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Individual deficits with major trading partners such as China, Canada, and Mexico are larger than a year earlier. Those countries are among the G-20 members whom President Trump reportedly blamed at a recent summit for being “largely responsible” for the U.S. trade deficit.
A U.S. retailer will forfeit $3 million and thousands of ancient clay artifacts to resolve civil charges that it smuggled those goods into the country. The company has also agreed to adopt internal policies and procedures governing its importation and purchase of cultural property, provide appropriate training to its personnel, hire qualified outside customs counsel and customs brokers, and submit quarterly reports to the government on any cultural property acquisitions for the next 18 months.
The product categories that qualify for this policy are cosmetics, dinnerware, radiation-emitting non-medical devices, biological samples for laboratory testing, and most food.
The Trump administration is reportedly moving to launch a process to revise the U.S.-Korea free trade agreement. However, details on when talks may begin and the administration’s objectives remain unclear.
Trump administration officials recently said they plan to tighten enforcement of duty-free imports under the Generalized System Preferences. Importers are advised to carefully review their use of GSP and ensure that all of the requisite eligibility criteria are being met.
An expansion of duty-free treatment for imported travel goods and other changes to the Generalized System of Preferences will be effective as of July 1 under a new presidential proclamation.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection has issued a final rule that, effective July 31, will update its regulations concerning the customs broker’s license examination by transitioning to an automated exam, increasing the exam fee, and adjusting the dates of the exam.
China has released for comment a draft export control law that could drastically change the country’s export controls on dual-use, military, and related items.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection has announced a further postponement of the last primary deployment of core trade processing capabilities in the Automated Commercial Environment, which had been scheduled for July 8.
The U.S. has reportedly lost to Guatemala the first-ever labor dispute under one of its free trade agreements, effectively ending the threat of fines of up to $15 million a year or the suspension of trade benefits.
At a June 22 hearing on the Trump administration’s trade policy agenda, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, signaled concerns with some of the administration’s positions and actions along with cautious support of others.
Renegotiating NAFTA is a top priority for the Trump administration but trade relations with the European Union, reforming the World Trade Organization, and enforcing existing trade deals are also high on the list, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer told the Senate Finance and House Ways and Means committees this week.
As part of the implementation of its November 2015 Law on Network Information Security, Vietnam is planning to impose an import licensing scheme for certain cyber information security products with specified core functions. However, at the request of the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative Vietnam has agreed to delay this requirement pending additional clarification on the products and companies that will be affected.
At a recent meeting under their trade and investment framework agreement the U.S. and Indonesia agreed on next steps for expeditiously resolving a number of bilateral issues, possibly within the next few months.