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tv   U.S. Trade Representative on Indo- Pacific Economic Framework  CSPAN  June 8, 2022 4:35am-5:41am EDT

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>> and international trade center, i am kevin levinson the director, and we like to say-- bringing so many together across the word. ambassador tai, welcome once
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again. you were part of our last in-person pre-pandemic event when would he hosted you with deputy attorney general, ambassador jamie white and since that event in february of 2020, we've hosted over 120 different webinar panels with almost 25,000 viewers in 49 states and 100 different countries. as we do at a lot of our online events we like to call out names you're in community with, even if you can't see them on zoom or c-span today. welcome today to mary thornton, amazon web services, and nicole bevins collison and welcome, mary, nicole, and all of you. if you're watching on zoom we'll try to get to a few questions you asked online when we get towards the end of the panel and incorporate those with some of the questions with our audience here.
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we'll dispense with lengthy introductions of guests who need no introduction, starting with wendy cutler, vice-president of the absolute. and thank you for joining us here today. and bed a-- and ambassador tai, i remember in 2018 we were talking about the season of stranger things and now we're in the fourth season and more of the upsidedown. thank you, ambassador, and welcome today. [applause] >> well, thank you, ken it's great to be back here and in person having done so many zoom events with washington d.c. and international and the trade audience. thrilled to be here today with
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ambassador tai my long term league and friend. when you were confirmed about 15 months ago. it seemed like years, but for you, decades. when you look back on 15 months, what surprised you the most, both in the positive sense and also maybe in the negative sense and what thoughts do you want to share about the audience in the past 15 months? >> turn this on. >> that's a good idea, there we go. so you said 15 months and i was going to say it was about seven or eight times ago. [laughter] >> that says a little about what it's like. you know, wendy, it strikes me every day what an honor and a privilege it is to serve in the capacity. especially at a time when there's so much going on and so much happening that we didn't
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necessarily anticipate. so, to ken's point about being part of the last in-person event here, that was the end of web, 2020 and we were just two weeks away from a two-year lockdown and rolling pandemic restrictions and incredibly disrupted period of work and life. and then more recently, i think that there are folks who are on the foreign policy side and who are in the community side who might have seen this coming more, but i think that many of us were really surprised by russia's decision and president putin's decision to actually cross over into ukraine and start an invasion. and since then, i think that, you know, there are just some of the challenges that we're facing in the global economy. so, over the course of this period of time though, i think as hard as it is on all of us, and as hard as it is to plan in
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our personal lives and professionally, for our workers and our businesses, i think that we've demonstrated a real can-do spirit in terms of travelling the world, connecting and reconnecting with our partners, rebuilding and building even building back better and our international relationships. the president did it in tokyo, the framework. we the last year spent a lot of time on the u.s.-eu relationship. and we had a meeting and settled for aircraft, airbus dispute and accommodation with the steel trade made
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accommodations, but we're looking at forming frameworks. with the civil aircraft and steel and aluminum trade and fair trade and sustainable trade, too. there's a lot going on. over the course of this year as we've come out of that initial omicron quiet, you have hit the road, also, as it's ramped back up and we're making up from lost one-on-one and face to face time. >> you've mentioned the economic framework. kudos to you and the biden administration for getting so many countries to sign onto it. i think a lot of us did not expect that and now joining us if my math is correct, there are 13 participants.
