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Trade Report Contact:
Shawn McCausland

Press Contact:
Kate Irwin

Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

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2/19/2014
2/18/2014

Two senior Obama administration officials said Feb. 14 that the U.S. is still aiming to complete negotiations on a Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement this year. The officials opined that if those talks are successful at generating a sufficiently strong agreement it will ultimately be approved by Congress.

2/18/2014

Businesses operating at the port of Antwerp are now able to participate in a program that facilitates the exchange of information about cargo-related crime between companies and authorities. The system, known as the Neighborhood Information Network (BIN), allows companies to submit anonymous tips about suspicious activity in the port area that the police then disseminate to other companies participating in the program.

2/18/2014

The European Union, which will host the next round of negotiations on a Trade in Services Agreement in Brussels this week, believes the talks are “on track” and have reached a “turning point” with almost all initial market access offers submitted.

2/18/2014
2/18/2014
2/17/2014

The Food and Drug Administration has issued a final rule that, effective Aug. 14, 2015, will require medical device importers and manufacturers to submit mandatory reports of individual medical device adverse events, also known as medical device reports, in an electronic format that the FDA can process, review and archive.

2/17/2014

The DOJ states that one reason this fine is so large is that the company failed to disclose in October 2011 when it pleaded guilty and paid a $28 million fine for price-fixing and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations in the marine hose industry that it had also participated in the anti-vibration rubber parts conspiracy. 

2/17/2014
2/17/2014
2/17/2014
2/17/2014
2/17/2014
2/17/2014
2/17/2014
2/14/2014

A plan to modernize and strengthen the European Union’s trade defense measures could be delayed after members of the European Parliament moved to toughen a European Commission proposal by, among other things, allowing for higher antidumping and countervailing duties in certain cases.

2/14/2014

The four members of the Pacific Alliance signed this week an agreement to eliminate tariffs on 92% of goods and services traded among themselves. The agreement must now be approved by each country’s legislature and is expected to take effect sometime in 2015.

2/14/2014
2/14/2014
2/14/2014
2/14/2014
2/14/2014
2/14/2014
2/13/2014

The report identifies 298 trade and investment commitments made by China in the JCCT and the S&ED but notes that the U.S. does not have a single consolidated document or system to track implementation of these commitments.

2/13/2014

The National Strategy for Combating Wildlife Trafficking establishes three priorities: strengthening domestic and global enforcement, reducing demand for illegally traded wildlife at home and abroad, and strengthening partnerships with international partners, local communities, non-governmental organizations, private industry and others.

2/13/2014

Potential items for discussion and cooperation under this dialogue, which will likely hold its first meeting in May or June, include development and support of small and medium-sized businesses; encouragement of direct investment in both directions; strategies to promote advanced manufacturing, innovation and entrepreneurship; workforce training; promotion of green products and energy technologies; market access issues; and the potential benefits of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.

2/13/2014
2/13/2014
2/13/2014
2/13/2014
2/13/2014
2/12/2014

U.S. Trade Representative Mike Froman announced Feb. 10 that the U.S. has requested World Trade Organization dispute settlement consultations with India concerning measures that allegedly discriminate against U.S. and other imported solar power equipment.

2/12/2014
2/12/2014
2/12/2014
2/12/2014
2/12/2014
2/12/2014
2/12/2014
2/11/2014

Trade promotion authority legislation deemed crucial to advancing trade negotiations with Asia-Pacific and European countries appears to be running into headwinds. Delays in moving TPA could also push back potential congressional action to reauthorize other measures that the trade community favors.

2/11/2014
2/11/2014
2/11/2014
2/11/2014
2/11/2014
2/10/2014

U.S. Customs and Border Protection issued Feb. 6 a notice clarifying that imports from free trade agreement partner countries must still be imported directly to qualify for exemption from the merchandise processing fee.

