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The U.S. agricultural trade surplus is forecast at $9.7 billion, down from $25.7 billion in FY 2015 and the lowest since FY 2006.
Federal officials were urged by lawmakers and private-sector representatives this week to strongly enforce a recently enacted law fully prohibiting imports of products made with forced labor. U.S. Customs and Border Protection has already been active in using its authority under the new law and has pledged further enforcement.
Average processing time for manual review and release of ACE-submitted entries is 25 percent faster than for ACS-submitted entries and release times for document reviews are 33 percent faster (a time savings of 1.5 days).
Petitions will be collected for 60-day periods starting Oct. 15, 2016, and Oct. 15, 2019. Each interested party will be required to establish a user account on the ITC website to either submit or comment on a petition.
The updated amounts will apply to all penalties assessed after Aug. 1 regardless of when the actual violation occurred. DDTC retains the discretion to assess penalties lower than these maximum amounts should circumstances warrant.
A 1984 Supreme Court ruling allowing courts to defer to regulatory agencies’ interpretations of ambiguous federal laws would be overturned under a bill approved June 8 by the House Judiciary Committee.
The Securities and Exchange Commission announced June 7 non-prosecution agreements with two unrelated companies that will forfeit gains connected to bribes paid to Chinese officials by foreign subsidiaries. In addition, consistent with its ongoing pilot program encouraging self-disclosure of FCPA violations, the Department of Justice has closed its inquiries into both matters without filing charges.
At the conclusion of the eighth U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue in Beijing June 7, the Treasury Department issued a fact sheet indicating that China made “new and strengthened commitments” on key economic issues such as exchange rate reform, excess industrial capacity, non-discriminatory trade and investment measures, and economic transparency.
The company will also have to (a) maintain a compliance program that includes specified elements and (b) maintain and enforce a system of internal controls and procedures designed to ensure proper reporting of product safety issues.
Director General Roberto Azevêdo said the meeting illustrated “a resurgence of private sector interest” in the WTO following recent progress on issues such as trade facilitation, information technology product tariffs and agricultural export subsidies and will help inform trade negotiations going forward.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission announced June 1 a $3.75 million civil penalty to resolve charges that a company knowingly failed to report hazards associated with its goods. However, one CPSC commissioner was critical of the settlement, saying it is part of a worrying trend toward higher penalties and lower transparency that threatens to create distrust between the CPSC and its stakeholders.
The Food and Drug Administration’s PREDICT tool for estimating the risk of imported food products is generally working as intended but the FDA could take some steps to improve its effectiveness, according to a recent report from the Government Accountability Office.
A proposed agreement designed to ease compliance with the container weight reporting requirement set to take effect July 1 is getting support from a major trade association.