April 26, 2021
This Week in Trade for April 23
Last Week (April 19 -- 23)
China Competition Bills Unveiled. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senator Todd Young (R-IN) introduced April 21 the Endless Frontier Act, legislation designed to provide a funding boost to the National Science Foundation and other basic research initiatives in order to better compete with China. Companion legislation was introduced in the House by Reps. Ro Khanna (D-CA) and Mike Gallagher (R-WI). "In the coming weeks, the Senate will turn to this legislation and other pieces of bipartisan China related legislation to ensure that the U.S. Government's hand at home and abroad is as strong as possible as we compete with China on all fronts," said Schumer in a statement accompanying the bill. Senate Commerce Committee Chair Maria Cantwell (D-WA) indicated her committee could mark up the Endless Frontier Act next week. In addition, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) this Thursday indicated at a hearing focused on China trade issues that he and Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-ID) would soon unveil legislation focused on China as well. Wyden said that the Finance Committee legislation would be focused on cracking down on counterfeit and forced labor goods, Chinese media censorship as well as shoring up critical supply chains. Wyden also expressed interest in curtailing access to U.S. capital markets for China.
Biden Plans First Overseas Visit. The White House announced April 23 that President Biden will attend in person the G-7 summit in the UK June 11-13, followed by a trip to Brussels for the U.S.-EU Summit. Regarding the EU Summit: "The leaders will discuss a common agenda to ensure global health security, stimulate global economic recovery, tackle climate change, enhance digital and trade cooperation, strengthen democracy, and address mutual foreign policy concerns," the White House said in a statement.
EU Parliament Votes on UK Trade Deal. The European Union Parliament will vote early next week on ratifying the UK-EU trade agreement; the UK has already ratified the agreement and it has conditionally come into force at the start of the year. Disputes have emerged between the UK and EU, particularly over issues related to the Northern Ireland border; notwithstanding those tensions, analysts expect the deal to be ratified by the EU Parliament.
Upcoming Trade Policy Hearings. Politico Trade reported this week that the Ways and Means Committee would hold a hearing on President Biden's trade policy agenda on May 10 with USTR Katherine Tai, a former committee staffer, scheduled to testify. Senate Finance Committee plans to hold a similar hearing but the date has not yet been released.