On December 10, 2019, a revised version of the USMCA was agreed upon and signed by the United States, Mexico and Canada. The USMCA, which is set to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), was initially agreed upon and signed in 2018. USMCA updates provisions on agriculture, automobiles, textiles, apparel, rules of origin, communications technology, intellectual property rights, low-value shipments, digital trade, currency and other issues.
News / Regulatory Updates
On Friday, December 13, 2019, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) announced a Phase 1 Trade Agreement with China. This enforceable agreement requires structural reforms to China’s economic and trade regime in the areas of intellectual property, technology transfer, agriculture, financial services, and currency and foreign exchange.
Reminder: On December 15, 2019, the China List 4B Tariffs will go into effect at 15%. These tariffs were first posted in the Federal Register Notice 84 FR 43304 dated August 20, 2019. This list was modified on August 30, 2019, in Federal Register Notice 84 FR 45821 increasing the tariff rate to 15% from 10%. List 4B includes products such as cell phones, laptop computers, video game consoles, certain toys, computer monitors, and certain items of footwear and clothing.
On Friday, November 29, 2019, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) office released a new list of product exclusions to the Section 301 List 3 products currently subject to a 25% tariff in the Federal Register Notice 84 FR 65882.
On Wednesday, November 20, 2019, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) office released in Federal Register Notice 84 FR 64180 the results of the annual Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) review with respect to products considered for removal from the list of eligible products for certain beneficiary countries. This review includes the competitive needs limitations (CNLs), including petitions for waivers of CNLs and requests to reinstate/predesignate products previously excluded from GSP eligibility.
On Wednesday, November 13, 2019, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) office released a new list of product exclusions to the Section 301 List 3 products currently subject to a 25% tariff in the Federal Register Notice 84 FR 61674.
This notice includes 36 specific product descriptions. Companies are encouraged to refer to the Annex in the notice to determine if any of their products are included in the 36 products specifically identified as exclusions. The scope of each exclusion is governed by the 10-digit level Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) numbers and the descriptions identified in the notice. It is important to note that these exclusions are available for any product that meets the description in the official notice, regardless of whether the importer filed an exclusion request. If you import products that are consistent with these descriptions, you will be able to claim an exclusion using HTS 9903.88.34. Retroactive refunds of the Section 301 tariffs will not be automatic. Importers must submit a post-summary correction (PSC) for eligible entries made subsequent to September 24, 2018. If entries have already liquidated, importers may follow liquidation protest rules.
For more information, please contact your local Noatum Logistics USA (Formerly MIQ Logistics) representative.
On October 31, 2019, in Federal Register Notice 84 FR 58427, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) office announced that they are considering a possible extension of particular exclusions granted under the December 2018 Product Exclusion Notice, which are set to expire on December 28, 2019. The USTR is inviting public comments on whether to extend the particular exclusions.
Comments must be submitted through the Federal eRulemaking Portal: https://www.regulations.gov/, referencing Docket Number USTR-2019-0019. All commenters are encouraged to use the Exclusion Extension Comment Form A, which is provided on the site. If you have Business Confidential (BC) information, you are requested to also complete the Exclusion Extension Comment Form B and submit both Forms A and B via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
On October 25, 2019, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) office announced GSP Enforcement Actions effecting seven countries as follows:
Thailand: GSP eligibility will be revoked for approximately one-third of Thailand’s GSP trade which totaled $4.4 billion in 2018. This enforcement action, which will take effect April 25, 2020, is being taken because Thailand has not taken steps to provide internationally recognized worker rights in several important areas such as providing protections for freedom of association and collective bargaining. The list of products to be excluded from GSP for Thailand are focused on products for which the United States is a relatively important market for Thailand. A complete list of products to be excluded from GSP for Thailand is available here: Thailand Excluded GSP Products.
On Monday, October 28, 2019, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) office released a new list of product exclusions to the Section 301 List 3 products currently subject to a 25% tariff in the Federal Register Notice 84 FR 57803.
On Sunday, October 20, 2019, the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) published the procedures for requesting the exclusion of particular products from the Section 301 List 4a tariffs against China. The procedures will be effective beginning Thursday, October 31, 2019.
Exclusion Information Required by USTR
USTR is seeking specific information, data and the rationale for the requested exclusion. To submit an exclusion request, requesters must first register on the portal at https://exclusions.ustr.gov/s/login/, which will open at noon EDT on October 31, 2019.