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 has released summaries of texts proposed by the U.S. for the customs, trade facilitation, and enforcement chapter and the environment chapter of the U.S.-Kenya Strategic Trade and Investment Partnership. USTR previously released public summaries of texts on agriculture; anticorruption; good regulatory practices; micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises; services domestic regulation; and workers’ rights and protections. Negotiations on these texts are ongoing, and the two sides are working to conclude an agreement by the end of this year.


World Trade Organization members met May 30 for their first formal meeting on dispute settlement reform as part of an effort to have a fully and well-functioning dispute settlement systems accessible to all members by the end of 2024. According to a WTO press release, the facilitator of this process “acknowledged a strong interest by almost all members in maintaining a two-tiered dispute settlement system” as well as “a recognition that the concept of a peer review and how it operates must be examined to address several concerns expressed, including overreach, length of disputes and accountability.” She also “noted a strong interest in having binding and consistent decisions, but also that a standing appellate body may not be the only way to address legitimacy.”


At the third annual ministerial meeting of the Australia-U.S. Strategic Commercial Dialogue, officials discussed trade-distorting subsidies, national security issues tied to investment flows, continuing cooperation on investment screening, and unfair trade practices and unfair competition. They also agreed on the ongoing importance of an annual dialogue on strategic trade controls, which “allows frank and productive conversations on dual-use technology export controls, including shared objectives and approaches with other partners.”


The Department of Commerce is accepting through July 31 input on the topics that should be discussed at the 22nd plenary of the U.S.-Brazil Commercial Dialogue, which will take place Sept. 19. This dialogue seeks to prevent, reduce, and remove non-tariff barriers to trade and is currently composed of working groups that address customs and trade facilitation, trade and sustainable development, trade in the digital economy, good regulatory practices, standards and conformity assessments, and other issues.


At a ministerial meeting in Singapore June 6, participants in the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (1) agreed to hold in July the first virtual meetings of three bodies established under the IPEF supply chain agreement – the Supply Chain Council, the Crisis Response Network, and the Labor Rights Advisory Board, (2) noted recent and upcoming workshops and initiatives to advance the objectives of that agreement through cooperation on cybersecurity, cargo risk assessment, data-driven approaches to supply chain vulnerability assessments, labor and workforce development, and supply chain disruptions, and (3) signed previously concluded clean economy and fair economy agreements.


At the annual U.S.-Kazakhstan Enhanced Strategic Partnership Dialogue held May 31, the two sides discussed (1) deepening bilateral economic cooperation and promoting construction of resilient infrastructure along the Trans-Caspian Transportation Corridor to support future exports from Central Asia, (2) emerging areas for economic partnership, including developing Kazakhstan’s critical minerals sector, (3) continuing to work toward permanent normal trade relations status for Kazakhstan, (4) increasing the region’s role in global critical minerals supply chains, and (5) infrastructure development for sustainable trade routes through the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment.

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