President Barack Obama issued a new Executive Order and restrictions related to North Korea, while the Administration eased some U.S. sanctions against Cuba last week.  The President and his family traveled to Cuba on Sunday and will stop in Argentina later in the week.

The White House announced early last week that South Africa had opened its market to exports of U.S. meats.  The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) also announced the Governments of the United States and Peru had reached an agreement to remove barriers for U.S. beef exports to the Latin American country.

The Senate is in recess this week, while the House of Representatives is scheduled to be in session Monday through Wednesday.  Both chambers will be in recess the week of March 27 in observance of the Easter Holiday.

TPP Developments.  U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman attended the German Marshall Fund’s 2016 Brussels Forum, where he spoke on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations.  Ambassador Froman said:  “We made it clear we do not believe this [TPP deal] can be renegotiated, which doesn’t mean we can’t address outstanding issues through a number of mechanisms that we have.”  While he did not specifically address available mechanisms, they could include side letters, implementation plans and enforcement efforts. 

U.S. Meats Exports – Further Market Access Secured.  Last week, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) announced that it had reached an agreement with the Government of Peru to remove barriers on U.S. beef exports that have been in effect since 2003.  This opens one of the fastest growing markets in Latin America to U.S. beef and beef products.

The White House also welcomed “significant steps” undertaken by the Government of South Africa to restore market access for U.S. poultry, pork, and beef products.  As a result of collaboration between the two Governments, the White House announced that South Africa had met all of the benchmarks to remain eligible for African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) benefits.  President Obama also issued a proclamation revoking impending suspension of these benefits beginning 15 March.

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