Kenya 'effectively' lifts ban on genetically modified crops
Kenya’s new president says the Cabinet has “effectively” lifted the country’s ban on openly cultivating genetically modified crops, reversing a decade-old decision as the East African country struggles with food security and a deadly droughtwashingtonpost.com
U.S., other APEC delegates walk out on Russian speaker
Delegates from the United States and four other nations staged a walkout Saturday when a representative from Russia began his opening remarks at a meeting of trade ministers of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation group in the Thai capital, officials said. A Japanese official said Japan's Trade Minister Koichi Hagiuda and his counterparts from the U.S., Australia, New Zealand and Canada walked out of the meeting in Bangkok to protest Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.news.yahoo.com
The AP Interview: US trade rep. sees opportunity in recovery
The top U.S. trade negotiator says with world economies all suffering from more than two years of the coronavirus pandemic and global supply problems exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the United States has an “incredible opportunity” to engage with other nations and forge new partnerships and agreements.
Harris calls out Senate Republicans for blocking abortion right vote
"Sadly the Senate failed to stand in defense of a woman's right to make decisions about her own body," US Vice President Kamala Harris says after a Democratic drive to make the right to abortion the law of the land failed in the US Senate.news.yahoo.com
What It Would Mean for Big Pharma If Vaccine IP Rights Are Waived
With Covid-19 vaccination rollouts in low-income countries still lagging far behind those in rich ones, a group of nations continues to push its proposal at the World Trade Organization to lift intellectual property protections for makers of the vaccines. Supporters of the waiver say the spread of the latest coronavirus variant, omicron, brings greater urgency to the need to speed production of vaccines in the developing world. Vaccine makers and other critics of the waiver say it undermines thewashingtonpost.com
Trump's new 'Contract With America' is a ploy to distract him from airing his grievances, Maggie Haberman says
Former President Donald Trump is worried about what appears to be a snowballing criminal investigation of his business, and he has been for months, New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman told CNN on Wednesday. "People close to him all say he is anxious about this," Haberman said. Politico on Wednesday quoted a Trump adviser saying "there's definitely a cloud of nerves in the air" on Trump's team, but CNN's Brianna Keilar also pointed to a different Politico article about Trump working with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich on a new "Contract With America." Haberman said that's mostly a way of distracting Trump.news.yahoo.com
US, Chinese trade war envoys talk; no sign of negotiations
U.S. and Chinese trade envoys talked by phone Thursday for the first time since President Joe Biden took office, but the two sides gave no sign when negotiations on ending their tariff war might restart. U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai discussed her “ongoing review” of the trade relationship, her office said in a statement. Biden has yet to say what approach he will take to the conflict launched by former President Donald Trump, who raised tariffs on Chinese imports over complaints about Beijing’s industrial policy and trade surplus.news.yahoo.com
Mother of deceased Capitol Police officer asks senators to back Jan. 6 commission
Gladys Sicknick, the mother of a Capitol Police officer who collapsed during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and later died, is asking Republican senators to pass legislation creating a bipartisan commission to investigate the insurrection. The bill passed the House with the support of 35 Republicans, but Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday said the GOP needs to block the commission because it would litigate the actions of former President Donald Trump and "continue to debate things that have been done in the past."news.yahoo.com
Republican operator founds organization to fight the left's 'cancel culture'
Some may find the nation’s relentless culture wars exhausting, but self-described “right-wing ideologue” Mike Davis does not count himself among the battle-weary. The energetic conservative operative announced on Monday the creation of a new group, Unsilenced Majority, that seeks to “oppose cancel culture and fight back against the woke mob and their enablers,” as a press release put it.news.yahoo.com
BioNTech: "No evidence" that adapting vaccine to variants is necessary
