North America MapAfter President Trump announced steel and aluminum tariffs on several of the country’s allies in March 2018, a number of EU countries, Mexico, and Canada immediately announced retaliatory tariffs against American products. Other trade partners and allies have also made plans to seek remedies through the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the World

IranPresident Trump signed a new Executive Order on August 6, 2018, titled “Reimposing Certain Sanctions with Respect to Iran”. The Executive Order was timed to coincide with the last day of the 90-day wind-down period established for activities associated with certain sanctions relief authorized by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (“JCPOA”).  As a result, the first round of sanctions against Iran will become effective at 12:01 a.m. on August 7, 2018.
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internet websiteAre your online trademark enforcements efforts being thwarted by inaccurate or inaccessible Whois data? If so, make your voices heard!

Problems with the accuracy and completeness of the Whois global database of domain name registrants are probably not a new thing for your company. We have all been there. You obtain the Whois record for an infringing domain name just to find out it is either registered under a privacy/proxy service or contains blatantly false contact information. If it makes you feel any better, know that you are not alone. The Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) reported that inaccurate Whois complaints accounted for over 60% of informal complaints filed with Registrars between June 2017 and June 2018. If you have experienced the frustration of encountering inaccurate Whois data, be sure to report it to ICANN via its Whois Inaccuracy Complaint Form, which can be found here. All complaints are forwarded to the sponsoring registrar, who must take reasonable steps to investigate and correct the inaccurate data.


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As a result of the Steel and Aluminum tariffs announced by President Trump in March 2018, and amended with proclamations issued on May 1, 2018, and June 1, 2018, several trading partners have decided that reciprocal and retaliatory tariffs on U.S. products are appropriate.  To date, the following countries have decided to retaliate – Canada, China, the European Union, India, and Mexico. See the comprehensive list of retaliatory tariffs here.


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Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced on Thursday, May 31st that a 25 percent tariff on steel and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum will go into effect at midnight on May 31 on imports from Canada, Mexico, and the European Union. Those countries had previously been granted temporary exemptions from the initial tariffs announced in March as a result of investigations under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962. According to Secretary Ross, while discussions with the European Union were ongoing, the progress did not warrant another temporary exemption. Additionally, this announcement comes in the middle of the North American Free Trade Agreement (“NAFTA”) re-negotiations with Canada and Mexico. Ross stated that those talks have taken longer than expected and there is no precise end date in sight.
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Stainless steel factoryOn April 30, 2018, the President issued two new Proclamations regarding the 232 tariffs imposed on imports of steel and aluminum articles into the United States.  The new Proclamations modify the previous steel and aluminum Proclamations with respect to imports from Canada, Mexico, the European Union, Argentina, Australia, Brazil and South Korea.

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Stainless steel factoryCountry Exemptions

On March 22, 2018, the President issued new Proclamations temporarily exempting imports from certain countries from the steel and aluminum tariffs that were announced in Proclamations 9704 and 9705 of March 8, 2018. The President had previously exempted imports from Canada and Mexico and the new Proclamations add exemptions for imports from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, European Union member countries, and South Korea. However, the Proclamations make clear that the exemptions, including the exemptions for Canada and Mexico, are temporary and that tariffs will go into effect on imports from an exempted country on May 1, 2018 unless the country has reached an agreement with the United States on an alternative means to remove the threat to national security posed by imports of steel articles from the country. If any agreements are reached and any countries are exempted on a long term basis, the President will consider adjustments to the tariff level imposed on non-exempt countries.

In the meantime, the President may consider quotas on imports from exempt countries. If a quota is imposed, the quota amount imposed will take into account all imports of steel and aluminum since January 1, 2018.

While the country exemptions may extend beyond May 1, depending on the progress on trade negotiations, there is no guarantee of such extensions.


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White HouseOn Monday March 19, 2018, the Department of Commerce published its interim rule for the submission of exclusions requests for Section 232 tariffs announced by the White House on March 8, 2018.

The rules published by Commerce are interim rules and comments on the rules must be received by Commerce no later than May 18, 2018. Meanwhile, the rules announced will be in effect.

U.S. importers and users now will need to manage to understand, navigate, and plan, based upon the onerous task of requesting exclusions. There are two different exclusion processes, which are distinct: (1) country exclusions which are handled by the United States Trade Representatives (USTR) office; and (2) product specific exclusions which will be handled by Commerce.


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Stainless steel factoryThe recent announcement by the White House that it intends to unilaterally impose 25 percent tariffs on steel imports and 10 percent tariffs on aluminum imports from all countries except Canada and Mexico has created significant uncertainty among foreign exporters.

It is of great import that Canada and Mexico are excluded from the imposition of section 232 duties for the time being. The European Union, Australia and South Korea have expressed a desire for similar exclusions to be applied to them. In fact, the EU and Australia are almost assured of an exemption based upon press reports. But where does that leave other important allies such as Turkey, India, Brazil and a host of other steel-exporting nations?


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