US-Africa Leaders Summit: US Seeks Improvement for AGOA

U.S. Trade Representative Katharine Tai hosted trade ministers from sub-Saharan Africa for the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Ministerial during the US-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, DC this week.

Ambassador Tai said the U.S. is planning to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with African Continental Free Trade Area countries to expand the next phases of the trade preference program. AGOA is set to expire in 2025. See the USTR Readout.

China Challenges U.S. Curbs on Microchip Exports

China has filed a trade complaint at the World Trade Orgaization against U.S. rules that block companies from shipping semiconductor manufacturing equipment to Chinese firms and prevent U.S. nationals from servicing the machines.

The complaint was filed after the WTO ruled last week that U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs imposed during the Trump Administration violate global trade rules. The Biden administration says the WTO overstepped its authority by ruling against Section 232 tariffs, which are based on national security concerns. Read more from Reuters.

AAEI’s Work to Avoid National Rail Strike Praised

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) sent a thank you note to AAEI for the Association’s work to help prevent a national freight rail strike. “Your engagement… on the rail-labor dispute since June was invaluable,” the latter states. “Without it, policymaker would never have undersytood the impact a rail strike would have not just on your business, but the entire economy.”

AAEI’s advocacy included letters to the White House and lawmakers calling for a resolution to the labor dispute, which ended earlier this month when Congress imposed a labor agreement that was tentatively reached in September. See the AAR letter.