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The House of Representatives approved Sept. 4 the Senate version of the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (H.R. 4318), which would suspend or reduce through Dec. 31, 2020, import duties on approximately 1,700 products generally not made in the U.S.
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative states that these outcomes include amendments and modifications to KORUS as well as additional agreements and understandings to improve its implementation.
President Trump said Aug. 30 that a European Union offer to remove all tariffs on two-way trade in automobiles and other industrial goods is “not good enough.” EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said Brussels is willing to lower tariffs on such goods to zero if the U.S. does the same as part of a limited trade agreement.
Exclusions from import quotas on steel from South Korea, Argentina, and Brazil and aluminum from Argentina may now be requested under proclamations issued Aug. 29 by President Trump. These quotas were imposed in lieu of the section 232 additional tariffs on steel (25 percent) and aluminum (10 percent) that took effect for most countries on March 23.
CBP is now clarifying that, effective immediately, either the NMFS certification of admissibility or the U.S. import certification of admissibility must accompany imports of fish and fish products classified under the affected HTSUS numbers for which Mexico is listed as the country of origin.
The presidents of the U.S. and Mexico announced Aug. 27 a preliminary agreement in principle on a bilateral free trade agreement that President Trump indicated will replace NAFTA. The deal is expected to be signed in late November following a 90-day congressional review period. Trump said the U.S. will also begin “pretty much immediately” trade negotiations with Canada that will result in either a separate bilateral FTA or Canada’s addition to the U.S.-Mexico agreement.
CBP encourages stakeholders to closely examine their supply chains to ensure that imported goods are not mined, produced, or manufactured, wholly or in part, with prohibited forms of labor; i.e., slave, convict, forced child, or indentured labor. To that end, the agency has recommended the Department of Labor’s Comply Chain principles for creating a social compliance system as a best business practice.
No agreements were announced following two days of talks in Washington last week on resolving trade irritants between the U.S. and China. Press sources indicate that the U.S. focused more on the structural changes it wants China to make to its economy, moving away from merely pressing Beijing to increase imports of U.S. goods.
China’s compliance with its World Trade Organization accession commitments will be the focus of a hearing and comment period designed to assist the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative in preparing its annual report to Congress.
The list of affected goods contains 279 tariff lines, many of which are classified in HTSUS chapters 39, 84, and 85, although some goods in chapters 27, 34, 38, 70, 73, 76, 86, 87, 89, and 90 are also included.
The U.S. increased its trade enforcement activities and saw higher trade values in 2017, according to the International Trade Commission’s annual review of trade-related activities.
The Court of International Trade has ruled that artichoke antipasto and green olive tapenade are properly classified as sauces under HTSUS 2103.90.90 rather than as other prepared or preserved vegetables under HTSUS 2005.99.80 or HTSUS 2005.99.97.
One entity and three individuals in China, Russia, and Singapore have been hit with sanctions by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control for their involvement in facilitating illicit shipments on behalf of North Korea. These sanctions are a reminder to the shipping industry, including flag states, ship owners and operators, crew members and captains, insurance companies, brokers, oil companies, ports, classification service providers, and others, of the significant risks posed by North Korea’s shipping practices.
According to an American Shipper article, CBP Business Transformation and Innovation Division Director Vincent Annunziato told the annual Trade Symposium this week that the agency is seeking to “help blockchain along in a healthy manner for increasing market adoption” as well as to “prepare ourselves in a proactive way to be ready for when private industry begins to really take off with this technology.”