Treasury Department no longer designates China a currency manipulator.

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Two days prior to signing Phase One of the US/China trade deal, the Treasury Department announced they were removing China’s designation as a currency manipulator.

The Trump administration designated China as a currency manipulator in August 2019 when Trump accused China of intentionally weakening their currency to make their goods cheaper for sale overseas in light of the then-new tariffs.

Since August, the Treasury Department claims China has made promises to stop devaluation and to promote transparency and accountability.

While the August 2019 label as a currency manipulator received bipartisan agreement, this new move has received criticism from Democrat Senators who argue the label of “currency manipulator” should not be used as a bargaining tool in the ongoing US/China trade war.

As the signing date of Phase One approaches, I expect the Trump administration to release further details in multiple parts.

Feel free to contact David Hsu directly by phone/text at 832-896-6288 to discuss your China, trade and import/export related issues or send an email to attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com

US China set to sign a trade deal on Wednesday.

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On January 15th, the US and China are expected to sign phase one of the new trade deal between the two nations. The deal is 86 pages long and the full content has not yet been released.

According to Barron’s, citing a former Trump administration trade negotiator, the deal will cover 5 areas:

1.  Commitment from China to stop forced technology transfers.

2. Process for China to create judicial proceedings to enforce trade law secrets, patent extensions for US pharmaceuticals.

3. No further currency manipulation

4. Commitment by China to buy more agricultural products.

5. Use science-based risk assessment when determining whether to ban US imports.

Will post more details as soon as they are confirmed. If you have any questions about the trade deal or general import and export questions, contact David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

US China Trade Deal as of 12/13/2019

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Official portrait of President Donald J. Trump, Friday, October 6, 2017. (Official White House photo by Shealah Craighead)

As you are aware, the Trump administration has confirmed a trade deal with China has been reached.

Phase one of the trade deal was just announced:

-List 1 remains at 25%

-List 2 remains at 25%

-List 3 remains at 25%

-List 4b is gone (4b was initially scheduled to take effect December 15th, and included consumer electronics such as cell phones, laptops, computers, etc.).

-“Most” (not all) of List 4a is going to drop to 7.5%.

We will monitor the Federal Register for what specifically is being reduced. If you have any further questions, contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu for immediate help by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

US China trade war update.

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According to a Bloomberg article today, sources close to the negotiations indicate the US and China are working on an agreement to phase one of a trade deal, despite Congress’ recent resolution in support of the Uighur population in Xinjiang coupled with the Trump administration’s signing of a bill supporting pro-democracy Hong Kong protesters.

The agreement will likely occur before December 15th, when the next list of tariffs are set to rise. Currently issues include guarantees of China’s purchases of US agricultural goods and which duties to roll back.

More news will be posted once an agreement has been reached. If you have any questions how the US/China trade war will impact your business, contact David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

 

Counterfeit Botox shipments seized.

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Seized counterfeit Botox, source: CBP.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, officers in Cincinnati’s express consignment facility recently seized multiple shipments of counterfeit Botox injections. The shipments were sent from Shenzhen and labeled as “leggings” and “facial gift”. The shipments were to be sent to individuals in Alabama, Texas and Utah.

Botox (botulinum toxin) is restricted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and cannot be imported into the U.S. without proper documentation. Pharmaceutical companies that produce legitimate botulinum toxin products can import them into the US and CBP has issued an informed compliance publication detailing how these products can legally be imported into the U.S.

While the Customs media release designates these Botox as counterfeit, I believe these Botox injections are an example of what is known as “parallel importation”. In parallel importation, individuals import drugs from countries where the government regulates the cost of pharmaceuticals. These countries that regulate the cost of pharmaceuticals include the UK, Germany, France, Sweden and Canada. In the CBP media release, the seized Botox appears to be labeled in German. Most likely the shipper in Shenzhen buys the Botox from the UK, Germany, France, Sweden and exports to the US at a lower cost than Botox in the US.

If you or someone you know has had their shipment over pharmaceutical drugs shipped from overseas seized in the US, contact experienced seizure attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

 

Phase 1 of the China trade deal explained.

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Earlier this week, US and Chinese representatives met for the 13th time in ongoing negotiations to reach a trade deal. On Friday, President Trump outlined what has been referred to as “Phase 1”:
1. Suspension of tariff hike set for October 15th that would have increased tariffs from 25% to 30% on $250 billion in Chinese goods.
2. Some intellectual property protections on copyrights, trademarks and piracy (no movement on technology transfers, data flows, cyber security, product standard reviews or the new social credit system.
3. China’s commitment to purchase $50 billion in US agricultural products
The announcement is short on details and more information should be available in 5 weeks and details will be posted as soon as they are available.
If you have any questions how these duties will impact your business, or for any questions on trade with China, contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

China reduces penalties for importation of unapproved drugs – improving access for its citizens.

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In late August, the Chinese government said they would reduce the penalties for the sale and import of unapproved drugs, thereby improving access to cheaper generic pharmaceuticals from other countries. This action was taken to allow greater affordable drugs for chronic diseases increasingly impacting the Chinese population.

The reduction in penalties is set to take effect on December 1st. Current penalties for people selling drugs that are not approved by the National Medical Products Administration could result in a fine and criminal prosecution with jail sentences up to 3 years.

For example, under the new law, cheaper generic drugs made outside of China could be imported and sold in China. One drug cited in the article was the Indian version of the lung-cancer drug Iressa cost $10 a day in 2016, compared with $100 a day for the patented drug in China. He said generic drugs cost, on average, 97 percent less than patented drugs sold in China.

If you want to be sure you are compliance with US FDA regulations, contact experienced compliance attorney David Hsu by phone or text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

US and China trade talks to resume in October.

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The office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) confirmed on Thursday that a deputy-level meeting would be held in mid-September to discuss plans for trade talks in October.
This past Sunday, new tariffs on US$125 billion of Chinese imports, including shoes and smartwatches, came into effect after President Trump said he was disappointed in China’s lack of effort to buy US farm goods. In return, China responded with duties on $75 billion of American goods, affecting crude oil exported from the US.
The agreed to talks in October will hopefully resolve the 13-month trade war between the two countries.
If you have any questions how your company may be impacted by the US/China trade war – contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu at by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

USTR to open comment period on List 4.

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This past Thursday, the US Trade Representative (USTR) gave formal notice of the plan to raise tariffs on $300 billion of Chinese imports from 10% to 15% starting December 15th. The formal notice starts the opportunity for importers or anyone impacted by the potential tariffs to submit comments. The comments are an opportunity for businesses to tell the White House why the tariffs are good or bad. As in the past, comments have been both supportive and critical of the potential tariffs.
This round of tariffs encompasses goods on “List 4” and includes mostly consumer goods – such as smartphones, computers, and other consumer electronics.
If you want to submit comments regarding any goods on “List 4”, contact experienced trade and customs attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Chinese-owned very large crude carrier changed name to evade oil sanctions.

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According to Reuters, a Malaysia-bound boat named the Pacific Bravo carrying a potential $118 million USD of crude oil disappeared and reappeared under a new name, the Latin Venture. The newly named Latin Venture has the same unique identification number as the Pacific Bravo: IMO9206035. As the unique identification number stays with the ship, the new name suggests someone was trying to avoid Iran oil sanctions. This prompoted the US government to warn parts in Asia to not allow the ship to dock. The shipment of Iranian crude oil violates economic sanctions in place against doing business with Iran.

The Trump administration reimposed sanctions on Iran in November and withdrawing from the 2015 Iran deal aimed at limited Iran’s nuclear program. And in an effort to reduce Iran’s oil sales, this past May the US ended sanction waivers to some importers of Iranian oil.

If you want to be sure your exports are in compliance with the current Iranian sanctions, contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at dh@gjatradelaw.com, attorney.dave@yahoo.com.