Trump and Trade

Timely legal updates on the Trump administration's international trade activities and policies

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On February 1, 2019, the American Institute of Steel Construction, LLC (AISC) filed a petition with the U.S. Department of Commerce (Commerce) and the U.S. International Trade Commission (Commission) seeking antidumping duties (ADD) and countervailing (CVD) duties on imports of fabricated structural steel (FSS) products from Canada, Mexico and the People’s Republic of China. FSS products are steel products that have been fabricated for assembly or installation into a structure and are intended to provide…
In his second State of the Union address to Congress, President Donald Trump noted that he campaigned on several core promises, including “to defend American jobs and demand fair trade for American workers.” He argued that his administration has “moved with urgency and historic speed to confront problems neglected by leaders of both parties over many decades” and indicated that “one priority is paramount – reversing decades of calamitous trade policies.” His prepared speech included…
The U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) is required by law to report annually to Congress on compliance by the People’s Republic of China (China) and the Russian Federation (Russia) with commitments made in connection with their accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO), including both multilateral commitments and any bilateral commitments made to the United States. In releasing the reports on February 5, 2019, the USTR stated, “China and Russia present unique and serious challenges for…
The Congressional Research Service (CRS), a nonpartisan staff to congressional committees and Members of Congress, has released an overview report, International Trade and Finance: Overview and Issues for the 116th Congress, in which it offers a brief review of President Donald Trump’s first two years in office and policy issues that the new 116th Congress may address. The policy issues include: the impact of trade and trade agreements on the U.S. economy; the causes…
As reported in our post of January 25, 2019, members of the 116th session of Congress are seeking ways to address President Donald Trump’s authority to unilaterally impose tariffs under various statutes. This trend continued on January 30, 2019, with the bipartisan introduction of the Bicameral Congressional Trade Authority Act. Introduced by Sens. Mark Warner (D-VA) and Pat Toomey (R-PA), this bill would restore to Congress its Article I constitutional authority over foreign…
With the 35-day partial federal government shutdown ending on January 26, 2019, the U.S. government’s trade-oriented agencies have reopened and are beginning to work through massive backlogs of work as personnel resume full-time operations. What follows is a listing of the current operational status of many of these agencies: U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) While CBP staffed ports “as normal” during the shutdown to ensure that the “flow of trade {is} as close to…
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) unsealed two separate indictments on Monday, January 28, 2019, charging Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei with 23 counts of criminal activity. In the Eastern District of New York (EDNY), a 13-count indictment was released charging four defendants affiliated with Huawei. In the indictment, Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd., Huawei Device USA Inc., Skycom Tech Co. Ltd. (Skycom) and Huawei’s Chief Financial Officer Wanzhou Meng were charged with a variety of crimes,…
On Friday, January 25, 2019, President Trump issued a new Executive Order expanding the current sanctions imposed on the government of Venezuela to target the country’s state-owned oil company Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PdVSA) – its primary source of revenue – and to increase pressure on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to step down. This followed the Trump administration’s announcement on January 23, 2019 to formally recognize Juan Guaidó as the interim president of Venezuela and…
After much debate and despite continuing criticism, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) lifted sanctions previously imposed upon three Russian entities: En+ Group plc (En+), United Company Rusal plc (Rusal) and JSC EuroSibEnergo (ESE). Effective January 27, 2019, OFAC removed these entities from the Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) List.…
This month, two bills have already been introduced in the House of Representatives that show the division among Republican Party members over President Donald Trump’s authority to impose tariffs. On one side of the debate, Rep. Warren Davidson (R-Ohio) introduced the Global Trade Accountability Act of 2019, which seeks to restore Congress’s constitutional authority over trade and international commerce, including approval on tariffs, duties and quotas. In a brief statement, Davidson stated that the…