- U.S. Customs halts the import of silica-based products from made by Hoshine Silicon Industry Co. because the products are suspected of being produced using forced labor.
- For future imports of solar energy equipment sourced from Xinjiang, China, the United States may use Withhold Release Orders (WROs) to block entry into the United States if there is reasonable suspicion of forced labor in the supply chain.
- The renewables industry is working together and with regulators to find ways to certify its supply chains are free of forced labor.
The Biden Administration has taken (at least temporarily) the teeth out of a Trump-era Executive Order that directed the government to “Buy American” for essential…
Continue Reading “Buy American” Update: Essential Medicines May Continue to Come From Abroad (For Now)
On January 19, 2021, the U.S. Department of Commerce (“DOC”) issued an interim final rule governing transactions in Information and Communication Technology or Services (“ICTS”) involving “foreign adversaries.” Although the rule takes effect on March 22, 2021, it allows DOC to review covered transactions initiated, pending, or completed on or after January 19, 2021.…
Continue Reading Friend or Foe? The DOC Issues New Interim Rule on Transactions Involving Information and Communication Technology or Services (“ICTS”) and Foreign Adversaries
On January 13, 2021, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued a Withhold Release Order (WRO) on cotton and tomato products produced by entities operating in Xinjiang, China. The order is based on information that indicates the use of forced labor in the production of the goods. If you are sourcing these products from the Xinjiang region, you may want to consider proactive compliance steps to mitigate your risk and prevent disruption in your supply chain. …
Continue Reading CBP Stops More Imports Under Forced Labor Rules (Cotton a Jam, Part II)
- Threatened 25% tariffs on French luxury goods are suspended.
- USTR is still looking at tariffs in retaliation for taxes on U.S. global tech companies.
- Biden’s new USTR will face immense pressure to negotiate the digital taxation issue in the first few weeks of her tenure.
In the last few weeks of former President Trump’s term in office, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) suspended its previous plans to impose tariffs on certain French luxury goods, as we discussed here and here.…
Continue Reading USTR Suspends Tariffs on Certain French Luxury Goods: A Potential Shift in Trade Talks
Most of you already know Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 because of the Trump Administration’s massive China tariffs under Section 301. Now it’s time to get acquainted with a separate process that may result in tariffs on Vietnamese products too. Section 301 authorizes the Office of the United States Trade Representative (“USTR”) to investigate certain foreign trade practices. USTR has initiated a probe into Vietnam’s currency practices, which could lead to tariffs on Vietnamese products, similar to the China tariffs. The Biden transition team has not indicated whether it will follow through with the investigation.…
Continue Reading Knock knock: Section 301 Tariffs on Vietnamese Products Could Soon be at Your Front Door
**This is an update to our December 23, 2020 post**
On December 29, 2020, the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) posted a notice granting new…
Continue Reading USTR Grants New Section 301 Exclusions and Extends Existing Exclusions for Certain Chinese Medical Products
While many of us anxiously await putting 2020 behind us, the start of the new year may have significant import duty implications for many U.S. companies.
On December 31, two significant U.S. import duty relief programs are set to expire: the Section 301 exclusions and the Generalized Systems of Preference (“GSP”). That will cause U.S. customs duties to rise on certain products. Importers should be prepared for these changes.…
Continue Reading Don’t Pop the Bubbly Just Yet: Potential Duty Increases for Importers Starting January 1
Over the past few weeks, we have been speculating on the international trends and tides we expect to see in the next four years under a new U.S. presidential administration. So that you can enjoy our prognostications (before our program gets greenlighted as a Netflix special) we provide here:
- A recording of our webinar, entitled “The Four Years in International Business Webinar”
(for those playing along at home, see if you can spot the part where Scott’s power goes out while we’re discussing tariff reductions!)
- A bulleted summary of the key takeaways of our webinar.
One point all can likely agree on in these divisive times is that the Trump Administration’s international trade policy has been aggressive. Over the past four years, we have been clinging to our seats on the rollercoaster ride with some pretty challenging peaks and valleys:
- Section 301 tariffs on over $370 billion worth of imports from China, under which over $68 billion in total duties have been assessed;
- Replacement of NAFTA with the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA);
- Withdrawal from the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP); and
- Imposition of Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs, under which over $9 billion in total duties have been assessed.
Opening Salvos: The Proposed Tariffs
On June 26, 2020, the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) published a notice that it is considering new tariffs on exports such as olives, coffee, beer, gin, and trucks coming into the United States from France, Germany, Spain, and the United Kingdom. The list of potential targets also includes various types of bread, pastries, cakes, and other baked products. That new list of goods may face duties of up to 100%, potentially doubling the price of certain goods  The announcement caused European stocks to fall, particularly for shares of beverage companies, luxury goods companies, and truck makers.…
Continue Reading A Trade War on Two Fronts: U.S. Considers More Tariffs on European Goods