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The U.S., Mexico, and Canada signed Dec. 10 a new version of a trade agreement updating the 25-year-old NAFTA that reflects a number of revisions agreed to in negotiations between the Trump administration and House Democrats. The House of Representatives could vote on the USMCA during the week of Dec. 16 but the timing of a Senate vote is less clear.
Tariffs on goods imported from European Union countries could be increased to as much as 100 percent under a plan currently under consideration by the Trump administration. Comments on the possible changes are due by Jan. 13.
New rules on wildlife ports, drug imports, and high-risk foods are among the regulations set forth in the semiannual regulatory agendas recently issued by a number of federal agencies.
Lacey Act import declarations, revised import requirements, and wool and cotton trust funds are among the topics of proposed and final regulations the Department of Agriculture is working to complete.
Tighter controls on exports of specific products and to particular countries, as well as an updated steel import monitoring system, are among the new items on the Department of Commerce’s most recent semiannual regulatory agenda.
The Trump administration has announced plans to impose tariff increases on imports of various goods from the European Union and France as well as steel and aluminum products from Brazil and Argentina. It also appears increasingly likely that the tariff increase on List 4B goods from China will take effect Dec. 15 as scheduled.
Updating customs broker requirements, encouraging the use of prior disclosures, and requiring electronic filing of bonds are among the U.S. Customs and Border Protection regulations listed in the semiannual regulatory agendas of the departments of Homeland Security and the Treasury, which list the following regulations affecting international trade that could be issued within the next year.
The Department of Commerce has issued a proposed rule laying out the process and procedures that the agency intends to use to identify, assess, and address certain ICTS transactions that pose an undue risk to critical infrastructure or the digital economy in the U.S., or an unacceptable risk to U.S. national security or the safety of U.S. persons.
Additional exclusions from the Section 301 additional 25 percent tariff on List 3 goods from China have been announced by USTR. Affected products include certain electric lamps, outdoor tables, folding chairs and tables, vacuum cleaners, starter motors, bicycles, carts, canoes, and foldable stepladders.
The Environmental Protection Agency is banning effective Nov. 23 the manufacture (including import), processing, and distribution of methylene chloride in all paint removers for consumer use.
The State Department has imposed a $1 million civil penalty and a number of compliance measures as part of a consent agreement settling charges that a U.S. company registered as a broker, manufacturer, and exporter of defense articles committed ten violations of the Arms Export Control Act and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations.
The amount of trade covered by new import-restrictive measures imposed by major economies during the period May to October 2019 totaled $460.9 billion, a recent World Trade Organization report finds.
The president’s authority to impose national security-related tariffs has limits, the Court of International Trade ruled Nov. 15, a decision that could yield refunds of some Section 232 tariffs on steel products and have an impact on potential tariffs on automobiles and auto parts.
The Bureau of Industry and Security announced Nov. 18 that it will extend for another 90 days, through Feb. 16, 2020, a temporary general license authorizing specific, limited engagements in transactions involving the export, reexport, and transfer of items subject to the Export Administration to Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and 114 of its non-U.S. affiliates on the Entity List.
The Bureau of Industry and Security has imposed a $136,000 civil penalty against a U.S. company to settle charges that it exported electric cattle prods, which are controlled on crime control grounds, to Venezuela, Mexico, South Africa, and the Czech Republic without the required export licenses.
Neither negotiations nor other measures taken as part of the U.S.-China trade dispute now in its second year have yet had any significant impact on resolving “decades of unfair Chinese economic policies and trade-distorting practices,” according to the most recent annual report from the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission.
President Trump said Nov. 12 that if the U.S. and China are unable to finalize the “phase one” trade agreement they are currently negotiating he will “substantially raise” existing import tariffs on Chinese goods. He also warned of similar measures against “other countries that mistreat us.”
The amount of antidumping and countervailing duties that have gone uncollected by U.S. Customs and Border Protection since 2001 has increased from $2.3 billion to $4.5 billion in the last three years, according to new information from the Government Accountability Office. CBP and the Commerce Department continue to make efforts to address this problem but with apparently limited success.
The process for submitting petitions for tariff suspensions and reductions under the miscellaneous trade bill process opened Oct. 11 and will close Dec. 10. Petitions may seek new suspensions or reductions or a continuation of those approved in the most recent MTB, which will expire Dec. 31, 2020.
Additional exclusions from the Section 301 additional 25 percent tariff on List 3 goods from China have been announced by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. Affected products include certain floor tiles and coverings, pet leashes, fence panels, fabrics and yarns, extension cords, folding chairs and stools, tools, and vehicle wheels.