U.S. tells India to cut tariffs as trade friction heats up

“India announced higher import tax on electronics products such as mobile phones and television sets in December, and then on 40 more items in the budget this month. These included goods as varied as sunglasses, juices and auto components. India says the move is aimed at giving local industry the chance to grow and is part of a broader plan to lift the share manufacturing makes up of GDP to a quarter, from around 15 per cent, and create the tens of thousands of jobs needed for a young workforce.”

Japan wins WTO dispute over Fukushima-related food

“The World Trade Organization on Thursday largely upheld a Japanese complaint against South Korea’s import bans and additional testing requirements imposed on Japanese seafood because of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster. In a ruling that can be appealed by either side, a WTO dispute panel said that South Korea’s measures were initially justified but that keeping them in place violated the WTO’s sanitary and phyto-sanitary (SPS) agreement.”


USDA opens new office in Vietnam to help facilitate increasing agricultural trade

“The APHIS Hanoi office will maintain technical working relationships with their Vietnamese counterparts to resolve any concerns associated with the science-based standards both countries employ to prevent the introduction of animal and plant pests and diseases. By doing so quickly and locally, APHIS can help keep trade moving and benefit the producers and economies of both countries.”


Defense Dept. says unfair steel and aluminum imports are risk to national security

“Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said that the DoD did have some concern that recommendations [for import tariffs and/or quotas] could negatively impact allies, but that it agreed with the Department of Commerce’s conclusion that imports of foreign steel and aluminum based on unfair trading practices were a threat to national security.”


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