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CBP states that these amendments, which will take effect Dec. 14, align its regulations with current common practice and improve efficiency by requiring importers to file continuous bonds at the Revenue Division, requiring single transaction bonds to be filed at either the Revenue Division or with the port director, and permitting both continuous bonds and STBs to be scanned and submitted to CBP via email as an attachment or by fax.
Importers and other interested parties have until Nov. 23 to file petitions with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to maintain duty-free treatment under the Generalized System of Preferences for nine products that are on track to exceed one of two statutory competitive need limitations.
Nearly 25 years after abandoning a similar attempt, the Food and Drug Administration is again considering whether to formally define the term “natural” in the labeling of human food products, including foods that are genetically engineered or contain ingredients produced through the use of genetic engineering.
Brady singled out tax code, welfare, and Social Security and Medicare reforms, as well as “expanding America’s ability to sell our products around the world,” as his priorities.
Actions taken by the Obama administration this week indicate that the White House is working to obtain congressional approval of the 12-member Trans-Pacific Partnership as soon as possible in 2016 and does not want to delay a vote until after national elections next November. However, initial reactions from key lawmakers and others indicate that reaching this goal is not a foregone conclusion.
The big questions now are what exactly the biggest free trade agreement ever negotiated contains and when its benefits will take effect.
The TTIP talks had lagged as the U.S. focused on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, but that agreement was concluded in early October. U.S. chief negotiator Dan Mullaney said the U.S. wants to achieve a “similarly high quality agreement” with the EU and is working to finish negotiations before the end of President Obama’s presidency in January 2017.
A recent World Trade Organization report finds that the application of new trade restrictions by G-20 member countries remained stable for the period mid-May through mid-October after decelerating slightly over the previous six months. However, the WTO noted that the stockpile of such measures continues to grow and that the uncertain global economic outlook continues to have a negative impact on international trade.
U.S. Trade Representative Mike Froman and Minister of Commerce and Industry of India Nirmala Sitharaman gathered in Washington, D.C., Oct. 29 for the ninth ministerial-level meeting of the India-U.S. Trade Policy Forum. According to a joint statement, the two governments reviewed substantive progress achieved this year in deepening bilateral trade and investment goals and discussed planned engagement for next year that can promote economic growth and job creation in both countries.
Effective Dec. 29, the Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is significantly increasing many of the fees charged, and adding two new fees, for conducting agricultural quarantine and inspection services at U.S. ports of entry. APHIS said the higher fees are needed to meet program costs that have skyrocketed along with international cargo and passenger traffic, but affected industry members have expressed concern at the size of the increases and their effects on commerce and consumers.
The Trade Facilitation Agreement that World Trade Organization members concluded in 2013 “is global trade's equivalent of the shift from dial-up Internet access to broadband” and could have a bigger impact on international trade than the elimination of all remaining tariffs, according to the WTO’s annual World Trade Report. The TFA will take effect once it has been ratified by two-thirds (approximately 126) of the WTO’s 191 members, and Pakistan recently became the 51st to take this step.