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ACE Enhancements, Trade Negotiations Fall Victim to Government Shutdown

Monday, October 07, 2013
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The ongoing federal government shutdown claimed three more victims Oct. 4: the deployment of a set of enhancements to the Automated Commercial Environment, the next round of negotiations with the European Union on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, and President Obama’s attendance at meetings in Asia intended to give a boost to the Trans-Pacific Partnership talks.

ACE. U.S. Customs and Border Protection will not be deploying a number of enhancements to ACE on Oct. 5 as previously scheduled. These enhancements, which CBP refers to as Deployment A, include an expansion of the cargo release (also known as simplified entry) pilot, entry summary validations for the Harbor Maintenance Tax and tariff classification, and two pilot tests of partner government agency message sets. Click here and here for more details.

CBP notes that it is ready to implement Deployment A once funding is restored and will ensure that the trade community receives advance notification of any decision to deploy.

TTIP. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative said Oct. 4 that it will not be able to take part in the second round of TTIP negotiations, which were to be held in Brussels Oct. 7-11 . USTR added that it will work with the European Commission to craft an alternative work plan that can begin once the shutdown ends.

TPP. President Obama has canceled a trip to Asia during which he was to meet with the leaders of the other 11 countries taking part in the TPP negotiations to provide direction on how to achieve their stated goal of concluding those talks by the end of this year. The president has requested that this meeting continue without him. During his trip Obama was to also have participated in meetings of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum and the East Asia Summit to reinforce U.S. trade ties with members of those organizations, and he has designated Secretary of State John Kerry to attend in his absence.

Trade ministers and negotiators from all TPP participants, including USTR Mike Froman, are already gathered in Indonesia and are “meeting intensively,” a USTR press release states. Areas of focus have included intellectual property rights, state-owned enterprises and environmental issues.

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