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In an unusual move that elicited bipartisan criticism, President Trump said he is directing the Commerce Department to help a Chinese company recently hit with a seven-year export ban “get back into business, fast.”
Dealing with Lacey Act import declaration issues and streamlining imports of fruits and vegetables are among the topics of proposed and final regulations the Department of Agriculture is working to complete this summer.
A trusted trader program for seafood importers and updated rules on routed export transactions are among the regulatory changes the Department of Commerce could advance in the next few months.
Modernizing the customs broker regulations, streamlining the process for enforcing the prohibition on imports made with forced labor, and finalizing a pilot program on air cargo security are among U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s regulatory goals over the next few months. These and other proposed and final rules are included in the semiannual regulatory agendas of the departments of Homeland Security and the Treasury, which list the following regulations affecting international trade that could be issued within the next year.
The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control states that persons engaging in activities undertaken under this relief should take the steps necessary to wind down those activities by Aug. 6 or Nov. 4, as applicable, to avoid exposure to sanctions or enforcement action.
A two-day visit to Beijing by a number of senior Trump administration officials saw the U.S. and China both largely reject each other’s demands on resolving bilateral trade irritants. The two sides agreed to continue discussions but did not specify when they might resume.
A new free trade agreement is offering manufacturers in Hong Kong expanded access to the markets of the ten member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. The FTA could offer incentives to move production of goods that have significant intellectual property inputs such as designs, copyrights, formulas, etc., from mainland China to Hong Kong.
Authorities and trade industry members in the U.S. and around the world are continuing to take steps to respond to the rapid growth in e-commerce shipments, which poses challenges related to security, revenue collection, and regulatory compliance.
The three ministers met for several days straight in Washington, D.C., recently in an effort to push a revised deal forward, resulting in what Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland called “very solid, very positive, very good progress.” Lower-level negotiators are continuing to hold discussions in the meantime.
President Trump has issued separate proclamations modifying the list of U.S. trading partners exempt from the additional tariffs he imposed on imports of steel and aluminum as of March 23. These tariffs (25 percent and 10 percent, respectively) were imposed after the Department of Commerce determined that imports of these products are threatening to impair national security.
This amount includes a $137.4 million criminal penalty to be paid to the Department of Justice under a deferred prosecution agreement and $143 million in disgorgement and pre-judgment interest to be paid to the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company also agreed to continue to cooperate with the DOJ’s investigation, enhance its compliance program, implement rigorous internal controls, and retain an independent corporate compliance monitor for at least two years.
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. This year’s report reiterates the Trump administration’s emphasis on using “all possible sources of leverage” to encourage other countries to “provide adequate and effective protection and enforcement of U.S. intellectual property rights.”
As e-commerce transactions become more prolific, the stakes for traders and regulators alike are growing as well. Here are five important issues to consider in structuring compliant e-commerce transactions.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection has issued a final determination concerning the country of origin of LED video display cabinets that may be offered to the U.S. government under an undesignated government procurement contract.