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Trade Policy

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On January 15, 2020, President Trump and China’s Vice Premier Liu He signed “Phase One” of the “Economic and Trade Agreement Between the United States of America and the People’s Republic of China.” The Agreement provides for the purchase by China of $200 billion worth of agricultural (including beef and poultry), energy and manufactured goods over the next two years as well as provide market access for US financial services (like banks, insurance companies and…

The Foreign Ministers of France, Germany and the United Kingdom (the “E3 Foreign Ministers“) have today released a statement that they are triggering the dispute resolution mechanism in relation to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (“JCPOA“), following Iran’s decision to no longer abide by the uranium enrichment limits of the JCPOA (see our earlier blog post on this here). In their statement, the E3 Foreign Ministers highlighted that they have triggered the dispute resolution mechanism in…

On 15 January 2020, the Federal Council opened a public consultation on the introduction of a simplified procedure for the Federal Customs Administration (FCA) to destroy fake products in small consignments. A new procedure aims to reduce the administrative effort by giving the authorities more leeway for their checks. These checks are essential – the importation of small consignments from Asia into Switzerland increased six-fold between 2014 and 2018. Swiss companies are particularly affected by…

On January 16, 2020, the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement [USMCA] Implementation Act (HR 5430) was approved in the US Senate by a vote of 89-10, sending it to the President. The House of Representatives had approved the bill on December 19, 2019 by a 385-41 vote. The USMCA is an revised and updated agreement to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The administration had worked with Democratic members of Congress to resolve labor and environment…

On January 15, 2020, the US Trade Representative (USTR) posted an advance copy of a Federal Register notice of modification of action reducing the rate of additional duty on certain products of China (List 4A) from 15 percent to 7.5 percent. The reduction will be applicable as of 12:01 am Eastern Standard Time on February 14, 2020, for products covered by Annex A of the August 20, 2019 notice (84 Fed. Reg. 43304). On August…

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…

The 8 senior Iranian government officials were targeted for their involvement and complicity in Iran’s ballistic missile strikes on US bases in Iraq on January 7, 2019 and include the Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Iranian armed forces, and the head of the Basij militia of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps. In addition, in an effort to constrain Iranian sources of revenue used to fund and…

As reported in our blog post of Tuesday 7 January (see here), the EU Foreign Affairs Council met on Friday 10 January 2020 to discuss recent developments involving Iran and the situation in Iraq. The EU Foreign Ministers assessed the consequences of recent events and emphasised their support for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (“JCPOA“), stating that it was “a key element of the global nuclear non-proliferation architecture.” However, Ministers called for Iran to…

On 28 December 2019, the National People’s Congress (NPC) of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) released a new draft of the Export Control Law (ECL) (“2019 Draft”), an update from the 2017 version circulated by the Ministry of Commerce. Click here to refer to our client alert on the 2017 Draft. The 2019 Draft is now open for public comment until 26 January 2020. If enacted, the ECL will be China’s first comprehensive and…

On 30 December 2019, the updated Annex I (the “Dual-Use List”) to Regulation 428/2009 (the “Dual-Use Regulation”) was published in the Official Journal of the European Union (see here). The updated Regulation came into effect on 31 December 2019. The changes to the Dual-Use List reflect updates to the international non-proliferation agreements during the previous year. The majority of the changes result from amendments agreed to the Wassenaar Arrangement including: a new decontrol note for ‘open-cell…