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On May 17, 2019, the US Trade Representative’s Office (USTR) published in the Federal Register a notice [Docket Number USTR–2019–0004] that was made available as an advance copy on May 13, beginning the process of imposing additional duties of up to 25% on all remaining imports from China (i.e., List 4). According to the notice, “[i]n light of China’s failure to meaningfully address the acts, policies, and practices that are subject to this investigation and…

On May 16, 2019, President Trump signed a Proclamation to Modify the List of Beneficiary Developing Countries Under the Trade Act of 1974. The Proclamation states that the President has determined that, based on its level of economic development, it is appropriate to terminate Turkey’s designation as a beneficiary developing country effective May 17, 2019. The Proclamation: (1) Terminates the designation of Turkey as a beneficiary developing country, effective May 17, 2019. (2) Modifies general…

The Ever-Changing International Trade LandscapeWe are pleased to invite you to our third annual Global Trade Conference in Bellevue, WA. The conference will be held on Thursday, May 16 at The Bellevue Club. Our international trade compliance lawyers from around the world will review the major developments impacting international trade, including: U.S. export control developments, including the Export Control Reform Act, FIRRMA and export licensing policy developments Key sanction enforcement changes, including Iran, Russia, and…

On May 3, 2019, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced that it has finalized its review and update of its Minimum Security Criteria (MSC) for the Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT) program. The announcement said that in 2016, CBP formally requested the Commercial Customs Operations Advisory Committee (COAC) to establish a Working Group (WG) in order to discuss and recommend updates to the program’s MSC to ensure that it is reflective of the…

On 31 October 2018, the European Commission issued its second annual Report on Implementation of EU Free Trade Agreements, covering calendar year 2017. According to the report the agreements, which cover nearly 70 markets all over the world, are proving effective in removing barriers to trade and promoting high standards of labour and environment protection. However, European exporters could make even more out of the opportunities offered by the agreements in place. A press release issued by the Commission stated in part:

With the ratification of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) by Mexico, Japan and Singapore, and the expectation that other parties will follow, we anticipate the agreement will enter into force by early next year. Although the CPTPP differs from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) due to the suspension of 22 provisions, most chapters of the new agreement remain untouched.  One of those is Chapter 3: Rules of Origin and Origin Procedures. Certificate of Origin, CPTPP, verification, ASEAN, ATIGA, Form D, self-certification, trade, customs, prepare, free trade agreement

On Monday August 13, 2018, President Trump signed into law the “John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 (NDAA). The Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act of 2018 (FIRRMA; sections 1701-1728 of the NDAA) contains the most significant changes to the law governing the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS or Committee) since the creation of the US foreign investment regime in 1988. Although prompted primarily by national security concerns with Chinese investments, the legislation will affect investments by all foreign investors. The changes reflect a trend across advanced markets for greater scrutiny of inbound investments. 

On May 23, 2018, the Department of Commerce announced that, following a conversation with President Donald J. Trump,  Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross initiated an investigation under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, as amended.  The investigation will determine whether imports of automobiles, including SUVs, vans and light trucks, and automotive parts into the United States threaten to impair the national security as defined in Section 232.  Secretary Ross sent a letter to Secretary of Defense James Mattis informing him of the investigation. The announcement said:

The Russian government is preparing to introduce new counter-measures in response to US and EU sanctions.

Draft Bill on Russian Countermeasures

Last week the State Duma decided to amend Draft Bill No. 441399-7 “On Measures (Countermeasures) in Response to Unfriendly Actions of the USA and (or) other Foreign States” (“Draft on Countermeasures”).

As opposed to the initial version of the Draft on Countermeasures, the new version proposes the following five measures:

On April 20, 2018, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) published in the Federal Register a general notice, which advises importers that CBP will again accept claims for Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) duty-free treatment for merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption and that CBP will process refunds on duties paid, without interest, on GSP-eligible merchandise that was entered during the period that the GSP program was lapsed.