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so congratulations on that, but there's no rest for the weary. in many respects the hard work begins. >> can you give us a look at what are the next steps? there needs to be a scoping exercise and then it begins. and maybe you can elaborate more? >> certainly, well, well, we've got interest as you say from 13 indo-pacific partners and it is a lot and i think that, you know, you might be surprised if you listened to a lot of the naysayers and skeptic, we don't know how it is or how interested people are going to be. i think basically when the united states shows up and demonstrates leadership and a vision, and a desire to engage, that there is interest and that it will be reciprocated. so, in these next weeks and
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couple months, i do expect that we will go through an exercise where, as everyone knows, that the interdoe pacific framework is not a traditional free trade agreement negotiation. we are reflecting a biden administration approach, which is to bring in more holistic, where trade is not the only part, but four pillars, in addition to recarbonization, and-- and as a partner country you need to na that you are interested in fully participating in at least one of these pillars. so, over the course of the next couple of weeks, what we will be doing is doing deeper dives, answering questions, putting out, you know, more details to our vision, collaborating. the collaboration is a very,
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very important part of this, listening to our partners. and i am hopeful that by the summer we will have a more formalized convening and just kicking off in the different pillars and let the conversations go at their own pace. and we're both in complete agreement that this framework needs to be holistic, adaptable and really, really pragmatic. so, we need to be able to deliver-- to be delivering along the way as opposed to holding everything together until everything comes together at the end. it really is about, you know, taking issues and as you see convergence and then delivering as we go along. >> when you talk about convening at some point to kind of launch the negotiations and
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pillars without convening trade ministers? >> i think for the trade piece, certainly. i think that when we're looking at the four pillars, that one of the really interesting aspects of this work is the degree to which this is in some ways really by design, the degree to which it forces us and our different traditional silos within the administration to stretch ourselves, to go more cross disciplinary. i think it will depend on how the individual governments are organized and structured and agreements within. but certainly, on the trade pillar, i would expect to see my usual trade counterparts there. >> katherine, you mentioned this idea of early harvest and not necessarily trade talks, undertaking a year, two years later. second raimondo talked about the supply chain, if there were
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early agreements they could be announced and implemented. when you look at the trade side. what issues strikes you as potential candidates for early harvest and in that vein, i'd ask you how about the digital work? there seems to be urgency there and frankly groundwork laid in that area. >> well, you know, why want to pre-judge or put my thumb on the scale before we bring our trading partners to the table and have that. fra ink frankly how much on the same page we are. and you will know that by getting ideas to the table. our digital, what i would say, yes, i think there's urgency, because if you look at the way we work and we live. so much of our lives and economy is taking place on digital platforms through
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digital means and we don't have a lot of structure from a regulatory policy standpoint relative to our economies here and certainly, interims of international collaboration, and there's less architecture here. what i would say is the conversation is absolutely urgent. the engagement to look at how can we work together to make our digital economies trustworthy, part of a confidence building exercise in terms of rebuilding confidence in the global economic system. and then also, how can you make this digital economy demonstrate that it can serve the interest of a more hole list particular approach as we were thinking about our economies being constituted of businesses, small and large, promoting competition and then also, you know, being an
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important medium through which our workers are engaging, are working and are interacting with our economy? so, this is a long way of saying that i completely agree that this work is so important, but let's see-- let's see what happens when we bring everybody together. >> how about enforcement and the i-pac, it's not a -- i've seen comments from you and your staff we shouldn't expect traditional, but other creative thinking is given to this. in that vein, i've heard maybe including a corporate accountability? >> we're not going to recreate
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it out of whole cloth. what makes sense, we'll work from there. i think that part of the challenge for folks to wrap their minds around. if you're not doing tariff reductions, usually a settlement mechanism at the very end of it, if you lose a case, if you're on the winning side, if you win a case, and the right that you win is to suspend your concessions, at the wto. often, you get to suspend your tariffs. and i think over the course of this negotiation, there will be concessions and negotiations for each other. those can be suspended through a traditional mechanism. let's bring that through and devise something that makes sense. but i did want to raise awareness around some of the ways in which our u.s. trade practices is already pushing the envelope on the disputes
