The U.S. House of Representatives will reconvene on Monday, 14 November, and the U.S. Senate the following day.
TPP – Administration Still Stumping. In a call on 3 November, Ambassador Froman reiterated the Obama Administration is still aiming for a lame-duck congressional vote on the TPP deal, but he did not offer any details on how the Administration plans to overcome significant obstacles (e.g., biologics, tobacco, etc.) to TPP’s approval. Meanwhile, the Wisconsin Farmers Union reportedly conducted a survey of dairy farmers to ascertain their position on the TPP, with 80% of participants opposing the deal and citing concerns with the imported Milk Protein Concentrates (MPCs) and other low-cost imports.
Iran – Sanction Reauthorization Ahead. Many expect renewal of the 1996 Iran Sanctions Act (P.L. 104-172) that expires at the end of the year will be high on the legislative agenda for the lame-duck session. House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-California) has said that he plans to introduce a bipartisan measure to renew the law. Meanwhile, the Obama Administration has suggested its opposition to renewal, saying executive action can be used to impose penalties on Iran if Tehran violates terms of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
EU-U.S. Insurance Negotiations – Update. On 7 November, the U.S. Department of the Treasury released the following update on last week’s U.S.-EU insurance and reinsurance measures discussions:
Both sides continued to discuss in good faith matters relating to group supervision, exchange of confidential information between supervisory authorities on both sides, and reinsurance supervision, including collateral. U.S. and EU representatives continued to make progress, identifying negotiation points of convergence and areas requiring further work, and developing textual elements for inclusion in a possible agreement.”
Power Africa – New Interagency Working Group Formed. On 3 November, President Obama released a new E.O. establishing an interagency Power Africa Working Group. The E.O. includes a provision for the Working Group to consult with non-U.S. Government entities, as well as encourages partnerships with African private sector companies. The E.O. furthermore suggests the Working Group “may establish sub-groups consisting exclusively of Working Group members or their designees, as appropriate, such as one for each of the three pillars of the Power Africa Roadmap: (1) megawatts, (2) connections, and (3) unlocking energy sector potential.”