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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.
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.