The WTO announced that WTO members discussed five new or enhanced proposals to advance services negotiations at meetings of the Working Party on Domestic Regulation and the Services Council on 14-17 March 2017. Four of these proposals aim to ensure that domestic licensing procedures and technical standards do not constitute unnecessary barriers to trade while one proposal relates to the establishment of a trade facilitation agreement for services. The WTO provided the following summaries:
The Costa Rican Ministry of Foreign Commerce (COMEX) reported that on November 16, 2016, the signing ceremony on the conclusion of the negotiations of the Free Trade Agreement between the Republics of Central America and the Republic of Korea (Tratado de Libre Comercio entre las Repúblicas de Centroamérica y la República de Corea) took place.
The Japanese government announced on December 2, 2016 that it would impose new unilateral sanctions on North Korea, which undertook its fifth nuclear test in September. This announcement follows a fresh U.N. Security Council resolution, adopted on November 30, 2016, which reinforces sanctions against North Korea.
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.
CSMS# 16-000814 dated September 13, 2016, released scenarios (updated on September 8, 2016) to the Hanjin Shipping Co. bankruptcy filing. Hanjin Shipping Co., one of the world’s largest shipping lines, recently filed for court receivership in South Korea. In anticipation of possible disruptions due to Hanjin Shipping vessels or cargo arriving to U.S. ports, CBP provided guidance to processing scenarios to help trade and CBP identify procedures to follow to prevent disruptions. The scenarios cover the following situations:
On 23 August 2016, the new UK Department for International Trade (DIT) released a “Survey to identify trade and investment barriers in 7 overseas markets”.
The UK government is planning to hold joint economic and trade committee meetings with Brazil, India, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam by the end of 2016. The aim of these dialogues is to discuss bilateral trade and investment issues and to strengthen the UK’s economic, industrial and commercial ties with these markets.
The free trade agreement (FTA) between Colombia and South Korea will enter into force on July 15, 2016 This is Colombia’s first FTA with an Asian country. The FTA between Colombia and Costa Rica will enter into force on August 1, 2016. Colombia already has FTAs in effect with El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.
CBP has published in the Federal Register the following determinations concerning the country of origin of merchandise for purposes of US Government procurement under the Trade Agreements Act. A copy of the final determination may be reviewed by clicking on the ruling number. Any party-at-interest may seek judicial review of the final determination within 30 days of the date of publication in the Federal Register. F.R. Date Ruling Reference (Date Issued) and Product Country…
On April 20, 2016, the Department of State published in the Federal Register a document [Public Notice: 9527] setting forth the Secretary of State’s designation of “countries of particular concern” for religious freedom violations pursuant to Section 408(a) of the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 (Pub. L. 105-292), as amended (the Act). The Secretary has designated each of the following as a “country of particular concern” under the Act, for having engaged in or…