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system as is traditionally framed and it really goes to just the fundamental issue of what is the point of a dispute settlement mechanism? well, you know, you could think about it as it's a forum for us to fight each other, but ultimately when you take it to what the point of an agreement is, it's a way to ensure that what's been negotiated as meaning, that you can't just, you can't just promise something, say that you're going to do something and then go do something completely different. it's an accountability mechanism, and if we look at our trade practice starting with the peru trade agreement which has this very built up, very detailed logging annex, that's tailored to the deforestation in peru when we passed that agreement to the usmca response agreement which is working at creating a mechanism for ensuring
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compliance with mexico's labor reform and labor laws, you see this evolution of our dispute settlement mechanism that goes into more cooperative modes and is looking at holding accountable not just the other country, but also what is happening within the economic eco system and whether or not the participants, whether they are logging companies or facilities that have set up originalses or-- operations or if they're abiding by the requirements of the agreement itself. so, again, just highlighting that in our own practice, we have started to evolve away from a traditional settlement mechanism to think about new ways of holding the different participants in the trade agreement accountable for creating integrity in the promises that are made and in
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the vision that's incorporated into the agreement. >> typically, one way to hold someone accountable is to basically have penalties in mind if they don't live up to their obligations, commitments. are you thinking about that with respect to corporate accountability? >> i think in cases of the case in peru and the response in mexico. there are penalties and consequences nor noncompliance, noncompliance with the laws of our partner countries, noncompliance about the parameters of the agreement itself. so, yes, certainly. but you know, i think that on a broader scale, also, what we are looking to do with the next generation of trade engagement and trade arrangements is also to be looking at the incentive structure and to try to create a couple that are powerful enough that, you know, you
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create incentives both through sticks, but also with carrots. just in terms of taking the pulse and the temperature of participants in the global economy, i think that there is a really strong desire to bring back that sense of confidence that, you know, the global economy works like clockwork, which is the kind of confidence that i think we need to have and adapt to the experiences that we have, whether it's with the pandemic or whether it's a war on the european continent to figure out how we bring that back and i think a large part of that is building into our trade relationships and conversations and the mechanisms for creating resilience. i think it's when we can accomplish a buy-in that we're building a more resilient global economic system that that confidence will come back
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and around that confidence, i think that we need to see more sustainability built in. the degree to which i hear economic participants and some of our most traditional, you know, corporate stakeholders, looking at the vision where the world economy is going and they need to make sure at that there is a runway for continuing to operate and to able to be productive and sustainability piece is critical. >> so, when you mention incentives, at least for a lot of the foreign trading partners, guess what, they think of tariff cuts right away. my understanding that the administration has basically taken the tariff cuts off the table in this initiative. however, i went back and looked at the register notice when they invited public comments for this process. there was an interesting phrase and it said tariff cuts,
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basically, we're not envisioning or addressing tariff cuts at this time. so, at this time what that suggests is probably a negotiated sentence and maybe some folks in the administration that are thinking that maybe at some point we would think about tariff cuts. is that a fair interpretation? i'm looking at your face and i think i'm going to get a no, but-- >> i don't know, i think it's just a fact. we do not have tariff cuts on the table at this time. but also, a trade practice the last 20 years has really, really focused on tariff cuts, has brought us to a point where i think the advantage rate for big united states is quite low, around 2%, right, a little over 2% so there's not a lot for us to further give. right?
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and i think that the other piece of it is, if the program for chasing through tariffs has nevertheless demonstrated what we've got right now is a world economic system that is extremely vulnerable to supply chain disruptions, breakages, bottle necks, you know, let's think about-- let's think about promoting the goal of resilience of sustainability and if there are tools that can do that, let's entertain those tools, but let's think through what it is that we're trying to accomplish, and for the moment, you know, we have taken the tariff cuts off the table to look at what other tools we have. what other tools we have and use in new ways and we can develop in this digital realm in particular. i think that no one is that
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focused on tariff cuts as it is and that kind of next generation conversation is one that he is tremendously important and one that also needs to be promoting resilience and sustainability. >> change gears a bit. taiwan, not a member of ipac, and you announced an initiative with taiwan to work on 21st century issues. when i look at that list of issues and then i look at list of issues addressed in the tifa which that you've reinvigorated with taiwan, there seems to be overlap. what's what's the difference between the work done with taiwan and the new initiative unveiled? >> i think you can think of it as being on a spectrum. i don't know that it necessarily needs to be distinct from each other. one of the interesting aspects of coming in as u.s. trade representative and then just, you know, carrying president
