Global Trade Policy Blog

On January 15, 2021, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (“USTR”) published a report detailing the findings of its investigation under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 (“Section 301”) into Vietnam’s currency policies. The report concludes that “Vietnam’s acts, policies, and practices with respect to currency valuation, including excessive foreign exchange market interventions and other related actions, taken in their totality, are unreasonable and burden or restrict U.S. commerce.”  Although such…
On January 13, 2021 the US Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced that, effective immediately, all cotton and tomato products imported from China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) will be barred from entering the United States. The ban, officially called a Withhold Release Order (WRO), is “based on information that reasonably indicates the use of detainee or prison labor and situations of forced labor” according to CBP. This region-wide order joins…
Buried inside the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, which the President signed into law on December 27, 2020, is a critical provision that will help keep US trade flowing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, the bankruptcy relief section temporarily amends the US Bankruptcy Code to provide relief to customs brokers, a group that has been adversely impacted by the economic downturn due to disruptions in international trade and the resulting wave of bankruptcies that has…
On 30 December 2020, the European Union and the United Kingdom signed the “EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement” (EU-UK TCA or the Agreement) setting out the terms for their future economic and commercial relations after the UK definitively leaves the EU Single Market and Customs Union on January 1, 2021. The British Parliament approved the deal by a large majority on the same day. The EU will provisionally apply the Agreement until the European Parliament…
The future direction of the World Trade Organization (“WTO”) hinges not only on the consensus agreement of the Members in appointing the WTO’s next Director-General, but also on the ability of that Director-General to forge a path forward to resolve the myriad issues currently facing the organization. In August of this year, Roberto Azevêdo stepped down from his position as WTO Director-General, leaving his post open and eight candidates from around the globe in the…
The European Commission (EC) on Thursday 17 December issued long-anticipated proposals for new digital technology regulation in the European Union (EU): the Digital Services Act (DSA) and the Digital Markets Act (DMA). Once formally adopted as EU Regulations, these proposals will set a new benchmark for regulating internet platform services. Given their international reach and implications for global tech businesses, they also raise a series of implications for international trade. However, it’s still too early…
Recently-published reports from the U.S. government suggest that, due to COVID and U.S.-China trade tensions, U.S. policy is likely to continue a trend towards incentivizing supply chain de-coupling in the ICT sector where feasible. On October 20, 2020, the Cyberspace Solarium Commission issued a white paper, “Building a Trusted Supply Chain,” that sets out a “five-pillar” plan to “reinvigorate American high-tech manufacturing and secure the United States’ Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) supply…
Partners Hunter Johnston and Jeff Weiss have co-authored a four-part article series on carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) for Law360. Use of CCUS technologies and products are critical to achieving national and global decarbonization goals. Part four of the article includes a discussion on potential trade law and policy, international regulatory cooperation, and standards and conformity assessment issues that are relevant for CCUS. See below for relevant links: Part one discusses the need and…
On December 14, 2020, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) is scheduled to publish an interim final rule modifying certain elements of the exclusion process for steel and aluminum imports subject to tariffs pursuant to Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 (“Section 232”). When President Trump imposed Section 232 tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum, Commerce was directed to set up a process that allows companies…
On November 24, 2020, the U.S. Department of Commerce (“Commerce”) issued a preliminary affirmative determination in the countervailing duty (“CVD”) investigation of twist ties from China. What is particularly noteworthy about this preliminary determination is Commerce’s decision to countervail the undervaluation of China’s currency, the Renminbi (“RMB”). This marks only the second occasion – following the investigation of Passenger Vehicle and Light Truck (“PVLT”) Tires from Vietnam earlier this year – that Commerce has countervailed…