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In the News: Steel Tariffs, U.S.-Japan Talks, FTAs, Customs Fraud

Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

As CEOs fight tariffs, Trump hears pleas to add more

“Makers of steel wheels, safes and other products want the U.S. to impose tariffs on goods by their Chinese competitors, which aren’t among the products targeted so far. They say the duties the U.S. imposed on steel and aluminum imports raised their costs but didn’t affect finished goods made in China and sold here.”

[Bloomberg]

Japan, U.S. to begin trade talks as early as June

“Japan is aiming to make rules in line with the TPP, considering the U.S.'s possible return to the trade pact in the future. However, the U.S. is believed to seek steps with immediate effect for cutting the trade deficit with Japan as the congressional mid-term election is coming up later this year.”

[NHK World]

China and South Korea seek free trade deal with Mercosur

“South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon in March agreed with Brazilian President Michel Temer to start formal negotiations for a free trade deal between South Korea and the South American bloc by June.  … China is also keen on Mercosur markets. Earlier this year, Foreign Minister Wang Yi visited Montevideo and pressed the case for a China-Mercosur pact in talks with President Tabare Vazquez.”

 [Nikkei Asian Review]

EU and Mexico reach new agreement on trade

“Practically all trade in goods between the EU and Mexico will now be duty-free, including in the agricultural sector. Simpler customs procedures will further benefit the EU’s industry, including in sectors like pharmaceuticals, machinery and transport equipment. The agreement also lays down progressive rules on sustainable development.”

[European Commission]

EU suspects tax fraud at China's new gateway to Europe

Authorities allege that Chinese criminal gangs “import goods, often counterfeit clothing and footwear, and massively understate their value to EU customs to avoid import duties … They also lie about the firms that receive the goods, enabling them to avoid VAT.”

[Reuters]

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