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Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report
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Trade liberalization continues to backslide, the report states, as Chinese government policy contributes to rising protectionism and unfair regulatory restrictions that have left more than three-quarters of U.S. firms responding to a recent survey feeling less welcome in China than they did a year earlier. However, the report also sees opportunities for U.S. companies in the Chinese market.
Members of the House and Senate registered their opposition to several Trump administration proposals to revamp NAFTA this week as the fifth round of negotiations to update the agreement got underway in Mexico City. Expectations for the round were dampened when the three trade ministers announced they would not attend.
With nearly all core trade processing capabilities having now been transferred to ACE, an Aug. 2 outage that lasted nearly an entire day has raised renewed concerns about trade facilitation and enforcement in the event of a similar occurrence in the future.
During his nearly two-week trip to Asia President Trump discussed bilateral trade relations with the leaders of Vietnam, China, Philippines and other countries but came away with no specific deliverables. At the same time, the 11 remaining members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership advanced their effort to modify and implement that agreement.
A recent World Trade Organization report finds that the imposition of new trade restrictions by G-20 economies has continued to slow this year while new measures to facilitate trade have remained steady.
A number of changes in U.S. policy toward Cuba announced by President Trump this past June are being implemented as of Nov. 9 under regulatory changes being made by the Bureau of Industry and Security, the Office of Foreign Assets Control, and the State Department.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection has announced that as of Dec. 9 the Automated Commercial Environment will be the sole authorized electronic data interchange system for generating, transmitting, and updating daily and monthly statements for all entries except reconciliation (type 09) entries.
A U.S. withdrawal from NAFTA could have negative impacts on U.S. textile and apparel manufacturers and retailers, according to a recent Congressional Research Service report. The report comes amid negotiations to update NAFTA that have reportedly featured controversial U.S. proposals on textile and apparel issues.
A tax reform proposal unveiled by the House of Representatives Nov. 2 includes several provisions that would affect the international trade community.
The Court of International Trade ruled Oct. 31 that “a relatively well-made, durable, dry clean only Santa Claus costume” is properly classified as wearing apparel and is therefore excluded from classification as a festive article under HTSUS 9505.90.60, which would have qualified it for duty-free treatment.
Forty members of the House of Representatives have called for Congress to approve a long-term extension of the Generalized System of Preferences before it expires Dec. 31. After the program’s last expiration it remained unauthorized for two years, costing importers millions of dollars, and there has been some concern that a similar lapse could follow the upcoming expiration.
The Department of Commerce has concluded that China remains a non-market economy country for purposes of assessing antidumping duties. The determination was immediately criticized by China, which has cases on this issue pending at the World Trade Organization against both the U.S. and the European Union.
Under a recently-signed memorandum of agreement the departments of Commerce and Homeland Security will collaborate to help U.S. businesses expand their international e-commerce operations and better understand policies and procedures that impact e-commerce. They will also work to identify and eliminate tariff and non-tariff barriers to e-commerce, especially those that impede the ability of small and medium-sized enterprises to comply with customs laws and regulations.