Mutual Recognition for C-TPAT and AEO

On December 5, 2011, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the European Union Taxation and Customs Union Directorate announced a Mutual Recognition Agreement to be signed in the spring of 2012. Once implemented, this agreement will provide reciprocal benefits between the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) and the EU Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) program. CBP Assistant Commissioner Thomas Winkowski said regarding the agreement, “The U.S. and European Union are one step closer to a mutual recognition decision that will facilitate trade while increasing security of the global supply chain.”

The negotiations for the deal began in 2007, and it has received strong support from U.S. firms as a measure to streamline trade between the U.S. and the EU. U.S. Customs officials previously reported that negotiations were complicated by the need to include all 27 EU nations.

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