With less than two weeks remaining until Election Day, President Obama started this week, on the campaign trail, advocating for Hillary Clinton to be the next U.S. president. Republican contender Donald Trump is currently trailing in the polls.
The U.S. Congress is in recess until after the 8 November elections. The House of Representatives will reconvene on Monday, 14 November, and the Senate the following day.
TPP – Schumer Comments. Senator Charles Schumer (D-New York), who is expected to be the next Senate Democratic Leader and who opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal in its current form, argued that Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) is the only person who will decide whether the TPP deal is approved before the next President takes office. However, Senator Schumer acknowledged, “[I]t’s an iffy question for the House to get a majority.” Leader McConnell has said that TPP will not be brought to the Senate floor for a vote before the end of the year.
TTIP – Overhaul Suggested. French President François Hollande said of the Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP) on 21 October:
"This agreement needs to be revised profoundly if there is to be an agreement one of these days. … There cannot be an agreement on the basis of TTIP and even so less by the end of this year.”
Panama Papers/Shell Companies – Congressional Inquiry. Senator Wyden sent a letter to the heads of the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on 19 October requesting detailed reports on filings by thousands of firms linked to the Panama Papers. In a statement Senator Wyden said:
"With information on thousands of shell companies from the Panama Papers out in public view, lawmakers and agencies here in the U.S. ought to put our disclosure tools to the test. This leak demonstrated just how easy it is to abuse shell companies, so I believe it is essential to determine whether the laws on the books do enough to fight that abuse.”
Duty Evasion – CBP Extends Comment Period. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is allowing the public an additional 60 days to comment on an interim final rule outlining how the agency will implement new and improved procedures for investigating duty evasion claims. The end of the public comment period has been extended to 20 December.