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President Trump recently released a blueprint for the 2018 budget that proposes to eliminate the U.S. Trade and Development Agency and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation and significantly increase defense spending.
The Department of Commerce is seeking input by April 7 on the construction of pipelines using domestic steel and iron as opposed to imported materials. This information will help the DOC develop a plan for the domestic sourcing of materials for the construction, retrofitting, repair, and expansion of pipelines inside the U.S., as directed by a Jan. 24 presidential memorandum.
President Trump issued March 13 an executive order intended to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability of the executive branch by directing the Office of Management and Budget to propose a plan to reorganize governmental functions and eliminate unnecessary agencies, components of agency, and agency programs.
U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Mexican Secretary of Economy Ildefonso Guajardo announced March 10 a renewed effort to resolve ongoing issues over Mexican sugar exports and anti-bunching limits. The two sides last held a round of talks on this matter in mid-December 2016 and have now agreed to hold additional discussions in an attempt to reach a mutually-acceptable resolution of the serious issues that have been identified with the current arrangement.
The Department of Justice announced March 7 that a lawful permanent resident of the U.S. and citizen of Ukraine has been arrested on federal charges of exporting controlled military technology from the U.S. to end-users in Ukraine without the required licenses.
The Federal Trade Commission recently determined not to further pursue a “made in USA” labeling case against a major U.S. retailer after it took a number of remedial steps. The FTC opened this investigation after consumers reported that items prominently marked “made in USA” on their exterior packaging were themselves marked “made in China.”
The Advisory Committee on Supply Chain Competitiveness approved March 8 a letter to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross making recommendations to improve the competitiveness of U.S. supply chains, increase U.S. exports, and facilitate job growth.
The Commercial Customs Operations Advisory Committee approved March 1 more than a dozen recommendations on how U.S. Customs and Border Protection can continue to develop and improve its revenue modernization initiative. CBP officials said the COAC recommendations are consistent with their efforts and objectives.
The Commercial Customs Operations Advisory Committee approved March 1 a number of recommendations to U.S. Customs and Border Protection on improvements to NAFTA. The U.S., Canada, and Mexico are expected to launch negotiations on updating the agreement within the next few months.
The Trump administration intends to pursue “a new trade policy” that defends U.S. sovereignty, enforces U.S. trade laws, uses leverage to open foreign markets, and negotiates new trade agreements that are fairer and more effective for both the U.S. and the world trading system, according to the annual trade policy agenda the White House submitted to Congress March 2.
Reversing an August 2014 policy change, U.S. Customs and Border Protection is once again allowing post-liquidation claims for preferential duty treatment under certain free trade agreements and preference programs to be filed via administrative protest. In addition, such claims that were previously rejected by CBP may be resubmitted.
A recent Gallup poll found that nearly three-quarters of Americans see foreign trade as an opportunity for U.S. economic growth, a major increase over the figures registered for the past 20 years.
Businessman Wilbur Ross was confirmed as secretary of commerce Feb. 27 by a 72-27 Senate vote. The same day the White House named several senior trade policy advisors to the staff of the National Economic Council.
Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo warned recently that his country will walk out of negotiations to renegotiate NAFTA if the U.S. presses forward with President Trump’s threat to impose tariffs on imports from Mexico.
A controversial overhaul of the U.S. tax code proposed by House Republicans would not put the U.S. at a trade advantage or disadvantage, according to a recent report from independent research organization The Tax Foundation. The plan does offer some potential benefits but also presents challenges.