For more information on how these developments may affect your business, please contact Nicole Bivens Collinson at (202) 730-4956 or via email.


The White House reports that during an April 2 phone call with Chinese President Xi Jinping, President Biden raised continued concerns about China’s unfair trade policies and non-market economic practices. He also emphasized that the U.S. will continue to take necessary actions to prevent advanced U.S. technologies from being used to undermine its national security without unduly limiting trade and investment. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Secretary of State Antony Blinken are expected to visit China in the coming weeks as part of an effort to further stabilize the bilateral relationship.

European Union

The U.S. and the European Union held the third Trade and Labor Dialogue April 4 in Belgium and focused on “how to ensure that the transition of [their] economies to climate-neutrality occurs in a successful, just, and inclusive way.” They also reaffirmed their commitment to cooperate to eliminate forced labor from global supply chains and expressed their intention to exchange information and share best practices regarding the implementation of their forced labor policies, including with regard to research and risk assessment. Officials agreed that discussions under the TALD have been important and urged that they be continued under the next U.S. and EU administrations.


The State Department announced recently plans to conduct a comprehensive assessment of Mexico’s existing semiconductor ecosystem and regulatory framework, which will serve as the basis for potential future joint initiatives to expand Mexico’s semiconductor industry to the benefit of both nations. State said this partnership will also support the work already underway to bolster regional competitiveness in semiconductors under the Americas Partnership for Economic Prosperity.


The U.S. and Kenya are holding a fourth round of in-person negotiations on a bilateral strategic trade and investment partnership April 2-12 in Washington, D.C. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative states that this round will primarily cover agriculture, workers’ rights, and the environment. The two sides will also “continue conceptual discussions” on customs and trade facilitation as well as inclusivity.

A U.S. congressional delegation visited Mauritius in March to assess implementation of the African Growth and Opportunity Act and discuss opportunities and sectors that could benefit from expanding trade and investment ties. A press release from the U.S. embassy in Mauritius noted that the country’s exports, from textiles to seafood, have benefited significantly from AGOA, with total shipments to the U.S. in 2022 valued at $285 million.

The same delegation also visited Madagascar, which saw $622 million in exports to the U.S. in 2022. A press release from the U.S. embassy in that country notes that it was reinstituted into AGOA in 2014 and recently developed a national action plan to help it “fully leverage the benefits of AGOA.” The press release indicated that ongoing challenges for Madagascar include “upholding the rule of law and democratic principles and promoting good governance.”

Central Asia

The Astana Times reports that during a meeting with USTR Katherine Tai in Washington last month, Kazakhstan’s foreign minister brought up strategies to ensure food security in Central Asia and emphasized “Kazakhstan’s status as a reliable trading partner.” The two sides also agreed to convene a meeting under the U.S.-Central Asia Trade and Investment Framework Agreement in Astana and committed to further talks on leveraging U.S. expertise in fortifying regional supply chains.

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