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After more than a year of negotiation, the United States, Mexico and Canada reached an agreement to update the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which governed trade among the three nations. The new agreement may not go into effect until 2020 because leaders from the three countries must sign it and then Congress and the legislatures of Canada and Mexico must approve it – a process that will take months. The three NAFTA…
On September 17, 2018, the White House directed the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to implement 10 percent tariffs on nearly all the tariff lines in the original Section 301 List 3 valued at approximately $200 billion. Significantly, the notice does NOT indicate that there will be an exclusion process similar to Section 301 List 1 and 2. The following day, the USTR issued a press release stating, “The [final] list contains 5,745 full or…
On September 18, 2018, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) published a notice in the Federal Register explaining the procedures and criteria related to requests for product exclusions from the additional tariffs placed on goods from China on August 23, 2018. Deadlines The USTR must receive requests to exclude a particular product by December 18, 2018. Responses to a request for exclusion of a particular product are due 14 days after the request is posted in the…
On September 13, 2018, President Trump signed the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB) Act of 2018 (MTB), which temporarily reduces or eliminates import duties on specified raw materials and intermediate products used in manufacturing that are not produced or available domestically. It is intended to ensure that U.S. manufacturers are not at a disadvantage to their foreign competitors when sourcing manufacturing components. The American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act of 2016 (AMCA) directed the International Trade Commission (ITC)…
  The recent Sigvaris appeals decision provides guidance to companies seeking to import products for handicapped or disabled persons and obtain duty free treatment under the Nairobi Protocol. Sigvaris imported a number of different styles of compression hosiery, which is used to increase blood circulation, and claimed that the products should be entered duty free under the Nairobi Protocol, heading 9817 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).  Congress passed the Educational,…
  As a consequence of U.S. and UN sanctions on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK or North Korea), companies increasingly need to coordinate compliance efforts across the typically distinct worlds of economic sanctions and import/customs compliance. This is particularly necessary with respect to identifying, and mitigating the risk of DPRK-related labor in supply chains. Below, we summarize first the expanded scope of UN restrictions on the DPRK, including the prohibition on the use of…
On September 4, 2018, the House agreed to Senate amendments made to the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB) Act of 2018 last month, moving the legislation to the president for signature. The White House reportedly indicated President Trump will sign the bill. The last MTB passed by Congress expired on December 31, 2012. Once signed into law, the bill would cut or eliminate tariffs on articles such as chemicals, footwear, toasters, and roughly 1,660 other items…
New Partner Establishes Trade Group’s California Presence; His Practice Focuses on Global Customs, Trade Compliance Los Angeles – August 27, 2018: Crowell & Moring LLP is pleased to announce the addition of David R. Stepp as a partner in the firm’s International Trade Group in Los Angeles. With more than 30 years of experience, Stepp provides strategic counsel on global customs and international trade compliance. At Crowell & Moring, he will advise multinational companies and…
On August 17, 2018, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) published a document entitled, “Responsible Business Practices on Forced Labor Risk in the Global Supply Chain“, which provides details regarding the best practices for importers of goods into the U.S. The agency indicated that the guidelines were published in order to further CBP’s strategic goal to stop the importation of goods produced with forced labor. The Office of Trade also recommends the adoption of…
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) is holding public hearings from August 20 to August 24, 2018, and on August 27, 2018, regarding the proposed tariffs on approximately $200 billion worth of Chinese products. Click here to view a schedule of witnesses. The public hearings are being held at the following times at the U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington, DC: Monday, August 20, 2018 from 9:30 AM – 6:00 PM EDT Tuesday, August…