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Maritime Industry Rocked by Cyber Attacks

posted by Jennifer Diaz October 20, 2020 0 comments

Co-Authored by Sharath Patil

The maritime industry has been rocked by a string of cyber-attacks in recent weeks. Two of the most severe incidents involved the United Nation’s shipping agency, the International Maritime Organization (“IMO”), and the French shipping company CMA GCM S.A. (“CMA GCM”). These attacks remind the shipping industry about the dangers of such attacks and the importance of cybersecurity compliance. From a trade and customs perspective, such incidents trigger post incident analysis and other measures as part of the U.S. Customs & Border Protection’s (“CBP”) Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism Minimum Security Criteria. We will discuss two of the most severe cyber-attack incidents in recent weeks below and then discuss the trade and customs implications of such attacks.

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The U.S.-Brazil Trade Agreement is Imminent

posted by Jennifer Diaz October 15, 2020 0 comments

Co-Authored by Sharath Patil

On October 5, 2020, Brazil’s Assistant Deputy Minister for Foreign Trade and International Affairs, Yana Dumaresq, stated during an Atlantic Council online panel discussion that a U.S.-Brazil trade agreement that covers trade facilitation, good regulatory practices, and anti-corruption is in legal scrub and the text should be finalized by mid-October. “We hope to have them signed this month,” Dumaresq said. The U.S. Commerce Department’s lead negotiator on this agreement, Joseph Semsar, said that “this is a unique opportunity to get things done that seemed unattainable.” These latest developments are a result of months of negotiations between the two major economies. Trade facilitation Back in April 2020, the U.S. Trade Representative (“USTR”) released a statement describing meetings between Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and President Donald Trump and ambitious plans to strengthen trade and economies ties.

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Using WROs to Fight Forced Labor

posted by Jennifer Diaz October 13, 2020 0 comments

Forced Labor is the third most lucrative illicit trade, behind only drugs and weapons, and has an annual trade value of roughly $150 Billion. Right now, over 40 million people around the world are victims of some type of forced labor, including modern slavery, human trafficking, etc.

Thankfully, U.S. Customs and Border Protection has been working to curb this inhumane practice.

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The Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act Expired October 1 – What You Need to Know

posted by Jennifer Diaz October 8, 2020 0 comments

Co-Authored by Sharath Patil

The Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act (“CBTPA”) is an Act of U.S. legislation which expired on October 1, 2020. The CBTPA sought to strengthen Caribbean basin economies by extending preferential trade and tariff treatment and increase U.S. export opportunities in those countries. Upon the expiration of the CBTPA at midnight on October 1, 2020, importers may not file otherwise CBTPA-eligible without the payment of duties and other fees set at normal trade relation duty rates.

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NEW LIST 2- SECTION 301 EXTENSIONS

posted by Jennifer Diaz October 1, 2020 1 Comment

On June 25, 2020, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), requested the public to submit comments regarding potential product exclusion extensions for items subject to Section 301 Tariffs. This comment period specifically applied to products that were included on List 2, which went into effect on August 23, 2018.

List 2 imposed 25 percent additional duties on 279 eight-digit subheadings of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) and had an annual trade value of $16 Billion.

On September 18, 2018, USTR provided the public with an exclusion process; then September 2019, USTR granted a number of exclusions that were set to expire on September 20, 2020. In the June 25th Notice, commenters were asked a variety of questions relating to their supply chains, such as…

whether the particular product and/or a comparable product is available from sources in the United States and/or in third countries; any changes in the global supply chain since August 2018 with respect to the particular product, or any other relevant industry developments; and efforts, if any, importers or U.S. purchasers have undertaken since August 2018 to source the product from the United States or third countries.

The June 25th announcement was made via federal register notice and stated that requests for exclusion extensions were to be submitted no later than July 30, 2020. Less than three months later, on September 22, 2020USTR announced its determination to extend certain exclusions through the end of the year. Although USTR could have extended the exclusions for up to 12 months, these exclusions are effective as of September 20, 2020, and will now expire on December 31, 2020.

