The U.S. Congress is in recess until after the 8 November elections.

TPP – Ryan Reiterates No-Go. In an interview last week, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) reiterated the votes do not exist in the U.S. House of Representatives for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal:

Yeah we’re not going to bring that up in lame duck, and I think I can say that safely.”

While several U.S. business associations have been advocating for Congress to approve the TPP deal this year, the American Sustainable Business Council and the Coalition for a Prosperous America has urged Congress to not consider the TPP deal in the upcoming “lame-duck” session of Congress, which begins after the November elections.

TTIP – Next Steps Unclear. Negotiators concluded the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations on Friday in New York City, noting that “good progress” was made but also acknowledging next steps remain unclear. While there was initially a push to conclude a deal by the end of the year, the negotiations remain at an impasse over certain key issues, such as: (1) agricultural tariffs and so-called geographical indications on food products, (2) intellectual property rights, (3) data protection, and (4) government procurement. Both sides have since acknowledged the negotiations will continue into 2017, under a new U.S. Administration and Congress. In speaking with reporters on Friday, U.S. chief negotiator Dan Mullaney reminded, “The rationale for TTIP remains strong.”

Transatlantic Trade with SSA – Argument for Rapprochement. On 7 October, The Hill published an Op-Ed by trade policy folks at Squire Patton Boggs that argues the TTIP pause could allow the United States, the United Kingdom and the EU to consider harmonizing their trade policies with respect to goods from sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The full article can be viewed here.

MTB Update. By the end of this week, the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) is expected to publish a Federal Register notice related to Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB) petition process, after launching an information webpage last week. On 4 October, the USITC launched a new webpage for its upcoming MTB process, noting the petition process will be entirely electronic this year. The new interim rules are also posted to the webpage.