Posts filed under ‘Free Trade Agreements’

Pushing the Free Trade Agenda

More than 400 business leaders from around the world took part in this year’s ICC World Business Summit. Organised by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, the 30 June event at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre attracted some of the leading lights in international business and economics. Speakers included Martin Wolf, Associate Editor and Chief Economics Commentator of the Financial Times; David Sokol, Chairman of MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company, a subsidiary of Warren Buffet’s investment conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway; as well as Chen Yuan, Chairman of the China Development Bank.

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Source: HongKongTrader.com

July 8, 2010 at 7:15 am

Legislation to Implement Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement Receives Royal Assent

The Honourable Peter Van Loan, Minister of International Trade, today announced that legislation to implement Canada’s free trade agreement with Colombia has received Royal Assent.

“I’m pleased that this free trade agreement with Colombia, a key market in South America, is now law in Canada,” said Minister Van Loan. “The agreement demonstrates our government’s commitment to an ambitious free trade agenda. The agreement will benefit Canada’s producers and exporters, reduce or eliminate tariffs on nearly all current Canadian exports, and provide a more predictable, transparent and rules-based trading environment for Canadian investors.”

The Canada-Colombia free trade legislation includes parallel agreements on labour cooperation and the environment. Under these agreements, Canada and Colombia agree to respect internationally recognized labour standards and principles, and to pursue high levels of environmental protection as the two countries intensify their commercial relationship.

Source: Canada News Center, Government of Canada

July 7, 2010 at 8:00 am

USITC LAUNCHES NEW INVESTIGATIONS ON POSSIBLE MODIFICATIONS TO THE NAFTA RULES OF ORIGIN

The United States International Trade Commission (USITC) is seeking input for two newly initiated investigations concerning proposed modifications of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) rules of origin.

The investigations, Certain Textile Articles Containing Rayon and Other Manmade Fibers: Effect of Modifications of NAFTA Rules of Origin for Goods of Canada and Mexico, and Certain Textile Articles Containing Acrylic and Modacrylic Fibers: Effect of Modifications of NAFTA Rules of Origin for Goods of Canada, result from a request by the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) in a letter received on July 30, 2009.

As requested, the USITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency, will provide advice on the probable effect of proposed NAFTA rules of origin modifications on U.S. trade and on domestic producers of the affected yarns and fabrics. Details on the products covered by the investigation can be obtained from the attachment to the request letter, which can be found on the USITC Internet site at http://www.usitc.gov/research_and_analysis/ongoing/certain_textile_nafta_roo.pdf.

The USITC expects to submit its advice to the USTR by November 30, 2009.

Further information on the scope of these investigations, the proposed rules of origin modifications, and the procedures for written submissions is available in the USITC’s notices of investigation, dated August 17, 2009, which can be downloaded from the USITC Internet site (www.usitc.gov) or by contacting the Secretary at the above address.

August 18, 2009 at 1:46 pm

Obama Administration Completes 2008 Annual Review of the Generalized System of Preferences

Washington, D.C. – Ambassador Ron Kirk announced today the outcome of the Obama Administration’s 2008 Annual Review under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program. The GSP Program, in 2008, facilitated $31.7 billion in imports of nearly 5,000 types of products from 131 developing countries.

In keeping with GSP’s goal to advance economic development, the Administration will issue waivers that will prevent 112 exports from 16 beneficiary countries, with a 2008 trade value of $290 million, from being excluded from the program because they exceed statutory import ceilings. The Administration is also expanding the program by adding two agricultural products to the list of products eligible for GSP duty-free export into the United States from all beneficiary countries. In addition, as a result of their success under the GSP program, the Administration has also determined that 12 products from six beneficiary countries are now sufficiently competitive in the U.S. market to no longer need GSP treatment.

The Administration conducts an annual review of the countries covered under the GSP program and products that are eligible for duty-free treatment under the program. The statute includes commercial thresholds and waiver provisions regarding imports of products. Interested parties also file petitions seeking changes in the treatment of countries and products.

