US China exchange good will measures prior to next trade talks.

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US and China will send mid-level negotiators to meet in a few weeks prior to higher level talks afterwards. In advance of the meetings, both sides have displayed signs of good will – for example, the US rescheduled the proposed October 1st deadline for new tariffs to take effect to October 15th, as October 1st is the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
China on the other hand, has indicated their importers are looking to increase purchases of American agricultural products such as soybeans, pork and other farm goods.
US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has indicated the talks will occur sometime in October. I don’t believe an agreement can be reached – the US is using trade as a leverage against China’s ambitions to be the world leader in robotics, artificial intelligence and high tech industries (2025), along with allegations of steal trade secrets and forcing foreign firms to participate in joint ventures with required tech transfers.
If you have any questions about how the current 232 or 301 duties will impact your business, contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu by phone/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.

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.

US will not impose additional tariffs on Japanese automobiles.

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According to Reuters, President Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met last Sunday at the G7 Summit – agreeing that the current duties on cars remain at 2.5% for passenger vehicles and 25% for pickup trucks from Tokyo. Previously, the US did threaten Japan with additional duties of 25% on auto exports to the US under the premise of national security.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday said the United States would not imminently impose new tariffs on autos imported from Japan as the largest and third-largest economies continue their trade negotiations. Japan would also agree to greater market access for US agricultural products such as beef and to increase purchases of US corn.

I want to file a 301 exclusion – what info do I need to provide the USTR?

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As you are aware, the exclusion process for List 3 is now openuntil September. We have received a lot of exclusion requests and I thought I’d share the information the US Trade Representative (USTR) requires in order to review an exclusion request:

1. 10-digit subheading of the HTSUS applicable, use 8/10 digits (if there are different HTSUS 8 and 10 digit codes used, we will need a separate request)

2. Product name

3. Detailed description of the product: (1) physical characteristics (e.g., dimensions, weight, material composition, etc.). (2) Requestors may submit a
range of comparable goods within the product definition set out in an exclusion request. Thus, a product request may include two or more goods with
similar product characteristics or attributes. Goods with different SKUs, model numbers, or sizes are not necessarily different products.

4. The products function, application (whether the product is designed to function in or with a particular machine or other device), principal use, and any
unique physical features that distinguish it from other products within the covered 8-digit HTSUS subheading. Requestors may submit attachments that
help distinguish the product (e.g., CBP rulings, photos and specification sheets, and previous import documentation). Documents submitted to support a
Requestor’s product description must be made available for public inspection and contain no BCI. USTR will not consider requests that identify the
product using criteria that cannot be made available for public inspection.

5. Requestors must provide their relationship to the product (Importer, U.S. Producer, Purchaser, Industry Association, Other) and provide specific data
on the annual quantity and value of the Chinese-origin product, domestic product, and third-country product the Requestor purchased, in 2017, 2018,
and the first quarter of 2019.

6. Requestors must provide information regarding their company’s gross revenues for 2018, the first quarter of 2018, and the first quarter of 2019.

7 For imports sold as final products, Requestors must provide the percentage of their total gross sales in 2018 that sales of the Chinese-origin product
accounted for.

8. For imports used in the production of final products, Requestors must provide the percentage of the total cost of producing the final product(s) the
Chinese-origin input accounts for and the percentage of their total gross sales in 2018 that sales of the final product(s) accounted for. Required
information regarding the Requestor’s purchases and gross sales and revenue is BCI and the information entered will not be publicly viewable.

9. Whether the particular product is available only from China and whether the particular product and/or a comparable product is available from sources
in the United States and/or in third countries. The Requestor must provide an explanation if the product is not available outside of China or the Requestor
is not sure of the product availability.

10. Whether the Requestor has attempted to source the product from the United States or third countries.

11. Whether the imposition of additional duties (since September 2018) on the particular product has or will cause severe economic harm to the
Requestor or other U.S. interests.

12. Whether the particular product is strategically important or related to “Made in China 2025” or other Chinese industrial programs.

If you have any questions about the exclusion request process, contact experienced attorney trade attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Trump threatens tariffs on $300 billion of Chinese imports on September 1st.

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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, yesterday, President Trump imposed a September 1st deadline for an additional $300 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods if a trade deal is not reached.

The $300 billion covers the remaining items not previously listed in Lists 1, 2 or 3. The List 3 exclusion process is currently underway and Commerce recently published lists of additional exclusion requests that have been granted in Lists 1 and 2.

Here is a summary of what has been reported by various news outlets:

  1. There has been no progress in trade talks with China this week in Shanghai between Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and their Chinese counterparts.
  2. Trump believes China is moving too slow in working on a deal and set September 1st as a deadline to impose duties on the remaining imports of goods from China.
  3. The new duties if imposed in September will be at 10%. We have seen goods in List 1, 2, 3 have tariffs as high as 25%.
  4. Some news outlets report that China may be stalling to sign a trade deal until after the 2020 election.
  5. September 1st would mark an end to a “truce” between the two countries.
  6. China has threatened to respond with their own retaliatory tariffs if Trump goes through with the September 1st deadline.
  7. Trump claims China has not gone through with their promise to buy more agricultural products from the US in large quantities.
  8. Trump also claims China would curtail the shipments of Fentanyl to the United States, but has not and the shipments continue to harm Americans.
  9. According to reports, Chinese negotiators want Trump to remove the tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese goods before they will purchase US agricultural goods and comply with their other concessions.
  10. Trump believes the US economy is strong as unemployment has hit a 50-year low, a position that will enable the US to outlast China in the event of a prolonged trade war.
  11. Analysts claim further duties will only hurt Americans in increasing the prices of goods.
  12. Shipping companies and importers are trying to get as many shipments into the US prior to the September 1st deadline.

Will post more news as they become available. If you have any questions how the 301 duties will impact your business, contact David Hsu at: dh@gjatradelaw.com, attorney.dave@yahoo.com or by phone/text at 832-896-6288.

France to begin digital tax against Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple.

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While the Trump administration investigates Google and other tech companies for potential anti-trust violations here in the US, the Trump administration has threatened retaliatory tariffs against French imports if France implements a tax on digital activities.

The digital tax law was passed by the French Parliament on July 11th and to tax Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple (known as the “GAFA” companies). The 3% tax on digital services would generate 400 million euros in 2019 and expected to generate 650 million by 2022.

In response, the US Trade Representative has begun an investigation against France for unfairly targeting US-based companies and is now open for public comment before a public hearing on August 19th.

We may see new tariffs on the over 36 billion in French imports into the US starting in August. If you import any items from France and want to know how you may be impacted, contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at dh@gjatradelaw.com, attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

Apple shifts Mac Pro production to China, then asks to not pay tariffs on imported Mac Pros.

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The Mac Pro was the last Apple product manufactured in the US, and last June, Apple announced they would shift Mac Pro production to China.

On July 18th, Apple filed “exclusion requests” with the US Trade Representative to exclude certain items from the 25% 301 duties on goods imported from China.

The parts include a CPU, heat sink, power supplies, USB charging cables, circuit boards, graphics processing modules, computer enclosure, the Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad.

To view Apple’s exclusion requests, go here: https://exclusions.ustr.gov/s/PublicDocket and search by “Organization Name” for “Apple”.

If you want to file an exclusion request, contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at dh@gjatradelaw.com, attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

US/China trade talks amid new charges against Huawei.

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Earlier this week, Chinese Vice Premier Liu He and his trade team arrived in the US to begin negotiations with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. At about the same time of Vice Premier Liu He’s arrival, the US Department of Justice announced charges against Huawei for violations of US sanctions against Iran and among other things, theft of US intellectual property from T-Mobile.

Negotiations are in progress to reach a deal that could prevent an additional 15% tariff (total 25%) on $200 billion worth of goods from China before the March 1st deadline.

Since the truce, China has increased their purchases of American exports, such as soy beans and have also taken steps to crackdown on intellectual property theft. However, the US government is also requesting China open its market and limit government direction for state-owned enterprises (SOE). A change to Beijing’s economic support of certain industries is likely something that will not change.

Check back for the latest news as it becomes available. If you have any export compliance questions or have concerns about compliance with US sanctions, contact trade attorney, David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.