BioNTech said Monday there is currently "no evidence" to support the need to adapt the company's coronavirus vaccine, developed with Pfizer, to be more effective against emerging variants.Why it matters: Some health experts fear that contagious new variants could be more resistant against COVID-19 vaccines, prolonging the pandemic for years to come.Get market news worthy of your time with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free.Health officials are still studying preliminary data on new variants, including B.1.617, a variant first detected in India that may be linked to the country's massive surge in cases.Slow global COVID-19 vaccination rates are raising concerns that worse variants of the coronavirus could be percolating, ready to rip into the world before herd immunity can diminish their impact, Axios' Eileen Drage O'Reilly reports.What to watch: BioNTech said that despite the lack of evidence that its vaccine is ineffective against variants, the company "has developed a comprehensive strategy to address these variants should the need arise in the future."For example, BioNTech and Pfizer plan to study the effectiveness of a third vaccine dose to prolong immunity against COVID-19 and to protect against variants. The companies say that the FDA has approved their further research plans. BioNTech and Pfizer are also currently studying their vaccine's effectiveness in children from 6 months to 11 years old and testing its use for healthy pregnant women. Like this article? Get more from Axios and subscribe to Axios Markets for free.news.yahoo.com
Biden administration supports waiving intellectual property rights for COVID-19 vaccines - a big step in making vaccines more accessible to developing nations
"The administration's aim is to get as many safe and effective vaccines to as many people as fast as possible," US Trade Representative Katherine Tai said.news.yahoo.com
US backs waiving intellectual property rules on vaccines
The Biden administration is throwing its support behind efforts to waive intellectual property protections for COVID-19 vaccines in an effort to speed the end of the pandemic. United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai announced the government's position in a Wednesday statement, amid World Trade Organization talks over easing global trade rules to enable more countries to produce more of the life-saving vaccines. “The Administration believes strongly in intellectual property protections, but in service of ending this pandemic, supports the waiver of those protections for COVID-19 vaccines," Tai said in the statement.news.yahoo.com
US to launch trade talks on COVID-19 vaccine distribution
Two White House officials say the U.S. trade representative will begin talks in the World Trade Organization on ways to overcome intellectual property issues that are keeping poorer countries from making their own generic version of critically needed COVID-19 vaccines.
US to launch trade talks on COVID-19 vaccine distribution
The U.S. top trade negotiator will begin talks with the World Trade Organization on ways to overcome intellectual property issues that are keeping critically needed COVID-19 vaccines from being more widely distributed worldwide, two White House officials said Sunday. The White House has been under pressure from lawmakers at home and governments abroad to join an effort to waive patent rules for the vaccines so that poorer countries can begin to produce their own generic versions of the shots to vaccinate their populations. U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai will be starting talks with the trade organization “on how we can get this vaccine more widely distributed, more widely licensed, more widely shared," said White House chief of staff Ron Klain.news.yahoo.com
Biden to hold first Cabinet meeting amid infrastructure push
(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)WASHINGTON – Joe Biden will convene his first Cabinet meeting on Thursday, a presidential rite of passage that will be used to promote his new infrastructure plan. Ad“The meetings can help align priorities, build morale, and allow Cabinet members to develop relationships with colleagues who they don’t normally see,” Lu said. The White House has highlighted that this Cabinet is the most diverse in history. In normal times, scheduling an in-person Cabinet meeting would require weeks, if not months, of planning to block off time in the travel schedules of the various principals. The Cabinet members will soon begin to fan out across the country to pitch both the COVID-19 relief and infrastructure plans, officials said.
Stepping up Myanmar coup penalties, US suspends trade deal
Security forces stand by on Hledan road in Kamayut township of Yangon in Myanmar, Monday, March 29, 2021. Over 100 people across the country were killed by security forces on Saturday alone, including several children. “The United States strongly condemns the Burmese security forces’ brutal violence against civilians. AdTai's office said the United States was immediately suspending “all U.S. engagement with Burma under the 2013 Trade and Investment Framework Agreement.'' AdTwo-way trade between the two countries doesn't amount to much: Myanmar last year was the United States' 84th biggest partner in the trade of goods such as automobiles and machinery.
Senators back off vow to withhold support of Biden nominees
The only senators of Asian American heritage, they said they would withhold their support for his nominees until the diversity issue was addressed. AdDuckworth had said earlier that she raised the issue with top Biden advisers on Tuesday and afterward called the situation “not acceptable." “I’ve been talking to them for months and they’re still not aggressive, so I’m not going to be voting for any nominee from the White House other than diversity nominees,” Duckworth told reporters. But Hirono later said in a statement of her own that she too welcomed the appointment of an AAPI White House liaison and was dropping her objections. Tai, who was confirmed last week, is the first Asian American and first woman of color to serve as U.S. trade representative.
