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Free Trade Agreements

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The US International Trade Commission (USITC) has released the 2021 Preliminary Edition of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the US (HTS or HTSUS). The preliminary edition is available as a full-document download or a chapter-by-chapter download. The 2021 Preliminary HTS includes: changes proclaimed by the President on December 22, 2020, in proclamation 10128 which made changes including (1) in the AGOA program, (2) the U.S.-Israel Free Trade Agreement, and (3) changes to specific tariff rates;particular…

On January 6, 2021, 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…

On December 29, 2020, the Federal Register published Presidential Proclamation 10128 of December 22, 2020 – To Take Certain Actions Under the African Growth and Opportunity Act and for Other Purposes, which takes the following actions: Designates the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) as a beneficiary sub-Saharan African country for purposes of African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and modifies general note 16(a) to the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS) to…

The European Commission has released the full text of the 1256 page Agreement between the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the European Atomic Energy Community for Cooperation on the Safe and Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy and the conclusion, by the European Commission, on behalf of the European Atomic Energy Community, of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community, of…

On 24 December 2020, European Commission President Ursula von Der Leyen and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that the European Union and the United Kingdom had reached an agreement on their future trading relationship. The agreement comes just a week before the UK’s transition period ends. If an agreement had not been reached, goods from the UK would be subject to WTO duties and quotas. The agreement requires the approval of all 27 EU…

On 11 December 2020, the UK and Viet Nam jointly announced the conclusion of the UK-Viet Nam Free Trade Agreement (FTA). The announcement said that the UK and Viet Nam enjoy excellent diplomatic relations and increasingly common goals. This is demonstrated by the renewing of the UK-Viet Nam Strategic Partnership for a further ten years in September this year. The Partnership provides a framework for a strong bilateral relationship and outlines key priorities, including low-carbon…

On 10 December 2020, the Department for International Trade (DIT) published a summary of the Trade Continuity Agreement with Canada, The agreement establishes an economic partnership between the UK and Canada, including a comprehensive free trade area. It maintains the effects of the EU-Canada CETA.   The UK-Canada agreement covers:  trade in goods – including provisions on preferential tariffs, tariff rate quotas and rules of origin sanitary and phytosanitary measures trade in services intellectual property, including geographical indications government procurement  The agreement is intended…

On December 9, 2020, the US Trade Representative (USTR) announced that it had filed the first dispute under the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) by requesting consultations with the Government of Canada (pursuant to Articles 31.2 and 31.4 of the USMCA) in connection with Canada’s administration of its dairy tariff rate quotas. USTR’s request for consultations states: Canada’s dairy TRQ allocation measures appear to be inconsistent with several provisions of the USMCA. First, the measures appear to…

On November 21, 2020, Global Affairs Canada announced the successful conclusion of talks for the Canada-United Kingdom Trade Continuity Agreement (Canada-UK TCA) – an interim deal that will be in place as Canada and the United Kingdom work towards negotiating a comprehensive free trade agreement. The new agreement will provide continued access to the benefits of the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) on a bilateral basis, including the elimination of tariffs on 98%…

Further to our alert on the development of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiation (Link), we would like to share additional details about the RCEP based on the current information available. The RCEP members signed the RCEP on 15 November 2020 during the 37th ASEAN Summit. After the signing, the Thai government shall arrange for a public hearing before presenting to the parliament for ratification. We will keep you updated on this issue if…