Trump impeachment inquiry delays USMCA ratification.

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This past Wednesday, the Trump administration warned the impeachment inquiry would likely result in no congressional action on the United States-Mexico-Canada trade deal (USMCA).

While the US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer believed the deal would pass the House, Trump was less confident and doesn’t believe the Houston majority leader will set a vote to pass the trade agreement.

Last year, Canada, the US and Mexico reached an agreement to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement with the final step being ratification among the three members. Canada and Mexico have already urged the US to ratify the agreement sooner rather than later.

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

Canada’s Global Affairs consults whether South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and the UK should join CPTPP.

The Global Affairs Canada organization includes individuals, businesses (including SMBs), industry associations, experts, consultants, academics, civil society organization, labour unions, governments, indigenous groups, students and youth and other interested Canadian stakeholders.

In late July, Global Affairs Canada started discussions whether South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and the United Kingdom should join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (“CPTPP”).

An announcement was published in the Canada Gazette, Part 1. Global Affairs Canada has has begun soliciting comments for whether these countries (and China) should join the CPTPP. The deadline for submissions is midnight, August 25, 2019.

The announcement asks for the following information:

1. Contributor’s name and address and, if applicable, the name of the contributor’s organization, institution or business;
2. The specific issues being addressed; and
3. Where possible, precise information on the rationale for the positions taken, including any significant impact it may have on Canada’s domestic or international interests.

Additionally, they would like feedback on specific markets that Canadians and businesses would support entry to the CPTPP.

The full text of the announcement and additional topics Global Affairs Canada would like feedback on can be found here:

http://www.gazette.gc.ca/rp-pr/p1/2019/2019-07-27/html/notice-avis-eng.html#nL5

 

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.

Canadian sofa bed manufacturer no longer shipping to US due to 1,732% duties on Chinese mattresses.

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According to a news article from the vancouverisawesome.com webasite, a Vancouver-based company has cancelled shipping their sofa beds into the US due to the 1,732% antidumping duty on Chinese mattresses that are used in their sofa beds. The U.S. Department of Commerce in May dumping rates of 34% to 75% for some Chinese manufacturers with an “all others” rate of 1,732%.

The company claims their sofa beds costing $600 will cost $113,000 due to the tariffs because the sofa beds include the mattress.

Fortunately the company does not only sell beds, and can rely on their Canadian made products. In fact, being made in Canada will probably make this company more competitive than their competitors who rely on Chinese imports for other goods that are likely covered under Lists 1-3 and a potential List 4.

The Commerce Department has set October 11, 2019 as the announcement date for their final decision on antidumping duties for mattresses imported from China.

If you have questions on how this or any other antidumping duty or countervailing duty will impact you and your business, contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Canadian Conservative leader Andrew Scheer calls for more inspections on Chinese imports and potential tariffs.

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According to Canada’s National Observer, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer has urged Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to step up inspections on all products from China and to consider levying tariffs on imports on Chinese imports.

The request was sent by letter last Friday in which Scheer urged Prime Minister Trudeau to take a harder line on China’s second largest trade partner. China detained two Canadians in December just days after Canada arrested Chinese high-tech executive Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver on a U.S. extradition warrant. Additionally, China has increased inspections that have led to the suspension or obstruction of key Canadian agricultural imports, including pork and canola. Last week, China announced an additional suspension of all imports of Canadian meat products because of claimed concerns over fraudulent inspection reports.

In Scheer’s publicly released letter, he writes: “There is no other way to put this: Canada is being bullied by the Chinese government and you have done nothing to stand up for Canada in response”. Scheer asks Prime Minister Trudeau to increase Canadian inspection of all imports from China and the potential of placing tariffs on some of the $75 billion worth of goods imported from China last year.

Canada bans importing/exporting shark fins.

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According to the website politics.ca, the Canadian government revised their Fisheries Act to protect fish habitat, enact new sustainability efforts and banning the import and export of shark fins in Canada.

The United States still allows the importation and exportation of shark fins – however, each state has their own specific laws about the transportation of shark fins within state lines – some states require the fin to be attached to the body, others don’t. Before you move your shark fins, contact David Hsu first.

Also, if you have encountered any problems with US Fish and Wildlife regarding your importation or exportation of shark fins – feel free to David Hsu a call/text at 832-896-6288, or by email at dh@gjatradelaw.com, or attorney.dave@yahoo.com. The rule on shark fins is complex and the penalties are great.

Huawei CFO arrested in Canada for violating U.S. sanctions on Iran.

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According to Bloomberg – Huawei’s CFO, Wanzhou “Sabrina” Weng was arrested in Canada on December 1st over Huawei’s potential violations of U.S. sanctions on Iran. Sabrina Weng is the deputy chairwoman and daughter of Huawei founder Zhengfei Ren.

The arrest prompted China’s embassy in Canada to demand Sabrina be released and for the US and Canada to “rectify wrongdoings” and to “to clarify the grounds for the detention, to release the detainee and earnestly safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of the person involved”.

It is not known when or if Sabrina will be expedited to the US.

Check back for more updates as they are available. If you have any questions about your company’s compliance with US export controls and or want to ensure your company is in compliance with all the sanctions and laws regarding exporting, contact David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

US House of Representative Conservatives protest LGBT protections specified in the USMCA.

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According to the Politico, US House of Representative members Rep. Steve King of Iowa, Rep. Mark Meadows, and Rep. Diane Black along with 37 other conservative house members sent a letter today (Friday, November 16, 2018) to the Trump administration expressing their concerns of the LGBT protections in the USCMA agreement. The letter indicates that the LGBT protections may cause some of the signatories to the letter to not support the agreement.

In short, chapter 23 of the USMCA has requirements that workers be protected from discrimination on the basis of sex, including sexual orientation and gender identity. These LGBT protections were a priority for Canada and the Trudeau government.

The US, Canada and Mexico are expected to sign the USMCA at the G20 summit on November 30th in Argentina.

US and Canada working towards NAFTA agreement.

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According to Bloomberg, the US and Canada are working on keeping Nafta an agreement between the US/Mexico and Canada.

Bloomberg quotes Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo as saying the US and Mexico are postponing publishing the text of their two-way trade deal in the event the US and Canada reach an agreement.