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President Trump signed into law Sept. 13 the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill Act (H.R. 4318), which suspends or reduces through Dec. 31, 2020, import duties on approximately 1,700 products generally not made in the U.S. A majority of the products covered by the MTB are chemicals, but textiles, apparel, and footwear; machinery and equipment; and agricultural and fishery products are included as well.
APHIS states that this rule will allow for the approval of requests to authorize the importation or interstate movement of new fruits and vegetables in a manner that enables a more flexible and responsive regulatory approach to evolving pest situations in both the U.S. and exporting countries.
As the Trump administration considers whether to levy additional tariffs of as much as 25 percent on another $200 billion worth of imports from China, a decision some observers think could be imminent, a wide range of trade groups have registered their opposition.
The CIT states that heading 9505 “is not so broad as to encompass any kind of a toy simply because it has the theme of a holiday or festive occasion.”
The U.S. is hoping to reach an agreement on technical barriers to trade with the European Union in November as an “early harvest” in an ongoing effort to improve bilateral trade relations, according to a statement by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative following talks Sept. 10 between USTR Robert Lighthizer and EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström. USTR said it will also begin consultations with Congress under the trade promotion authority law “to facilitate negotiations on longer-term outcomes.”
The process for individuals and organizations to request exclusions from the Section 232 additional tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum has been modified in response to public comments and the Bureau of Industry and Security’s experience managing this process. Comments on this interim final rule, including whether the changes address earlier concerns or result in unintended consequences, are due by Nov. 9.
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.