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South Korea

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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 December 21, 2018, the President signed the Presidential Proclamation to Take Certain Actions Under the African Growth and Opportunity Act and for Other Purposes (not yet published in the Federal Register). The Proclamation:

  • Terminates the designation of Mauritania as a beneficiary sub‑Saharan African country for purposes of section 506A of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended (the “Trade Act”), effective January 1, 2019, and deletes “Islamic Republic of Mauritania” from the list of beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries in general note 16(a) to the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (“HTS”). The modification to the HTS set forth above shall be effective with respect to articles that are entered for consumption, or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption, on or after January 1, 2019.

The Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) published the following documents related to WTO disputes in the Federal Register: F.R. Date Matter Comments Due 10-23-18 WTO Dispute Settlement Proceeding Regarding United States – Safeguard Measure on Imports of Large Residential Washers [Docket Number USTR-2018-0014; Dispute Number WT/DS546] (N/RFC) 11-15-18

The US International Trade Commission has issued Revision 11 to the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of he United States. Revision 11 includes: Changes needed to implement the recent exemptions from absolute quotas on steel from Argentina, Brazil and South Korea and aluminum from Argentina (Effective Aug. 30, 2018); Changes to the US Bahrain FTA rules of origin (Effective Sept. 1, 2018); and Modified subheading 9705.00.0085 (Effective July 1, 2018)

As the trade conflict between the United States and China continues, three free trade agreements are pressing ahead, including– the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), soon to enter into force, the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (JEEPA), recently signed and which represents 30% of global economic output, and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), an agreement that includes both India and China and comprises the largest trading block in the region.

The WTO announced that Members expressed their concerns over possible measures by the United States regarding extra duties on the import of automobiles, including cars, SUVs, vans, light trucks and automotive parts, at the Council for Trade in Goods (CTG) held on 3 and 4 of July. Over 40 members — including the 28 European Union members — took the floor to warn of the “serious disruption” to world markets and the multilateral trading system that may arise as a result of these potential measures, particularly in light of the large proportion of global trade accounted for by these products. The announcement said:

The Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) published the following documents related to WTO disputes in the Federal Register. Although USTR will accept any comments received during the course of the dispute settlement proceedings, you should submit your comment on or before the “Comments Due” date to be assured of timely consideration by USTR.

On June 5, 2018, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) posted (Amended) QB 18-122, which provides information on annual absolute quota quantities for Argentina and Brazil steel imports as of June 1, 2018. Additional information may be issued at the end of each quarter for convenience of importers of steel products under absolute quota.   On June 4, 2018, CBP posted QB 18-123 Announcement for Steel Mill Articles: South Korea,  provides information on annual absolute quota…