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The U.S. increased its trade enforcement activities and saw higher trade values in 2018, according to the International Trade Commission’s annual review of trade-related activities.
President Trump announced Oct. 14 several trade-related actions against Turkey in response to a military offensive it recently launched into Syria. Press reports indicate that Congress is moving toward imposing even stricter sanctions.
Tariffs on $250 billion worth of imports from China will not be increased to 30 percent on Oct. 15 after the U.S. and China announced an agreement in principle on the first phase of a broad trade agreement. However, the agreement has no other effect on the additional tariffs the U.S. has in place on nearly $400 billion worth of Chinese goods, which currently range from 15 percent to 25 percent.
Oct. 14 is the deadline to submit comments to U.S. Customs and Border Protection on a proposal to require customs brokers to collect certain information from importers (including non-resident importers) to enable the customs brokers to verify the identity of the importers.
U.S. companies and their foreign affiliates are prohibited from participating in foreign boycotts that the U.S. does not sanction. Such actions can result in substantial criminal and civil penalties.
The Bureau of Industry and Security has issued a final rule that, effective Oct. 9, adds 28 Chinese entities to the Entity List and thereby restricts them from receiving U.S. exports of goods controlled under the Export Administration Regulations.
Over the last month the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has denied about a hundred more requests for exclusions from the Section 301 additional tariffs on imports from China and approved several hundred others.
Effective Sept. 30 these orders require the detention of such goods at all U.S. ports of entry. Importers of detained shipments have three months to either export their goods or provide a certificate of origin and detailed statement demonstrating that the goods were not produced with forced labor.
The U.S. has announced that it will impose additional tariffs of 25 percent on more than 150 goods imported from European Union countries, as well as an additional 10 percent tariff on new aircraft from France, Germany, Spain, and the United Kingdom, effective Oct. 18.
These exclusions cover a total of 203 specially prepared product descriptions that reflect 511 exclusion requests (see attached for complete lists of excluded items). USTR has also removed several exclusions erroneously included in a Sept. 20 notice.
U.S. government sources have confirmed that a proposed increase in the additional tariff being imposed on $250 billion worth of imports from China from 25 percent to 30 percent will NOT take effect Oct. 1 but is still planned for Oct. 15.
The Sept. 24-25 congress of the Universal Postal Union resulted in an agreement that will allow high-volume importers of mail and packages to begin imposing “self-declared rates” for distributing foreign mail as early as July 1, 2020.
The State Department announced Sept. 25 the imposition of sanctions on certain Chinese firms and individuals for knowingly engaging in a significant transaction for the transport of oil from Iran, including knowledge of conduct contrary to U.S. sanctions.
The White House announced Sept. 25 two new agreements on trade with Japan that it expects will reduce the U.S. trade deficit with that country. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative said the two sides plan further negotiations in the coming months in the interest of achieving a more comprehensive agreement that “addresses remaining tariff and non-tariff barriers and achieves fairer, more balanced trade.”
On Sept. 28 U.S. Customs and Border Protection will begin a test to allow Section 321 low-valued shipments, including those subject to partner government agency data requirements, to be entered via a new informal entry type 86 in the Automated Commercial Environment. CBP states that this new entry type is a test and is not mandatory for users.
The framework recognizes the potential of trade-related activities and infrastructure to be used for terrorist purposes and outlines further actions to prevent such outcomes.
Among other things, these regulations would implement CFIUS’s new jurisdiction over (a) certain non-controlling investments into certain U.S. businesses involved in critical technology, critical infrastructure, or sensitive personal data and (b) certain real estate transactions involving foreign persons.
Additional exclusions from the Section 301 additional 25 percent tariff on List 1, 2, and 3 goods from China have been announced by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. These exclusions cover a total of 437 specially prepared product descriptions that reflect 1,170 exclusion requests.