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A Government Accountability Office report to Congress identifies several factors for consideration as the U.S. seeks to transition from the African Growth and Opportunity Act to a more two-way trade relationship with African partners. A recent law extending AGOA for ten years states that it is U.S. policy to seek to deepen and strengthen trade and investment ties with sub-Saharan African countries through, among other things, the negotiation of free trade agreements.
Canada and Mexico are seeking $3.7 billion in retaliation ($2.41 billion for Canada and $713 million for Mexico), but the U.S. is arguing for total retaliation at barely three percent of that amount. A WTO arbitration panel is scheduled to meet in mid-September to continue its consideration of the matter.
World Trade Organization members missed a July 31 deadline for completing a work program aimed at restarting the long-running Doha Round negotiations. Some observers say progress is still possible at the WTO’s next ministerial meeting in Kenya this December, but others say that will only happen if the scope of the deal is narrowed.
With a limited number of importers expected to avail themselves of the Importer Self-Assessment and Trusted Trader programs, BKIP offers a way for CBP to use the importer-broker relationship to further identify reputable importers and thus narrow the field of actors on which it focuses its enforcement resources.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection reports that the following new capabilities in the Automated Commercial Environment became available to trade community users on Aug. 8.
The U.S. and Mexico are taking a number of steps to increase the global competitiveness of North America, including by modernizing their shared border and improving regulatory cooperation.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection has issued a final rule that, effective Aug. 7, removes some of the requirements for documentation used to establish proof of exportation for drawback claims. This rule also amends CBP’s regulations to reflect that there is no longer a legal requirement that the export invoice for mail shipments be certified.
Two more federal agencies have announced plans to conduct pilot tests of the International Trade Data System involving the electronic submission of data on imported goods they regulate using the partner government agency message set component of the Automated Commercial Environment.
Negotiators were unable to conclude a free trade agreement among a dozen Asia-Pacific countries last week due to continued disagreements on a handful of tough issues. Talks on the Trans-Pacific Partnership could resume by the end of August as participants seek to finalize a deal ahead of election cycles in key countries that could delay further progress.
Federal Maritime Commission Chairman Mario Cordero recently questioned the continued need for a fee that has been imposed on cargo containers at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach for the past ten years and called for an assessment of specific issues concerning this fee.
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.