International Trade Insights

Legal Updates in International Trade & Supply Chain

With the government shutdown entering its fourth week and with no end in sight, a number of federal agencies are feeling the pressure. The Department of Commerce and the U.S. International Trade Commission have been effectively shuttered for the past four weeks and recently the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative released a short statement indicating that they had begun furloughing nonessential personnel. A number of other agencies and departments have also had their work…
Most agencies of the United States government, including the Federal Maritime Commission (”the Commission”), have been closed since December 22, 2018. Since that date shippers, ocean common carriers, and non-vessel operating common carriers in their shipper role have not had access to SERVCON, the service contract electronic filing system of the Commission. So how is it intended for these supply chain players to adhere to Commission regulations related to initial or service contracts about to…
Venezuela recently  initiated a World Trade Organization (“WTO”)  complaint against U.S. sanctions, claiming that the United States has “imposed certain coercive trade-restrictive measures on the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in the context of attempts to isolate Venezuela economically.” The same day, the U.S. imposed additional sanctions on Venezuelan nationals and entities allegedly engaging in corrupt currency exchange transactions (see our previous post here). The WTO will now begin consultations, during which the parties…
Today, January 8, 2019, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) added approximately 30 individuals and entities to its Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (the “SDN List”) due to their engagement in corrupt currency exchange transactions which enriched themselves by at least $2.4 billion at the expense of Venezuela’s citizens.  These sanctioned persons include two former Venezuelan National Treasurers – Claudia Patricia Diaz Guillen (“Diaz”) and Alejandro Jose Andrade Cedeno…
On September 22, 2018, Bill (SB-1402) was signed into law in California to become effective January 1, 2019. That law makes “Customers” (generally shippers, exporters, importers, and ocean intermediaries, FMCSA Property Brokers)  that engage or use “a port drayage motor carrier” jointly and severally liable with that port drayage motor carrier if that carrier is listed on the Internet Web site maintained by the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement. This ominous list now identifies…
On December 28, 2018, the United States Trade Representative (“USTR”) published in the Federal Register  the first notice granting  product exclusions for specific products from the Section 301 tariffs subject to an additional 25% duty effective July 6, 2018.   The exclusions apply only to the $34 billion worth of Chinese tariffed products from Tranche 1. These exclusions will extend for one year from the date of publication of the notice.…
On December 19, 2018, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) and the U.S. State Department took multiple sanctions actions related to Russia: Proposed Delisting of En+ Group, UC Rusal and ESE OFAC notified Congress of its intent to remove En+ Group plc (“En+ Group”), UC Rusal plc (“UC Rusal”) and JSC EuroSibEnergo (“ESE”) from its Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List (the “SDN List”) within thirty (30) days from December…
With the year winding down, we have prepared a comprehensive timeline and summary of the tariff actions of 2018, including the Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs and Section 301 tariffs on China. We have also provided information on retaliatory tariffs imposed on the U.S. by other countries during this same timeframe.…
On December 14, 2018, the Office of the United States Trade Representative announced that they would be postponing the date on which the rate of additional duties would increase to 25% for the products covered under the third phase of Section 301 tariffs covering $200 billion worth of goods currently subject to 10% tariffs…