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Japan

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On January 13, 2020, the US Department of the Treasury announced that it had delivered to Congress the semiannual Report on Macroeconomic and Foreign Exchange Policies of Major Trading Partners of the United States. In this Report, Treasury reviewed and assessed the policies of 20 major US trading partners. Treasury also assessed developments over the last several months with China and its currency practices. The announcement said: The Report concluded that while the currency practices…

On December 26, 2019, President Trump signed Proclamation 9974 of December 26, 2019 To Take Certain Actions Under the African Growth and Opportunity Act and for Other Purposes. The Proclamation takes the following actions and modifies the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the US (HTS or HTSUS) as follows: Terminates the designation of Cameroon as a beneficiary sub‑Saharan African country for purposes of section 506A of the Trade Act effective January 1, 2020;Modifies GN 16(a), Note 7(a)…

On December 4, 2019, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that the National Diet (Parliament) approved the Japan-US Trade Agreement as well as the Japan-US Digital Trade Agreement. The US Trade Representative commended Japan’s action and said the United States is preparing for the U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement and the U.S.-Japan Digital Trade Agreement to go into effect on January 1, 2020. As agreed by President Trump and Prime Minister Abe, both Governments will begin consultations early…

On September 25, 2019, he Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) announced that the United States and Japan have reached agreement on early achievements from negotiations in the areas of market access for certain agriculture and industrial goods, as well as on digital trade. USTR stated that the United States looks forward to further negotiations with Japan for a comprehensive agreement that addresses remaining tariff and non-tariff barriers and achieves fairer, more balanced trade. …

On May 17, 2019, President Trump signed a Proclamation Adjusting Imports of Automobiles and Automobile Parts Into the United States under Section 232 the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1862). The Proclamation states that the Secretary of Commerce’s (the Secretary) Section 232 report on his investigation into the effects of imports of passenger vehicles (sedans, sport utility vehicles, crossover utility vehicles, minivans, and cargo vans) and light trucks (collectively “automobiles”) and certain…

The entry into force of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) brings with it preferential import tariff rates applicable to CPTPP originating goods. Import tariffs can amount to a substantial increase on the end cost of goods. For businesses operating in a competitive market, preferential tariff rates may afford them a comparative advantage by reducing costs. Under the CPTPP, tariff rate reductions occur automatically after the Agreement has entered into force in a member country’s territory. Accordingly, exporters of most CPTPP originating goods can enjoy preferential tariff rates immediately.

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) announced that on April 9, 2019, the Japanese Cabinet approved a revision to Appended Table 3-2 of the Export Trade Control Order (Cabinet Order No.378 of 1949; the “Export Order”) and added South Sudan to the list of the areas subject to strict export control (areas against which arms and other embargoes have been imposed by the UN Security Council) in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 2428.

On 21 February, 2019, the Department for International Trade (DIT) issued guidance entitled, Existing trade agreements if the UK leaves the EU without a deal, which sets out the status of those agreements (free trade agreements, economic partnership agreements, association agreements and customs union) that may not be in place by exit day. It also links to trade agreements that have been signed and mutual recognition agreements that have been signed.

On 25 January 2019, the Official Journal  published a notice stating that the European Union and Japan have notified each other of the completion of the procedures necessary for the provisional application of the Strategic Partnership Agreement between the European Union and its Member States, of the one part, and Japan, of the other part, on 21 December 2018. Consequently, Japan and the Union may provisionally apply mutually determined provisions of the Agreement in accordance with (Article 47(2)) as from 1 February 2019.