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On November 20, 2019, the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) published in the Federal Register a notice [Docket Number USTR–2019–0001] announcing the results of the 2019 annual Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) review with respect to: Products considered for removal from the list of eligible products for certain beneficiary countries; decisions related to competitive need limitations (CNLs), including petitions for waivers of CNLs; and requests to reinstate/ redesignate products previously excluded from GSP…

On November 19, 2019, the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) published in the Federal Register a notice announcing a hearing for the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) country practice reviews of Azerbaijan, Ecuador, Georgia, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Thailand, South Africa, and Uzbekistan, and the country designation review of Laos. These reviews will focus on whether: (1) Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan are meeting the GSP eligibility criterion requiring that a GSP beneficiary country afford…

On October 25, 2019, USTR announced that President Trump is suspending $1.3 billion in trade preferences for Thailand under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) based on its failure to adequately provide internationally-recognized worker rights. In addition, the President is restoring some GSP benefits for Ukraine following its passage of legislation aimed at addressing shortcomings in its intellectual property (IP) regime. USTR also announced it is opening new GSP eligibility reviews for two countries:  South…

On October 31, 2019, the Federal Register published Presidential Proclamation 9955 of October 25, 2019 To Modify Duty-Free Treatment Under the Generalized System of Preferences and for Other Purposes. The Proclamation: terminates the suspension of Ukraine from the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program, effective 5 days after the date of the proclamation, and modifies general note 4(d) and pertinent subheadings of the HTS as set forth in Annex 1 to the proclamation; suspends the…

Pursuant to our client alert on Dual-Use Items last year, the Ministry of Commerce (“MOC“) has shifted its focus from revising and updating the Notification Regulating the Dual-Use Items, dated 16 October 2015, previously issued under the existing Export and Import of Goods, Act B.E. 2522 (1979) to the enactment of the new Trade Control on Weapons of Mass Destruction Related Items Act (“WMD Act“). On 30 April 2019, the WMD Act was enacted and announced in…

On September 1, 2018, the Canada Gazette published a notice from Global Affairs Canada stating that the Government of Canada is committed to fostering and strengthening Canada’s economic ties with its Asia-Pacific partners, including the 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) [Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam] and is seeking the views of interested Canadian stakeholders on the scope of potential negotiations toward a possible free trade agreement (FTA) with ASEAN. Expanding and diversifying Canada’s trade with large, emerging markets such as ASEAN is a priority for the Government of Canada and contributes to Canada’s trade diversification strategy. The Government of Canada’s approach is one that puts the interests of Canadians and opportunities for the middle class, women, youth and Indigenous people front and centre.

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:

On April 26, 2018, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued CSMS #18-000307 GSP Goods Subject to Section 201 Measures, which provides additional Information with respect to articles of Thailand or Philippines, which are covered by Section 201 safeguard remedies (certain solar cells, solar panels, washing machines, and washing machine parts). According to the CSMS: