On May 12, 2020, the Philippines component of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and Investment Agreement (IA) between Hong Kong, China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) entered into force. The FTA and IA entered into force between Hong Kong and Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam in 2019. According to the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), under the FTA, the Philippines will progressively eliminate and reduce customs duties on goods…

On September 1, 2018, the Canada Gazette published a notice from Global Affairs Canada stating that the Government of Canada is committed to fostering and strengthening Canada’s economic ties with its Asia-Pacific partners, including the 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) [Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam] and is seeking the views of interested Canadian stakeholders on the scope of potential negotiations toward a possible free trade agreement (FTA) with ASEAN. Expanding and diversifying Canada’s trade with large, emerging markets such as ASEAN is a priority for the Government of Canada and contributes to Canada’s trade diversification strategy. The Government of Canada’s approach is one that puts the interests of Canadians and opportunities for the middle class, women, youth and Indigenous people front and centre.

As the trade conflict between the United States and China continues, three free trade agreements are pressing ahead, including– the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), soon to enter into force, the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (JEEPA), recently signed and which represents 30% of global economic output, and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), an agreement that includes both India and China and comprises the largest trading block in the region.

On October 30, 2017, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) published in the Federal Register a final rule [CBP Dec. 17-15] that amends the CBP regulations to remove the provision relating to the prohibition on the importation of jadeite or rubies mined or extracted from Burma, and articles of jewelry containing jadeite or rubies mined or extracted from Burma. This reflects the termination of all Burmese sanctions by Executive Order 13742, of October 7, 2016.

On December 27, 2016, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) published in the Federal Register a final rule [Docket No. 161005929–6929–01] that amends the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) consistent with Executive Order 13742 of October 7, 2016. That Executive Order terminated the national emergency with respect to the actions and policies of the Government of Burma (Burma) and revoked several Burma-related Executive Orders in recognition of Burma’s substantial advances to promote democracy, including historic…

On October 28, 2016, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued interpretive guidance on the publishing of general licenses and certain exemptions found in the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations (ITSR), 31 C.F.R. §§ 560.210, 560.538, the Cuban Assets Control Regulations (CACR), 31 C.F.R. §§ 515.206, 515.577, the Sudanese Sanctions Regulations (SSR), 31 C.F.R. §§ 538.212, 538.529, the Syrian Sanctions Regulations (SySR), 31 C.F.R. §§ 542.211, 542.532, and the Burmese Sanctions…

On October 19, 2016, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), Treasury, published in the Federal Register a grant of conditional exception [FinCEN Issuance 2016-1] pursuant to authority under the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), which would permit certain U.S. financial institutions to maintain correspondent accounts for Burmese banks under certain conditions, that is, provided that such covered financial institution subjects the account to the due diligence obligations set forth under Section 312 of the USA PATRIOT Act and its implementing regulation 31 C.F.R. 1010.610.