Washington Weekly is IDFA’s update curating policy news from the nation’s capital. This week, President Trump asked his staff to begin writing terms for a potential trade pact with China. Also, new research commissioned by Purdue University and the Farm Foundation shows that Canada’s and Mexico’s retaliatory tariffs will cause U.S. agricultural exports to decline, despite any gains made in the new trilateral trade pact. Six countries ratified the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, which is the minimum requirement for the trade pact, involving 11 countries, to go into effect by the end of the year. The Department of Labor also released its October Jobs Report, which showed solid economic growth.
Trump’s Cabinet to Draft US-China Trade Pact
President Trump last week asked key members of his administration to begin writing potential pact terms for a possible trade deal with China. Trump’s request comes after his call with China’s president Xi on Thursday, which both sides called “constructive discussions on North Korea and trade.” After the request became public, Larry Kudlow, White House economic advisor to the president, quickly dismissed the idea that this movement means the United States and China are “on the cusp of a deal.” Read more here.
US Agriculture Fares Well in New NAFTA, but Tariff Struggles Remain
Research commissioned by Purdue University and the Farm Foundation found that the implementation of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) would greatly improve U.S. dairy market access and lead to an increase of agricultural exports. However, the retaliatory tariffs by Canada and Mexico on the United States will cause U.S. agricultural exports to decline if the tariffs are not lifted. The USMCA is set to be ratified by all three parties April 2019. Read the report here.
CPTPP Ratified by Six Countries, Trade Deal Enactment to Come
With six parties officially ratifying the pact, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership will enter into force by the end of 2018. The pact, which is a modified version of the Trans-Pacific Partnership that emerged after the United States withdrew, addresses several key aspects of global trade, including trade remedies, regulatory coherence with goods and services and dispute settlement clauses. Canada, Japan, Mexico, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand have ratified the deal. Read more here.
October Jobs Report: Higher Wages and 250,000 Jobs
The October Jobs Report released by the Department of Labor last Thursday shows low unemployment and higher wages, as well as an added 250,000 jobs to the U.S. economy. Consumer and business executives’ confidence in the economy remains high, with a 3.5 percent growth rate in the third quarter. Read more here.