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OPPORTUNITIES IN AGRICULTURE – WHY CHOOSE THE CARIBBEAN?

posted by Jennifer Diaz September 28, 2020 1 Comment

Because of its production limitations, the Caribbean has become a growing market for U.S. suppliers. As one of the most diverse regions in the world, the islands of the Caribbean attract a lot of visitors. With the development of tourism comes an increased demand for imported products from the U.S.—due in part to their perceived higher quality.

 

 

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An Introduction to U.S. Trade Databases

posted by Jennifer Diaz September 25, 2020 1 Comment

Co-Authored by Sharath Patil

Introduction

There are many factors that U.S. exporters and importers should be conscious of in their operations – including trade and customs laws, foreign market opportunities, changes in commodity prices, and currency fluctuations – just to name a few. However, one vital consideration that exporters and importers alike often overlook is trade flows. A firm’s ability to analyze and keep a pulse on trade data pertaining to that company’s product category can provide that exporter or importer with a clear vision of what’s actually happening. This perspective can empower a firm to optimize its operations and gain an edge against competitors. For example, U.S. importers who regularly track and analyze trade data can gain an understanding of how tariff and non-tariff barriers affect imports. Similarly, U.S. exporters can track and analyze trade data to glean vital intelligence about opportunities in foreign markets. In doing so, U.S. exporters can gain an understanding of which markets their U.S. competitors are selling to and which countries demand is quickly increasing. Analyzing trade data is the first step to developing a sound import or export market strategy. However, doing so once is not enough. Importers and exporters should have a regular practice of tracking trade flow developments and restructuring operations based on what the data reveals. Such a nimble posture can truly empower businesses trading internationally.

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NEW List 1- Section 301 Extensions

posted by Jennifer Diaz September 24, 2020 1 Comment

On June 3, 2020, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), requested the public to submit comments regarding potential product exclusion extensions for items subject to Section 301 Tariffs. This comment period specifically applied to products that were included on List 1, which went into effect on July 6, 2018, and had an annual trade value of $34 Billion.

List 1 imposed 25 percent additional duties on 818 eight-digit subheadings of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).

The June 3 announcement was made via federal register notice and stated that submissions were to be made no later than July 7, 2020. Less than three months later, on September 20, 2020, USTR announced its determination to extend certain exclusions through the end of the year.

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What You Missed at CBP’s Virtual Trade Week

posted by Jennifer Diaz September 23, 2020 0 comments

From September 8-11, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) held its first virtual trade week. Over the course of the event, CBP held an action-packed series of webinars on the following topics:

  • United States-Mexico-Canada-Agreement (USMCA)
  • Forced Labor
  • Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT)
  • E-Commerce
  • 21st Century Customs Framework (21CCF)

In the midst of this global pandemic and the vast challenges that (we are all navigating) the trade community faces, by us coming together in this way collective commitment to continue our persistent and ongoing dialogue about the most pressing issue facing.  CBP believes that improving and delivering effective transparency is an essential element to enhancing trust, and trust is essential to strengthening partnerships and getting things done for your business to thrive and trade community to succeed.

Below are summaries of each of the sessions. Have questions on them? Contact DTL at info@diaztradelaw.com.

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Pending Section 301 Lawsuit Could be A Windfall – But You Have to Act Now

posted by Jennifer Diaz September 15, 2020 0 comments

Possible Court Challenge to Section 301 Duties

A coalition of importers has just filed a Court challenge to the USTR’s imposition of Section 301 duties on certain imports from China under lists 3 and 4.  These duties were imposed as part of a process purportedly intended to address intellectual property abuses by China.  Specifically, this coalition has claimed that these duties were imposed contrary to law and ignored the statutory deadlines in Section 301.

Further, the coalition has argued that these duties were not imposed in response to the intellectual property violations alleged in the initiation notice, but rather were filed in response to the retaliatory tariffs enacted by China.  Accordingly, the coalition argues, such tariffs were void from the initial imposition. Continue Reading