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biden's instruction for america to do that and to rebuild or build up further our relationships with our trading partners has been looking at what kinds of relationships do we already have and obviously, we have fta's with a number of countries. you'll probably know the exact number. >> 17 is in my head. >> i was thinking around 20. >> and you look at the number of tifa there, 42, sticks in my mind from my briefings ustr. there is a whole practice. we don't do them with anyone. and there's a filtering system in terms of our economic relationship and strategic relationship. and they're kind of in the overlooked asset. so, you know, whatever the platform is, whatever the engagement is that we have created with our trading partners should be the basis
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for us to build on. in taiwan's case, the minister act the trade minister's meeting in may in bangkok and we had a very good meeting and we should deepen and expand our trading relationship and you've seen just in the last week we've announced this 21st century trade initiative. we will continue to per sue with our trading partners. it's all about you be is stance and consistency of our vision and the format may depend on the particular relationship that we have. >> okay, now, moving on the globe. let's hit china quickly. >> hit the topic of china. >> i'm sorry. we'll touch upon china. just yesterday in the news,
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second-- secretary raimondo along with others, calling into question whether the sanctions in place, a section 301 announcement and we're also hearing about pressure on the administration to reimpose an exclusion process. secretary blinken has now given a speech with kind of giving our overall china policy putting that forward, which in my mind, always meant then that we would start hearing other pieces of the puzzle. we're going to be hearing more in china trade in the next week or two? >> well, i think that the issue of the u.s.-china trade relationship is one of the most important ones and i feel confident that everyone who is in this room with us, and everyone who is with us
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virtually works on this issue. in some way or another. or their work is impacted by this issue. so, look, i think that what is really important for the biden administration is to bring a thoughtful strategic deliberate approach to how we manage this relationship overall, as you saw in secretary blinken's speech, it was a long speech and that looked at the entire relationship and covered a lot of ground. i think that no matter what we will be talking and thinking about china for years to come and in terms of, you know, timelines, i think that just as everyone here always, i think, my guess is, working on, thinking about the u.s.-china trade relationship, the challenges that we have, but
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also new opportunities that we need to be thinking about, too. so are we thinking about this in the administration, and i think that it's reflective of one of the most important responsibilities we've had right now, which is to figure out how to -- how to get this relationship right and nothing about this relationship is easy. >> i think we'll all agree with that last sentence, nothing is easy. maybe we can then move on to your travel schedule. so the next 10 days you're going to be in-- >> a number of different places. so i will be in los angeles for the summit of the americasment oeb is with trade in paris and kicking off knock on wood sunday the 12th, and, no, it's-- it's a really important time. there are a lot of things that
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we need to accomplish and a lot of -- and a lot of lost time or lost engagement to make up for it. >> what's your mood going into the wto ministerial. in some ways it's been jinxed, postponed three times. ... >> in such a difficult period in our history. >> i'm looking forward to it. precisely it hasn't been james but this is a fourth time we tried to convene.
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i think that's why i'm so energized and we were already actually ready to get on planes and semi-counterparts already in geneva and some of my delegation were already there and some got called back in mid flight or at the transfer points. it really did happen right before in c 12 was supposed to start last fall. look, it looks like like ar going to happen, right? there are a lot of conversations, important ones we need to advance. whether not we can get them across the finish line i don't know. actually i don't know and if i did trade would be a lot less interesting and a lot easier than actually is. but it was important for us to have in c12 and it's important for us to wake up the day after mc 12 and feel like we have a vision for what we would like 13 to be. so i will also say that an even
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more energized going into this in june 2022 of 2022 than s feeling last fall in large part because we now have our wto ambassador in place. we now have a resistant ustr for office in place andrew durkin. and david bisbee who had been wearing lots of different hats in geneva now has his ambassador and has the institutional knowledge for where all the conversations have been. i feel really confident about the team ustr is bring to this and confident we will make the very best a challenging circumstances, and we're looking at how we position ourselves coming out of mc12 with a vision for being long-term committed to the wto also knowing that there's a very important conversation and process that awaits us on the other side.
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>> i was in geneva a couple of weeks ago and you put together a strong team, and to think it's extremely important. but just back to some of the deliverables. maybe you can share with us your thoughts on the trips waver. there is a text out there, , soe differences have narrowed your china at least is publicly announced that it does not intend to avail itself to the trips waiver which was a step forward. do you see any opening in the china and us but if it were in writing that could help pave the way for an agreement on the trips waiver? >> i think one of the key aspects of china as a trade partner and in some of these forms, too, is obviously as the second largest economy in the world when china speak, people listen, right? and this is relationship that has been very important to us for many, many years.
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there's a real question around well, when china speaks, what is it saying? and how good is china for the words that it says? or frankly even the words that it signs of two on paper. i think that going into mc12 i'm also interested in seeing who does china seem to geneva, whether the to send someone -- >> a trade minister or -- >> from beijing. they do have a very capable deputy on bass or who i know do i really respect from my days at wto litigator. but one of the things that's been called for is a red mc 12 and more consistently she would like to see the active participation of ministers and she has said that when you let things go on autopilot in geneva not a lot happens. and we are at a point worse
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things need to start happening. so i'll be interested to see how that proceeds because the wto is about its members. and what happens that mc12 depend on what teams show up and what kinds of commitment they bring. >> another important member for the wto minister success is india, and it'll have a great track track record in bringing success to minister eels. when i was in geneva i heard a concern again that may be they would block some of this work. i know you have a really good relationship with the new indian trade minister. have you been in touch with him in the lead up to the ministerial to try to work together to make this a a suc? >> so i've been very good touch the minister, and last fall as part of my first tour of asia i went to tokyo, seoul and then
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delhi. and -- >> the trade policy. >> the first time in five years and we felt it was very important to put up a joint statement there. and we didn't just put out a joint statement. that joint statement was five or six pages with really robust joint statement. we are working very hard on making our trade relationship with india effective and productive. now, india knows its own lines. india has a complex place in the world order to put it diplomatically. and in terms of india's approach to trade and to the wto what i see as an increasingly strategic india when it comes to trade. and so i am confident that india will be engaging with
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intentionality. it is a a complicated world ai think russia's invasion of ukraine has actually made our trade interactions of these large forums that much more complex. but again with respect to all of our trading partners i think there is a commitment that we will see demonstrated, or not, at mc12. >> you have mentioned, , i've heard others talk about, you know, we should think post in c12 and particularly about the reform discussion going forward. for a lot of coaches when you talk about reform they are really focus on fixing the dispute settlement system as a first step and it seems to me this is an area where the u.s. has been under a lot of criticism but perhaps in recent months there has been a change in tone and countries are beginning to sense that we are interested in fixing the system. you were a litigator, you know the value of the system but you
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know the ugly parts, too, very well. so how are you approaching dispute settlement? will you give your team the leeway to explore solutions and a way to fix it dispute? >> i love this question because you are no stranger to the wto are the dispute settlement system either and no stranger to conversations and i absolutely agree with you the conversations from when i started at ustr to today, 15 months, has really evolved. i would go a step further and say that when i started a lot of focus on wto reform was not about fixing the dispute settlement system or addressing it. was about quote restoring the appellate body, which is a very, very narrow way of approaching this particular issue. anything we been quite successful in orienting people to the fact that the appellate body problem is a symptom of a a larger challenge that we have and it is rather dispute
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settlement system and whether or not it is doing to think it was designed to do, which is literally to help settle disputes between the members of the wto. and i gave a speech in geneva last october where i talked about, first, reaffirmed the biden administration's commitment to the wto out, and then to go through some of the areas reform that we think really need robust engagement from the wto membership. at the top is the dispute settlement system. i think that over time it has become this very, very unwieldy and expensive mechanism for litigation that not all wto members can access. there's actually a very high threshold to accessing the system. if you think about how effective is a a dispute settlement sysm that is only a small part feels like it can use. that's without even going into
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the ins and outs of how the litigation system works. overtime dispute settlement has become synonymous with litigation. that's the challenge, that's the problem especially because we also have this issue where the last really multilateral agreement they came out of the wto was accomplished in 2013. it was the trade facilitation agreement, which if you get in the ins and outs is a no-braine no-brainer. it really is something that is good for the system and is about upgrading to reflect the realities of today's trade and goods. and yet that required a small miracle and i think the personal charm and relationships that ambassador michael paul has built up in geneva. if you look at it that way, a negotiation function at the wto is also significantly broken down and i'm interested in gauge
