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The Trump administration is reportedly considering self-initiating a Section 301 investigation of China’s forced technology transfer policies. However, the administration has reportedly postponed further action due to its efforts to secure China’s help in imposing tougher economic sanctions against North Korea.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is expanding its enforcement efforts by targeting importers it suspects may have compliance deficiencies with respect to the Lacey Act declaration requirement and related customs issues.
Press sources characterize the plan as an effort to reclaim momentum on this issue, which played a major role in last year’s presidential election, but point out that it contains few new ideas and in many cases aligns closely with objectives advanced by President Trump.
Press sources indicate that negotiators are planning to meet seven times through the end of the year, approximately every three weeks, with trade ministers taking the lead on the last day of each round.
This law is expected to significantly expand the lists of entities with which U.S. persons are limited or prohibited from doing business. In addition, these prohibitions could be extended to a substantial number of other entities due to the Office of Foreign Assets Controls’ so-called 50 percent rule, which provides that any entity owned 50 percent or more by a listed entity is subject to the same prohibitions as the listed entity.
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative plans to pursue an “aggressive” trade enforcement agenda that includes both offensive and defensive measures, according to a recent report to Congress.
The senators said CBP's interim rule “is inconsistent with Congress’ intent and falls short of what is needed to make the duty evasion process more transparent, timely, and accessible to stakeholders.”
Trump administration officials and congressional leaders announced July 27 that a border adjustment tax is being dropped from a proposed overhaul of the tax code in an effort to move that reform forward.
After several delays, U.S. Customs and Border Protection has announced that all remaining post-release capabilities in the Automated Commercial Environment, other than collections, will be deployed in three phases.
Following a request from the U.S. to quickly launch talks on possible changes to their bilateral free trade agreement, Korea has made clear it wants to take a more measured approach.
The U.S. and China made little progress on trade irritants at the first meeting of their Comprehensive Economic Dialogue held recently in Washington, D.C. The CED has replaced the Strategic and Economic Dialogue, an annual gathering of senior officials focused on strategic goals, and the Joint Committee on Commerce and Trade, a forum designed to achieve more concrete objectives.
The departments of Homeland Security and the Treasury have issued their semiannual regulatory agendas, which list the following regulations affecting international trade that could be issued within the next year as well as rulemaking proceedings that have been in process for some time and are not as likely to see further progress in the near term.
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.