On May 7, 2018, the U.S. Department of Commerce published notice of its periodic request for comments on subsidy programs provided by countries exporting softwood lumber or softwood lumber products to the United States.  Commenters have 30 days from today – or until June 6, 2018 – to submit written materials or commentary regarding (1) the country providing the subsidy; (2) the name of the subsidy program; (3) a brief description of the subsidy program; and (4) the government body or authority that provided the subsidy.   All comments should be filed via with reference to Docket No. ITA-2018-0002. 

In April, President Trump indicated that his administration would reconsider the US re-joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), after withdrawing from it last year.

Following the United States’ withdrawal from the treaty, the remaining 11 signatory states, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam nevertheless proceeded to negotiate a new trade agreement which is now finalised and referred to as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

On January 23, 2018, the Canadian Prime Minister announced that the 11 countries still committed to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, now renamed the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), have agreed to an agreement after talks in Japan this week. Trade ministers will attend a signing ceremony in Chile in March.  Details will be announced shortly.  Certain provisions will be suspended for now with the thought that a future US administration might join the…

The Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States 2018 Basic Edition  (HTS; USITC Pub. No. 4750) was published by the US International Trade Commission. It took effect on January 1, 2018.   This edition incorporates all changes to the HTS that took effect after the January 2017 printed edition was published through Presidential Proclamation 9687 of [December 22, 2017]: To Take Certain Actions Under the African Growth and Opportunity Act and for Other Purposes (82 Fed. Reg. 61413), effective January 1, 2018, and other dates specified therein. It is available either as a full document download, or a chapter-by-chapter download.

On December 28, 2017, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) published in the Federal Register a notice of its determination of the trade surplus in certain sugar and syrup goods and sugar containing products of Chile, Morocco, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Peru, Colombia and Panama. The level of a country’s trade surplus in these goods relates to the quantity of sugar and syrup goods and sugar-containing products for which the United States grants preferential tariff treatment under the applicable free trade agreements and trade promotion agreements. The notice is applicable on January 1, 2018.

On December 28, 2017, the Defense Acquisition Regulations System, Department of Defense (DoD) published in the Federal Register a final rule [Docket DARS-2017—0017] amending the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) to incorporate revised thresholds for application of the WTO Government Procurement Agreement and the Free Trade Agreements, as determined by the United States Trade Representative.  The thresholds are effective January 1, 2018.  The thresholds are shown below: