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IDFA: Government shutdown hampers U.S. trade negotiations

IDFA: Government shutdown hampers U.S. trade negotiations
The government shutdown has put a damper on current U.S. trade negotiations in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), according to the International Dairy Foods Association.  The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) was already under budget constraints due to sequestration, and the shutdown further limits its capacity to negotiate and enforce trade deals as three-quarters of the department’s employees have been furloughed.
In addition, President Obama canceled his trip this week to Bali, Indonesia, where he was scheduled to host a meeting of the TPP leaders on the heels of the APEC summit.  The agreement is set to conclude at the end of the year, but more work is needed in several key areas, and the shutdown could hinder participation by USTR officials in future negotiating sessions.
Comparable problems are also affecting TTIP. The second round of negotiations between the United States and the European Union scheduled to be held this week in Brussels was also canceled due to the shutdown. A new date has not been scheduled and is unlikely until the shutdown is over.