On December 20, 2016, the Federal Register published Proclamation 9555 of December  2016 – To Implement the Nepal Preference Program and for Other Purposes. Some of the modifications are needed to update the rules of origin in FTAs due to changes in the Harmonized System.  The Proclamation modifies the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the US (HTS) as follows:

On January 2, 2016, the Federal Register published Proclamation 9549 of December 1, 2016 – To Modify the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States and for Other Purposes. The Proclamation modifies the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS) to implement the 2017 Harmonized System revisions adopted by the WCO.  The actual modifications are incorporated by reference from Annex I of U.S. International Trade Commission Publication 4653 titled, ‘‘Modifications to the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Under Section 1206 of the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988.’’  

Member countries of the World Trade Organization (WTO) are required under the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT Agreement) to report to the WTO all proposed technical regulations that could affect trade with other Member countries. The WTO Secretariat distributes this information in the form of “notifications” to all Member countries. The chart below summarizes notifications from the WTO in English received and posted by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) during the past month.

  On May 26, 2016, the Department of State published in the Federal Register a document [Public Notice: 9584] announcing that on May 3, 2016, it certified that 14 shrimp-harvesting nations (Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Gabon, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, and Suriname) have a regulatory program comparable to that of the United States governing the incidental taking of the relevant species of sea turtles in the course of commercial shrimp…

  On May 17, 2016, the Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements (CITA) published in the Federal Register a determination that certain warp stretch woven rayon blend fabrics, as specified in the Federal Register document, are not available in commercial quantities in a timely manner in the CAFTA-DR countries. The products will be added to the list in Annex 3.25 of the CAFTA-DR Agreement in unrestricted quantities. 

  On December 30, 2015, the Defense Acquisition Regulations System, Department of Defense (DoD) published in the Federal Register a final rule [Docket DARS–2015–0066] amending the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) to incorporate increased thresholds for application of the WTO Government Procurement Agreement and the Free Trade Agreements, as determined by the United States Trade Representative (USTR).  Every two years, the trade agreements thresholds are escalated according to a predetermined formula set forth in the…

  On December 15, 2015, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) published in the Federal Register a notice of determination of procurement thresholds for calendar years 2016 and 2017. Executive Order 12260 requires the USTR to set the U.S. dollar thresholds for application of Title III of the Trade Agreements Act of 1979, as amended (19 U.S.C. 2511 et seq.), which implements U.S. trade agreement obligations, including those under the WTO Agreement on Government…