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On Friday, June 15, 2018, President Trump announced that the US would be imposing a 25% tariff on Chinese technology imports. The tariffs were originally proposed on March 22, 2018 as a result of a Section 301 investigation of China’s Acts, Policies, and Practices Related to Technology Transfer, Intellectual Property, and Innovation. See our original post here.

Tariffs will be imposed on certain products starting on July 6, 2018.  Those products are listed here and consist of a subset of the products proposed on March 22.  Continue Reading President Trump Announces Tariffs on Chinese Technology Imports

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.

Continue Reading Comprehensive List of Retaliatory Tariffs

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. Continue Reading Tariffs to Be Imposed on Imported Steel and Aluminum from the EU, Canada, and Mexico

Globe showing AsiaThe Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) announced that it will conduct a review to determine if India, Indonesia and Kazakhstan are meeting the eligibility criteria of the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program. The reviews are part of the administration’s new triennial process to assess beneficiary country eligibility under the GSP program which was announced in October 2017. The first assessment covered 25 Asian and Pacific Island countries. Based on its assessment as well as petitions filed by interested parties, USTR has decided to review the eligibility of these three countries. USTR intends to publish a Federal Register notice announcing dates for comments and a hearing.

The next GSP assessment will begin in the fall of 2018 and will cover GSP beneficiary countries in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, and the Western Hemisphere.

For more information, please contact Cortney Morgan, Stephen Brophy, Robert Stang, Jeffrey Neeley, or Nithya Nagarajan.

globe AsiaThe Chinese Ministry of Commerce announced on Sunday that it would be imposing duties on 128 different U.S. products beginning today, April 2. They provided the list of products last week, particularly targeting U.S. agriculture. The tariffs are on an estimated $3 billion worth of goods.

There will be a tariff of 15% on commodities such as fruits and nuts, wine, seamless steel pipes and modified ethanol. The 15% tariff will apply to 120 tariff lines, including the following: Continue Reading China Announces New Retaliatory Tariffs on U.S. Goods

Stainless steel factoryThe Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) announced that it had reached an agreement with South Korea to provide the country with a long term exemption from the 25 percent tariff on steel products imposed by the President under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1862). Instead, U.S. imports of steel from South Korea will be subject to a product-specific quota equivalent to 70 percent of the average annual import volume of such products during the period 2015-17. Further details on the quota have not been released and the President has raised doubts about whether or when it will go into effect by stating in a speech that he might hold up the deal until after a deal is made with North Korea on denuclearization.

The apparent agreement on steel was part of a larger agreement to amend and modify the Korean-United States Free Trade Agreement (KORUS).  A USTR Fact Sheet on the agreement can be found here.

For further information, please contact Nithya Nagarajan, Stephen Brophy, or Jeffrey Neeley.

North America MapOn March 23, 2018, the President signed into law the “Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018” which, in addition to authorizing certain full-year federal appropriations, also included the renewal for the Generalized System of Preferences through December 31, 2020. The Generalized System of Preferences (commonly referred to as GSP) allows duty-free entry for over 5,000 goods from a wide range of designated beneficiary countries. The program was authorized by the Trade Act of 1974 to promote economic growth in developing countries and was implemented on January 1, 1976.

Continue Reading Congress Renews Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) with Retroactive Effect

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.

Continue Reading President Exempts Countries from Steel and Aluminum Tariffs, Makes Product Exclusions Retroactive

globe AsiaOn March 22, 2018, the President issued a Presidential Memorandum in which he announced the actions the United States will take in response to China’s allegedly unfair trade practices found by the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) in its Section 301 investigation of China’s Acts, Policies, and Practices Related to Technology Transfer, Intellectual Property, and Innovation. The actions are as follows:

Continue Reading President Announces Actions against China for Intellectual Property Practices

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.

Continue Reading Section 232: Process and Procedure for Requesting Exclusions for Steel and Aluminum Imports