Trump delays List 4 tariffs until December 14th.

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The Trump administration has postponed the levying of 10% tariffs on List 4 goods covering $300 billion in imports from China until December 15th. The initial date of September 1st was postponed after reports of a phone call with Beijing.

A new round of trade talks will be held in September after this month’s talks did not result in a trade deal.

There is still time to lower your import risk, if you would like solutions to lowering the duties you need to pay, contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Presidential candidate Joe Biden says he would renegotiate TPP.

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This past Thursday, Presidential hopeful and former Vice-President Joe Biden announced he would renegotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and would not rejoin the TPP as it was initially put forward.

The irony in Vice-President Biden’s statement is his boss was a strong advocate of TPP and tried to push the agreement through before the end of his presidency.

Joe’s main reason to negotiate the TPP is to change provisions that labor and environmental groups in the US worried would result in US jobs moving to lower-income countries such as Vietnam along with other developing countries in Southeast Asia.

China’s industrial profits fall in June, sparking fears of slowdown.

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According to CNBC, profits earned by China’s industrial firms fell 3.1% in June from a year earlier, according to the China’s National Bureau of Statistics.

The decrease in industrial profits is likely due to the US/China trade war and the increase in tariffs on Chinese imports. CNBC also states that economic growth in the second quarter slowed to a near 30-year low.

With the US and China set to meet on July 30th for the first time since May, both sides may be looking for an agreement to end the almost year-long trade war.

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.

Taiwan to cut tariffs on sake and Japan farm and fishery products as it looks to join TPP.

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According to the Japan Times, in an effort to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership multilateral free trade pact (formerly the Trans-Pacific Partnership), Taiwan will lower its tariffs on Japanese sake from 40% to 20% along with reductions in tariffs for Japanese farm and fishery products. The reduction in tariffs is to demonstrate Taiwan’s commitment for free trade.

While open to free trade, Taiwan still does not allow imports from five Japanese prefectures impacted by the Fukushima nuclear power station crisis that occurred in 2011.

Will post any updates if and when Taiwan is admitted to the TPP.

African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) next big free-trade zone since the WTO?

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Big news out of Africa from over the weekend from News Wires – African leaders met this past weekend to begin a continental free-trade zone that if passed by all 55-nations, would unite 1.3 billion people and create a $3.4 trillion economic block, the largest free-trade zone since the WTO was established in 1994.

The agreement to create the AfCFTA has been in the works for the past four years and is Africa’s effort to catch up on regional trade versus Asia and Europe. In 2017, African exports were 17% of exports versus 59% in Asia and 69% in Europe. The creation of the AfCFTA is an effort to boost growth in Africa as it has in Europe and North America.

However, Africa is a large continent and each individual country has concerns whether a new trade area will really benefit their country. The article cites Nigerian officials concerned the free trade area will result in a flood of cheaper goods that hinder efforts to increase local manufacturing. On the other hand, South African manufacturers see the free trade area as a benefit as they would be able to expand into the West and North Africa countries.

Will post news regarding the passage of the AfCFTA as it becomes available.a

White House trade advisor: trade deal with China will take time.

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White House Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy, Peter Navarro, source: whitehouse.gov 

As reported by Reuters, White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said in an interview with CNBC a trade deal with China will “take time and we want to get it right”.

President Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping agreed at the G20 Summit to restart trade talks after the 11th round of trade talks ended this past May. As a gesture of good will, Trump did ease the restriction on US suppliers to supply Huawei with some components. However, Huawei is still on the BIS entity list and the US policy on Huawei’s 5G equipment has not changed.

Peter Navarro also tried to temper down bipartisan opposition to the easing of restrictions on Huawei by noting the ease in restrictions is limited to sales of chips and lower-tech items that do not impact national security.

If you have any questions about Huawei’s inclusion on the entity list and how that will impact your business, contact trade and customs attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Will the new US/China trade war truce lead to a trade deal?

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Two big newsworthy events happened over the weekend at the G20 summit. First, Trump said US companies could supply to Huawei (waiting for official guidance at the moment) and second, the US and China agreed to not enact any further tariffs (current proposed Section 301 List 4 duties) in the near future and to start a new round on trade talks.

This may sound like Groundhog Day, and it partially is. Last year at the Argentina G20 summit, Trump and Xi also reached a similar agreement. And the differences that prevented a deal to be reached in Argentina also exist today. Key issues such as intellectual property and China’s 2025 plan are two areas where the two countries still do not reach a consensus.

With an election looming a little over a year away, Trump may be waiting until after next November before moving forward with a final deal – in the meantime, Trump says the US is already benefiting from the tariffs as the US is “taking in a fortune”.

If you have any questions about any of the 232 or 301 duties and how they may impact your business. Contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at dh@gjatradelaw.com, attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

US China Truce (for now)?

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

At this week’s G20 meeting, President Donald Trump and China’s Xi Jinping agreed to a temporary truce and restart trade talks. This means the current U.S. tariffs will remain in place, but the trade penalties proposed for Section 301, List 4 will be put on hold pending an outcome of what will be the 12th round of trade talks.

List 4 covers approximately $300 billion in goods from China, and if in place, Lists 1-4 effectively cover every import from China.

However, both sides still differ on one item that may prevent a long term solution – trade secrets.

In response, China has also placed tariffs on $110 billion in US goods, mostly focusing on agricultural imports. Some believe the tariffs against farm products (and Trump supporters) are aimed towards pressuring Trump as he heads into the general election next year.

If you have goods under List 3 and want to file an exclusion, contact David Hsu by phone/text 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.