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in mc12 to see as of 2022 has it started to heal itself in a time of great global economic need? are be able to come together, or is the system still going to be stymied by all the dynamics we've seen? i think the reason why i raised this is because the ability of wto members to obtain findings through litigation that effectively create rules that did not need to go through the negotiation process is part of the significant challenge that the wto has had as an institution. i think that larger issue needs to be serviced and dealt with. if we truly are committed to the wto. and so to get your specific question, yes, absolutely i have asked the team to engage on dispute settlement as part of this larger vision for reinvigorating the wto. >> so in terms of negotiation then how do you view the
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negotiations with some people say it's almost a litmus test for the negotiating function if the fishing subsidies talks which is been underway for 20 years can't wait to successful conclusion. what hope is there when you think of more complex issues that need to be negotiated? >> litmus tests are not that helpful especially when you're getting with marginalization like the wto which is so multilayered butter think will be an important data point and i think from our perspective as we are approaching mc12 and engagement around fish subsidies it is going to be about whether or not over the course of 20 years in a world situation where they are being further and further deteriorated, that was not the wto can come together to create real discipline with a sustainable development goal in
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mind, and i think that no matter what happens it is going to be important for us to think through the parameters for the reform exercises. >> another issue that is come to the forefront for the ministerial is the fate of the customs moratorium or i think there's a real concern among many and u.s. business community that this may not be extended. are you worried? >> , a worried? let me say this. yes, i am worried but then i am worried, i'm just generally worried, right? [laughing] but you know again let me channel my initial answer to your question about how i am thinking about mc12, how i feel about it. i am energized. this is our time to come together and figure what we can do including on the customs moratorium. on this issue the moratorium has been around for a long time now. the justification for the
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moratorium have evolved. we need to be having a conversation around about the moratorium that reflects the state of our economy now and we need to be engaging with the partners including the ones who want to see it gone around what their interests are and what their strategy is for engaging on this issue. i will just say i am energized to engage on this because it's important. >> one more question because we haven't discussed the seven of the americas and i know ken, that was on my list and a promise i would raise at work you are leaving tomorrow for l.a. but apparently you will then be going on to paris before the actual summit begins. so what would you be doing in los angeles question you will be meeting with trade ministers on the side and also engaging stakeholders? >> i will be having a number off by last one in l.a. for discussing the wto of. >> we will be discussing everything. in terms of a by last and this is something that was really missed because of a lot of the
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virtual convenience around these types of summits and forums is, you know have bilateral skill right? there's sort of the big large multilateral agendas that you want to make sure you coordinate on but fundamental to the bilateral engagement is a bilateral relationship. and so there's a number of, there's some new counterparts who had just come into their position to i haven't had a chance to meet yet and really looking forward to making those connections. latin america is the one region i think where we have the most fta's and it is also a really diverse region. i am, i am really looking forward to engaging with these partners at the summit and then building on this engagement over into mc12. >> will you travel to the region by the end of year, next your? >> i'm sure i will. i went down to mexico last july
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to celebrate the first anniversary of the usmca. i am certain that i will. >> thank you, ambassador tai. thank you come when you get what we're going to do is try to take some questions in the room so formulate those. we will run a microvote overachiever if you do ask a question in the room ask that you please keep it short so we can actually have time to listen to ambassador tai's response. and format income put in the form of a question and identify who you are but before we do that want to bring some of our zoom questions if i may. we try to do this hybrid thing here. one of the questions comes in about the nexus between russia sanctions and the seemingly issue of the relationship between national and economic security. and then what does it mean for the wto? >> so russia sanctions is the international economic security what does mean for the wto of? you know what i guess i would push back this is an emerging issue. i think national economic
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security have always been linked, and there are times when that linkage is more extant to it and there are times when that linkage is less accentuated. with respect to china that can purchase of national and economic security haven't come together over the course of the last couple of years quite a bit. we now see it also with russia. what does this mean for the wto? i think that it's all part and parcel of our engagement at the wto, the wto escalation of economies and among those economies all go through these changes in our relationships and the dynamic and the global economy. i see this actually not as an emerging issue but it's something that's really baked into the pie. >> great. thinking of our national security interest there's also been a lot of discussion about nearshoring and the relationship with our usmca partners.
