September 3, 2019
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Federal Issues

U.S. and Japan reach deal in principle during bilateral trade negotiations

President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced last week that they had struck an agreement "on core principles" regarding trade issues for agriculture, industrial tariffs and digital trade. The deal still has to be fleshed out and finalized, but both sides said they hope to have the final deal ready to sign on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly meeting this month in New York.

"If successful, a U.S.-Japan deal would further solidify the close ties between the countries, while putting trade disputes in the rearview mirror," reports the Nikkei Asian Review. America has focused during these talks on obtaining the agricultural market access from Japan that the U.S. forfeited when it left the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, the news site reports. In return, Japan has insisted on new opportunities in the U.S. market for its industrial and agriculture sectors.

Japan imports about $14 billion worth of U.S. agricultural products, and the agreement would open up markets to more than $7 billion in products such as beef, pork, wheat, dairy, wine and ethanol, according to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

Contact Amy Anderson, AWB government affairs director for federal issues, to learn more.



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Big Changes


Employers need to prepare for new noncompete laws

By Tim O'Connell of Stoel Rives

During the last legislative session, Washington took significant steps to limit noncompetition agreements for employees in the state and prohibit employer policies that ban moonlighting, impacting not only an important part of many local companies' strategies to protect their market position, but also employee loyalty.

The new state statute regarding noncompetition agreements and moonlighting policies demands attention from Washington employers...

Starting Jan. 1, 2020, employers that utilize noncompetition agreements need to carefully evaluate whether those agreements will meet the new state standards. If not, employers should revoke or revise those agreements prior to the effective date...

Properly structured noncompetition agreements and properly based policies regarding moonlighting are valid. Employers must, however, address these new limitations, sooner rather than later.

Read the full column in The Puget Sound Business Journal