Category Archives: Trade Policy

Subscribe to Trade Policy RSS Feed

Bipartisan Legislation Introduced to Delay Section 232 Tariffs on Autos

U.S. Reps. Terri Sewell (D-AL) and Fred Upton (R-MI) on Wednesday introduced legislation (H.R. 1710) that would preclude President Trump from imposing  Section 232 tariffs on imported automobiles and automotive parts until the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) conducts “a study of the economic well-being, health, and vitality of the United States auto-motive industry.”  The … Continue Reading

Senate Finance Committee Asks USTR Lighthizer:  What is the Future of the WTO?

On Tuesday, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer testified before the Senate Finance Committee to discuss a question that is central to the Trump Administration’s trade policy agenda:  What is the future of the World Trade Organization (WTO)?  As the 25th anniversary of the 1994 creation of the WTO (in its current form) approaches, the Trump … Continue Reading

European Commission Pushes Ahead with Preliminary EU-U.S. Trade Talks

European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström was in Washington, D.C. last week for exploratory trade talks with U.S. officials.  Although Malmström does not yet have a mandate to move ahead on EU-U.S. trade negotiations, which requires authorization by the European Council, both sides surely had plenty to discuss at this stage. Two months ago, both … Continue Reading

Duty Preferences for India and Turkey to Be Revoked

On Monday, March 4th, President Trump announced that India and Turkey will no longer benefit from the United States’ Generalized System of Preferences (“GSP”) program.  The GSP program, established by the Trade Act of 1974, is designed to promote economic development by eliminating duties on certain eligible products when imported from a beneficiary country or … Continue Reading

Food Labels May Be Sticking Point in U.S.-U.K. Trade Deal  

On Thursday, the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) released the summary of specific negotiating objectives for a trade deal between the UK and US.   Among the USTR’s goals are to increase market access in the UK for US agricultural products, and ensure that “geographical indications” (GIs) do not undermine market access for US … Continue Reading

Ambassador Lighthizer Offers Insights Into Negotiations With China on 301 Tariffs

Following President Trump’s announcement of his decision to delay the March 1, 2019 deadline to increase tariffs from 10% to 25% on $200 billion of Chinese goods (i.e., List 3 items), Ambassador Lighthizer testified before the House Ways and Means Committee about the progress that has been made on concluding a binding executive agreement with … Continue Reading

Trump Signs Executive Order to Strengthen Buy American Preferences for Infrastructure Projects

On January 31, President Donald J. Trump signed Executive Order 13858 entitled Strengthening Buy American Preferences for Infrastructure Projects. The Order is designed to strengthen the “Buy American principle” for Federal infrastructure spending by encouraging Federal funding recipients to use more American-made products in their infrastructure projects. “By signing this order today, we renew our … Continue Reading

USTR Announces List of Changes Required to U.S. Law in Order to Implement USCMA

On January 29, USTR Ambassador Lighthizer delivered to Congress a list describing changes to U.S. laws that would be required to fulfill obligations agreed to under the United States Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA).  This action, taken in accordance with procedures set forth in the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 (also known … Continue Reading

US-EU Trade Agreement: Negotiating Objectives Released

Introduction On 11 January 2019 and 18 January 2019, the United States Trade Representative (“USTR”) and the European Commission (“Commission”) released their respective negotiating objectives for a U.S.-EU trade agreement, potentially marking a new phase in the transatlantic trade relationship.  The release follows from the joint agenda agreed to in July 2018 by European Commission … Continue Reading

New Sanctions on Venezuela’s National Oil Company, PDVSA

Yesterday, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) listed Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. (“PdVSA”) as a Specially Designated National (“SDN”) pursuant to its authority under Executive Order 13850. As a result of the designation, all property and interests in PdVSA property subject to U.S. jurisdiction are blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging … Continue Reading

China’s Vice Premier Liu He to Visit Washington at End of Month to Continue Trade Talks

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He will visit Washington on January 30-31, in connection with further discussions to resolve the ongoing trade dispute between the U.S. and China. Vice Premier Liu is expected to meet with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Liu is a key economic advisor to President Xi … Continue Reading

