Trade plans lag as the shutdown drags on

Posted by TGarland on 10/15/2013

It's day 15 of the government shutdown, and for a nice double whammy, we're also on the edge of a debt default. The political chaos eminating from Washington has pushed plenty of other governmental priorities to the wayside, and the Obama administration's plans for trade agreements are among them.

Just last week, in fact, the DC gridlock caused President Obama to miss a chance to discuss the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal with the leaders of other participating countries. Many of those leaders who managed to make it to the diplomatic summit in Indonesia said Obama’s absence was a missed opportunity that could cool negotiations.

This isn’t good news for the Administration, which wants to complete the TPP deal by year’s end yet faces a list of unresolved provisions in the agreement.

There are plenty in Japan who are concerned that the huge trade deal will affect “sacred territories” of the Japanese economy. While here in the U.S., members of Congress have also repeatedly warned the Administration about the current agreement's lack of a currency manipulation rule.

In other shutdown trade news: President Obama was briefed about the impact of the government shutdown on U.S. exports and trade.

The Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security, which is now in the midst of the largest overhaul of export regulations in U.S. history, has stopped accepting new export license applications.

At the same time, all pending requests are on hold, preventing manufacturers of certain high-tech goods from shipping their wares to foreign buyers, the White House said.

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