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This Month in World Trade

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Each month DTB Associates curates select world trade news and provides important insights to their clients. If you are interested in learning more, send us an email at

This Month's Headlines

  • China made a huge U.S. corn purchase under the Phase One agreement amidst increasing turmoil in the overall U.S.-China relationship.
  • USMCA entered into force on July 1, with USTR Lighthizer declaring that he is ready to use enforcement tools “early and often.”
  • The third round of virtual talks between the United States and the United Kingdom began on July 20th.
  • Eight candidates have thrown their hat in the ring for the position of WTO Director-General, replacing current DG Roberto Azevedo, who will step down at the end of August. WTO members have not been able to decide on an interim DG.
  • The EU announced that it has now fully complied with the WTO Airbus ruling after U.S. retaliatory tariffs hit $7.5 billion worth of EU exports, including many agricultural products. USTR is so far unimpressed with the EU claims and does not intend to reverse course.
Date posted: 8/3/2020 *Disclaimer: policy status can change frequently and these headlines may not be current to the day.

In the News

  • "USTR announces pick for assistant USTR for ag affairs" - DTB partner Craig Thorn points to the importance of Julie Callahan's background in regulation issues as her appointment for assistant USTR for agricultural affairs is announced. Read more from Agri-Pulse.
  • “TPP to Take Effect this Year” - During an interview with AgNet, DTB partner Paul Drazek explains the importance of bilateral talks with Japan in light of the U.S. withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal. Read the article and listen to the podcast.
  • “China tariff threats are now reality for farmers in Ohio” – In the tariff dispute between the U.S. and China, farmers in Ohio are feeling the pinch. DTB partner Paul Drazek explains that tariff retaliations may be just the beginning if the two countries don’t return to negotiations. Read more in the Ohio Country Journal.
  • NAFTA negotiators wrap up first round, pledge 'rapid pace' ahead - During an interview with Agri-Pulse, DTB partner Paul Drazek discusses the Trump trade agenda and consequences for agriculture should the U.S. pull out of NAFTA if talks fail. Read the article or listen to the podcast.
  • "More on US-China Trade Fights" – As trade tensions with China remain high and the country's subsidies come under greater scrutiny, a DTB Associates report showing how domestic support in China for wheat, corn and rice should be calculated is providing critical intelligence to the WTO dispute settlement process. Read more from Washington Insider.
  • “Brexit: A TRQ Tutorial” – DTB partner Craig Thorn explained the complexities of the EU tariff-rate quota schedule for agricultural products as part of trade negotiations necessitated by Brexit during a panel on Brexit: The WTO Issues. Read more.
  • "U.S. asks for WTO dispute panel on China's grain subsidies" – A DTB Associates analysis on China's domestic support for wheat, corn and rice was an integral piece of information to the U.S. case before the WTO. Read the article. Read the DTB study.
  • "Agriculture: A Brexit Priority" – DTB partner Craig Thorn addressed the importance of the UK's negotiations with the EU 27 in the Brexit process during a colloquium jointly sponsored by the Global Business Dialogue and Steptoe & Johnson. Read more.
  • "Expert: Trade needs to be priority for new administration" – DTB partner Craig Thorn tells the Farm Foundation why passing the Trans-Pacific Partnership and aggressively pushing new bilateral and regional agreements should be priorities for the next administration. Read more.
  • "Aporte de Comunidad Peruana-Americana Fue Fundamental en Conformación de Caucus Peruano" - Peruvian Ambassador highlights key role played by Mateo Paz-Soldan in establishment of congressional caucus on Peru. Read the article in Latina Noticias.
  • "A warning: Patience wearing thin on trade agreements" - U.S. wheat and rice producers cite a DTB Associates study on subsidies to illustrate the need to enforce commitments made under trade agreements during testimony before the House Agriculture Committee. Read more in the Delta Farm Press.
  • "US trade expert urges EU compromise in TTIP pesticide talks" - DTB partner Craig Thorn addresses non-tariff barriers on pesticide residues in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations during the Produce Marketing Association's Fresh Summit. Read the article.
  • "Panel hears emotional testimony on halibut bycatch" - The Mayor of the City of St Paul Island, AK, and DTB Associates partner Carlos Mateo Paz-Soldan testify on the impacts of halibut bycatch on Bering Sea communities. Read more from station KCAW in Alaska.
  • "... Peru, , Japan push trade issues” – POLITICO Influence reports that the Ministry of Tourism and Trade of Peru selected DTB Associates partner Carlos Mateo Paz-Soldan to foster textile and apparel trade relations between Peru, Colombia and the U.S. Read more on POLITICO.
  • "Bering Sea Halibut Harvesters Say More Bycatch Action Needed to Maintain Viable Fishery" - DTB Associates partner Carlos Mateo Paz-Soldan comments on the impact of cuts to halibut bycatch caps for Bering Sea communities. Read more on


Ben Conner

DTB Associates is pleased to announce that Ben Conner joined our firm as partner on June 7, 2019.

Ben’s area of expertise is in agricultural trade policy, including on topics related to the World Trade Organization (WTO), free trade agreement negotiations, bilateral market access, and U.S. farm bill legislation. He has spent much of his career working to improve the trade policy environment for U.S. agricultural exports while dealing with a wide array of stakeholders, such as USDA, USTR, Congress, agribusinesses, and producers. Most recently, Ben was the Vice President of Policy at U.S. Wheat Associates, focusing on improving market access by addressing tariffs, subsidies, trade-restrictive sanitary and phytosanitary measures, and other non-tariff barriers to U.S. wheat exports. Before that he spent several years on staff at the U.S. Senate where he worked on agriculture policy and international trade. Ben’s credentials will bring a fresh perspective and hands-on international trade experience to DTB’s clients.

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