President 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.
Continue Reading United States Announces Re-imposition of First Round of Nuclear Sanctions on Iran

The U.S. Trade Representative is proposing an additional 10 percent tariff on approximately 6,000 8-digit tariff codes estimated to be about $200 billion worth of imports.  The USTR has now set a third set of hearing and written submissions for those affected by this new set of proposed tariffs.  The schedule is as follows:

July

Globe showing Asia

On Friday, July 6, 2018, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) announced a process for obtaining product exclusions from the 25% tariffs imposed on certain products imported from China.  The tariffs went into effect on July 6, 2018.

USTR has set the following deadlines:

  • All product exclusion requests must be filed by October

On Monday evening June 18, the U.S. Senate adopted draft legislation in its version of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 (the “2019 Defense Bill”) which would: (i) prevent the U.S. Department of Commerce – Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) from fulfilling its agreement to suspend current export controls applicable to Zhongxing Telecommunications Equipment Corporation of Shenzen, China and ZTE Kangxun Telecommunications Ltd. of Hi-New Shenzhen, China (collectively “ZTE”), and (ii) expand existing language in the 2019 Defense Bill to prohibit all U.S. government agencies from contracting with ZTE.  The Senate approved this bill by a vote of 85-10.  After last night’s vote, it has been reported that ZTE shares have dropped more than 25%.  The U.S. House and Senate will still need to reconcile the differences in their versions of the 2019 Defense Bill before they send it to the President, but if they can do so while retaining enough votes to override a Presidential veto then BIS will be unable to remove ZTE from the Denied Persons list and ZTE will continue to be subject to export and re-export prohibitions in transactions involving U.S. origin goods, software and technology.
Continue Reading Senate Votes to Block Lifting of US Sanctions against ZTE

Shipping containersOn Friday, June 15, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative released a proposed list of 284 products from China that may be subject to a 25% tariff. They have released a timeline for public comment on these products, which will be published in the Federal Register on June 20, at this link.
Continue Reading USTR Requests Public Comment on Tariffs on Products from China

On Monday, June 18, the President released a statement indicating that he had directed the U.S. Trade Representative to identify another $200 billion worth of Chinese goods for additional tariffs at a rate of 10%.
Continue Reading President Trump Threatens Tariffs on another $200 Billion Worth of Chinese Goods

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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

Nowadays, the only thing that remains certain in the industry of domestic and global trade is the unpredictability of influential decisions made by the U.S. government and how those decisions will impact trading laws and regulations.

There has been much to say regarding Section 232 and related tariff concerns. On Husch Blackwell’s TMT Industry Insider

On June 7, 2018, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced that Chinese Telecommunications companies, Zhongxing Telecommunications Equipment Corporation of Shenzen, China and ZTE Kangxun Telecommunications Ltd. of Hi-New Shenzhen, China (collectively “ZTE”) have agreed to pay $1 billion and place an additional $400 million in suspended penalty money in escrow in order to be removed from the Denied Persons List.  This penalty payment is in addition to the over $850 million in penalties that ZTE already previously paid to multiple U.S. government agencies in March of 2017 when it first entered into a settlement agreement arising out of its illegal re-exportation of controlled U.S. origin telecommunications equipment to Iran and other prohibited destinations.
Continue Reading Commerce Strikes Deal with Chinese Telecom Company ZTE with Largest Fine and Strictest BIS Compliance Measures to Date