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There has been huge growth in global digital trade in recent years but some countries are adopting measures that slow or halt the adoption of digital technologies, according to a recent report from the International Trade Commission.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection has announced a plan to replace current trade data reports with new Automated Commercial Environment reports in conjunction with the next three releases of ACE functionality. These reports will provide new information likely to be of value to the trade community.
OFAC states that this case highlights the risks for companies with retail operations that engage in international transactions, particularly those that ship their products directly to customers outside the U.S. OFAC encourages companies to develop, implement, and maintain a risk-based approach to sanctions compliance and to implement processes and procedures to identify and mitigate areas of risks.
Work on one chapter of an updated NAFTA was largely completed and “significant progress” was made on others at the third round of talks held Sept. 23-27 in Ottawa. However, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said there is still “an enormous amount of work to be done, including on some very difficult and contentious issues.” The next round of talks is scheduled for Oct. 11-15 in Washington, D.C.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is moving ahead with plans to strengthen the existing minimum security criteria for the Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism and add new criteria to reflect evolving threats. Updated criteria and a new best practices framework that could give CTPAT participants more flexibility in obtaining Tier 3 benefits could start being rolled out as early as next year.
The share of U.S.-produced content in manufactured goods imports from Mexico and Canada has “eroded significantly” since NAFTA was implemented in the mid-1990s, according to a new Commerce Department report. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the report highlights the need to modify the NAFTA rules of origin to promote U.S. manufacturing and lower the U.S. trade deficit.
An international telecommunications company and its Uzbek subsidiary have agreed to pay a combined criminal and civil penalty of more than $965 million to resolve charges arising from a scheme to pay bribes in Uzbekistan. The Department of Justice states that this global settlement is one of the largest criminal corporate bribery and corruption resolutions ever.
Foreign companies that engage in trade with North Korea, as well as the financial institutions that facilitate such trade, could be subject to U.S. economic sanctions under a Sept. 21 executive order that aims to prevent the use of funds generated through international trade to support North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs and weapons proliferation. The order could particularly affect companies in China, which is North Korea’s largest trading partner.
World Trade Organization economists have revised their estimate for global trade growth in 2017 from 2.4 percent to 3.6 percent following a 4.2 percent year-on-year increase from January through June. Trade growth is expected to slow to 3.2 percent in 2018.
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer told an audience at the Center for Strategic and International Studies Sept. 18 to “expect change, expect new approaches, and expect action” on trade policy from the Trump administration.
More work is needed to ensure that imports of organic agricultural products meet U.S. requirements to be classified as such, according to a recent report from the Department of Agriculture’s Office of Inspector General.
The Bureau of Industry and Security’s Regulations and Procedures Technical Advisory Committee recently submitted to new BIS officials Mira Ricardel, under secretary of commerce for industry and security, and Richard Ashooh, assistant secretary for export administration, a number of recommendations for updating regulations and improving efficiency and processes.
The idea was announced at a Sept. 14 event in Washington by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who said it would force the U.S., Canada, and Mexico to conduct a “systematic re-examination” of NAFTA and make it easier for them to “fix things” as necessary.
The State Department’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls has imposed a $400,000 civil penalty against a U.S. company to settle charges in connection with unauthorized exports of defense articles and technical data to foreign persons. However, DDTC is not imposing an administrative debarment against the company or requiring additional compliance measures or enhanced oversight.
The United Nations Security Council has unanimously approved a resolution imposing tighter sanctions on North Korea following its most recent nuclear weapons test and its violation of eight UNSC resolutions dating back to 2006. A UNSC press release states that the new sanctions bring to 90 percent the amount of North Korean exports that are now fully prohibited.