Doha Lite, Currency Manipulation, Investor Litigation, Corruption, Tobacco Controls, Sovereign Debt, Foreign Taxation.

     China trade
     A broad range of trade issues have continued to be raised in different international forums including the TPP, TTIP, World Bank and the WTO. They include among others Doha Lite, Currency Manipulation, Investor Litigation, Corruption, Tobacco Controls, Sovereign Debt, Foreign Taxation.  Here is some additional information concerning international activity over the last few weeks ………………
  • The new Director-General of the WTO Roberto Azevedo is renewing the push for the conclusion of the Doha Round at Bali this December. He does not see an increase in regional or inter-regional arrangements as a threat to the multilateral system. “Roberto Azevedo Urges WTO to Reach $1tn global trade Deal in Bali.Financial Times (Sept. 10, 2013).
  •  France has raised legal issues concerning TTIP negotiations concerning  “Investor-State Dispute Settlement Mechanism” and government  procurement restrictions in the U.S. This reflects the  traditional French positions and is mostly unwarranted. “Trade  Talks Leave States at Risk from U.S. Lawyers.Financial    Times (Sept. 11, 2013). 
  • World  Bank sanctions are at a seven-year high after efforts by the bank to clamp down on fraud and corruption in the  projects it funds. The World Bank blacklisted 250 entities and individuals in the first       seven months of 2013. “World Bank Sanctions for Corruption.Financial Times  (9.16.13).
  •  The  issue of precluding tobacco controls from the free-trade provisions  of the TPP is now a contentious issue within the U.S.   Negotiations seem to be moving from a “safe-harbor  exemption” (to allow state controls with no right of challenge)  to only a presumptive or a voidable one (allowing states to contest            controls and requiring consultation prior to litigation). “Snuffing out Tobacco Exemption in the TPP.Washington Post (Sept. 18, 2013). 
  • The Financial  Times in an editorial declared “It is time (for Argentina) to grow up” concerning its international bond restructurings  and nationalizations. “Argentina Bondage.” Financial Times (Sept. 19, 2013). 
  • Momentous changes are set to start in July concerning U.S. taxation of foreign  income that imposes new requirements on foreign financial institutions. FACTA is the most recent development in the U.S. tax            policy that started in 2009 against UBS of aggressively enforcing  U.S. laws concerning foreign tax havens and bank accounts. “Offshore  Accounts: No Pace to Hide.” Wall Street Journal   (Sept. 21, 2013).
  • Statement   by the new Director-General of the WTO on the Bali Ministerial (as  to the Doha Round) concerning three potential deliverables (“Doha  Lite”). “Statement  by Azevedo as to Bali Ministerial.” WTO News (Sept.  23, 2013). His concern about becoming irrelevant in light of the   WTO’s failure to complete the Doha Round and negotiations of the TPP  and TTIP. “TPP & Ocean’s Twelve (and WTO).Financial Times (Sept. 24, 2013). 
  • The U.S.  Senate along with the House have been pressuring the Obama administration to include currency manipulation in the TPP talks. This is aimed primarily at Japan (“Abenomics”) but raises  issues of U.S. Quantitative Easing also.  “Currency Manipulation Should be Part of Trade Talks.Financial Times (Sept. 25, 2013).

About Stuart Malawer

Distinguished Service Professor of Law & International Trade at George Mason University (Schar School of Public Policy).
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