USDA allows citrus imports from China as part of Phase One trade deal.

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As part of the “Phase One” trade deal between the US and China, market access for Chinese citrus products was one requirement. However, US citrus growers, specifically those in Florida’s citrus industry sent a letter opposing the import of Chinese citrus. The main reasons for opposing citrus from China was the risk of invasive pests and diseases, specifically the fruit fly pest that may damage Florida citrus products and potentially damage other crops such as avocados, blueberries, peaches, peppers, persimmons and tomatoes.

In addition to natural risks, critics also cite the economic disadvantage of foreign competition during the COVID-19 crisis. The letter to the USDA also cited a topic covered previously on our blog – the dumping allegations of Mexican tomato growers. Florida tomato growers are already impacted by the competition of Mexican tomatoes, and the last thing tomato growers need to worry about is the risk of invasive pests from potential imports of Chinese citrus products.

Other opponents to the Phase One trade deal allowing access to Chinese citrus producers include Florida Farm Bureau Federation, Florida Department of Agricultre and Consumer Services and the Highlands County Citrus Growers Association.

While there is strong opposition to these imports, the opposition will likely not be enough to change Phase One of the trade deal.

If you will be importing citrus fruits – be sure you are in compliance, give David Hsu a  call/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

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.