The Obama Administration will focus this week on the global steel crisis, holding a public hearing on the topic. Washington will also host the annual World Bank/International Monetary Fund (IMF) Spring Meeting.

Both chambers of Congress will be in session this week. A House subcommittee will consider a Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB) reform measure on Thursday. There will be separate Senate and House hearings this week focused on ending sexual abuse in United Nations Peacekeeping Forces and on countering the spread of ISIL/ISIS.

World Bank/IMF Spring Meeting

Delegations from multiple countries will be in Washington to attend the annual Spring Meeting, discussing economic development issues.

Global Steel Crisis

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) and the Commerce Department will hold a joint hearing on 12 April that will focus on global steel overcapacity, just ahead of the OECD steel committee meeting next week on the same topic.

TPP Developments – Trying to Build Support

The Obama Administration is responding to the increased anti-trade rhetoric emanating from the U.S. presidential campaigns by having U.S. officials discuss the advantages of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal around the country.

TTIP Developments – New York Round Ahead

U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman travels to London this week for Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) discussions with EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström ahead of the next round of TTIP negotiations in New York City the week of 25 April.

House MTB Hearing This Week

House Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee Chair Dave Reichert (R-Washington) announced last week that the subcommittee will hold hearing this Thursday on reform legislation to revise the process for selecting tariff waivers for inclusion in the MTB package. Senate Finance Committee Chair Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said last week that he supports House Ways and Means Committee Chair Kevin Brady’s (R-Texas) MTB reform proposal.

Panama Papers Controversy

Last Monday, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalist (ICIJ) released summaries of its analysis of a massive leak of papers from a law firm – known as the Panama Papers – that is causing shockwaves, with powerful political and business leaders facing questions about their ties to shell companies and tax havens.

Congressional Hearings This Week:

  • On Tuesday, 12 April, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing titled, “The Spread of ISIS and Transnational Terrorism.”
  • On Tuesday, 12 April, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State-Foreign Operations is scheduled to hold a hearing to examine the causes and consequences of violent extremism and the role of foreign assistance.
  • On Wednesday, 13 April, the Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing titled, “The Distortion of EB-5 Targeted Employment Areas: Time to End the Abuse.”
  • On Wednesday, 13 April, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Department of Defense is scheduled to hold a hearing titled, “Hearings to examine proposed budget estimates and justification for fiscal year 2017 for the Missile Defense Agency.”
  • On Wednesday, 13 April, the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa is scheduled to hold a hearing titled, “Assessing President Obama’s Middle East and North Africa FY 2017 Budget Request.”
  • On Wednesday, 13 April, the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Global Human Rights and International Organizations is scheduled to hold a hearing titled, “Peacekeepers: Allegations of Abuse and Absence of Accountability at the United Nations.”
  • On Wednesday, 13 April, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing titled, “Do No Harm: Ending Sexual Abuse in United Nations Peacekeeping.”
  • On Wednesday, 13 April, the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific is scheduled to hold a hearing titled, “Countering Extremism and the Threat of ISIS in Southeast Asia.”
  • On Wednesday, 13 April, the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower is scheduled to hold a hearing titled, “Marine Corps Ground Modernization.”
  • On Wednesday, 13 April, the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces is scheduled to hold a hearing titled, “Ballistic Missile Defense Policies and Programs.”
  • On Wednesday, 13 April, the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces is scheduled to hold a hearing titled, “Building the Fleet We Need: A Look at Navy Force Structure.”
  • On Thursday, 14 April, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense is scheduled to hold a closed hearing titled, “Oversight Hearing – United States Pacific Command.”
  • On Thursday, 14 April, the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade is scheduled to hold a Trade Organizational Meeting.
  • On Thursday, 14 April, the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces is scheduled to hold a hearing titled, “The Missile Defeat Posture and Strategy of the United States—The FY17 President’s Budget Request.”
  • On Friday, 15 April, the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations is scheduled to hold a hearing titled, “Evaluating DOD Investments: Case Studies in Afghanistan Initiatives and U.S. Weapons Sustainment.”

Looking Ahead

Washington is expected to focus on the following upcoming events:

  • 15-17 April: The World Bank/IMF Spring Meeting in Washington
  • Week of 25 April: TTIP negotiations in New York City
  • 25-29 April: President Obama attends the Hannover Messe in Germany
  • [TBA] May: President Obama travels to Vietnam and Laos
  • 13 May: President Obama hosts the U.S.-Nordic Leaders Summit
  • 18 May: Due date for release of the USITC report on the TPP deal
  • 8-9 July: NATO Summit in Warsaw, Poland