US and Mexico reach deal to end tomato dispute.

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According to Reuters, Mexican tomato growers and the Trump administration reached a deal to end a potential anti-dumping investigation and end a tariff dispute. The agreement means many Mexican tomato exports will be subject to U.S. border inspections, and specialty tomatoes face higher reference prices on the American marketplace.

The negotiations began back in May when the Trump administration imposed a 17.5% tariff on Mexican tomatoes after the parties did not reach an agreement.

The Commerce Department said the new deal will ensure sales do not fall below certain prices for Mexican tomatoes and allows a mechanism to audit up to 80 Mexican tomato producers per quarter, or more.

If you have any questions how the tomato deal may impact your business – contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu at dh@gjatradelaw.com or attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

Commerce Department finds dumping of refillable stainless steel kegs from Mexico.

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Earlier today, the U.S. Department of Commerce issued an affirmative final determination in the antidumping (AD) investigation of imports of refillable stainless steel kegs from Mexico.

Here’s a summary:

  1. Commerce found that exporters from Mexico have been selling refillable stainless steel kegs at less than fair value in the United States at a rate of 18.48 percent.
  2. After today, Commerce will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection to continue to collect cash deposits equal to the applicable final weighted-average dumping rate.
  3. Last year, imports of refillable stainless steel kegs from Mexico were valued at an estimated $13.4 million.
  4. The US manufacturer is the American Keg Company, LLC located in Pottstown, Pennsylvania.

So far into Trump’s administration, the Commerce Department has initiated 179 new antidumping/countervailing duty investigations – a 231% increase from the same time during the Obama administration.

The full text of the affirmative determination can be found at the following link:

https://enforcement.trade.gov/download/factsheets/factsheet-mexico-refillable-stainless-steel-kegs-ad-final-081319.pdf

If you have any questions how this new AD determination will impact your business or would like to discuss ways to reduce your AD/CVD duties, contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu at dh@gjatradelaw.com, attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

14 House Democrats ask Nancy Pelosi to bring vote on USMCA.

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A group of 14 House Democrats sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asking her to to bring a vote by the end of the year on USMCA, the renegotiated trade with Canada and Mexico to replace NAFTA.

The letter to Speaker Pelosi reads:

“It is imperative that we reach a negotiated agreement early in the fall. Canada and Mexico are by far our most important trading partners, and we need to restore certainty in these critical relationships that support millions of American jobs.”

The 14 House Democrats:

Colin Allred (D-Texas)
Scott Peters (D-Calif.)
Kendra Horn (D-Okla.)
Haley Stevens (D-Mich.)
Anthony Brindisi (D-NY)
Joe Cunningham (D-SC)
Lizzie Fletcher (D-Texas)
Ben McAdams (D-UT)
Josh Harder (D-Calif.)
J. Luis Correa (D-Calif.)
Sharice L. Davids (D-Kansas)
TJ Cox (D-Calif.)
Susie Lee (D-Nevada)
Greg Stanton (D-Arizona)

If you have questions how the new USMCA will impact your business, contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu at dh@gjatradelaw.com, attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

Trump rallies in Wisconsin for USCMA support.

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According to the Associated Press, President Donald Trump had a rally in Wisconsin to promote his trade deal with Mexico and Canada, known as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). Trump was the first Republican to win Wisconsin since Ronald Reagan in 1984 and recent polling indicates Wisconsin is another battleground state in 2020.

Wisonsin exports $31 million worth of goods to Canada and $15.2 million worth of goods to Mexico; importing $15.5 million in goods from Canada and $9.3 million in goods from Mexico.

The USMCA will likely be ratified in Mexico and Canada, but Congress has not yet supported ratification. Democrat Congress members want strong labor and environmental protections. The AP article said a vote was likely to be held in September at the earliest.

If you have any questions how the new USMCA will impact  your business, contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at dh@gjatradelaw.com, attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

US Mexico tomato dispute – US demands 100% review of all tomatoes within 72 hours of shipment.

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According to publimetro.com.mx, the Secretary of Economy of Mexico, Graciela Marquez claims the US is inflexible in their demand to review 100% of tomato shipments at the border within 72 hours. The Mexican Government claims the US does not have enough man power to process the tomatoes.

