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The White House announced April 20 that Mira Ricardel, who has led the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security since last August, will be leaving that post to become deputy national security advisor. The departure comes as BIS is under mounting pressure to handle the voluminous amount of product-specific exclusions companies are seeking from the additional tariffs President Trump imposed on imports of steel and aluminum products as of March 23.
President Trump issued April 19 updated policies on exports of conventional arms and unmanned aerial systems. Press sources generally describe these changes as an effort to boost foreign sales of defense items, including by accelerating the approval process, giving more weight to economic security, and involving more senior government officials in negotiating deals.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection has announced that as of April 22 it will again accept claims for duty-free treatment under the Generalized System of Preferences for goods entered or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption.
Just days after directing senior officials to review whether the U.S. should rejoin the Trans-Pacific Partnership, President Trump said he doesn’t think the agreement is good for the U.S. Trump withdrew from the TPP in January 2017 but has said several times this year that he might reconsider if the U.S. could achieve a better agreement.
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.