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The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) is moving forward and has gained momentum recently as Japan, Singapore and Mexico have ratified the 11-party agreement and Australia’s ratification is imminent because the deal recently passed both Houses of Parliament.  Canada is closing in on ratification as well.

On October 11, 2018, Global Affairs Canada published Notice to Importers: Item 82 – Steel Goods (Serial No. 911) which informs importers of the procedures governing the administration of provisional safeguards, in the form of tariff rate quotas (TRQ), for certain steel goods that are listed in item 82 on the Import Control List (ICL). These goods were added to the ICL to implement the Order Imposing a Surtax on the Importation of Certain Steel Goods (Surtax Order). The Surtax Order establishes provisional safeguards in the form of TRQs for steel goods matching the product descriptions specified in the column 2 of the Schedule to the Surtax Order, above which a twenty-five percent surtax will apply.

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.

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

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.

On 18 July 2018, the Official Journal published Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/1013 of 17 July 2018 imposing provisional safeguard measures with regard to imports of certain steel products. On 26 March 2018, the Commission published a Notice of Initiation of a safeguard investigation concerning imports of 26 steel product categories (2018/C 111/10) in the Official Journal. The Commission decided to initiate the investigation in the light of sufficient evidence that imports of those products might cause or threaten to cause serious injury to the Union producers concerned. On 28 June, the investigation was extended to two additional product categories. There was also a high risk of further increase of imports resulting from trade diversion due to the measures against imports of steel adopted by the United States under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 (‘Section 232’). The 28 product categories (‘the product concerned’ or the ‘product categories concerned’) are all covered by the steel surveillance mechanism introduced by the Commission in May 2016. They are also subject to the US tariff measures under Section 232.

On May 23, 2018, after approval by the Mexican Senate on April 24, 2018, the Diario Oficial de la Federación (Federal Official Gazette) published President Peña’s Decree approving the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership Treaty, made in Santiago, Chile on March 8, 2018, as well as the four parallel agreements negotiated in the framework of its subscription.

In April, President Trump indicated that his administration would reconsider the US re-joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), after withdrawing from it last year.

Following the United States’ withdrawal from the treaty, the remaining 11 signatory states, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam nevertheless proceeded to negotiate a new trade agreement which is now finalised and referred to as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).