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This enforcement action highlights the risks for companies with overseas operations that do not implement OFAC compliance programs or that implement compliance programs that fail to address OFAC-administered sanctions regulations.
The Department of Justice announced Dec. 21 that a Chinese national and U.S. legal permanent resident has been charged with theft of trade secrets.
USTR has announced the first batch of products that will be excluded from the additional 25 percent duty imposed under Section 301 on some $34 billion worth of imports from China.
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative released Dec. 21 its negotiating objectives for a U.S. trade agreement with Japan. Formal discussions with Japan can begin as early as 30 days after the issuance of the negotiating objectives, as provided under the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015.
The ITC has adopted as final without change the interim rule it published in September 2016 on the submission and consideration of petitions for duty suspensions and reductions under the American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act of 2016, which reformed the MTB process. However, the ITC may propose several amendments to this final rule in the near future.
CBP is seeking input by Feb. 4 and will hold a public meeting March 1 to discuss the 21st Century Customs Framework, an initiative that will seek to address and enhance numerous aspects of the agency’s trade mission to better position it to operate in the 21st century trade environment.
The World Trade Organization’s Appellate Body has ruled that U.S. regulations on labeling imported tuna as dolphin-safe do not arbitrarily or unjustifiably discriminate against Mexico. The decision, which brings a decade-long case to a close, precludes Mexico from imposing $163.2 million worth of retaliatory sanctions against U.S. exports.
Improving trade and commercial ties with African countries is one of three pillars of a new Africa strategy announced by the Trump administration. Other areas of focus will include strengthening security and reforming foreign aid programs.
Claims for drawback of duties and taxes should be easier to file and process under new U.S. Customs and Border Protection regulations scheduled to take effect Dec. 18. This rule, which implements the changes to drawback law made by the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act, will also revise how CBP treats drawback of excise and other federal taxes as of Feb. 19, 2019.
A planned increase from 10 percent to 25 percent in the Section 301 additional tariff on $200 billion worth of imports from China is being delayed from Jan. 1 to March 2. At the same time, China has announced plans to suspend a higher duty on U.S. automobiles and auto parts and to increase purchases of U.S. soybeans and corn.
The U.S. recently announced a temporary delay until March 1, 2019, of an increase from 10 percent currently to 25 percent in the additional “Section 301” tariffs on $200 billion worth of imports from China while the two sides conduct negotiations on longstanding trade irritants. However, CBP has not yet made the necessary changes in ACE to prevent a tariff hike come Jan. 1 because a formal notice of the delay has not been issued in the Federal Register.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is advising interested parties that beginning March 22, 2019, importers will be responsible for providing a TSCA Section 13 import certification for articles containing regulated composite wood products, component parts, or finished goods imported into the U.S. customs territory.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection failed to ensure the timely collection, write-off, and processing of delinquent debt from importers during fiscal years 2014 through 2016 and instead settled for collecting funds from importer surety bonds that yielded less than one percent of the amount owed, according to a recent report from the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General.
The Federal Maritime Commission will assemble teams of private sector experts early in 2019 to determine the commercial viability of four ideas that could bring clarity and uniformity to when and how shippers pay demurrage (charges for exceeding allotted free time at a terminal) and detention (charges for use of carrier-provided containers beyond the allotted free time) fees.
Despite White House efforts to shift the U.S. trade balance in a more positive direction, the trade deficit in goods and services rose for the fifth straight month in October to $55.5 billion, the highest monthly total since October 2008. Exports slipped 0.1 percent to $11.0 billion while imports rose 0.2 percent to a record-high $266.5 billion.