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


The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative is seeing the departure of a number of senior officials, which could affect efforts to pursue ongoing and potential new trade initiatives. Chief of staff Heather Hurlburt will depart Jan. 26, with senior advisor Jamila Thompson replacing her on an interim basis. General Counsel Greta Peisch left earlier this month and her deputy, Juan Millan, is acting in her stead. Press reports indicate that Deputy USTR Sarah Bianchi will leave in the next few weeks.

Deputy USTR Jayme White left the agency in 2023 and President Biden has now announced his intention to nominate Nelson Cunningham to replace him. Cunningham helped lead the McLarty Associates consulting firm for 25 years after serving in the Clinton administration as special advisor on Western Hemisphere affairs.


USTR has issued the following summary of World Trade Organization ambassador Maria Pagán’s engagement at the WTO during the week of Jan. 8: participated in informal discussions on the WTO agriculture negotiations, including possible outcomes at the forthcoming WTO ministerial conference; reiterated the importance of transparency to highlight forced labor practices in the fishing industry; participated in ongoing discussions on graduating countries from least-developed country status; contributed to various meetings on trade and development issues; and participated in numerous meetings on dispute settlement reform.


During a Jan. 10 phone conversation, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and Japanese trade minister Saito Ken discussed efforts to improve supply chain resiliency as well as follow-on matters from an August 2023 U.S.-Japan-Korea summit. Raimondo also expressed her desire to work closely with Saito to operationalize the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework supply chain agreement and finalize the IPEF clean economy and fair economy agreements.


At the 14th ministerial-level meeting of the U.S.-India Trade Policy Forum held Jan. 12 in New Delhi, USTR Katherine Tai and Indian commerce minister Piyush Goyal identified critical minerals, customs and trade facilitation, supply chains, and trade in high-tech products as areas in which their countries will develop “an ambitious and forward-looking roadmap for enhanced cooperation in order to achieve economically meaningful outcomes.” They also addressed bilateral trade concerns such as mutual recognition of standards conformity assessments; U.S. restrictions on seafood and medical products; India’s new import requirements for computers, tablets, and servers; restoring India’s status as a beneficiary under the U.S.’ Generalized System of Preferences; intellectual property protections; digital trade; recognizing India as a Trade Agreements Act-designated country (regarding government procurement rules); and forced labor.

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