Trade and Manufacturing Monitor

News and Insight from our International Trade Practice Group

On Friday, December 7, 2018, the South Korean parliament approved a modified version of the U.S.-Korea Trade Agreement, otherwise known as KORUS.  With passage of the renegotiated agreement, Korea is now ready to implement the new terms on January 1, 2019. KORUS first went into effect in 2012, but many in the U.S. business community had concerns about Korea’s implementation of key market access provisions.  In April 2017, the United States and Korea began renegotiating…
This morning, on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Argentina, the United States, Canada, and Mexico signed the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).  The new trade deal is slated to replace the 24-year old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).  Today’s signature date was a critical deadline for the parties because it is Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto’s last day in office before his successor, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, takes office tomorrow. The three parties have…
Today Customs and Border Protection (CBP) published an updated version of its “Guidance for Reimbursement Certificates”; see https://www.cbp.gov/document/guidance/guidance-reimbursement-certificates. In the memorandum, CBP reminds the public that regulations by the Department of Commerce (“DOC”) require that importers must file a certificate advising whether the importer has entered into an agreement, or otherwise has received reimbursement of AD duties, prior to liquidation of the entry. Failure to file reimbursement certificates (stating that importer was not reimbursed)…
On 14 November 2018, the UK Cabinet approved an agreement permitting the orderly exit of the UK from the European Union (EU), commonly known as Brexit.  Without such Withdrawal Agreement, the UK would crash out of the EU on 30 March 2019, effectively paralyzing trade between the UK and the Bloc.  As of this date, the UK will be a third country vis-à-vis the EU, but the Withdrawal Agreement will grant the UK a transition…
On October 1, 2018, the United States, Canada, and Mexico announced that they had reached an agreement to “modernize” the 24-year old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). When NAFTA came into effect, it created the largest free trade region in the world. Since then, developments in virtually every sector and the advent of cross-border issues such as digital trade, financial data storage, and unfair currency practices have created room for improvement. The intellectual property…
Today the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) amended the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations (ITSR, 31 C.F.R. Part 560) to fully re-impose U.S. sanctions on Iran following a wind down period that expired yesterday, November 4, 2018.  OFAC also issued new FAQs for foreign affiliates of U.S. companies and non-U.S. companies. Foreign affiliates of U.S. companies are now generally prohibited from engaging in transactions directly or indirectly involving Iran, Iranian companies or…
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) has opened a public comment period in connection with the proposed U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement negotiations.  On October 16, 2018, USTR notified Congress of its intent to enter into trade talks with Japan.  Those discussions cannot begin until mid-January 2019 at the earliest under the requirements of the Trade Promotion Authority law. Any member of the public – including individual companies, industry coalitions, and trade associations – may…
On Wednesday, the European Parliament voted 571-to-53 to ban certain single use plastic items from the EU by 2021.  The legislation is aimed at reducing marine pollution and was drafted in May 2018 by the European Commission.  The Commission estimates that more than 80 percent of marine litter is plastics and that the items considered in the legislation comprise 70 percent of marine litter.  The banned single use items will include plastic plates, cutlery, straws,…
Both the EU and the UK are eager to achieve a Brexit deal.  However, with time running short and red lines continuing to be drawn on both sides, a no-deal Brexit scenario remains a possibility.  For this reason, both the EU27 and the UK are expediting preparations for a hard Brexit.  Absent any temporary arrangements, if the UK leaves the EU without a deal on 29 March 2018, it will become a “third country” EU…
On October 17, President Trump announced that the United States may withdraw from a 144-year-old international postal agreement. The Universal Postal Union (“UPU”), established by the Treaty of Bern of 1874, is an agency of the United Nations that facilitates postal cooperation between governments and regulates cross-border traffic of international mail. The Trump Administration fears that U.S. businesses are disadvantaged by policies of the UPU that allow Chinese businesses to ship a variety of goods…