Hung Tran

  • US-EU Trade Negotiations: Talking Past Each Other

    Since the July 2018 agreement between US President Donald J. Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker to start trade negotiations, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and European Commission Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström have met five times—most recently on March 6. They have yet to agree on the issues to negotiate. The European Union wants to discuss only tariffs on industrial goods and easing assessment of conformity with technical standards; the United States insists that agriculture must be on the agenda.

    Beyond the lack of an agreed upon agenda and, in particular, the difficulties of dealing with agricultural issues, the differences between the United States and the EU on the governance process and approach to trade makes speedy progress in the trade talks unlikely. Meanwhile, the clock is ticking: Trump has until May 18 to impose tariffs—probably at 25 percent—on US imports of cars and car parts. A Department of Commerce report,

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  • US-China Trade Deal Close, But Will it Actually Repair the Relationship?

    The Trump administration has suspended, until further notice, a scheduled tariff increase—from 10 percent to 25 percent on $200 billion of Chinese imports—citing progress in trade negotiations between Washington and Beijing. Reportedly, talks have focused on six areas: forced technology transfer and cyber theft, intellectual property rights, services (in particular financial services), currency manipulation, agriculture, and non-tariff trade barriers. If successfully concluded, these provisions will form a new binding trade agreement between the United States and China, but one that will not be subject to congressional approval, as negotiations were undertaken in the context of addressing China’s unfair trading practices referred to in US President Donald J. Trump’s order to impose tariffs by invoking Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974. Trump has set high expectations, wanting to hold a “signing summit” with Chinese President Xi Jinping at his Mar-a-Largo resort by the end of

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