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California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law Sept. 1 legislation that eases the state’s requirements for labeling products as having been made in the United States. The change gives apparel and other companies additional flexibility in sourcing their products and could lower their susceptibility to litigation.
The monthly U.S. trade deficit in goods and services fell 7.3 percent in July to $41.9 billion, the lowest total in five months, according to trade statistics released Sept. 3 by the Department of Commerce. Press reports note that so far this year the deficit is 3.6 percent higher than in 2014 due in large part to a drop in exports attributable to factors such as a stronger U.S. dollar and economic struggles in overseas markets.
This report provides data on U.S. production, imports, exports and consumption for the period 2012–2014 for five cotton articles that are being considered for designation as GSP-eligible when imported from least-developed beneficiary developing countries.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is reopening through Oct. 1 the period for public comments on its proposal to revise the existing information collection associated with the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism to include information collection requirements for the Trusted Trader Program.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials have announced that in response to concerns about stakeholder readiness it is pushing back the deadline for mandatory use of the Automated Commercial Environment for all electronic entry and entry summary filing from Nov. 1, 2015, to Feb. 28, 2016.
The U.S. and Mexico recently inaugurated the West Rail Bypass International Bridge in Brownsville, Texas, the first new international rail crossing between the two countries in 105 years.
Tariffs on a wide range of products not ordinarily considered to be environmental goods could be eliminated under an agreement currently being negotiated by the U.S. and 13 other countries. Companies interested in such an outcome have a limited opportunity to indicate their support as part of two separate investigations being conducted by the International Trade Commission.
The Government Accountability Office recently reported that conflict mineral disclosures filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission for the first time in 2014 indicated that most companies were unable to determine the source of their conflict minerals. The news came the same day that a federal court upheld its previous ruling against one of the disclosure requirements in the SEC conflict mineral regulations.
In a split decision, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit recently ruled that the International Trade Commission has authority to issue exclusion orders banning imports of articles that induce patent infringement after importation. Press sources indicate that the ruling, which could affect a broad range of imported goods, may be appealed to the Supreme Court. In addition, the court is considering in a separate case whether to extend its reasoning to digital transmissions as well as tangible goods.
The U.S. could soon ban imports of some seafood from Mexico after determining that that country has not done enough to protect loggerhead turtles.
A recent high-profile food safety case illustrates that allegations of product adulteration or misbranding can be prosecuted by the federal government in a number of ways and can result in serious consequences for both companies and individuals. Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg offers a variety of services to help FDA-regulated companies avoid such outcomes by ensuring that compliance is an integral part of their operations.
The trade community is continuing to voice concern about its readiness to meet the Nov. 1 deadline for mandatory filing of all electronic entries and corresponding entry summaries in the Automated Commercial Environment. However, U.S. Customs and Border Protection has not indicated any plans to push back that deadline.
CBP plans to run this test for about two years and to use its results in developing a rule that would make the submission of vessel export manifest data in ACE mandatory.
With the recent reauthorization of the Generalized System of Preferences, importers, foreign governments and others again have an opportunity to petition the U.S. government for changes in GSP coverage.