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A program designed to mitigate truck traffic at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach is being restructured to replace the existing model with an appointment-based system that uses a single flat fee on both daytime and nighttime cargo container moves.
The Treasury Department’s semiannual foreign exchange rate report does not list any U.S. trading partner as a currency manipulator but adds India to a list of countries targeted for close scrutiny of their currency practices. The report also raises the possibility of expanding the number of economies that may be reviewed in the future.
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative is reviewing the eligibility of India, Indonesia, and Kazakhstan for benefits under the Generalized System of Preferences based on concerns about their compliance with program requirements.
The Department of Homeland Security has published a list of frequently-asked questions that provide further guidance on complying with an August 2017 law that generally prohibits imports of goods made by North Korean workers.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection has issued a final rule that, effective May 14, will expand the definition of importer security filing importer for certain types of shipments so that the party that has the best access to the required information will be the party responsible for filing the ISF. CBP states that while this rule will shift the legal responsibility for filing the ISF in these instances it will not change who actually submits the data in the “vast majority of cases.”
The Court of International Trade has granted a temporary restraining order preventing U.S. Customs and Border Protection from requiring a higher entry bond for a company’s allegedly counterfeit imports. The court said this bond requirement is overly broad and that the TRO is necessary to prevent irreparable harm to the plaintiff.
President Trump has raised the prospect of increasing tariffs on additional $100 billion worth of imports from China in an escalating trade dispute. However, he also held open the possibility the two sides could work out an agreement to avoid the tariffs.
OFAC states that all assets subject to U.S. jurisdiction of the designated individuals and entities, and of any other entities blocked by operation of law as a result of their ownership by a sanctioned party, are frozen and that U.S. persons are generally prohibited from dealings with them. Additionally, non-U.S. persons could face sanctions for knowingly facilitating significant transactions for or on behalf of the blocked individuals or entities.
China has announced plans to impose an additional 25 percent tariff on 106 products imported from the U.S. in retaliation for the Trump administration’s proposal to raise tariffs on 1,300 Chinese goods by the same amount. Neither the U.S. nor China has yet specified a date on which the tariffs might take effect.
The Trump administration has announced a list of approximately 1,300 goods from China on which an additional 25 percent import duty could be imposed. These tariffs are part of the U.S. response to a Section 301 investigation concluding that China is coercing U.S. companies into transferring their technology and intellectual property to Chinese enterprises. Affected companies now have a limited time to submit comments on the list and prepare for the impact of the new tariffs.
Effective April 2, China has increased tariffs on 128 goods imported from the U.S. in response to the additional tariffs Washington imposed on steel and aluminum as of March 23. China sees the U.S. duties as safeguard measures, despite the fact that they were nominally imposed for national security reasons, and believes they are inconsistent with the WTO Safeguards Agreement.
USTR has issued its annual National Trade Estimate report, which describes significant foreign barriers to U.S. exports of goods and services, foreign direct investment, and intellectual property rights protection as well as the actions being taken to address those barriers.
A Canada-based company has agreed to pay a $950,000 penalty to settle charges that it violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in connection with its repeated failure to implement adequate accounting controls of two African subsidiaries. The company has also agreed to a cease and desist order and will report on its remedial steps for one year.
The U.S. has secured a number of changes to its free trade agreement with Korea, some of which were reported previously. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative asserts that these changes will reduce the U.S. trade deficit with Korea, which has increased 70 percent since the KORUS agreement took effect in 2012. USTR notes that once the amendments are completed they will undergo domestic review procedures in both countries, which in the U.S. will include a 60-day consultation period with Congress on any required modifications to the tariff schedule.