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On September 3, 2020, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) published in the Federal Register a notice announcing the effective date of modifications to the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) concerning the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR). The United States, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua (CAFTA-DR countries) are parties to the Harmonized System Convention. Because changes to the Convention are…

On Monday 6 July 2020, the UK introduced the first sanctions under its new Global Human Rights sanctions regime, targeting 47 individuals and 2 entities. The regulations setting out the sanctions are made under the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018 (the “Sanctions Act“) and impose asset freezes and travel bans on individuals and entities responsible for or involved in serious violations of human rights. The Sanctions Act was introduced to allow the UK to…

On April 24, 2020, the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) published in the Federal Register a notice that announces the USTR’s determination to grant certain exclusion requests, as specified in the Annex to the notice, and corrects a technical error in a previously announced exclusion. The product exclusions will apply as of September 24, 2018, the effective date of the $200 billion (Tranche 3) action, and extend to August 7, 2020. The amendments…

On March 11, 2020, President Trump signed a Proclamation—Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Certain Additional Persons Who Pose a Risk of Transmitting 2019 Novel Coronavirus. The Proclamation suspends and limits the entry into the United States, as immigrants or nonimmigrants, of all aliens who were physically present within the Schengen Area during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States except for: lawful permanent residents (LPR) and…

A period of uncertainty is currently affecting the WTO dispute settlement system: Its Appellate Body is normally composed of seven members but currently only has three, the minimum number to function. On 10 December 2019, the mandates of two of the remaining three Appellate Body members expire and the organization will no longer be able to decide on appeals in trade disputes between WTO members. The process to fill the vacancies has faltered in 2016…

On October 9, 2019, the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) published in the Federal Register a notice [Docket No. USTR–2018–0001] withdrawing the exclusion of bifacial solar panels exclusion to the solar products safeguard measure. On January 23, 2018, the President imposed a safeguard measure on imports of certain solar products pursuant to a section 201 investigation. On February 14, 2018, USTR established procedures for interested persons to request product-specific exclusions from application of…

On October 4, 2019, the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) posted on its website an advance copy of the Federal Register Notice of Determination and Action Pursuant to Section 301: Enforcement of U.S. WTO Rights in Large Civil Aircraft Dispute [Docket No. USTR-2019-0003], which states that USTR has determined that the European Union (EU) and certain member States have denied US rights under the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement and have failed to…

On July 9, 2019, the Office of the USTR published in the Federal Register a notice of product exclusions from the imposition of additional duties on goods of China with an annual trade value of approximately $34 billion (the $34 billion action) as part of the action in the Section 301 investigation of China’s acts, policies, and practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation. USTR initiated the exclusion process in July 2018, and…

On 13 July 2017, the European Commission announced that it is proposing new rules to clamp down on the illegal import and trafficking of cultural goods from outside the EU, which it says is often linked to terrorist financing and other criminal activity.  It comes just days after the Hamburg G20 called on countries to tackle terrorist finance, including the looting and smuggling of antiquities. The announcement states in part: