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Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report
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The House Ways and Means Committee amended and unanimously approved April 20 a bill (H.R. 4923) to reform the process of developing and enacting miscellaneous trade bills, which suspend duties on imported inputs and products for which there is no or insufficient domestic production and availability.
U.S. restrictions on trade with and travel to Cuba have largely prevented U.S. suppliers and investors from accessing the Cuban market, and new or expanded U.S. exports to Cuba in several goods and services sectors could occur if U.S. restrictions are lifted, according to an International Trade Commission report issued April 18.
Watches and jewelry extended their lead as the most seized commodity by value, wearing apparel continued to be the most seized item by number, and China and Hong Kong continued to account for more than three-quarters of the value and number of IPR seizures.
U.S. Trade Representative Mike Froman told a hearing convened to examine the problem that while excess steel capacity “is not limited to China,” that country is “the principal source of the world’s overcapacity.”
The U.S. and China signed April 14 an agreement eliminating China’s export-contingent subsidies to Chinese enterprises across seven economic sectors and dozens of sub-sectors in more than 179 industrial clusters.
The United States has requested that the World Trade Organization establish a panel to determine whether recent changes to U.S. regulations on dolphin-safe labeling of tuna products bring the U.S. into compliance with a WTO ruling that the previous regulations were inconsistent with WTO rules.
Citing the “dramatically worsening” steel market situation in all three countries, the governments of Canada, Mexico and the United States announced April 11 that they agree on the need for governments of all major steel-producing countries to make strong and immediate commitments to address the problem of global excess steelmaking capacity.
A complaint filed with U.S. Customs and Border Protection April 6 seeks to ban imports of all cotton lint, yarn, fabric and other cotton goods produced in Turkmenistan because they are allegedly made with forced labor.
If this projection is realized, 2016 will mark the fifth consecutive year in which annual trade growth has fallen below three per cent and roughly matched the growth rate of world GDP rather than doubling it as was the case in the 1990s and early 2000s.
The Department of Justice announced April 5 a one-year pilot program designed to motivate companies to voluntarily self-disclose Foreign Corrupt Practices Act-related misconduct, fully cooperate with the Fraud Section of the DOJ’s Criminal Division and, where appropriate, remediate flaws in their controls and compliance programs.
The FDA rule is designed to prevent the physical, chemical or biological contamination of human and animal food during transportation by motor or rail vehicles through practices such as improperly refrigerating food, inadequately cleaning vehicles between loads and failing to properly protect food during transportation.
These changes are likely to be included in the TPP implementing legislation that the White House could submit for congressional approval later this year.
The NTE report covers the most important barriers, including those that may be consistent with international trade rules (e.g., very high tariffs), affecting U.S. exports to 58 countries, the European Union, Taiwan, Hong Kong and one regional body.