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A provision in the updated NAFTA concluded this past weekend could make it more difficult for Canada and Mexico to pursue potential free trade agreements with China. Observers say the Trump administration could look to insert a similar provision in possible FTAs with the European Union and Japan as part of its effort to pressure Beijing to advance economic reforms.
A case handled by Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg illustrates the benefit of companies importing into China being able to show China Customs evidence that they exercised reasonable care in the customs declaration process. Doing so can help demonstrate that a customs regulation infraction occurred without intent, which will typically be treated administratively with no penalty. On the other hand, a determination that a violation was committed intentionally will not only result in a penalty but will also downgrade the importer’s customs ranking.
The U.S., Canada, and Mexico announced Sept. 28 an agreement to modernize the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement. The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement is expected to be signed by Dec. 1, which could bring it up for congressional consideration in early 2019.
Food being imported or offered for import into the U.S. from a foreign facility for which registration has not been submitted or renewed must be held at the port of entry for and may not be delivered to the importer, owner, or consignee until the foreign facility is registered. Failure to register or renew a registration can also expose facilities to civil or criminal action.
The Food and Drug Administration is soliciting businesses with multiple food processing facilities that implement centrally-developed supply chain programs and recall plans to volunteer for two-tier inspections.
The U.S. and Japan announced Sept. 26 plans to launch negotiations for a bilateral trade agreement on goods, as well as other key areas including services, that can produce “early achievements.” The two countries also intend to hold talks on other trade and investment items following the completion of the trade agreement discussions.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection has announced plans to use a $30 million congressional appropriation to make a number of enhancements to the Automated Commercial Environment. These enhancements have been selected based on the interests of the trade community and the potential to reduce its burdens, impact on CBP users, nexus to existing and emerging priorities, and workload efficiency and operational improvement opportunities.
Readers are reminded that Oct. 9 is the deadline for submitting requests for exclusions from the additional 25 percent tariff imposed as of July 6 on so-called List 1 goods imported from China. This tariff, which affects 818 tariff lines, was levied in response to a Section 301 investigation determination that China’s acts, policies, and practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation are unreasonable and discriminatory. Any exclusions granted will be retroactive to July 6 and extend one year after the exclusion determination is published in the Federal Register.
In a statement issued at the close of the Global Forum on Steel Excess Capacity ministerial meeting held Sept. 20 in Paris, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative questioned the effectiveness of this multilateral mechanism due to its inability to achieve concrete progress in a timely fashion.
The ITC has created effective Sept. 24 two ten-digit statistical reporting numbers (HTSUS 8517.62.0020 and 8517.62.0090) to administer the recently-announced Section 301 tariff on certain Chinese products of subheading 8517.62.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is currently circulating within the trade community draft modifications to the minimum security criteria associated with the Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism. CBP is gathering input on the proposed changes through the end of October and plans to implement the final updated MSC under a phased approach throughout fiscal year 2019.
President Trump has announced that beginning Sept. 24 an additional ten percent tariff will be imposed on 5,745 tariff lines from China with an import value of approximately $200 billion. This tariff is scheduled to increase to 25 percent as of Jan. 1, 2019.
Requests for exclusions from the additional 25 percent tariff imposed as of Aug. 23 on goods classified under 284 tariff lines when imported from China are due by Dec. 18. This tariff was levied in response to a Section 301 investigation determination that China’s acts, policies, and practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation are unreasonable and discriminatory. Any exclusions granted will be retroactive to Aug. 23 and remain in effect for one year.
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.