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we are under know how many mature internet, but how are we doing so far? at another one of the questions coming from our friends on my. >> i think it's 23 months because it is shy one for increase over come up on the two-year anniversary of usmca being in in a fact. how are we doing? i think this relationship is strong. i think that going through the exercise of renewing our vows to each other if you will, addressing some of it, going through some couple therapy also or over the course of the process has been really important. and he think again at a really important time because none of us could have known it of course but having usmca basically come up through congress in 2019, make it through the senate and early 2020, he signed desha be
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signed into law and go into force a couple months into the pandemic, i think that you never know what the counterfactual would be. but i think the timing was really important in getting us through the pandemic, as challenging as it was and as difficult as it was. a lot of the updates to usmca made this candidate u.s.-mexico relationship, i believe and at some point someone will have some time to do an economic analysis but i strongly believe made this north american relationship more resilient through some very challenging years. >> good morning, madam ambassador i am robert tobias and i'm with the national
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association of beverage importers and beverage alcohol. first, thank you for your service. second, thank you for your great work of walking, chewing gum and playing chess all at the same time. i found it very useful. because the beverage alcohol the airbus tariffs issues are on the forefront of my members. you have reached settlements but they are obviously reminded my members. had a temporary. we feel they will stay in place but they're still temporary. with the dst particularly the french dst, your trip to paris later this week, what are your goals, aspirations, hopes on the movement on the two pillar international tax framework? i mean, movement of that is kind
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of contingent on whether or not those dst is maybe reimposed investigation. thank you, madam ambassador. >> let me say something about the nature of the accommodations we have reached with europe including steel and aluminum and also the dst's. i guess when we could look at it is it's temporary. the way i look at it is we've reached an accommodation and yet we've kept ourselves and our partners on the hook that, you know, it isn't just okay we're done ever going to move on. there is a reason why we took each one of those disputes or each one of those situations to the break and at tariffs in place in order to maintain the free flow of trade between us. we need to hold each other, and we have more work to do. we and the europeans. and i am very confident that we're going to deliver in each
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one of those areas. on the dst on this when i think the easy answer for me to keep things tidy to say the actual negotiations on pillar one and pillar two are taken up by secretary yellen and her department that in this area obvious it with the dst 301 we work very closely with our treasury counterparts and i would tell you that on these issues in particular for those of us have been around government, the traditional kind of ustr treasury tensions are really not present. we have worked hand in glove with secretary yellen and her team, and i know that that pillar one, pillar two agreement is something that secretary yellen takes great pride in. so we will have to see obviously in these situations is that just up to us, it is up to our partner countries. but i remain confident that the spatial with our european partners that we will find a way. >> thank you. >> hi, ambassador tai.
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it's a good to see you. i want to thank you for knocking it out of the park in asking most of my questions. i just want to ask the focus on climate change around the globe and by the biden administration, what do you think of the possibilities it reinvigorated at wto? maybe not this ministerial but maybe the next one. >> agee, caitlin. it's great to see. it's great to see you in person. i have a great interest in reinvigorating the ega conversation but in bringing a 2022 consciousness to the ega negotiations. and i think one of the most important ways in which that negotiation needs to be updated is to think through how we harnessing our trade tools to further cleaner, greener investments in trade and more sustainable world. the traditional approach which
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is a one that we had in ega back in 2014, 15, 16 was one where we were going to knock down tariffs on goods that we consider to be environmental goods. and all the negotiation was around whether or not a good was environmental or green or not, right, which created some real conflicts. it's that easy around bicycles, around wind turbines, , things like that. here's the challenge we have today, which is if you just look at the example of solar panels, right? that is a green good and solar panels need to be deployed. they are available technology to be able to allow the world to be more effective in reaching our climate and are carbon goal. but we are 85% reliant on china as a producer of solar panels. the real challenge we have is that supply chain runs right to the region of china where we
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know there's significant force labor problem. we also know that a significant part of the chinese production economy is run on coal-fired power. and so if you are looking at well, let's knock down tariffs on green goods but you're not looking at how those goods are produced and whether or not the production of those goods in itself is contributing to sustainability, then i think that you missed a a huge partf the picture. and so my interest is definitely in having this conversation at the wto to say if we know that sustainability is something that we all want to contribute to, let's update on thinking about how they contribute to that through the use of trade tools. >> madam ambassador, dave with american farm bureau. at the ministerial conference next week, what is the u.s.
