Thursday, January 10, 2019

U.S., China complete trade meeting No definitive answers, but both sides remain open to discussion

While no full resolution of an ongoing trade conflict was reached, U.S. and Chinese officials said they remain open to discussion after wrapping up a round of trade talks here on Wednesday, according to a report in Furniture Today.

Joint Statement of the Trilateral Meeting of the Trade Ministers of the European Union, Japan and the United States

Mrs. Cecilia Malmström, European Commissioner for Trade, Mr. Hiroshige Seko, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan, and Ambassador Robert E. Lighthizer, United States Trade Representative, met in Washington, D.C. on 9 January 2019 and issued the following statement --

The Ministers advanced discussions on their shared objective to address non market-oriented policies and practices of third countries that lead to severe overcapacity, create unfair competitive conditions for their workers and businesses, hinder the development and use of innovative technologies, and undermine the proper functioning of international trade, including where existing rules are not effective.

They reiterated their concerns, reviewed ongoing work, and agreed to deepen their cooperation in all areas covered by the Ministerial Statements issued in New York and Paris, including nonmarket policies and practices, market-oriented conditions, industrial subsidies and state-owned enterprises, forced technology transfer policies and practices, WTO reform and digital trade and e-commerce.

today's meeting, the Ministers discussed in particular:

concerns with non-market oriented policies and practices, Ministers took stock of the intensification of the exchange of information between them, the identification of additional criteria indicating market-oriented conditions, and confirmed that market-oriented conditions are fundamental to a fair, mutually advantageous global trading system and that their citizens and businesses operate under market-oriented conditions. The Ministers also confirmed their commitment to continue working together to maintain the effectiveness of existing WTO disciplines, including through ongoing WTO disputes.

industrial subsidies, Ministers instructed their staff to finalize trilateral text-based work in this area by spring in order to engage other key WTO Members after that, as appropriate.

the area of forced technology transfers, Ministers confirmed their agreement to cooperate on enforcement, on the development of new rules, on investment review for national security purposes and on export controls and further take stock of this cooperation by spring.

the reform of the WTO, the three partners submitted a joint transparency and notification proposal to the Council for Trade in Goods last November with other co-sponsors, and the Ministers agreed to intensify engagement with other trading partners to advance this proposal. They confirmed their agreement to work towards strengthening the regular committees' activities. They also reiterated their call on advanced WTO Members claiming developing country status to undertake full commitments in ongoing and future WTO negotiations.

The Ministers reaffirmed the importance of cooperating in facilitating digital trade and the growth of the digital economy and to enhance business environments through the promotion of data security. The Ministers confirmed their support for the timely initiation of WTO negotiations on trade-related aspects of electronic commerce that seek to achieve a high standard agreement with the participation of as many WTO members as possible.

Ministers look forward to further cooperation for the G20 Ministerial Meeting on Trade and the Digital Economy under the Japanese G20 Presidency.

Soldier Center tests new Army combat boot prototypes

The U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command Soldier Center at Natick is testing new Army Combat Boot (ACB) prototypes at three different basic training and active duty installations over the next four months. The effort will gather Soldier feedback toward development of improved footwear.... READ MORE.

IS SPIDER SILK THE PERFORMANCE FABRIC OF THE FUTURE?

“Spider silk is a much stronger natural fiber than traditional silkworm silk,” said Jamie Bainbridge, the vice president of product development at Bolt Threads.... READ MORE.

Army and Air Force Jacket Contract Awarded

Federal Prison Industries Inc., Washington, D.C, has been awarded a maximum $27,189,820 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for extreme cold/wet weather jackets. This is an 18-month base contract, with one one-year option period. Locations of performance are Kentucky, Georgia, and Washington, D.C, with a July 8, 2020, performance completion date. Using military services are Army and Air Force. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2019 through 2020 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (SPE1C1-19-D-F019).

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Sustainable performance: Texture-driven fabrics from Breathe by Milliken

The Specialty Interiors business of Milliken & Company launched the new texture-driven Breathe by Milliken home fabrics, including cotton-linen blends and chenilles. Plant-based water-repellent Breathe fabrics are durable, repels everyday stains and cleans easily without PFCs, fire retardants or other such chemicals. Breathe by Milliken fabrics also earned Greenguard Gold certification...READ MORE.

Statement on the United States Trade Delegation’s Meetings in Beijing

On January 7-9, an official delegation from the United States led by Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Jeffrey Gerrish held meetings in Beijing with Chinese officials to discuss ways to achieve fairness, reciprocity, and balance in trade relations between our two countries. The officials also discussed the need for any agreement to provide for complete implementation subject to ongoing verification and effective enforcement. The meetings were held as part of the agreement reached by President Donald J. Trump and President Xi Jinping in Buenos Aires to engage in 90 days of negotiations with a view to achieving needed structural changes in China with respect to forced technology transfer, intellectual property protection, non-tariff barriers, cyber intrusions and cyber theft of trade secrets for commercial purposes, services, and agriculture. The talks also focused on China’s pledge to purchase a substantial amount of agricultural, energy, manufactured goods, and other products and services from the United States. The United States officials conveyed President Trump’s commitment to addressing our persistent trade deficit and to resolving structural issues in order to improve trade between our countries.

The delegation will now report back to receive guidance on the next steps.