Trump may cancel EU deal and impose 25% duties on European cars.

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According to the Express UK website, the French Ambassador to the US warned that President Trump may impose duties on European autos very soon and impose tariffs if talks continue.

The French Ambasssador further claimed the upcoming months will be a crucial time to negotiate a new deal regarding trade. This news is a 180 degree change from July – when President Trump pledged not to impose new tariffs on the EU autos while the two sides were undergoing trade negotiations. Back in August, Trump threatened 25% tariffs on European cars – claiming the taxes are too low on importer cars in the US – thereby hurting American auto manufacturers.

Check back here for all the latest news on whether the administration will impose 25% duties on European autos. For this and other trade related questions, contact David Hsu at 832.896.6288 or by email at dhsu@givensjohnston.com.

CBP seizes counterfeit dolls and toys with excessive lead levels.

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Photo by Tom Fisk on Pexels.com

According to a Customs media release on September 14, 2018, CBP officers at the International Falls Port of Entry detained several rail containers transporting toys with counterfeit items and toys with prohibited lead levels.

Customs seized the first container of 2,459 die cast “transporter carry case” filled with toy cars for excessive lead levels.

The second container was seized for containing 5,460 fashion dolls that violated copyright protected markings. The media release claimed the suggested retail price was $139,145.

As Christmas and the holidays approaches, I believe this is only the beginning of more seizures. If you have had your shipments seized for intellectual property right violations, contact trade attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at dhsu@givensjohnston.com.

135 Chinese Mitten Crabs seized in Indianapolis.

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By Christian Fischer, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=342346

CBP reported on September 18th, the seizure of 135 Chinese Mitten Crabs. Also known as the “Shanghai hairy crab”, these burrowing crabs are named after their furry claws that resemble mittens.

Mitten crabs are invasive species that burrow causing damage to embankments and clogging drainage systems and as such it is illegal to import, transport or possess live Chinese Mitten Crabs in the US.

If you have any import, export or compliance questions, contact David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at dhsu@givensjohnston.com.

CBP reports first encounter with Rosy Gypsy Moth from transport ship in Baltimore.

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Photo by Sascha Hormel on Pexels.com

CBP issued a press release yesterday reporting the first encounter of the Rosy Asian Gypsy Moth (AGM) (species: Lymantri mathura). CBP with the U.S. Department of Agriculture discovered the moth aboard a ship in Baltimore and suspect the destructive pest may have been due to a June part call in Japan (a high risk AGM area).

The USDA says the AGM is a threat to forests and urban landscapes as the moth can travel up to 25 miles per day and lay egg masses which yield hundreds of hungry caterpillars. The hungry hungry caterpillars are said to be voracious eaters that attack more than 500 species of trees and plants.

If CBP Agriculture Specialists have detained your vessel at a port and there are issues of whether to turn the ship around or fumigate – call experienced attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at dhsu@givensjohnston.com.

US and China exchange tariff duties in trade war.

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Photo by Markus Spiske temporausch.com on Pexels.com

Sorry for the lack of updates, Trump’s 232 and 301 duties have been occupying most of my time.

As you likely already know, yesterday, the Trump administration announced they will impose 10% duties on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, earlier today, China announced retaliatory duties on $60 billion in US goods.

If you import from China and have questions about commenting, exclusion requests or other alternatives to minimize the tariff penalty – feel free to give me a call, 832.896.6288 or email me at dhsu@givensjohnston.com.

US takes trade action against Rwanda – impact to Rwanda – minimal.

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As I blogged about at the end of May this year, the US and Rwanda was headed toward a trade war due to Rwanda imposing a $2.50 per kilogram duty on used clothing. The reason for the tariffs on second hand goods to Rwanda was a response from the Rwandan government to improve their domestic textile industry by making second hand clothes more expensive than new Rwandan-made clothing. In response to the tariffs of $2.50 per kilogram of used clothes to Rwanda, the Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association (SMART), a US-based organization which represents companies that collect and resell Americans’ used clothing, complained the Rwanda tariffs will have a big impact on the $1 billion used clothing export industry.

The US threatened Rwanda with losing AGOA benefits for Rwanda textile exports to the US if the Rwanda duties on used clothing was not ended. With a May 28th deadline for Rwanda to reverse course, the US suspended duty-free benefits for apparel from Rwanda on July 31st.

While the Rwandan tariffs did have the impact of raising the price of used garments to be the same as Rwandan made textiles, the Deutsche Welle reports that the unintended consequence is a flood of new, cheap clothes from China that are priced below Rwandan-made textiles. It seems the impact on Rwanda is very minor as the total export value to the US was only $1.19 million for textiles. For the companies impacted, most have sought new markets in Europe instead.

Trump threatens tariffs on $267 billion in Chinese goods (not a typo).

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President Trump said on Friday (September 8th) he is ready to impose tariffs on $267 billion in goods from China, on top of the current $200+ billion plus in tariffs on goods. This past July, Trump imposed tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese imports in July and then an additional $200 billion in tariffs.

With the threatened $267 billion, Trump will have imposed or threatened to impose a total of over $500 billion in imports from China. To put this amount into perspective, the US imported only $505 billion in Chinese goods in 2017. In short, Trump is threatening tariffs on everything imported from China.

On September 6th, the U.S. Trade Representative finished accepting comments on the List 3 of tariffs that could impact up to $200 billion in Chinese goods.

More updates will be posted as they become available.

If you have any questions about how List 1, 2, 3 and upcoming proposed tariffs will impact your business – or how you can file comments or exclusions, contact experienced trade and customs attorney – David Hsu at 832.896.6288 or by email at dhsu@givensjohnston.com.

New Zealand to ratify CPTPP (TPP) in December or early January 2019.

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According to Radio New Zealand, the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (CPTPP) will be in force around December of 2018 after New Zealand plans to be the first of six countries to ratify the agreeement.

As of today, Japan, Mexico and Singapore have ratified the agreement with Australia, Chile and now New Zealand soon to ratify.

In addition to the 11 countries, Colombia, Thailand and South Korea along with Britain also expressed interest in joining the CPTPP.