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U.S. Customs and Border Protection has extended the Air Cargo Advance Screening pilot program for until July 26, 2018, but is still not accepting new participants. Acting Commissioner Kevin McAleenan has said this pilot positions CBP to better address e-commerce, which requires the agency to screen an increasing number of smaller cargo shipments and thus presents challenges associated with assessing risk, targeting, and facilitating the movement of goods.
A U.S. company is protesting as “fundamentally unfair” a $2 million civil penalty imposed by the Office of Foreign Assets Control for violations of the Ukraine-Related Sanctions Regulations. The company believes its actions were in keeping with guidance from federal officials but OFAC said regulations issued after that guidance made clear that those actions were prohibited.
The Trump administration’s summary of its objectives in revamping the North American Free Trade Agreement met with mixed responses from the leaders of the House and Senate committees overseeing trade policy, and not solely along political lines. The objectives will guide U.S. negotiators in the forthcoming talks, which are expected to get underway in August in Washington, D.C.
The Trump administration has announced its objectives in modernizing NAFTA and formal talks are expected to be launched in mid-August. This is an unprecedented effort to update an existing free trade agreement.
The Trump administration is being urged to be cautious in considering potential restrictions on steel imports in its ongoing section 232 national security investigation. With an announcement expected as early as this week, there is growing concern that such measures could have substantial unintended consequences.
The U.S. and the Philippines engaged in what the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative called “constructive discussions” on a number of trade issues at the latest meeting under their bilateral trade and investment framework agreement.
The U.S. has requested the first-ever special session of the joint committee provided for under the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement to consider “possible amendments and modifications” to that agreement. This session must be held within 30 days, but an ongoing reorganization of the Korean government could cause delays. The two sides are expected to meet soon to agree on a specific date.
The Federal Maritime Commission has launched the export phase of its supply chain innovation teams initiative, which will focus on identifying the actionable information needed for improved supply chain system visibility, reliability, and resilience.
A new International Trade Commission report finds that the U.S. primary unwrought aluminum segment shrank significantly from 2011 to 2015 but the secondary unwrought and wrought product segments expanded. The report could be a factor in the Trump administration’s pending determination on whether to impose import restrictions on aluminum.
Individual deficits with major trading partners such as China, Canada, and Mexico are larger than a year earlier. Those countries are among the G-20 members whom President Trump reportedly blamed at a recent summit for being “largely responsible” for the U.S. trade deficit.
A U.S. retailer will forfeit $3 million and thousands of ancient clay artifacts to resolve civil charges that it smuggled those goods into the country. The company has also agreed to adopt internal policies and procedures governing its importation and purchase of cultural property, provide appropriate training to its personnel, hire qualified outside customs counsel and customs brokers, and submit quarterly reports to the government on any cultural property acquisitions for the next 18 months.
The product categories that qualify for this policy are cosmetics, dinnerware, radiation-emitting non-medical devices, biological samples for laboratory testing, and most food.
The Trump administration is reportedly moving to launch a process to revise the U.S.-Korea free trade agreement. However, details on when talks may begin and the administration’s objectives remain unclear.
Trump administration officials recently said they plan to tighten enforcement of duty-free imports under the Generalized System Preferences. Importers are advised to carefully review their use of GSP and ensure that all of the requisite eligibility criteria are being met.