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


An in-person negotiating round on the U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st Century Trade was held April 29-May 3 in Taipei. According to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the two sides continued to exchange views on proposed texts, including in the areas of agriculture, labor, and the environment. Those issues have been under discussion for the better part of a year, and USTR characterized the most recent talks as “productive” and said regular discussions will continue in an effort to reach consensus. It appears those issues could be the focus of a second agreement under the initiative, following the first one announced in May 2023 covering issues such as trade facilitation, services, and good regulatory practices.

A CNA article adds that the two sides “spent quite some time discussing what constitutes forced labor and how to counter such practices,” with Taiwan noting that it “currently lacks a mechanism, legal tools, and professionals” to address this issue.

European Union

The European Commission reports that China was a prominent topic of discussion at the fifth Japan-EU High-Level Economic Dialogue. Specifically, the two sides “expressed deep concern about the weaponization of economic dependencies on certain supply sources for strategic goods, resulting from a wide range of non-market policies and practices such as market-distortive industrial subsidies.” In an apparent effort to respond to that trend, officials reached agreement on a transparent, resilient, and sustainable supply chains initiative under which they plan to address strategic dependencies and systemic vulnerabilities and ensure resilient and reliable global supply chains, including with like-minded countries.

Other topics of discussion included preventing the leakage of critical and emerging technologies, responding to economic coercion, making more effective use of existing trade remedies, advancing World Trade Organization work and reform efforts, and ensuring the free flow of data to enable digital trade.


Japan’s foreign affairs ministry reports that at an informal WTO ministerial meeting held May 2 in Paris, participants discussed how to build on the outcomes of the WTO ministerial held earlier this year in the United Arab Emirates. Japan’s foreign minister highlighted the importance of concluding negotiations on a WTO Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies, called for the adoption of the Investment Facilitation for Development Agreement, and urged that e-commerce negotiations be concluded by this summer.

USTR has announced that Neil Beck will serve as acting assistant USTR for WTO and multilateral affairs, where he will be responsible for trade negotiations and policy coordination regarding matters before the WTO, the G-7, the G-20, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Beck most recently served as deputy assistant USTR in the same office after a posting to the U.S. mission to the WTO in Geneva.


The State Department reports that at the sixth meeting of the U.S.-Nigeria Binational Commission held April 29-30 in Abuja, the two sides reiterated their intent to expand trade and investment ties and noted that they are developing a commercial and investment partnership that focuses on “key priority sectors” such as infrastructure, agriculture, and the digital economy. Specific topics of discussion included the importance of Nigeria removing import prohibitions and reducing high tariffs on a wide array of agricultural products, increasing African exports to the U.S., facilitating Nigeria’s use of trade opportunities, and Nigeria’s utilization of the African Growth and Opportunity Act.

Copyright © 2024 Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A.; WorldTrade Interactive, Inc. All rights reserved.

ST&R: International Trade Law & Policy

Since 1977, we have set the standard for international trade lawyers and consultants, providing comprehensive and effective customs, import and export services to clients worldwide.

View Our Services 


Cookie Consent

We have updated our Privacy Policy relating to our use of cookies on our website and the sharing of information. By continuing to use our website or subscribe to our publications, you agree to the Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions.