Category Archives: Trade Alerts

INCREASED TARIFFS ON DERIVATIVE STEEL AND ALUMINUM PRODUCTS FROM SOME COUNTRIES

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

INCREASED TARIFFS ON DERIVATIVE STEEL AND ALUMINUM PRODUCTS FROM SOME COUNTRIES

The US Secretary of Commerce reports that although aluminum and steel articles have declined since the imposition of the tariffs and quotas, imports of certain derivatives of aluminum articles and imports of certain derivatives of steel articles have increased since the imposition of the tariffs and quotas. In accordance with this report, a proclamation was signed on January 24, 2020 increasing tariffs on derivative steel products by an additional 25 percent and on derivative aluminum products by an additional 10 percent. The expanded tariffs will be effective for affected goods entered or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption on or after 12:01 a.m. EST on Feb. 8.

Countries exempted from the additional tariffs on steel products are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico and South Korea. Countries exempted from the additional tariffs on derivative aluminum articles are Argentina, Australia, Canada, and Mexico.

It has been determined that an article is “derivative” of an aluminum article or steel article if all of the following conditions are present:

(a) the aluminum article or steel article represents, on average, two-thirds or more of the total cost of materials of the derivative article;

(b) import volumes of such derivative article increased year-to-year since June 1, 2018, following the imposition of the tariffs in comparison to import volumes of such derivative article during the 2 preceding years; and

(c) import volumes of such derivative article following the imposition of the tariffs exceeded the 4 percent average increase in the total volume of goods imported into the United States during the same period since June 1, 2018. 

Goods meeting this criteria include the following:

  • steel nails, tacks, drawing pins, corrugated nails and staples
  • aluminum stranded wire, cables, plaited bands, and the like (including slings and similar derivative articles)
  • bumper and body stampings of aluminum and steel for motor vehicles and tractors

Read the entire Proclamation on Adjusting Imports of Derivative Aluminum Articles and Derivative Steel Articles into the United States here.

 

USMCA LEGISLATION APPROVED IN SENATE

Friday, January 17, 2020

USMCA LEGISLATION APPROVED IN SENATE

The Senate voted in favor of legislation to implement the U.S.-Mexico- Canada Agreement that updates the previous NAFTA agreement. The bill now resides on the desk of President Trump who is expected to sign it next week.

 The agreement is not likely to take effect immediately as Canada has yet to ratify it and Mexico must still approve revisions made recently by the U.S.

 For more information on key highlights, click on the link: USMCA Fact Sheet

 

U.S. – China Sign Phase One of Economic and Trade Agreement

Thursday, January 16, 2020

U.S. – China Sign Phase One of Economic and Trade Agreement

In the first phase of their planned trade deal signed on January 15, the U.S. and China agreed that the U.S. will reduce Section 301 List 4a tariffs from 15% to 7.5%. This will be followed by a formal notice of the reduction in the tariff to be published soon. The 25% tariffs on Lists 1, 2, and 3 will remain in place at this time.

Using 2017 baseline amounts, China agreed to purchase an additional $200 billion more of American exports in 2020 and 2021. This will include manufactured goods consisting of among other things, industrial machinery, electrical equipment and machinery, aircraft, and other manufactured goods. This agreement also includes certain goods that fall under agricultural products, energy products, and services.

Also included in this first phase are agreements on Intellectual Property, Technology Transfer, Agriculture, and expanded trade.

The terms of phase one of this agreement will enter into force within 30 days from the date of signature by both parties. Both parties will agree upon the timing of future negotiations.

For more details on the agreement, click on the link: US-China Phase One Agreement

EPA ISSUES FINAL RULE ON IMPORTS OF CHEMICAL SUBSTANCES TO REQUIRING ADVANCE NOTICE

Thursday, January 9, 2020

EPA ISSUES FINAL RULE ON IMPORTS OF CHEMICAL SUBSTANCES TO REQUIRING ADVANCE NOTICE

The Environmental Protection Agency is issuing significant new use rules (SNURs) under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) for certain chemical substances that are the subject of premanufacture notices (PMNs) and Orders issued by EPA under TSCA.

Effective March 9, 2020, this final rule requires persons who intend to manufacture (defined by statute to include import) or process specified chemical substances for an activity that is designated as a significant new use by this rule to notify EPA at least 90 days before commencing that activity. Persons may not commence manufacture or processing for the significant new use until EPA has conducted a review of the notice, made an appropriate determination on the notice, and has taken such actions as are required by that determination.

In addition, any persons who export or intend to export a chemical substance that is the subject of this rule on or after February 10, 2020 are subject to the export notification provisions of TSCA section 12(b) (15 U.S.C. 2611(b)) (see 40 CFR 721.20), and must comply with the export notification requirements in 40 CFR part 707, subpart D.

For more information on this Final Rule click here:  EPA NOTICE

USTR RELEASES ANOTHER ROUND OF EXCLUSIONS FOR SECTION 301 LIST 3

Friday, January 3, 2020

USTR RELEASES ANOTHER ROUND OF EXCLUSIONS FOR SECTION 301 LIST 3

The Office of the United States Trade Representative announced another set of product exclusions on December 31 for goods from China pertaining to List 3 of Section 301. Click here to view the USTR Notice.

This list contains 2 HTS subheadings that will be completely excluded from 25% tariffs and 66 specially prepared product descriptions, which cover 81 separate exclusion requests.  They will be retroactive to September 24, 2018, the date the U.S. first imposed List 3 duties,  and remain in place until August 7, 2020

FHK will continue to follow these matters to keep you informed and as always, please feel free to contact us with any questions.

U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION RELEASES INSTRUCTIONS FOR PREFERENCE CLAIMS UNDER THE U.S. – JAPAN TRADE AGREEMENT

Thursday, January 2, 2020

U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION RELEASES INSTRUCTIONS FOR PREFERENCE CLAIMS UNDER THE U.S. – JAPAN TRADE AGREEMENT

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued the following information for claiming preferential duty treatment under the U.S. – Japan Trade Agreement which became effective on January 1, 2020.

  • From January 1, 2020 through January 13, 2020, importers must pay duties on qualifying goods under the Agreement and request a preferential tariff retroactive claim by filing a post summary correction (PSC) to request the duty refund. 
  • On or after January 14, 2020, ACE will accept the new special program indicator ‘JP’ as a prefix to the eligible tariff number. Importers claiming preferential treatment under the Agreement must include on the entry, the special program indicator “JP” as a prefix to the eligible tariff number for each qualifying good requesting such preference.

To claim preferential tariff treatment under the U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement, the country of origin and export must both be “JP”.

Please note that claims for preferential treatment under this Agreement are not exempt from the merchandise processing fee (class code 499 and class code 311).  General  Note 36 will be added to the HTSUS and will include the requirements of the Agreement.

Click here for more information:  U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement Text

Please be sure to contact us if you have any questions regarding this or any other trade matters.

Section 232 Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum from Argentina and Brazil

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Section 232 Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum from Argentina and Brazil

Brief summary:

On March 23, 2018 two Presidential Proclamations imposing additional tariffs on steel and aluminum imports were signed creating a 25% increase on steel and a 10% increase on aluminum with exemptions for certain countries. On June 1, 2018 it was announced that steel from Australia, Argentina, and Brazil would be exempted from the 25% tariff and that aluminum from all countries except Australia and Argentina would be subject to a 10% duty. An agreement had been reached with Brazil on an exemption of steel, but not for aluminum. It was also announced that Canada, Mexico and the EU would no longer be exempted from these Section 232 tariffs.

Yesterday, the President tweeted that the exemptions for steel from Brazil and Argentina would be revoked and the Section 232 tariffs would be restored effective immediately. Citing the continued devaluation of Brazilian and Argentinean currencies as the reason for this reinstatement, it is to be noted that USTR has not released an official statement at this time nor has it been posted in the Federal Register. FHK will send a follow up trade alert as more details become available.

USTR Announces Section 301 Tariffs on Goods from France

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

USTR Announces Section 301 Tariffs on Goods from France

On July 24, 2019, France signed into law a bill imposing a 3% tax to be applied to gross income derived from certain digital services provided in France in which there is user involvement. This would only concern companies with revenue of more than EUR 25M ($27.86 million) and EUR 750M ($830 million) worldwide. Following an investigation, the Office of the United States Trade Representative has determined that France’s Digital Services Tax (DST) is unreasonable and places burdens on US companies such as Google, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon.

In response to this action, USTR has proposed action in the form of additional duties of up to 100% on products from France that includes wine, cheeses, cosmetics, soaps, handbags, certain porcelain goods, and cast-iron items. USTR also seeks comments on this proposed action, as well as on other options including the imposition of fees or restrictions on services of France. A public hearing will be held in connection with the action to be taken.

DATES: To be assured of consideration, the following schedule applies:

December 30, 2019: Due date for submission of a request to appear at the public hearing and a summary of testimony.

January 6, 2020: Due date for written comments.

January 7, 2020: The Section 301 Committee will convene a public hearing in the main hearing room of the U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington DC 20436 beginning at 9:30 am.

January 14, 2020: Due date for submission of post-hearing rebuttal comments.

ADDRESSES: You should submit written comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submissions in sections V and VI below. The docket number is USTR-2019-0009. For issues with on-line submissions, please contact the USTR Section 301 line at (202) 395-5725.

Read the entire USTR Notice of Determination and Request for Comments Concerning Action Pursuant to Section 301: France’s Digital Services Tax here

Another Round of Exclusions for Section 301 List 3 Announced on Friday, November 29

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Another Round of Exclusions for Section 301 List 3 Announced on Friday, November 29

 

The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) announced another set of product exclusions for goods from China pertaining to List 3 of Section 301 that includes wire line bridge plug assemblies for use in oil and gas fields, nonelectrical graphite sheets, carts, and other items.  Click here to view the USTR Notice.

This set of exclusions contains 32 HTS subheadings that will apply for all products that meet the specific criteria from September 24, 2018, the date that List 3 was imposed, until August 7, 2020. The U.S. Trade Representative will continue to issue determinations on pending requests on a periodic basis.

FHK will continue to follow this and keep you informed and as always, please feel free to contact us with any questions.

USTR Releases Another Round of Exclusions for Section 301 List 3

Friday, November 8, 2019

USTR Releases Another Round of Exclusions for Section 301 List 3

Yesterday the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) announced another set of product exclusions for goods from China pertaining to List 3 of Section 301.  Click here to view the USTR Notice.

This set of exclusions contains 2 HTS subheadings (8409.91.3000 and 8708.50.9500) that will be wholly excluded from the 25% tariffs, and 34 partially excluded subheadings.

These exclusions will apply for all products that meet the specific criteria from September 24, 2018, the date that List 3 was imposed, until August 7, 2020. The U.S. Trade Representative will continue to issue determinations on pending requests on a periodic basis.

FHK will continue to follow this and keep you informed and as always, please feel free to contact us with any questions.