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along with other members looking to accomplish to help those countries that have their growing concerns about food security, of course to all the disruptions in grain trade because of the conflict and you can? >> that's a great question. very much on our minds and i include in our secretary vilsack might as well. he and i been in touch over some of these concerns around food insecurity around the world. and in terms of approaching mc12, and, frankly, all of her global engagements, what we would like to do is find ways to partner and to have a conversation around how we can come together to be a part of the solution. having a significant food insecurity around the world, especially in our emerging economies, is that good for them and it's that good for any of us
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in a world economic system that already feels quite fragile and brittle. so i think that writ large that so we are thinking, and we have an extremely productive agricultural economy here in the united states. the question is how can we take our strengths and put our strengths together with others to work out a system that brings back and builds on a sense of security. >> no call, family traveler. good to see. hopefully easy question. where is canada with respect to the i pass. >> i was going to say it's to our north, nicole. [laughing] it was a jog of a question to with respect to the eye test. canada is one of our most
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important trading partners, as you know, and we actually, i'm going to throw in the europeans also, i think there are a number of our allies and partners who all are very interested in engaging with our indo-pacific partners and come together with them around shared interests and shared challenges. and the europeans but the canadians also are partners with whom we stay in good touch it to ensure that our respective approaches to the indo-pacific are mutually and reinforcing and that we don't asked did i step on each other. candidate is an important partner in that effort. >> ambassador tai come such a pleasure to see you in person. thank you so much. i'm vice president of international trade for the consumer technology association. i would like to circle back to
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two topics we talked about. i passed and the customs duty moratorium over e-commerce. in the ipab there are economies that openly said would like to apply customs duty and electronic transmissions and data flows. india has been very explicit about that. there are probably others as well, , africa, indonesia, south africa. he going to be talking to some of these members prior to mc12? is this on your agenda for your engagement in pairs or in los angeles? expert i i just saw the minisr of indonesia in bangkok for the trade ministers, raise this issue with them. there was azuma parents at that, at apac. so an ongoing conversations yes, and as mc12 comes up will be more and more focus on aesthetic issues that comes up in mc12.
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i guess the short answer is to that question is yes. >> thank you. we have about a dozen questions they came in on soon. i know your time is tight. i do want to ask what of them and then we'll wrap up and see it when he has anything. the question of the economy in general in the u.s., the biden administration's focus on inflation and the potential nexus between tariffs, any thoughts on that? >> if i i said no, would you believe me? [laughing] look, not just americans but a lot of people around the world are contending with an inflationary environment. it is scary. it creates anxiety and, you know, it also inflicts pain on your pocketbook. and he goes to how we engage in the world and how we feel in
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terms of our economic security. so it is a really important issue. i guess what i would say is this, which is the singular focus on tariffs in the context of inflation, look, the economy is large and are a lot of pressure points in the economy. if we're going to take on an issue like inflation and give it the seriousness that it requires, then our approach to tools for addressing inflation need to respect that it is a more competition issue than just tariffs at the bar. >> thank you. wendy, any final thoughts a word? >> just a big thank you and wish you the best of luck particularly over the next ten days but beyond that as well. >> thank you so much, wendy. [applause] >> thank you all for joining us. we look forward to hosting you again soon. [inaudible conversations]
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