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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…

The Chinese Ministry of Commerce announced that on October 23, the secretariat of the Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement (the “Agreement”) notified all member parties that Mongolia had deposited a letter of acceptance, and completed the Agreement accession procedures, and plans to be in January 2021. On the 1st, mutual tariff reduction arrangements were implemented with relevant members. According to the tariff reduction arrangement, Mongolia will reduce tariffs on 366 tax items, mainly related to aquatic products, vegetables…

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 July 1, 2020, the Federal Register published Presidential Proclamation 10053 of June 29, 2020 To Take Certain Actions Under the United States-Mexico–Canada Agreement Implementation Act and for Other Purposes, which modifies the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS) – as set forth in Annex I to US International Trade Commission (USITC) Publication 5060 (which is incorporated by reference) to provide generally for the preferential tariff treatment being accorded under the USMCA, to…

On February 4, 2020, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued CSMS # 41538803 – GUIDANCE: Additional Duty on Imports of Derivative Aluminum and Steel Articles, excerpts of which are reproduced below: On January 29, 2020, the President issued Proclamation 9980 on Adjusting Imports of Derivative Aluminum Articles and Derivative Steel Articles into the United States under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1862), providing for additional import…

On January 24, 2020, President Trump issued a Proclamation on Adjusting Imports of Derivative Aluminum Articles and Derivative Steel Articles into the United States under section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962. Except as otherwise provided in the proclamation, all imports of derivative aluminum articles specified in Annex I to the proclamation shall be subject to an additional 10 percent ad valorem rate of duty, and all imports of derivative steel articles specified…

On January 24, 2020, 17 WTO members issued a statement agreeing to establish a temporary system for appealing WTO disputes. They reached an agreement during the recent World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The WTO members include Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, the European Union, Guatemala, South Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Singapore, Switzerland and Uruguay. Canada and the EU had earlier established a separate interim appeals procedure. The statement indicated…

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 September 19, 2019,  the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) announced that it intends to seek environment consultations with Korea under the Environment Chapter of the United States – Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS).  The announcement said: Today’s announcement follows the release of the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) biennial report to Congress identifying nations for illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing, pursuant to the Moratorium Protection Act (MPA).  In its report,…