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U.S. automakers, many of their suppliers all the way down the supply chain and others could be hit with enormous new costs on a vital production component if a trade remedy case filed by domestic steel producers this week is successful. Companies that import the affected goods directly, as well as those who purchase them from third-party importers, could see prices rise by double or more.
The European Commission has adopted a legal act to create a simpler, more modern and integrated EU customs system to support cross-border trade and provide for more EU-wide cooperation in customs matters.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has announced that no sooner than Aug. 19 it will begin participating in U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s pilot test of the International Trade Data System for processing import-related forms and data using the partner government agency message set and the Automated Commercial Environment.
Mexico’s standards agency (Dirección General de Normas (DGN)) has published a notice inviting interested parties to comment by Aug. 29 on a proposed modification to textile labeling standard NMX-A-240-INNTEX-2009, which covers the use of graphics/symbols in care labels.
Members of the Senate acted recently to prevent Canada and Mexico from imposing billions of dollars in sanctions against U.S. exports after the World Trade Organization again ruled against U.S. rules for mandatory country of origin labeling for meat products.
Fifty-four WTO members reached a long-awaited agreement on July 24 to expand the Information Technology Agreement to provide duty-free treatment to over 200 additional tariff provisions and products. According to WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo, annual trade in the products that will be added to the ITA is valued at over $1.3 trillion and accounts for about seven percent of global trade, an amount larger than global trade in automotive products or trade in textiles, apparel, iron and steel combined.
The Food and Drug Administration has published a proposed rule and a draft guidance document to support a new program under the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act that will help eligible foreign entities demonstrate that imported food meets U.S. food safety requirements.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection on July 21 announced that U.S. and Canadian officials recently conducted a week-long joint “table top exercise” on handling import safety issues through multi-agency collaboration.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection recently posted to its website instructions for filers entitled to file GSP-eligible entry summaries utilizing special program indicator A, A+ or A*, as applicable, without the payment of duty for shipments entered or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption effective July 29. Goods entered between July 31, 2013 and July 29, 2015 will be liquidated or re-liquidated as though they had entered before the program expired.
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative is reporting a “major breakthrough” in the negotiations to expand the Information Technology Agreement that “opens the door for the swift conclusion of the first major tariff-cutting deal at the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 18 years.” USTR states that an earlier bilateral breakthrough between President Obama and President Xi in November 2014 had paved the way to this result.
In an update of a 2012 report, the Federal Maritime Commission concludes that shippers are not going to stop diverting containerized cargo through Canadian ports and that Mexican ports continue to present another option for individual shippers looking for alternative routes.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a direct final rule determining that unfinished and untreated trunk wood does not contain heavy elements that would exceed the limits specified in the Commission’s toy standard, ASTM F963-11. Based on this determination, unfinished and untreated trunk wood in toys does not require third-party testing for the heavy element limits in that standard.
Headlines this week brought news of a potential agreement to limit Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for the removal of economic sanctions. While this agreement could be historic, it has not yet been finalized, so U.S. exports to Iran of any product other than those few already allowed will have to wait.