MTB Developments – House Acts on the Reform Bill; Senate Fails to Act. The House passed its MTB reform bill on 27 April. The Senate attempted to “hotline” the House-passed MTB reform bill on Thursday, a procedure used to test whether there are any objections to passing a bill under unanimous consent. However, the Senate failed to act on the House-passed measure before concluding work that evening and joining the House in recess.
TTIP Developments – 13th Round of Negotiations Concludes. There were no significant breakthroughs reported from the recent TTIP negotiations in New York this week, however, both sides also sought to reaffirm intentions to try and conclude the negotiations by the end of the year. Reports on Friday indicated that while the European Commission had previously floated a Geographical Index (GI) list comprised of approximately 200 items, the Commission scaled back the initial list to approximately 50 items. This may signal some flexibility on a topic that has been contentious to-date.
TPP Developments – Financial Services Proposal Ahead. The Treasury Department is reportedly preparing to release a proposal that seeks to address the U.S. financial services industry’s concerns that it was excluded from a local data storage requirement ban contained in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal. The proposal apparently would address these concerns in future trade agreements and not via a side letter to the TPP deal.
Representative Rick Nolan (D-Minnesota) indicated last week that those House Democrats opposed to the TPP deal are optimistic they will prevail in preventing the deal from coming up during the lame-duck session later this year. He shared the ad hoc group of House Democrats, led by Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-Connecticut), continues to meet informally on a weekly basis.