International Trade & Supply Chain

Yesterday, our Beau Jackson, Robert Stang and Linda Tiller joined manufacturers, distributors and service providers in Kansas City for a discussion about the impact of tariffs on the business community. This insightful program included economic, industry and legal perspectives on current trade conditions and the various implications of recently-imposed tariffs. Pictured at right, Beau Jackson closed the event with these key takeaways:

  1. The United States is 80% a “consumer” economy – compared to a global average of approximately 40% (and 60% in Germany). Yet, U.S. trade policy seems to focus on raw materials and industrial manufacturing, rather than consumer-driven considerations.
  2. Finding qualified labor is a much more pressing and difficult issue for manufacturers than tariffs or trade policy
  3. Rising logistics and supply chain costs have become just as troublesome to companies as tariffs
  4. Carrier consolidation and new alliances in the shipping industry continue to adversely impact companies that import and export, and is complicating matters at U.S. ports of entry
  5. Tariff avoidance led to an import surge in late 2018, which furthered port congestion, inflated storage costs and has created large inventory surpluses that could soon have macroeconomic implications
  6. Supply Chain “Recalibration” – companies  and sourcing agents are trying to avoid China by finding new sources in Southeast Asia (particularly Vietnam and the Philippines)
  7. The recent government shutdown had a tangible impact on the day-to-day fundamentals of trade
  8. Good infrastructure, just like product quality and reputation, has been instrumental in fostering a robust U.S. economy.  Modernizing infrastructure is a must for the U.S. to remain competitive.

 

environment chemicalsCalifornia’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) has proposed further amendments to clarify the new Prop 65 regulations that went into effect August 30, 2018, which focused on how to provide “clear and reasonable” warnings under Prop 65. Under the new regulations, manufacturers, producers, packagers, importers, suppliers, and distributors have primary responsibility for complying with Prop 65 requirements; and retail sellers have responsibility for placement and maintenance of consumer product exposure warnings only in limited situations. OEHHA’s latest proposed amendments clarify parties’ responsibilities along the often complex supply chain: Continue Reading California Proposes Additional Amendments for Proposition 65 Regulations

internationaltradeblog

In today’s trade climate, its imperative to stay abreast of changes that impact business. Keeping current can be a challenge for any company moving goods across borders.

Husch Blackwell’s International Trade & Supply Chain team is excited to launch a new resource for original insight. Our new blog provides timely and accurate information, drawing on years of collective legal knowledge at key regulatory agencies so that you understand what changes mean for your business. Our blog addresses compliance concerns, international agreements, news and insights on trends, laws, deadlines and events.

Subscribe to International Trade Insights today to receive the latest in trade policy and international updates.

 

On Saturday, December 1, 2018, President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping met to discuss trade relations between the two countries. Following their meeting, President Trump indicated that he would postpone increasing the tariff rate to 25% on certain Chinese goods worth up to $200 billion currently covered under Section 301 List 3. This increase was originally slated for January 1, 2019 (see our previous post here).  The 10% duties on that $200 million in goods will remain in effect, however, as will the 25% tariffs on the goods worth about $50 billion, which appear on the first and second list of additional duties. According to the White House press statement, the parties agreed to “endeavor” on a 90-day period, until March 1, 2019, to discuss the restructuring of China’s trade policies and come to an agreement. Continue Reading President Trump Holds Off on Increase of Section 301 Tariffs

Immediately before the G-20 Summit Meeting on November 30, 2018 in Buenos Aires, President Trump, Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau, and Mexican President Nieto ceremonially signed the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). Although each leader signed the Agreement, this does not mean that it will go into effect, as the Agreement must now be approved by the legislature of each country. In regard to the U.S. legislative process, the next steps will be a 60 day period to submit a list of changes to U.S. law that are required for the Agreement to take effect. At the same time, the Agreement must also be reviewed by the U.S. International Trade Commission to assess the impact the agreement will have on GDP, exports and imports, employment, and U.S. consumer interests. The Commission has 105 days after the signing, or until March 15, 2019, to deliver its report to Congress.

Despite moving forward with the signature of the trade agreement, the U.S. continues to have steel and aluminum tariffs on imports from Canada and Mexico pursuant to Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962. Prime Minister Trudeau optimistically indicated that Canada and the U.S. will work towards removing these tariffs in the near future.

We will continue to monitor this situation. For more information, please contact Robert Stang,  Jeffrey NeeleyBeau Jackson, or Nithya Nagarajan.

On November 9, 2018, the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) extended the expiration date for certain Ukraine-related general licenses related to EN+ Group plc (EN+), United Company RUSAL PLC (RUSAL), and GAZ Group (GAZ).  The expiration date of General Licenses 13G (Authorizing Certain Transactions Necessary to Divest or Transfer Debt, Equity, or Other Holdings in Certain Blocked Persons), 14C (Authorizing Certain Activities Necessary to Maintenance or Wind Down of Operations or Existing Contracts with United Company RUSAL PLC), 15B (Authorizing Certain Activities Necessary to Maintenance or Wind Down of Operations or Existing Contracts with GAZ Group), and 16C (Authorizing Certain Activities Necessary to Maintenance or Wind Down of Operations or Existing Contracts with EN+ Group PLC or JSC EuroSibEnergo) was extended from December 12, 2018 to January 7, 2019.  U.S. persons participating in transactions or activities authorized by these general licenses should provide a detailed report to OFAC within 10 business days of January 7, 2019 (by January 21, 2019).

Continue Reading OFAC Extends Expiration Date for EN+, RUSAL, and GAZ Ukraine-related General Licenses

Iran

On November 5, 2018, the United States fully reimposed sanctions against Iran as part of its decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (“JCPOA”).  President Trump announced the decision to withdraw on May 8, 2018, thus beginning the “wind-down” period for businesses to withdraw from Iran.  Continue Reading U.S. Reimposes Tough Sanctions on Iran; More Designations to Come