House Select Committee on China Looks at Trade and Investment

The House Select Committee on Strategic Competition between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party held its first hearing last week, highlighting concerns about U.S. business’s supply chain reliance on China. Scott Paul of the Alliance for American Manufacturing testified that he is encouraged by recent trade policy reforms and enforcement actions, and investments in our semiconductor manufacturing capabilities, but that it will take an all-of-government approach to bolster American industrial capacity. Read more from Reuters.

USTR Says Pursuit of Trade Agreements Still Possible

U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai clarified her recent comments on the future of trade agreements, telling Politico, “In this time and place and in this current situation, the traditional approach to free trade agreements, which isn’t just that they do tariff cuts, but that they do tariff cuts on a fully comprehensive basis, isn’t what we need right now.” The Biden Administration is focused instead on creating economic frameworks that align partners on supply chains, clean energy, labor rights and digital trade. However, Ambassador Tai says she has an open mind on trade talks with the U.K. Read President Biden’s 2023 Trade Policy Agenda and 2022 Annual Report.

USDA Proposing New Meat Label Rule for “Product of USA”

The Department of Agriculture is proposing a new label for meat products. Under the proposed rule, a voluntary “Product of USA” or “Made in the USA” label claim to be used on meat, poultry and egg products only when they are derived from animals born, raised, slaughtered and processed in the U.S. The U.S. Cattlemen’s Association, and other groups, had complained that the existing labeling rule is a “loophole” and praised USDA for the rule change. See the advance USDA notice.

Automotive Imports Set New Record in U.S.

A new Census Bureau report shows that U.S. automotive imports set a new record in January. “January real dollar exports of automotive vehicles, parts, and engines ($14.4 billion) were the highest on record,” according to the report. The U.S. renegotiated the North American Free Trade Agreement (now known as USMCA) an agreement with South Korea during the Trump Administration to increase domestic auto production. See the Census Bureau report.