Aweekly roundup of news reports, government announcements, and other information about current and emerging developments in international trade and customs compliance.
Ng Wraps Up Successful ‘Virtual Trade Mission’ to France
Over 300 diverse export-ready Canadian companies participated in a virtual trade mission to France focused on the green economy and sustainable growth led by Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade and Ambassador Isabelle Hudon. Over the 4-day event, participants engaged with experts in topics that included sustainable mobility, hydrogen technology, responsible goods, and sustainable consumption, and information technology solutions for a green recovery, and took part in business-to-business networking opportunities.
Business Leaders Push for Full USMCA Implementation
Writing in Fortune this week, business leaders from the U.S., Canada, and Mexico urged the three governments “to focus their efforts across three fronts: enhancing the coordinated North American pandemic response, ensuring full implementation of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada agreement, and advancing North American competitiveness.” Provisions within the deal are foundational to the supply chain enhancement needed to stay competitive, say the group, but “the USMCA can only reach its potential if it is fully implemented,” they warned.
Democratic Lawmakers Urge Biden to Resume Environmental Goods Agreement Talks
A group of Democratic lawmakers on Wednesday introduced a resolution that would direct the USTR to resume Environmental Goods Agreement negotiations at the WTO within 90 days. Launched in 2014, the talks stalled in December 2016. Unlike his predecessor, President Biden “has made combatting climate change a top priority through a series of executive actions but has not restarted EGA negotiations,” Rep. Suzan DelBene’s (D-WA) office noted in a press release.
Senate Foreign Relations Panel Calls for Trade Deals with Allies to Counter China
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday announced an “unprecedented” level of bipartisan agreement on a new comprehensive China bill that calls for the U.S. to bolster its relationships with Asia-Pacific and European allies by striking trade agreements that cover digital goods as well as more comprehensive deals. The legislation also seeks greater cooperation with allies with regards to technology-focused trade restrictions as a means to counter China’s growing global influence.
ITC Finalizes Rules for Investigating Mexican Cross-Border Trucking Services Under USMCA
The U.S. International Trade Commission this week finalized how it will implement USMCA provisions regarding investigations of Mexican cross-border trucking services. A Federal Register notice dated April 8 finalizes the interim rule the ITC published last July on the procedures for determining whether long-haul trucking services from Mexico are causing or threatening to cause harm to the U.S.
South Korean Electric Vehicle Battery Makers Reach $1.8B Deal To End Trade Dispute
SK Innovation and LG Chem this week announced an agreement ending a dispute over allegations of trade secret theft, avoiding a 10-year ban on SKI’s battery component imports recommended by the U.S. International Trade Commission. The deal came just hours before a deadline in which President Biden would have needed to decide whether to overrule the ITC (a potential threat to intellectual property rights holders) or to let the ruling stand and potentially lose jobs and resources that would help him reach his electric vehicle goals for the U.S.