The current tomato dispute stems began in 1996, when tomato growers in Florida initiated antidumping investigations against Mexican tomato exports. A deal was reached in November 1996 between Mexican growers and the Department of Commerce that led to the suspending of the investigation. The suspension was renewed in 2002, 2008 and 2013. However, earlier this year, Florida tomato growers complained the Mexican growers were violating their end of the deal. Since May of 2019, Mexican tomato exporters have had to pay a countervailing duty rate of 17.5% before the tomatoes can be exported into the United States.

The final determination will be issued on September 19, 2019 followed by a final determination regarding the damages to the industry due on November 1, 2019.

Mexico is the world’s largest tomato exporter in 2018, with external sales of $2.3 billion dollars of which 99.7% of its exports are to the US.

US to impose tariffs of up to 74% on fabricated structural steel from Mexico.

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According to Mexico News Daily, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced the results of a countervailing duty investigation found that Mexican steel exporters were subsidized by their government at rates from 0.01% to 74.01%. Besides Mexico, investigations of steel imports from China found subsidy rates of 30% to 177%. The investigation was brought by the Chicago-based American Institute of Steel Construction.

Separate investigations considered steel imports from Canada and China, and tariffs ranging from 30% to 177% will be imposed on product shipped to the United States by companies in the latter country. In Canada’s case, steel exporters were found to be receiving subsidies of less than 0.5% and no tariffs will be imposed. Imports of fabricated structural steel from Mexico totaled $622.4 milion last year.

In order to maintain competitiveness with foreign producers, the countervailing duty (CVD) rate is assesed against importers at a rate equal to the subsidy rate. One notable company subject to investigation and a 74.01% tariff is Swecomex, a subsidiary of Grupo Carso, which is owned by billionaire businessmen Carlos Slim, and Preacero Pellizzari Mexico.

The final determinations of its countervailing duty investigations will be announced on or about November 19th.

If you have any questions how these duties will impact your business, contact experienced AD/CVD attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Mexico first country to ratify USMCA.

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This past Wednesday, Mexico became the first country to pass the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USCMA) to replace NAFTA. NAFTA was a free trade agreement also entered between the three countries over 25 years ago. As Mexico sends 80% of exports to the US, the passage of the trade agreement is a necessity for Mexico.

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is trying to get the deal through the Canadian Parliament while in the United States, House Speaker has not yet put the passage of the USMCA up for vote. The House Speaker and her Democrat allies hold a majority in the House and are requiring stronger enforcement mechanisms for the provisions related to labor and environmental rules.

If you have any questions how the new USMCA or old NAFTA will impact your  business, contact David Hsu at dh@gjatradelaw.com or attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

Mexico approves draft law to ratify USMCA.

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This past Friday, several commissions in Mexico’s Senate passed a draft law that would ratify the new trade deal with the United States and Canada – the USMCA.

The law creating the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA, is set for a vote with the entire Senate this upcoming Tuesday.

The Senate leader of the Morena Party, Ricard Monreal said the trade deal will be signed and ratified this month.

Trump is currently waiting for the Democrat-led House to review the deal.

White House – Tariffs on Imports from Mexico

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Last Friday, President Trump announced tariffs of 5% on Mexican goods starting June 10th with an increase of 5% each month (capped at 25%) until Mexico takes steps to curb illegal immigration to the United States.

The announcement is silent on the treatment of tariffs for NAFTA goods, most likely the 5% would apply to all goods, whether NAFTA eligible or not.

The full release can be found here and more news will be posted as available.

President Trump lifts steel tariffs on Canada and Mexico.

 

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Last week, President Trump lifted steel tariffs on Canada and Mexico to improve the chances of Congress approving a renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

President Trump withdrew tariffs of 25% and 10% duties steel and aluminum from Canada and Mexico imposed a year ago. In return, Canada and Mexico said they would lift retaliatory duties on many American goods, including farm products. In addition to withdrawing the steel and aluminum tariffs, Trump also postponed the imposition of new tariffs on imported automobiles and automobile parts.

With a Democrat-led Congress, whether the US Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA) passes is uncertain as Congressional Democrats want changes covering the enforcement of labor rights and duration of drug companies keeping an exclusivity for their products.