Bloomberg TV Interviews Brian Pomper on Trump Administration Trade Remedy Efforts

Brian Pomper, co-head of the public law and policy practice at Akin Gump, was interviewed on the Bloomberg Television program “Bloomberg Markets: Balance of Power,” to discuss efforts by the Trump administration to promote trade remedies.

Pomper began with some thoughts on what President Trump could say in his State of the Union address to move forward on the issue of trade. Noting that there has been a big focus on trade deficits, Pomper said Mr. Trump’s recent speech at the World Economic Forum and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum where he was “welcoming trade in the United States and welcoming investment in the United States is seen as positive.”

Pomper also spoke about 2018 as the year when a lot of important trade decisions need to be made. This includes decisions on two so-called “Section 232 national security investigations into imports of steel and aluminum,” he said. “There’s also a so-called Section 301 investigation into China’s practices on intellectual property transfer.” With the latter, Pomper said it will be important to see what remedies are ordered by the administration.

Regarding NAFTA renegotiations, Pomper pointed out that, while President Trump was first focused on Mexico, many in the trade community knew that “the most sensitive issues really were with Canada on the business side.” Mexico, he said was trying to be very flexible and work with the administration in Washington, while Canada, until this round, “really didn’t seem to be engaging quite as much.” Pomper also said the trade talks should be driven by “the substance and less by the political calendar,” in any of the three countries.

As for the overall trend toward trade remedy proceedings, Pomper said there’s probably been an uptick. In addition, the Department of Commerce, for the first time in 25 years, recently self-initiated a proceeding, “which really shows the mindset of this administration in supporting and promoting trade remedies.”