Background

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

E-Commerce

A bipartisan group of senators recently wrote President Biden about his administration’s decision to “stop supporting key commitments in the e-commerce negotiations at the World Trade Organization – and potentially in other negotiations.” These commitments include promoting the free flow of data across borders, combating measures that require domestic data to be stored or processed within national borders, preventing the forced sharing of proprietary information as a condition of access to foreign markets, and upholding the principle of non-discrimination to ensure open, competitive markets for digital goods and services.

“Retreating from our longstanding principles without offering a viable alternative,” the senators said, “does not help U.S. workers, it does not help U.S. consumers, it does not help U.S. businesses, and it does not help U.S. allies; it only helps our adversaries.” The senators therefore called on the president to conduct “a comprehensive consultation process” with federal agencies, lawmakers, and the public “to reach a consensus U.S. position on these issues.”

Vietnam

A Dec. 6 meeting under the U.S.-Vietnam Trade and Investment Framework Agreement saw a resumption of the TIFA Joint Council as well as discussions on issues such as agriculture, labor, intellectual property, digital trade, services, information and communication technology products, and the environment. A readout of the meeting from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative offered no further details on the content of these talks.

India

A virtual meeting of the U.S.-India CEO Forum was held recently to update government officials on the status of recommendations for advancing commercial ties between the two countries. Other topics of discussion included supply chain resiliency, workforce development, regulatory and standards harmonization, and economic collaboration.

Export Controls

According to a Yonhap article, South Korea and China have agreed to “establish a director-level consultation channel on export curbs and vowed to hold working-level talks to set details.” They also agreed to “further activate a hotline between their ministries to discuss supply chain issues.”

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