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U.S. goods shipped to Canada and Mexico are safe for a few more months from higher import tariffs expected to be imposed in the wake of a World Trade Organization ruling against U.S. mandatory country of origin labeling requirements for meat products.
Four trade and customs bills could still be approved by Congress before the Fourth of July holiday after House leaders used a change in tactics to overcome a setback suffered last week. Attention now turns back to the Senate, where the outcome remains unclear.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is inviting exporters to request its assistance in resolving matters concerning the tariff classification and customs valuation applied to U.S. exports by foreign governments.
The Food and Drug Administration announced June 16 that it has finalized a determination that partially hydrogenated oils, the primary dietary source of artificial trans fat in processed foods, are not generally recognized as safe for use in human food.
The fate of legislation granting trade promotion authority to the president, and the two major free trade agreements with Asia-Pacific and European countries that TPA would likely be used to conclude, remains unclear after two House of Representatives votes on June 12.
The House of Representatives on June 10 voted to repeal the mandatory country of origin labeling requirements for meat products that the World Trade Organization has determined violate U.S. multilateral obligations by discriminating against livestock imports from Canada and Mexico.
The House of Representatives on June 11 voted 397-32 to approve a bill to reauthorize the Generalized System of Preferences and extend through 2025 the African Growth and Opportunity Act and the trade preference program for Haiti. The House is expected to vote June 12 on Trade Promotion Authority, Trade Adjustment Assistance and customs reauthorization bills.
Legislation to prevent future port slowdowns, grant trade preferences to Nepal in the wake of a recent earthquake in that country, and further boost U.S. exports has recently been introduced in the House and Senate.
The near unanimous vote on the TSCA Modernization Act (H.R. 2576) indicates that lawmakers may finally be nearing the first overhaul of TSCA in the nearly 40 years since it became law.
The sanctions still have to be approved by the WTO, which has been asked to consider the matter June 17.
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative notes that if India responds to the decision by lifting its ban, U.S. exports to India of poultry meat alone could exceed $300 million a year “and are likely to grow substantially in the future as India’s demand for high quality protein increases.”
The Food and Drug Administration has made available a draft guidance for industry on the Voluntary Qualified Importer Program, which will provide for expedited review and importation of human and animal food by participating importers.
Reducing the costs of third-party testing of consumer products, readying for deployment of the International Trade Data System and implementing provisions of the Food Safety Modernization Act are among the topics of proposed and final regulations set forth in the semiannual regulatory agendas recently issued by a number of federal agencies, including the departments of State, Justice, the Interior and the Treasury, the Food and Drug Administration and the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
The Bureau of Industry and Security and the State Department’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls have issued separate proposed rules that would revise various definitions in the Export Administration Regulations and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations to make them more consistent with one another.