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The Department of Labor has released a report in response to a submission filed in January by U.S. and Mexican labor unions and worker advocacy groups alleging that the government of Mexico violated the North American Agreement on Labor Cooperation by failing to effectively enforce its labor laws with respect to freedom of association, collective bargaining, discrimination, minimum labor standards, occupational safety and health, and workers’ compensation and to ensure that its labor law proceedings are fair, equitable and transparent.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection has made “substantial progress” but also continues to experience challenges with respect to implementing initiatives and programs responsible for enhancing maritime cargo security, according to a recent Government Accountability Office statement before a congressional panel.
At a recent summit, the leaders of the U.S., Canada and Mexico announced a number of initiatives to enhance North America’s economic competitiveness; expand joint efforts on climate change, clean energy and the environment; solidify regional and global cooperation; and strengthen security and defense.
As of Oct. 1 ACE will be mandatory for all remaining electronic portions of the CBP cargo process, including duty deferral, drawback, reconciliation, collections and liquidation.
The ITC estimates that in 2012 these agreements increased total U.S. exports by 3.6 percent, total U.S. imports by 2.3 percent, bilateral trade flows with partner countries across the traded goods and services sectors by an average of 26.3 percent, real GDP by 0.2 percent, total employment by 0.1 percent and real wages by 0.3 percent above what would have been achieved in the absence of the agreements.
A presidential proclamation issued June 30 implements the immediate or staged elimination of tariffs on 201 information technology products and makes a number of changes to the goods eligible for duty-free treatment under the Generalized System of Preferences. These changes are generally effective as of July 1.
The proposal, which does not appear to have yet been formally introduced but could be taken up on the Senate floor during the week of July 4, aims to counter a Vermont GMO labeling law set to take effect July 1 and the potential proliferation of additional and varying state-level standards.
Covered goods include multi-component semiconductors (MCOs), medical equipment, GPS devices, tools for manufacturing printed circuits, video game consoles, printer ink cartridges, static converters and inductors, loudspeakers, software media (e.g., solid state drives), point-of-sale cards to download software and games, LEDs, touch-sensitive input devices, children’s electronic learning devices, and various information and communications technology testing instruments.
U.S. and European Union officials said this week that they will continue to work toward their goal of concluding a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership agreement by the end of this year despite the United Kingdom’s vote last week to withdraw from the EU. However, some observers are doubtful such an outcome can be achieved given Brussels’ anticipated focus on the withdrawal process and its ramifications in the months ahead.
In a popular referendum, the United Kingdom voted June 23 to terminate its more than 40-year membership in the European Union. However, Brexit itself will not take effect for at least two years and possibly longer. A great deal of work lies ahead, during which time it will be important for companies to conduct thoughtful analyses and make reasoned decisions concerning potential impacts, future business operations and continued trade compliance.
Reimbursable services include customs, agricultural processing, border security and immigration inspection-related services at ports of entry.
Most respondents said they believe the benefits of trade agreements outweigh the costs and that global competition is more responsible for domestic job losses than trade agreements.
The Environmental Protection Agency said the new law includes a number of improvements to TSCA, including a mandatory requirement for the EPA to systematically prioritize and evaluate existing chemicals on a specific and enforceable schedule, a requirement for the EPA to evaluate the safety of chemicals based purely on the health risks they pose, increased public transparency for chemical information, and the authority for the EPA to collect up to $25 million a year in user fees from chemical manufacturers and processors to pay for the improvements.