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Thailand

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As you may recall, early last year, President Trump issued two presidential memoranda instructing the U.S. Commerce Department to initiate an investigation into the national security implications of steel imports and aluminum imports into the United States.  If these so-called “section 232” (section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, as amended) investigations determine that steel import and/or aluminum imports “threaten to impair the national security[,]” then the President can impose additional customs duties (among other things) on covered products.

On June 16, 2018, the Secretary of Commerce issued his reports to the President in both matters (unclassified versions of the reports are available here).   In each case, the Department of Commerce concluded that the quantities and circumstances surrounding steel and aluminum imports “threaten to impair the national security,” thereby opening the door to the imposition of import restraints.  Specifically, Commerce’s recommendations are as follows:

The Thai Government has been trying to appropriately conceptualize an e-commerce tax to efficiently capture the percentage of revenue generated by the e-commerce sector which has seen large volume and strong growth recently. Prior to e-commerce, tax collection has relied solely on principles based on the physical presence of the taxpayer and conventional sources of income, thus making the e-commerce tax issue a controversial one across the globe.

On July 14, 2017, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) published in the Federal Register a notice providing country-by-country allocations of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 (October 1, 2017 through Sept. 30, 2018) in-quota quantity of the tariff-rate quotas for imported raw cane sugar, certain sugars, syrups and molasses (also known as refined sugar), specialty sugar, and sugar-containing products.

On June 29, 2017, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), in conjunction with the Department of Commerce (DoC) , published in the Federal Register a request for comments [Docket No. USTR–2017–0010] that they will consider as part of the comprehensive performance reviews required by Executive Order 13796 of April 29, 2017)

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.

On November 21, 2015, the President’s Press Secretary released a Joint Statement on the ASEAN-U.S. Strategic Partnership. At the 3rd ASEAN-U.S. Summit in Kuala Lumpur, Member States of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the United States elevated their relationship to the ASEAN-U.S. Strategic Partnership to strengthen the role their relationship plays in realizing a common vision of a peaceful, prosperous Asia-Pacific region that offers security, opportunity and dignity to all its…