Background

For more information on these and other U.S. trade negotiations and discussions and how your company could benefit, please contact Nicole Bivens Collinson at (202) 730-4956 or via email.

Vietnam

The U.S. and Vietnam launched Oct. 13 as part their new comprehensive strategic partnership a $3.25 million activity to facilitate digital trade. According to the U.S. Agency for International Development, this three-year activity will support Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade’s implementation of policy frameworks that facilitate digital trade. It will also encourage the participation of small and medium-sized enterprises in digital trade by introducing new business models and other best practices, such as traceability of goods, as well as facilitating cross-border connections between enterprises via MOIT’s digital trade promotion platform.

Kenya

An in-person negotiating round under the U.S.-Kenya Strategic Trade and Investment Partnership was held Oct. 4-7 in Washington, D.C. According to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the two sides exchanged views on proposed texts covering agriculture, anticorruption, and services domestic regulation and continued their conceptual discussions on the subject of inclusivity in trade.

The STIP was announced in July 2022 and aims to negotiate high-standard commitments on issues such as trade facilitation, customs procedures, digital trade, good regulatory practices, agriculture, environment, labor, and standards. The STIP replaced negotiations on a bilateral free trade agreement launched under the Trump administration, and USTR Katherine Tai has said she hopes it “can serve as a model for trade policy engagement in Africa.”

Caribbean

Topics discussed at the ninth meeting of the trade and investment council under the CARICOM-U.S. trade and investment framework agreement held Oct. 13 included the following.

- ways to increase utilization of Caribbean Basin Initiative programs and thereby expand regional trade

- possible designation of additional countries as beneficiaries of CBI trade preferences

- collaboration to support durable and resilient supply chains in the region

- agricultural biotechnology and specific trade concerns, including rum

- how transparency and good regulatory practices can facilitate trade and investment and ongoing activities related to the Declaration on Good Regulatory Practices announced in 2022

- establishing a joint work program on trade in services

- intellectual property protection and enforcement in CARICOM member states, including related to signal piracy and the WIPO internet treaties

- full implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement and USAID support for training and technical assistance for customs-related reforms in the region

- possible sharing of information and best practices on export promotion and facilitation of business-to-business engagement among CARICOM and U.S. firms
Singapore

A new U.S.-Singapore Critical and Emerging Technology Dialogue was announced recently and the two sides committed to launch new bilateral initiatives and enhance cooperation on a number of related issues. Examples include developing a roadmap for digital economic cooperation on issues like data governance, digital standards, and consumer protection; collaborating to facilitate trusted data flows with effective privacy protections; and supporting regional efforts to decarbonize and deploy renewable energy.

Telecom

The U.S. announced Oct. 5 that it has joined the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and Japan to form the Global Coalition on Telecommunications. The goals of this coalition include increased cooperation and coordination on shared priorities such as telecommunications supply chain diversification and open network architectures, building broader international consensus on key areas of telecommunications policy, and promoting innovation and growth opportunities for industry.

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