United States Seeks Trade Consultations with Peru

On Friday, January 4, 2019, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) announced that the United States has requested consultations with Peru under the auspices of the U.S.-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement (PTPA) to address an alleged violation by Peru of the environmental chapter of the agreement.  According to USTR, Peru’s recent decision to move … Continue Reading

U.S. Government Accountability Office Agrees to Review 232 Tariff Exclusion Process

In response to Congressional concerns, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) has agreed to review the process by which the U.S. Department of Commerce (“Commerce”) has been processing steel and aluminum tariff exclusion requests.  On March 8, 2018, President Trump imposed a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum … Continue Reading

South Korea Approves Updated Trade Agreement

On Friday, December 7, 2018, the South Korean parliament approved a modified version of the U.S.-Korea Trade Agreement, otherwise known as KORUS.  With passage of the renegotiated agreement, Korea is now ready to implement the new terms on January 1, 2019. KORUS first went into effect in 2012, but many in the U.S. business community … Continue Reading

U.S., Canada, and Mexico Sign New NAFTA

This morning, on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Argentina, the United States, Canada, and Mexico signed the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).  The new trade deal is slated to replace the 24-year old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).  Today’s signature date was a critical deadline for the parties because it is Mexican President Enrique … Continue Reading

U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement: Intellectual Property Provisions for the Modern Age

On October 1, 2018, the United States, Canada, and Mexico announced that they had reached an agreement to “modernize” the 24-year old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). When NAFTA came into effect, it created the largest free trade region in the world. Since then, developments in virtually every sector and the advent of cross-border … Continue Reading

U.S. Sanctions on Iran Have Been Fully Re-imposed

Today the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) amended the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations (ITSR, 31 C.F.R. Part 560) to fully re-impose U.S. sanctions on Iran following a wind down period that expired yesterday, November 4, 2018.  OFAC also issued new FAQs for foreign affiliates of U.S. companies and non-U.S. companies. Foreign affiliates … Continue Reading

Comment Opportunity: U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) has opened a public comment period in connection with the proposed U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement negotiations.  On October 16, 2018, USTR notified Congress of its intent to enter into trade talks with Japan.  Those discussions cannot begin until mid-January 2019 at the earliest under the requirements of the … Continue Reading

President Trump’s Stamp of Disapproval on International Postal Treaty

On October 17, President Trump announced that the United States may withdraw from a 144-year-old international postal agreement. The Universal Postal Union (“UPU”), established by the Treaty of Bern of 1874, is an agency of the United Nations that facilitates postal cooperation between governments and regulates cross-border traffic of international mail. The Trump Administration fears … Continue Reading

Export Quotas in Mexico’s Future

On October 15, 2018, chief Mexican trade negotiator Jesus Seade indicated that the United States is seeking to replace Section 232 tariffs on Mexican steel with an export quota program.  Seade stated that a deal regarding any potential export quotas on Mexican steel must be reached in the coming weeks, prior to the December, 1, … Continue Reading

ITC Initiates Investigation of the Likely Impact of USMCA

Last Friday, the U.S. International Trade Commission (“ITC”) formally launched an investigation into the economic benefits of the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (“USMCA”) that is to replace NAFTA. Under the Trade Promotion Authority (“TPA”) law, known as the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015, the ITC must prepare a report that assesses the … Continue Reading

U.S. Opens Trade Talks with EU, Japan, and the UK

Yesterday, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (“USTR”) officially notified Congress that it would be launching separate trade discussions with the European Union, Japan, and the United Kingdom.  The letters sent to Congress provide notice of the Administration’s intent to negotiate trade agreements with each partner as required by the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities … Continue Reading

China Lingers in the Background of USMCA

As we previously reported, the United States, Canada, and Mexico have reached agreement on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (“USMCA”) to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (“NAFTA”), which has governed trade between the three countries since 1994.  Article 32.10 of the agreement requires each country to notify the others of any intention to negotiate … Continue Reading
LexBlog