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Catherine Treadwell Perry, Director of Government Relations
|ASA Advocacy Meets with White House Senior Trade Advisor
Last week ASA Advocacy met with a White House, Senior Advisor for International Trade at the International Trade Policy Committee Meeting hosted by the National Association of Manufactures. The ASA Advocacy team is an active member on this committee because trade with Canada and Mexico touches virtually every part of the U.S. economy. The USMCA will shore up our crucial North American trading relationships and level the playing field with Canada and Mexico.
It is no surprise to hear that the USMCA is the top priority when it comes to trade for the White House. The USMCA makes significant improvements to the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement and will spur growth and much-needed certainty within the critical North American market.
ASA Advocacy has started a grassroots campaign to urge Congress to pass the USMCA. Please click here to send a letter to your Senators and Congressman. We urge you to also forward the link to your employees, colleagues, family, and friends. Our voice is amplified with numbers!
However, there were a few topics that were brought up that, although still pertained to trade, were not about the USMCA. It was inevitable that the China and U.S. rival would be brought up. Is it likely that a U.S. and China agreement would go beyond basic tariffs and trade? The White House is hopeful, but there are security issues at stake due to China’s reputation for copyright infringement and stealing intellectual property. This causes national security and economic security to overlap. The administration is in constant contact with our trade allies to create a solution that can still recognize a market economy when you have players like China who disrupt the whole system.
You may not hear much about the aluminum and steel tariffs, also known as the 232 Tariffs, because the USMCA has been such a hot topic. However, they were brought up at the meeting. These tariffs are being used to help alleviate the overcapacity issue of these products. China has been flooding the market. The White House has been working hard in communication with other countries to find a fix for this issue because the goal of these tariffs is not the tariff itself, but for the U.S. to be able to compete fairly in the market with these products.
Whether you realize it or not trade effects your business and the most important thing you can do is to use your voice to let Congress know. ASA Advocacy is dedicated to being YOUR voice in the Hill and in D.C. Please contact Catherine Treadwell Perry, Director of Government Relations at firstname.lastname@example.org with issues that impact you!
- Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) is working to convince Georgia's Republican Gov. Brian Kemp to appoint him to the Senate when Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) retires at the end of the year, according to sources. Collins, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, has a national profile and ability to raise money that is attractive to Republican allies, as the Republican appointee would likely face an energized Democratic electorate in the state in the 2020 special election and subsequent 2022 election. (The New York Times)
- Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) said he will not run for re-election, announcing an end to his four decades in Congress and becoming the 15th House Republican to say he'll step aside. Also Wednesday, Rep. Susan Davis (D-Calif.) announced she would not seek re-election, making her the fourth Democrat who has decided not to run again next year. (The Associated Press)
- Rep. Bill Flores said he will not run for re-election in 2020, becoming the fifth Texas Republican to announce his retirement from Congress. Unlike several other districts where Republican lawmakers have announced their exits, the district Flores represents is reliably conservative and did not swing toward Democrats in the 2018 midterms. (The Texas Tribune)
- A panel of judges struck down North Carolina's political maps for the state Legislature and said they must be redrawn before the 2020 elections. The current maps were drawn in 2017 to replace maps that were drawn in 2011 - both of them created by the GOP-led Legislature - that had also been ruled unconstitutional. (The News and Observer)
- The Trump administration is developing plans to increase U.S. renewable fuel-blending quotas next year by 5 percent, according to a document obtained a media outlet and people familiar with the deliberations. President Donald Trump has yet to agree to the final details in the plan but had previously promised "a giant package" of changes for ethanol. (Bloomberg)
- House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said in a letter that Democrats will consider three bills to ban offshore drilling in most U.S. waters when Congress reconvenes next week. (The Hill)
- The Trump administration has presented its plan to overhaul the U.S. housing finance system, including privatizing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. A senior Treasury Department official said the agency "prefers legislation," but that "further reform should not and need not wait on Congress," a position that is likely to draw the ire of lawmakers, including Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and other Democrats. (Politico)
- Trade uncertainty will likely knock down U.S. economic output by more than 1 percent through early 2020, according to new research from Federal Reserve economists. The downward pressure on gross domestic product would have started to let up "had trade tensions not escalated again in May and June 2019," but additional uncertainty since then "may push down GDP further in the second half of 2019 and in 2020," the research said. (The Wall Street Journal)
- The U.S. trade deficit narrowed 2.7 percent to $54 billion in July, according to the Department of Commerce, the lowest it's been in three months amid an escalating trade war between the United States and China. The U.S. trade deficit with China increased 9 percent to $32.8 billion, or a decline of 1.7 percent to $29.6 billion on a seasonally adjusted basis. (Financial Times)
- The United States imposed new 15 percent tariffs on some Chinese goods, including clothing, tools and electronics, while China's retaliatory tariffs on soybeans, crude oil and pharmaceuticals also went into effect. China said that it has filed a complaint over the tariffs with the World Trade Organization.
- House and Senate are in recess
| || NEWS FROM STATE AND LOCAL |
- There is no state activity to report on this week.
The Wall Street Journal
The August employment report to be released Friday will provide the latest view of the economy’s health during a month of global economic turbulence and heightened Wall Street jitters. The labor market’s recent performance remains consistent with an economy that is expanding but at a slower pace than last year. Through July, employers were adding jobs at a healthy clip and unemployment was hovering near historic lows.
China’s Ministry of Commerce said recently that the leaders of the U.S. and Chinese trade talks held a phone call in the morning and agreed to meet in early October for another round of negotiations. Liu He, China’s top negotiator on trade, spoke with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, the Commerce Ministry statement said, according to a CNBC translation of the Chinese-language text.
The Washington Free Beacon
Sen. Kamala Harris, a democrat from California, called herself a "top-tier" candidate in July while mocking Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a democrat from Hawaii for her low polling, but in a new survey Harris leads Gabbard by less than the margin of error. Harris received just 5% support from likely Democratic primary voters in a new Economist/YouGov poll, down 4 points from the same survey last month. Gabbard was right behind Harris with 3% support, meaning Harris's advantage is within the poll's margin of error of 2.6%.
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