Asian Americans seek greater political power after shootings
It's also spurring her and other Asian Americans to push for greater political influence in Washington and other power centers. President Joe Biden and his aides have been repeatedly pressed to include Asian Americans in his Cabinet. Ad“I think symbolism and representation matters, but only up to a point,” said Aarti Kohli, executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice. “Those things all contribute to lower rates of political participation among Asian Americans, but people — mistakenly, I think — assume that Asian Americans are somehow less interested in U.S. civic life.”AdThat's evolving. “Asian Americans didn't necessarily grow up with that vocabulary of advocacy and how to fight for ourselves," Meng said.
Whiskey makers face worsening hangover from trade dispute
A leading spirits advocate is imploring top U.S. trade envoy Katherine Tai to not leave whiskey producers behind. Amir Peay, owner of the Lexington, Kentucky-based James E. Pepper Distillery, said American whiskey has become “collateral damage” in the trade disputes. But the breakthroughs left plenty unresolved, including disputes that led to the retaliatory tariffs still hitting American whiskey. AdThe suspended tariffs mean some European spirits producers can ship their products into the U.S. duty free, while American whiskey makers are still subject to tariffs, Whiting said. “We just want a level playing field for American whiskey,” he said.
China exports surged late last year as consumer recovery picked up steam in U.S., other nations
A big part of this disparity is due to increased demand from wealthy countries, including the United States, for Chinese goods. MDST calculated that Chinese exports led the world with a year-over-year increase of 3.5% in the third quarter. Meanwhile, she added, smaller stimulus efforts in developing nations probably explains much of the lower overall trade volumes. "The shift in consumer spending from travel, vacation and entertainment events to physical goods, mainly bought online, has characterized all the major western economies, in particular the North American countries," Teodoro added. The company also saw order volumes increase after the second stimulus check.cnbc.com
Senate unanimously confirms Katherine Tai as U.S. trade representative
Washington — The Senate confirmed Katherine Tai as the top U.S. trade envoy in an unanimous bipartisan vote on Wednesday. Tai is considered a problem-solving pragmatist, and her nomination by President Biden to be U.S. trade representative drew support from Democrats and Republicans alike. Mr. Biden and his team appear to be in no hurry to reverse Mr. Trump's China tariffs. Far from coordinating with U.S. allies on trade, Mr. Trump sparred with them instead, putting tariffs on imported steel and aluminum and threatening to target European cars, too. Mr. Trump called the TPP a job killer and withdrew from it in his first week in office.cbsnews.com
Senate confirms Katherine Tai as Biden's top trade envoy
Katherine Tai, nominee for U.S. trade representative, speaks during a Senate Finance Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. (Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post via AP, Pool)WASHINGTON – The Senate confirmed Katherine Tai as the top U.S. trade envoy in an overwhelming bipartisan vote on Wednesday . AdFluent in Mandarin, Tai served several years as head of China enforcement at the trade representative’s office. Biden and his team appear to be in no hurry to reverse Trump’s China tariffs. Far from coordinating with U.S. allies on trade, Trump sparred with them instead, putting tariffs on imported steel and aluminum and threatening to target European cars, too.
Biden’s team says it will use ‘all available tools’ to fight China’s unfair trade practices
The U.S. flag flies at a welcoming ceremony between Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Donald Trump in 2017. Thomas Peter | Getty ImagesPresident Joe Biden's team will use "all available tools" to fight China's unfair trade practices, according to a report outlining the new U.S. administration's trade agenda. Collaboration with alliesBiden's administration will cooperate with partners and allies to make sure that China lives up to its trade obligations, the report said. The release of the report comes as Katherine Tai, Biden's nominee for U.S. Trade Representative, awaits Senate confirmation. Tai said on Monday she would work to address a range of issues concerning Chinese trade and economic practices — including intellectual property protection, market access restrictions and censorship, reported Reuters.cnbc.com
Biden's trade pick vows to work more closely with allies
Katherine Tai, nominee for U.S. trade representative, testifies before a Senate Finance Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. (Tasos Katopodis/Pool via AP)WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden’s pick to be the top U.S. trade envoy promised to work with America’s allies to combat China’s aggressive trade policies, indicating a break from the Trump administration’s go-it-alone approach. Biden and his team have not indicated — and Tai didn't say Thursday — whether they will keep Trump’s tariffs. Far from coordinating with U.S. allies on trade, Trump sparred with them instead, putting tariffs on imported steel and aluminum and threatening to target European cars, too. She handled negotiations with the Trump administration over a revamped North American trade deal.
