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.

On January 19, 2019, Global Affairs Canada reported that the inaugural Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) Commission meeting was successfully concluded. The CPTPP Commission, consisting of representatives from Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam (the countries for which the CPTPP has entered into force), met in Tokyo, Japan and concluded their session by issuing a Ministerial statement. The Commission meeting allowed CPTPP countries to chart a course for next steps as well as agree on a framework for the accession of new members. The Ministerial Statement follows: