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U.S. and foreign food and medical device facilities that do not properly renew their registrations with the Food and Drug Administration can be locked out of the U.S. market. Renewals for both types of facilities are due this year.
A luxury knitwear retailer and its chief executive officer will pay a total of $908,100 to resolve allegations that they violated the False Claims Act by structuring transactions to improperly avoid U.S. customs duties, the Department of Justice reports.
President Trump heard arguments for and against import restrictions on steel and aluminum at a Feb. 13 White House meeting with a bipartisan group of 19 lawmakers and several senior administration officials. Trump appeared to favor taking some sort of action, a position supported by some of those present, but also seemed to acknowledge others’ warnings that doing so could have negative impacts on downstream users.
President Trump said this week that “during the coming months” he will reveal plans to impose a “reciprocal tax” against imports from countries that have high tariffs on U.S. exports. However, an administration official later said no formal proposal for such a tax is “in the works right now.”
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials say that while the agency gets more attention for its trade enforcement efforts it is taking a number of steps to facilitate trade at U.S. borders as well. Following are some of the current and planned initiatives in this area.
The importance of NAFTA was a key theme in Feb. 7 meetings between congressional trade policymakers and White House officials. President Trump has repeatedly threatened to withdraw the U.S. from the agreement unless it can be sufficiently updated to benefit the U.S.
A U.S. company has agreed to pay $500,000 to resolve allegations that it made false statements on customs declarations to avoid paying antidumping duties on wooden bedroom furniture from China, the Department of Justice reports.
The U.S. trade deficit in goods and services increased 5.4 percent in December and was up 12.1 percent from 2016 to 2017, according to trade statistics released Feb. 6 by the Department of Commerce. The annual deficit was the highest since 2008.
The dutiability of royalty payments to foreign suppliers is a complex issue in China and an ongoing concern for companies importing into that country. China Customs has been conducting a variety of audits on this issue over the past two years and is methodically expanding this initiative to ensure duties are properly paid. Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg’s China-based professionals have been closely involved in these audits and can offer valuable counsel.
The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control recently added 42 Russian and Ukrainian entities to its Specially Designated Nationals and Sectoral Sanctions Identifications lists.
The Food and Drug Administration announced Jan. 31 that it has launched its Voluntary Qualified Importer Program, a fee-based program that will provide for expedited review and importation of human and animal food by participating importers who achieve and maintain a high level of control over the safety and security of their supply chains.
President Trump suggested recently that the U.S. could take some sort of trade action against the European Union, but EU officials said they are prepared to respond in kind.
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said Jan. 29 that the sixth round of negotiations on updating NAFTA was “a step forward” but that the talks“are progressing very slowly.” Lighthizer acknowledged that businesses are “operating in a state of uncertainty” and said negotiators “will work very hard” in hopes of achieving “major breakthroughs” before the next round, which is scheduled to run Feb. 26 to March 6 in Mexico City.