Biden's trade pick vows to work more closely with allies
FILE - In this Dec. 11, 2020, file photo Katherine Tai, the Biden administration's choice totake overas the U.S. trade representative, speaks during an event at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Del. President Joe Bidens pick to be the top U.S. trade envoy is promising to work with Americas allies to combat Chinas aggressive trade policies. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden's pick to be the top U.S. trade envoy is promising to work with America's allies to combat China's aggressive trade policies, indicating a break from the Trump administration's go-it-alone approach. Fluent in Mandarin, Tai served several years as head of China enforcement at the trade representative's office. Far from working with allies on trade, Trump sparred with them instead, putting tariffs on imported steel and aluminum and threatening to target European cars, too.
France's Macron floats pursuing Airbus-Boeing settlement in call with Biden, source says
French President Emmanual Macron speaks on the telephone with U.S. President-elect Joe Biden, at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France November 10, 2020. French President Emmanuel Macron suggested to President Joe Biden two weeks ago that the countries seek a negotiated settlement in the Boeing-Airbus conflict over aircraft manufacturing that has lasted nearly two decades, according to a person familiar with the matter. Biden, according to the person familiar with the call, said the relevant teams would follow up but was noncommittal on the outcome. Neither country's official readout of the call included a mention of the long-simmering trade dispute that spans back to Biden's days serving as a senator and chairing the Foreign Relations Committee. "Our aim is to find solutions to our ongoing trade disputes, including on Airbus/Boeing," said Sophie Dirven, a spokesperson for the European Commission.cnbc.com
Biden's pick for top U.S. trade official will continue tough line on China, says ex-Trump official
Katherine Tai delivers remarks after being introduced as U.S. President-elect Joe Biden’s nominee to be the next U.S. Trade Representative at the Queen Theater on Dec.11, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware. Chip Somodevilla | Getty ImagesU.S. President-elect Joe Biden's pick for his incoming administration's top trade official will likely carry on a tough line against China, according to former Trump trade negotiator Clete Willems. Folks like me who worked in the Trump Administration have a ton of respect for her and think she will help carry on a tough line on China. "Folks like me who worked in the Trump Administration have a ton of respect for her and think she will help carry on a tough line on China," he added. He noted that she's handled joint disputes by U.S. and partners — including the European Union, Mexico and Japan — at the World Trade Organization against China.cnbc.com
Biden: Cabinet picks from Obama era mean 'bold new thinking'
Susan Rice, the Biden administration's choice to lead the White House Domestic Policy Council, speaks during an event at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Del., Friday, Dec. 11, 2020. His choice for agriculture secretary, Tom Vilsack, served in the same post for Obama for eight years. Above all, they know how government should and can work for all Americans.”Relying too heavily on Obama administration veterans has already begun to draw some grumbling from members of Biden's own party, however. Mark Riddle, a Democratic strategist who founded a pro-Biden Super PAC during the 2020 presidential campaign, said there is no danger in relying too heavily on “all star” former Obama administration leaders. “If we come out of the box on jobs, jobs, jobs, I feel great.
Biden to tap Katherine Tai for U.S. trade representative and Denis McDonough to head veterans affairs
President-Elect Joe Biden plans to nominate Katherine Tai to serve as U.S. Trade Representative, a Cabinet-level position, two people familiar with the decision tell CBS News. She also would be the first Asian American woman to hold the job and the second poised to serve in the Biden Cabinet. She served in the office of the USTR during the Obama administration with a focus on China trade enforcement. That experience is likely to come in handy as the Biden administration rejiggers the U.S. approach to China in the coming years. As veterans affairs secretary, McDonough, 51, would be responsible for leading the second-largest Cabinet department and one of the world's largest hospital systems, with more than 335,000 employees nationwide.cbsnews.com
Biden picks longtime China critic Katherine Tai as top U.S. trade official
Katherine Tai speaks during a House Ways and Means Committee meeting to consider the US-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) trade agreement in 2019. CSPANPresident-elect Joe Biden on Thursday named Katherine Tai, a trade lawyer with a history of taking on China, as his incoming administration's pick for the United States' top trade representative. In choosing Tai, the senior trade lawyer on the House Ways and Means Committee, the Biden team likely signals an intent to return to a more multilateral trade approach to advance U.S. trade interests and confront growing economic competition from China. "They both also have a long history of dealing with China's unfair practices, the most pressing trade issue of our time," according to former top White House trade negotiator Clete Willems. From 2007 to 2014, Tai successfully litigated Washington's disputes against Beijing at the WTO, the global trade organization based in Geneva, Switzerland.cnbc.com