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President Trump is threatening to increase a 10 percent additional tariff on $200 billion worth of goods imported from China (List 3 goods) to 25 percent effective May 10 and to impose a new 25 percent additional tariff on all goods from China not already subject to higher tariffs under the Section 301 process (List 4 goods). These tariff increases would affect a broad range of consumer and other goods. Importers should quickly evaluate their exposure to these potential developments and seek ways to mitigate their impact before they take effect.
The Trump administration recently approved more requests for exclusions from the additional tariffs it has imposed on imports from China but has not issued any additional denials over the last month, according to information made available by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. Most such requests are still under consideration but USTR is making progress in conducting its reviews.
The following proposed revocations or modifications of U.S. Customs and Border Protection rulings are included in the May 1, 2019, Customs Bulletin and Decisions. Comments are due no later than May 31.
Senate Finance Committee Chair Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, warned this week that the trade agreement the Trump administration negotiated to replace NAFTA is “dead” unless the Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum products imported from Canada and Mexico are lifted.
A U.S. importer has been ordered to pay $146,368.64 in antidumping duties and a $141,984.98 penalty for making materially false statements and omissions in its entry documentation.
A recent U.S. Customs and Border Protection proposal to change the way the classification of certain apparel and textile products is analyzed could significantly impact a wide range of imported goods, including their duty rates, qualification for free trade agreements, and sourcing supply chains. Importers have until May 3 to submit comments on this proposal.
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative’s annual Special 301 report on the adequacy and effectiveness of U.S. trading partners’ intellectual property rights protection and enforcement lists 36 trading partners as meriting particular concern. USTR states that this report is “a critical component of the administration’s aggressive efforts to defend Americans from harmful IP-related trade barriers.”
The Department of Commerce has submitted to President Trump a report on the results of its section 232 investigation of uranium ore and products. Trump now has up to 90 days, or until mid-July, to decide whether to restrict imports of these goods.
The U.S. could impose economic sanctions against five countries as early as May 2 if they do not halt their imports of crude oil from Iran, according to a recent announcement from the State Department.
A fully implemented and enforced U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement would likely have a moderate but positive impact on U.S. real gross domestic product, employment, and all broad industry sectors after six years, according to a recent report from the International Trade Commission.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection has begun migrating Importer Trade Activity data to ACE reports, which will make this data available on demand to all trade members with active ACE portal accounts. This shift is the first step in a three-part initiative aimed at providing the trade community with the most up-to-date trade data in a timely manner. Regular monitoring of this data can be a useful tool in improving trade compliance efforts.
Three affiliated banks have agreed to pay more than $1.3 billion in total penalties for violating U.S. economic sanctions programs. According to the Office of Foreign Assets Control, each bank will also be required to implement and maintain compliance commitments designed to minimize the risk of the recurrence of the conduct at issue.
The European Commission has published a preliminary list of U.S. products on which the EU could impose additional tariffs of up to 100 percent in a long-running transatlantic dispute over aircraft subsidies. The list covers hundreds of items, including aircraft, auto parts, tractors, handbags, video game consoles, chemicals, and food products, with an annual import value of $20 billion.
In a break with a years-long series of rulings, a World Trade Organization dispute settlement panel has upheld a U.S. use of zeroing, a controversial methodology used in trade remedy cases that generally results in higher antidumping and countervailing duties. The decision will be appealed by Canada, which brought the case to challenge U.S. AD/CV duties on softwood lumber imported from that country.
Imports and exports transiting the U.S.-Mexico border are continuing to see delays as U.S. Customs and Border Protection shifts personnel away from cargo processing operations to deal with what the agency has described as a “dramatic increase” in illegal immigration.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is planning to add to the Automated Commercial Environment this year functionality not previously included on its deployment schedule, including consolidated express filings, enhancements to mass liquidations, and collections. However, CBP has pushed back the deployment of some functionality as well.
In its first-ever decision on the matter, the World Trade Organization ruled recently that trade restrictions imposed by member countries on national security grounds are reviewable. The decision could open the door for the WTO to strike down U.S. tariff increases on steel and aluminum products.
The new China Customs notice provides some helpful clarification on this issue and confirms ST&R’s previous understanding of the legal basis of royalty declaration. However, it also carries important legal implications.
Hundreds of goods imported from the European Union are on a preliminary list of products that could be subject to additional tariffs as early as this summer in a long-running dispute over aircraft subsidies. Importers of goods on this list should consider taking proactive measures to mitigate the impact of any potential tariff increase, such as working to have their products omitted from the final list or considering alternative sourcing locations.