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Facilitating and regulating electronic commerce, particularly in the wake of a 2016 change in U.S. law that effectively allows more products bought online to enter the U.S. duty-free, was a major topic of conversation at a recent meeting of U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Commercial Customs Operations Advisory Committee. CBP officials said e-commerce has required developing understanding and tools that the agency had not necessarily anticipated and that they welcome input from the trade community as they continue to develop a way forward.
Seven plastics with specified additives have been determined to not contain the phthalates prohibited in children’s toys and child care articles and therefore do not require third-party testing for compliance with that prohibition.
Affected ports include Port Arthur (2101), Houston (5301), Galveston (5310), Freeport (5311), and Corpus Christi (5312), where commercial trade operations have been suspended through at least Sept. 1.
For FY 2018, which starts Oct. 1, the FDA is increasing this fee from $3,382 to $4,624. There are no fee waivers or reductions for small establishments, businesses, or groups.
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said the U.S. is looking to make “substantial improvements” to the KORUS agreement but Korean Trade Minister Kim Hyun-chong said Seoul “did not agree” to the “unilateral” U.S. proposal to renegotiate.
As of Sept. 16, non-ABI entry summary, duty deferral, e214 (electronic foreign-trade zone application), manufacturer ID creation, and importer security filing will be deployed in ACE and will no longer be supported in the Automated Commercial System.
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has initiated a Section 301 investigation of China’s acts, policies, and practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation. While the practices to be examined in this investigation will be specific, any potential relief (e.g., additional tariffs or import restrictions) could be imposed on a broader basis. As a result, any company doing business with China should participate in this investigation to ensure that its interests are protected.
At the conclusion of their first round of talks on modernizing NAFTA, the U.S., Canada, and Mexico committed to “an accelerated and comprehensive negotiation process” but warned that “a great deal of effort and negotiation will be required in the coming months.” The three partners are aiming to conclude negotiations by early 2018, but some observers say that timeframe may not be sufficient to address the substantial changes to the agreement that the U.S. is seeking.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection has announced its first-ever final determination in an antidumping duty evasion investigation under the Enforce and Protect Act and advanced several associated proceedings, all covering steel wire hangers from China. A CBP press release states that these investigations have resulted in CBP preventing the evasion of over $33 million dollars in AD duties annually.
As part of its effort to improve U.S. manufacturers’ and suppliers’ access to domestic and foreign government procurement markets, the Trump administration is seeking public input by Sept. 18 on how that access is affected by the government procurement obligations in U.S. free trade agreements and the World Trade Organization Agreement on Government Procurement.
A Trump administration review of steel has been pushed back but is still underway and could yet lead to broad import restrictions, according to press sources.
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said at the launch of negotiations to revamp NAFTA Aug. 16 that President Trump “is not interested in a mere tweaking of a few provisions and a couple of updated chapters” but instead will seek “major improvements.” Lighthizer said this task will be “very difficult” but expressed hope that the end result will be “freer markets, fairer and balanced trade, and stronger ties between our three countries.”
President Trump has directed the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to determine whether to conduct a Section 301 investigation of any of China's laws, policies, practices, or actions that may be unreasonable or discriminatory and that may be harming U.S. intellectual property rights, innovation, or technology development. Any such investigation could ultimately result in additional tariffs or restrictions on imports from China or other measures.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is revising its ongoing tests evaluating the feasibility and functionality of filing air, rail, and vessel cargo export manifest data electronically through the Automated Commercial Environment.