In announcing these changes, Ambassador Kirk stated, “Expanded trade with the world’s developing countries is critical to boosting their growth, reducing income inequality, and providing people with hope for the future. The GSP program is an important step in helping to revive global trade and restoring our sense of faith in international commerce to help improve lives at home and abroad.”

Read Full Press Release

Annual Review – 2008 Results

July 9, 2009 at 8:00 am

Donohue’s Bogotá Speech Calls for Continued Action on Colombia Trade Agreement

U.S. Chamber President Says Burden Rests on Congress

Bogotá, Colombia-In a speech today before the Colombian-American Chamber of Commerce in Bogotá, U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue applauded Colombia as a vital trading partner and urged its political and business leaders to continue to press the U.S. Congress for action on the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement.

“Let me be very clear – the burden now rests on the Congress of the United States, on the government of the United States and on the people of the United States to pass this agreement,” Donohue said. “Every day of delay hurts American workers, hurts American companies, hurts American farmers – and it hurts Colombia too.”

Referencing the success of previous trade agreements, Donohue urged business leaders in Colombia to press the U.S. Congress for action on the agreement through increased lobbying visits to Washington. He also warned them to prepare for the baseless verbal attacks that their country will face as the agreement moves forward.

“Despite many distractions, let’s keep our eyes on the prize,” he said. “Do the hard work of getting ready, educating members of Congress about Colombia, and building support for the agreement.”

While in Colombia, Donohue met with President Álvaro Uribe and U.S. Ambassador William Brownfield. Beyond the trade agreement, he highlighted the Chamber’s support for an expedited, global economic recovery by supporting extraordinary action from Congress and the Federal Reserve, fighting protectionism and strengthening intellectual property protection.

Source: U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Western Hemisphere, Press Release, June 1, 2009

June 3, 2009 at 9:23 am

Understanding the Trade Policies of the New U.S. Administration

FT. MITCHELL, Fri. May 15 – According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Kentucky businesses added more than $22 billion to the local economy in 2005 by purchasing local goods and exporting manufactured merchandise to customers worldwide. However, recent administration changes relating to International Trade Policies have the potential of impacting this activity.

Speaker and author Les Glick, Porter, Wright and Morris, Washington D.C. and Ms. Ying Juan Rogers, Vice President, Kentucky World Trade Center highlights the affects of the changes Wed. May 21, 8 a.m. at the Newport Syndicate as part of the Northern Kentucky International Trade Association (NKITA) seminar, “Understanding the New U.S. Administration Trade Policies.”

“More than 90 percent of market potential is outside the United States and businesses are trying to keep up with a growing global competition,” explained Sylvia Dwertman, chair of NKITA, a program of the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.

In fact, more than one third of the Chamber’s members are engaged in international trade including large corporations with subsidiaries overseas and the small e-commerce business selling U.S. products to foreign buyers.

“We also have a large number of foreign investments that employ regional workers and pay taxes in the United States,” said Daniele S. Longo, vice president for Business Development and International Trade. “This seminar will help them understand how changes made at the federal level affect them.”

The event, sponsored by PNC Bank and DHL Express is supported by the European-American Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Cincinnati Chinese Chamber of Commerce, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the International Business Center and the Kentucky World Trade Center. Admission is $15 for Northern Kentucky Chamber Members and Partners; $25 for Future Members. Register online, http://www.nkychamber.com.

More information about this program is available by contacting Daniele S. Longo, (859) 578-6385.

May 19, 2009 at 9:24 am

Green Light for Free Trade Negotiations with Canada

The European Commission will lead negotiations for a new economic and free trade agreement between the EU and Canada, which would go beyond current WTO commitments and reinforce the already strong bilateral trade and investment relationship.

“The decision today sends a signal that the European Union remains committed to trade and open markets at a time of economic crisis and rising protectionist sentiment,” said EU Trade Commissioner Catherine Ashton on April 27.

Last year, trade in goods and services between the EU and Canada exceeded 70 billion euros and the total stock of investment stood at over 260 billion euros. Negotiations are expected to be launched at the EU-Canada Summit in Prague on May 6.

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May 5, 2009 at 1:53 pm

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