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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.
Canada’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued general export permit 41, which generally allows residents of Canada to export or transfer certain dual-use goods and technology to consignees in any of 32 eligible destinations. As a result, such exports or transfers will no longer require the submission of an individual application.
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.