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The Department of Labor has added 11 items to a list of goods that may be made with forced or child labor and is proposing to add one item to a separate list of products that federal contractors must certify have not been made with forced or indentured child labor.
The European Commission on Nov. 25 adopted a proposal to significantly increase transparency in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations with the United States. The Commission indicates in a press release that this decision is “vital to ensure that the general public has accurate and full information on the EU’s intentions in the negotiations, to address the concerns and to evacuate misperceptions.”
The Alliance for Fair Trade with India on Nov. 24 urged U.S. Trade Representative Mike Froman to take “concrete steps” to address India’s trade barriers during his visit to New Delhi for the U.S.-India Trade Policy Forum, which is taking place this week after a four-year hiatus. This business coalition believes USTR should try to improve the environment for U.S. businesses that are exporting to and operating in India, including by supporting measures to address prohibitively high tariffs and forced localization requirements that are blocking U.S. exports of a broad range of products.
The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission has released its 2014 report to Congress on the national security implications of the trade and economic relationship between the U.S. and China. This year’s report covers key U.S.-China economic and trade issues, security developments, and China’s diplomatic efforts in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond. In addition, the report examines bilateral clean energy cooperation, China’s growing health care sector, and the safety of Chinese drug imports into the United States. Also covered in the report are matters related to the East Asian regional balance of power, China’s ongoing military modernization, Chinese domestic stability and China’s bilateral relationships.
In a November report to the Senate Finance Committee, the Government Accountability Office concluded that U.S. Customs and Border Protection could better manage its process of enforcing orders that exclude intellectual property rights-infringing goods from entry into the U.S. The GAO notes that it found similar weaknesses in 2008.
The notice came on Nov. 17, the same day a group of major shipping lines said they would begin implementing congestion charges of up to $1,000 per 40-foot container for imports and exports of cargo moving via West Coast ports affected by labor-related terminal delays.
The Department of Energy should take a number of steps to improve its controls on exports of civilian nuclear products, services and technology, the Government Accountability Office said in a report issued this week. Delays in processing, uncertainty in regulatory requirements and limited enforcement are all problems that need to be addressed, the report states.
International trade policy could be one of the few areas on which a Democratic president and the Republican-controlled Congress that voters recently approved may find common ground over the next two years. Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg P.A. will host a free 30-minute webinar Nov. 20 to discuss the election results and what they might mean for trade-related issues.
An annual European Union report released Nov. 17 finds that the tendency to impose trade-restricting measures remains strong among the EU’s commercial partners while efforts to remove such measures have slowed.
A months-long impasse that delayed implementation of a multilateral agreement that could save international traders billions in customs and logistics costs was broken Nov. 12 when the United States and India announced a bilateral deal aimed at addressing New Delhi’s concerns about food security.
Although headlines surrounding this year’s summit of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum leaders have largely focused on competing visions for an Asia free trade area and a breakthrough on expanding duty-free trade in high-tech goods, leaders also made a number of commitments aimed at strengthening economic integration and trade in the region.
The U.S. and China reached a deal paving the way for dozens of countries to eliminate tariffs on more than 200 high-tech products, and there are hints that Washington and New Delhi may be close to breaking an impasse that has held up implementation of a December 2013 agreement to streamline trade among World Trade Organization members.
In addition to paying the largest penalty ever assessed for violations of the Clean Air Act, the automakers will spend approximately $50 million on measures reduce the likelihood of future greenhouse gas emission miscalculations.