October 21, 2019 – General Motors Canada resumed vehicle production at its Oshawa, Ont. facility on Friday despite the continued labour conflict in the United States, where 48,000 workers will continue to strike for at least one more week as the United Auto Workers members vote whether to ratify the tentative agreement with the automaker. GM Canada was forced to scale back production at its plants in Oshawa and St. Catharines, Ont. during the strike given the integrated, just-in-time nature of North America’s auto manufacturing industry. It closed the Oshawa plant first, halting car and truck production and sending about 2,100 workers home one month ago.
October 15, 2019 – The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) has officially announced that for certain products, the 10% tariff (now 15%) will be delayed until December 15. Some of these products include cell phones, laptop computers, video game consoles, certain toys, computer monitors, and certain items of footwear and clothing.
October 14, 2019 – On October 9, 2019, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) published a notice in the Federal Register, 84 FR 25245, of the final list of products related to trade remedy actions under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, for large civil aircraft, that will be subject to additional tariffs effective on October 18, 2019. The trade remedy action stems from a dispute filed by the United States in the World Trade Organization (WTO) regarding WTO-inconsistent subsidies provided by the European Union (EU) to the large civil aircraft industry.
Part 1 of the notice applies tariffs at a rate of 10% to “New airplanes and other aircraft (other than military airplanes or other military aircraft), of an unladen weight exceeding 30,000 kg” as provided for in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the U.S. (HTSUS) under subheadings 8802.40.0040, 8802.40.0060 and 8802.40.0070 with countries of origin of France, Germany, Spain or United Kingdom.
Parts 2 through 15 of the notice apply tariffs at a rate of 25% to various products and commodities throughout the HTSUS for various countries of origin throughout the EU.
For a complete list of the impacted products, commodities and countries, please contact us and we can assist you.
October 7, 2019 – Chinese officials are signaling they’re increasingly reluctant to agree to a broad trade deal pursued by President Donald Trump, ahead of negotiations this week that have raised hopes of a potential truce.
In meetings with U.S. visitors to Beijing in recent weeks, senior Chinese officials have indicated the range of topics they’re willing to discuss has narrowed considerably, according to people familiar with the discussions.
Vice Premier Liu He, who will lead the Chinese contingent in high-level talks that begin Oct. 10, told visiting dignitaries he would bring an offer to Washington that won’t include commitments on reforming Chinese industrial policy or the government subsidies that have been the target of longstanding U.S. complaints, one of the people said.
September 30, 2019 – The House Democrats in the United States have made a counteroffer on the stalled trade pact with Mexico and Canada to President Donald Trump’s Trade envoy, a sign the deal could be on track for congressional approval this fall. Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal told reporters after meeting with United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer that the offer covers all four areas that Democrats have expressed concern about, including labour, environmental, enforcement and drug patent protection. If an agreement is made, it will pave the way for ratification of the new NAFTA agreement between the three countries.
September 26, 2019 – The U.S. will remain in the Universal Postal Union (UPU) after an Extraordinary Congress voted to approve a “compromise proposal” deemed “Option V” wherein countries importing more than 75,000 metric tons of parcels and mail will be able to set their own rates beginning July 2020. A second tier of importing countries may set “self-declared” rates in January 2021.
September 23, 2019 – Alberta Premier Jason Kenney says his government is eliminating more exemptions to a free-trade agreement between provinces. Kenney announced during a speech to the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Saint John, N.B., on Saturday that Alberta will remove eight of 14 remaining exceptions to the Canadian Free Trade Agreement. Kenney says it will move Alberta from being the province with the third-highest number of exemptions when he announced in July that he would remove half of them, to being the province with the fewest exemptions in Canada.
September 16, 2019 – Container spot rates on the key Asia-to-Europe and transpacific tradelanes are in freefall, prompting carriers to consider cancelling voyages without notice. One Asia-North Europe carrier source said that there were “plans afoot” for immediate capacity reductions. “Some shippers have been complaining that they are only getting four weeks’ notice of blankings, but it is possible that we will have to consider pulling a voyage without any notice if things don’t improve very quickly,” he said. We ask for patience from our partners and customers as carriers try to define the new “normal” for the remainder of 2019.
September 9, 2019 – On June 10, 2019, the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC), Office of Technology Evaluation, Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) published in the Federal Register (FR) an interim final rule for changing the process of filing requests for exclusions from special duties and quantitative limitations on imports of aluminum and steel under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, as amended (Section 232). The DOC developed a portal referred to as the 232 Exclusions Portal for persons submitting exclusion requests, objections to exclusion requests, rebuttals, and surrebuttals. The 232 Exclusions Portal replaces the current manner of filing via the general federal rulemaking portal. The 232 Exclusions Portal will streamline the exclusions process while enhancing data integrity and quality controls, and it is available for use now.
On June 24, 2019, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) published the following in the FR: Procedures for Requests to Exclude Particular Products from the September 2019 Action Pursuant to Section 301: China’s Acts, Policies, and Practices Related to Technology Transfer, Intellectual Property, and Innovation (Section 301). The Section 301 Portal opened at noon EDT on June 30, 2019, at which time exclusion requests for products included in Section 301 List 3 (Tranche 3) could be submitted. September 30, 2019, is the deadline for submitting Tranche 3 exclusion requests.
September 2, 2019 – Hurricane Dorian’s approach upward along the U.S. Southeast coast will shutter maritime and rail assets throughout the region during the week. Our prayers and thoughts are with those affected by this powerful storm.