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Following a controversial decision by the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit that the use of certain screws should be considered in determining their classification even though the two subheadings at issue are both eo nomine provisions, the Court of International Trade has issued a remand decision that the screws are properly considered self-tapping screws.
A June 30 presidential proclamation added travel goods under 28 HTSUS subheadings (including luggage, backpacks, handbags and pocket goods such as wallets) to the list of GSP-eligible products but only for least-developed beneficiary developing countries (of which there are currently 43) and African Growth and Opportunity Act beneficiary countries (of which there are currently 38).
European Union Chief Negotiator Ignacio García Bercero indicated at the conclusion of the 14th round of talks on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership that while the two sides are now at an “advanced stage of the negotiations” a lot of work still needs to be done.
This year’s reportfocuses on port congestion, which in 2015 was heavily influenced by new vessel alliances, reaction by marine terminal operators and labor unrest.
The State Department’s Office of Defense Trade Controls Compliance has relaunched its Company Visit Program, which is designed to allow DTCC to better understand defense trade control and compliance programs and assess and disseminate industry best practices.
The House approved by a 240-171 vote July 12 a bill (H.R. 4768) that would overturn a 1984 Supreme Court ruling allowing courts to defer to regulatory agencies’ interpretations of ambiguous federal laws. A Senate version of the bill (S. 2724) has 12 co-sponsors and is currently pending before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The House Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee held a hearing July 13 on expanding U.S. digital trade and eliminating barriers to U.S. digital exports. The hearing highlighted how high-standard and ambitious digital trade provisions in U.S. trade agreements can, if thoroughly implemented and fully enforced, open markets to U.S. exports and benefit U.S. businesses of all sizes that rely on digital trade.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) have introduced a concurrent resolution expressing strong support for closer economic and commercial ties between the U.S. and the UK following the decision by the people of the UK to withdraw from the EU. The resolution calls on the president to consult with the House and Senate to consider opportunities to promote further economic and commercial activity with the UK, including by way of a free trade agreement.
The Food and Drug Administration has made a number of changes to the system through which foreign and domestic food facilities that manufacture, process, pack or hold food for consumption in the U.S. register with the FDA. These changes include a number of new requirements as well as codification of some requirements already in effect under the Food Safety Modernization Act. The rule is effective Sept. 12 although some of these changes will not enter into force until 2020.
The Department of Justice announced July 8 that a Chinese citizen has been sentenced to 15 months in prison for his participation in a conspiracy to sell counterfeits of sophisticated integrated circuits to a purchaser in the United States. As part of his sentence, the man was also ordered to forfeit $63,000.
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.