February 22, 2020

Doha and Trade

I. Doha and Trade
II. Farm Bill
III. Ethanol

I. Doha and Trade

Reuters writer Doug Palmer reported yesterday that, “Trade promotion authority, also known as fast track, allows [U.S. Trade Representative Susan] Schwab’s office to negotiate trade deals that Congress must approve or reject without making any changes. It’s considered vital to the success of the Doha round of world trade talks.

“[At a House Ways and Means hearing yesterday,] Schwab said she was ‘cautiously optimistic’ of a breakthrough in the Doha round in the coming months. If that occurs, the United States will need trade promotion authority to implement any eventual deal, she said.”

“Trucks waiting to unload their cargo of corn line up at an ethanol plant in Marcus, Iowa.” (Picture and quote from U.S. News & World Report Online).

Washington Post writer Peter S. Goodman, who also reported on yesterday’s Ways and Means Committee hearing, added in today’s paper that, “Democrats, eager not to be painted as protectionists, have in recent weeks toned down their rhetoric, with leaders saying repeatedly that they want to see a new round of trade pacts approved. The Bush administration, keen to win congressional approval for recently negotiated pacts with Peru, Colombia and Panama and intent on securing deals with Korea and Malaysia, has been speaking of compromise on labor protections, the most contentious issue of the debate.

“But beneath that amiable talk, substantial disagreement remains over details, according to sources in the administration and on Capitol Hill and as evidenced by the sometimes sharp exchanges during yesterday’s hearing.”

To view a summary of Ambassador Schwab’s presentation before the committee, just click here.