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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…

On November 15, 2020, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) was signed by China and 14 other nations — the 10 countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Brunei*, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia*, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore*, Thailand and Vietnam*) plus Australia*, China, Japan*, New Zealand* and South Korea. Many of the products for which tariffs are eliminated are already duty-free. [Countries with an * are also signatories to the CPTPP] RCEP was originally proposed…

On 22 October 2020, the Department for International Trade (DIT) announced that the United Kingdom and Japan will sign theUK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) in Tokyo on 23 October. The DIT said: The British-shaped deal is the first agreement that the UK has secured that goes beyond the existing EU deal, with enhancements in areas such as digital and data, financial services, food and drink, and creative industries. It brings together two of the world’s…

On 9 September 2020, the Department for International Trade (DIT) announced that the UK has taken a major step in the process of joining CPTPP (Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership), one of the world’s largest and most dynamic free trade areas. The press release stated in part: International Trade Secretary, Liz Truss, alongside the current chair of the CPTPP Commission, Mexican Economy Minister Graciela Márquez, opened discussions between senior UK trade officials and…

On 24 July 2020, the European Commission announced that at a meeting of the WTO Trade Policy Review Body, the European Union, backed by ten other members of the World Trade Organization (Australia, Canada, Chile, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, Republic of Korea and Switzerland), submitted a joint communication calling for more transparency in respect of trade-related measures introduced by partners around the world in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The aim is to…

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…