US and Japan reach trade deal.

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Last week, President Trump and his counterpart Prime Minister Abe of Japan reached a trade deal to cut tariffs and increase trade between the two nations.

Part of the deal includes Japan agreeing to reduce or cancel tariffs on American agricultural exports such as beef, corn, pork and fruit – with the US agreeing to reduce tariffs on bicycles, flowers, tea and other industrial products.

At the same time, the agreement prohibits future tariffs on streaming videos, music and video games.

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

Japan seeks assurance from US on car tariffs.

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Trade representatives from the US and Japan are working out details for a trade deal between the two nations – with both sides hoping to sign a trade deal this week during the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

Previously, Trump has threatened the imposition of tariffs of upwards of 25% on Japanese cars, and the Japanese want a clause added to any trade deal that would cancel any trade benefits if and when the US imposes tariffs on automobiles.

This is the only issue currently delaying the signing of a long awaited trade deal between the US and Japan.

Other parts of the trade deal are expected to include more access for US farmers to the Japanese market, modernization of digital trade rules, internet development, prohibition of cross-border taxation of e-commerce and data localization requirements.

Post Brexit US, Britain trade deal?

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According to the Associated Press, at last week’s visit to London, Vice President Pence indicated to Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson that President Trump would be eager to reach a new trade deal with the UK once the UK leaves the European Union with the AP quoting Vice President Pence: “The minute the U.K. is out, America is in”.
While the US may be eager to join a trade deal, the AP cited British officials who are hesitant to entering into any deals that may favor the US. For example, the EU agriculture policy benefits British farmers, and any trade deal will include US demands for more access for agricultural products.
Another trade issue that will arise post-Brexit is between the UK and Ireland. With the
UK and Ireland belonging to the EU, free trade of people and goods has moved across the border with no problem. However, post-Brexit, this may complicate a new trade deal with the UK. In 2018, the UK was America’s 4th biggest export market with a US trade surplus of $18.6 billion.

Potential US Japan deal looks to boost US agriculture exports.

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As promised during his campaign, President Trump withdrew the US from the Trans Pacific Partnership – leaving Canada, Mexico and Australia as the major players; opting instead to enter into bilateral agreements with individual countries.
After the TPP took effect this January, US farm exports to Japan dropped by 2% for the first half of the year, with a projected annual net farm income loss of $4.4 billion annually. This could be due to US exports of beef to Japan now subject to a 38.5% duty, ground pork at 20% and some cheeses at 40%. The lack of a trade deal has also impacted
Japan’s exporters of steel and aluminum to the US. The President has previously threatened Japan with duties on auto imports.
The US and Japan have reached an agreement in principle expect to make the trade deal official in the upcoming months.

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.

US collected $63 billion in tariffs through June.

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According to the Wall Street Journal, the Treasury department’s tariffs is expected to generate almost $72 billion in tariffs through June of this year. This number will likely go much higher if the “List 4” duties take effect on September 1st. On September 1st, over $300 billion in Chinese goods will be subject to a 10% tariff with a potential to increase to 25%.

Specifically, as of June 30th, the Treasury department has collected $63 billion in tariffs over the past 12 months. In contrast, prior to the trade war, the US only brought in $30 billion dollars.

The WSJ estimates the annual generated amount can be as high as $100 billion by the end of the year once the 10% duties are placed on over $300 billion worth of imported goods from China.

If you have any questions how the current 301 duties or proposed List 4 duties will impact you, contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

China currency move believed to be in response to tariff threat.

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According to the Washington Post, China let the exchange rate for the yuan to fall below seven per dollar. A weak Chinese currency has the effect of increasing the country’s exports, hurting foreign competitors.

The WP further quotes People’s Bank of China blaming the decline on “trade protectionism,” a reference to the ongoing trade dispute between the US and China. The remainder of the article lists the various markets world wide and the subsequent decline since China’s announcement.

As previously blogged, China will take other measures in response to the trade war besides imposing their own duties on US imports. China has currently imposed duties covering 110 billion US goods, and can only impose an additional duty on $50 billion before China covers all of the $160 billion in US goods last year.

 

China threatens retaliation if tariffs are imposed on September 1st.

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According to the Associated Press, earlier today, China threatened the US with retaliation if Trump goes through with his threat to impose sanctions on “List 4” of goods from China on September 1st.

The primary issues of disagreement between the US and China are the forced technology transfers that are required by US companies doing business in China in addition to the lack of intellectual property protections for companies doing business in China. Additionally, the US has also expressed concerns over China’s 2025.

At the current time, the US has imposed tariffs over $250 billion in Chinese imports while the China has imposed tariffs on over $110 billion in US goods. The proposed September 1st tariffs cover over $300 billion in goods – effectively covering all imports of goods from China. The US government may have an upper hand as China only imported about $160 billion in US goods – a number that highlights the unequal trade balance ($160 billion versus $550 billion).

It will be interesting to see how China retaliates, they can only threaten to impose an additional $50 billion in tariffs on US goods, only 1/6th of the what the US can impose.

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.

US exports of cherries to China collapses due to trade war.

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US imports of cherries to China was zero in the year 2000, growing to over $200 million in 2017. However, the current US China trade war and the retaliatory tariffs implemented by China have caused the US exports of Cherries to China to fall to about $200,000 for the year.

In retaliation for the Section 301 duties placed on Chinese imports, China in turn levied tariffs on US goods – for example, a 50% duty on US cherries. As a result, the US only shipped 187 tonnes in May 2019, versus 337 tonnes in May 2018 and 1,505 tonnes in May 2017. In fact, US cherry growers sometimes exported more cherries to China than to Canada.