2/10/2014

Trade statistics released Feb. 6 by the Department of Commerce show that the U.S. trade deficit saw a sharp increase in December but was down overall for 2013. Supporters of trade liberalization said the figures highlight the benefit of such policies while skeptics said they show the opposite.

2/10/2014
2/10/2014
2/10/2014
2/10/2014
2/10/2014
2/10/2014
2/10/2014
2/10/2014
2/7/2014

The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control introduced Feb. 6 another list of restricted entities that U.S. companies should consult before engaging in international commerce.

2/7/2014

In a Feb. 4 decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld a lower court decision in ruling that the Food and Drug Administration can regulate stem cells cultured outside the human body and used for therapeutic purposes.

2/7/2014
2/7/2014
2/7/2014
2/7/2014
2/7/2014
2/7/2014
2/7/2014
2/7/2014
2/6/2014

Panelists at a recent congressional hearing identified a number of improvements that should be made to help North America remain economically competitive in the face of rising challenges, including regional agreements being pursued by NAFTA members themselves, but government officials have offered few details on how they might choose to proceed.

2/6/2014

The Bureau of Industry and Security is proposing to remove the term “routed export transaction” from the Export Administration Regulations to better define export transactions in which the  foreign buyer assumes responsibility for export licensing.

2/6/2014
2/6/2014
2/6/2014
2/6/2014
2/5/2014

These companies colluded to coordinate the sales prices of various types of foam, which are mainly used in household furniture such as mattresses or sofas but are also used in the automotive sector (particularly car seats), for nearly five years in ten EU member states.

2/5/2014

The Department of Justice reports that a Japan-based company has agreed to plead guilty and pay a $6.86 million criminal fine for its role in a price-fixing conspiracy involving electronic throttle bodies sold in the U.S. and elsewhere.

2/5/2014
2/5/2014
2/5/2014
2/5/2014
2/5/2014
2/5/2014
2/5/2014
2/4/2014

The Feb . 20 COAC meeting will include discussion of topics such as C-TPAT for exports, CBP export policies, improvements to the Focused Assessment process, and customs broker permits.

2/4/2014

Any companies that directly purchased airfreight shipping services for shipments to, from or within the United States from any of the defendants in this lawsuit during the period Jan. 1, 2000, through Sept. 11, 2006, may now file a claim to receive money from a recent settlement.

2/4/2014

The Food and Drug Administration is soliciting through April 7 public comments and scientific data and information that will help it refine its draft approach to identifying high-risk foods for which additional recordkeeping requirements are appropriate and necessary to protect the public health.

2/4/2014

The Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has announced that as of Feb. 17 it will implement risk-based sampling of shipments of imported plants for planting at the plant inspection stations in Beltsville, Md., Orlando, Fla., Nogales, Ariz., and San Diego, Calif.

2/4/2014
2/4/2014
2/4/2014
2/4/2014
2/4/2014
2/4/2014
2/3/2014

Mexican maquiladoras are now required to pay value-added tax on their imports under a tax reform law that took effect Jan. 1, 2014. This law also eliminated some tax breaks for maquilas and established strict new requirements for such factories to qualify for others.

2/3/2014

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has formally announced the expansion of the cargo release test under the Automated Commercial Environment to type 01 (consumption) and type 11 (informal) commercial entries filed in the ocean and rail modes of transportation at specified ports.

2/3/2014

The rule would apply to a person outside the U.S., such as an exporter, who ships food to the U.S. in an international freight container by oceangoing vessel or in an air freight container and arranges for the transfer of the intact container in the U.S. onto a motor vehicle or rail vehicle for transportation in U.S. commerce.

2/3/2014
2/3/2014
2/3/2014
2/3/2014
1/31/2014

The Advance Export Information pilot is a voluntary program in which selected exporters agree to submit a limited set of electronic export information in accordance with existing filing deadlines, followed by the full set of data elements submitted within five calendar days of the date of export.

1/31/2014
1/31/2014

Customs & International Headlines