Excess Steel Capacity – Global Forum Launched. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman issued a statement welcoming the formal launch of a global forum to address excess steel capacity on 16 December, saying:

By establishing this forum, the United States and our trading partners have demonstrated a resolve to address the systemic issues causing the global steel crisis and creating a negative impact on steelmaking industry and workers in the United States and around the world. Building upon the commitment made by President Obama and other G20 leaders during the September 2016 summit in Hangzhou, China, we encourage the Global Forum members to move quickly to exchange information and take effective steps to deal with the root causes of excess capacity, including market distorting support measures. Working with the G20 and interested OECD members, we look forward to upcoming meetings in February to find meaningful and timely solutions that are required to restore healthy market function in the global steel sector.”

Intellectual Property Rights – New Plan Released. The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) welcomed the release of the Joint Strategic Plan on Intellectual Property Enforcement by the Office of the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator last week. The Plan seeks to ensure that the works of U.S. creators and innovators are protected from infringement and misappropriation.

National Action Plan – Responsible Business Conduct. The White House released a National Action Plan (NAP) to promote and incentivize responsible business conduct on 16 December. The NAP touches on collaborating with companies regarding U.S. commitments and initiatives addressing corruption and child and forced labor practices.