Aweekly roundup of news reports, government announcements, and other information about current and emerging developments in international trade and customs compliance.
Canada Imposes Sanctions on Entities Affiliated with Myanmar Military
Earlier this month, the Canadian government announced additional sanctions against target several organizations associated with Myanmar’s armed forces and, therefore, responsible for contributing to the ongoing anti-democratic repression and humanitarian crisis in Burma. Taken in coordination with the United Kingdom and the United States, the latest sanctions against four military-related entities reflect Canada’s “commitment to increase pressure on the military regime to initiate an inclusive political dialogue, end the crisis and restore democratic and civilian governance,” according to a Global Affairs backgrounder.
USTR Accuses Russia of Violating WTO Commitments
On Dec. 21, the U.S. Trade Representative released its annual report on Russia’s compliance with its World Trade Organization commitments. The mandated report provides an overview of what it calls Russia’s “continued departure” from the WTO rules. In addition to calling out the country’s import restrictions and “outmoded” border requirements, the report is critical of Russian industrial policy, which appears to be “driven by the guiding principles of import substitution and forced localization.”
Moderate Dems Call for Lifting of Sec. 232 Tariffs on Japan and UK
The New Democrat Coalition, which bills itself as a group of “97 forward-thinking Democrats who are committed to pro-economic growth, pro-innovation, and fiscally responsible policies,” on Dec. 21 wrote to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and USTR Katherine Tai to commend the move to remove steel and aluminum tariffs on imports from the European Union and to urge them to “continue to transition away from the use of tariffs on our allies.” The group is calling for similar consultations with the United Kingdom to those recently entered into with Japan, and the lifting of tariffs on metals from both countries.
Canada and India to ‘Re-engage’ on Comprehensive Bilateral Trade Agreement
Canada’s Minister of International Trade, Mary Ng spoke with India’s Minister of Commerce & Industry, Piyush Goyal, on Dec. 22. According to a readout of the discussion, the ministers welcomed a re-engagement on negotiations toward a Canada-India comprehensive economic partnership agreement and a Canada-India foreign investment promotion and protection agreement, and committed to working closely together to reach agreements in the coming months. Talks aiming toward a CEPA deal were launched in 2010 but have largely stalled in recent years.
Lago Confirmed as New Head of International Trade Administration
Marisa Lago, President Biden’s nominee for Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade, was officially sworn in on Dec. 28., according to a press statement, Lago has been tasked with leading the International Trade Administration’s team of over 2,200 employees across more than 100 domestic offices and nearly 80 countries. Previously, Lago served in the Obama administration in the Treasury Department as Assistant Secy. for International Markets and Development and more recently was director of the NYC Planning Commission.
Commerce Initiates Administrative Reviews on Various AD/CVD Orders
On December 28, the Commerce Department initiated administrative reviews of various antidumping and countervailing duty orders with November anniversary dates. Included are the following goods: Strontium Chromate (Austria/France); Chlorinated Isocyanurates, Diamond Saw Blades/Parts, Fresh Garlic, Forged Steel Fittings, and PET Film (China); Welded Stainless Pressure Pipe and Stainless Steel Flanges (India); Monosodium Glutamate (Indonesia); Seamless Refined Copper Pipe/Tube and Steel Concrete Reinforcing Bar (Mexico); Certain Circular Welded Non-Alloy Steel Pipe (South Korea); and Steel Concrete Reinforcing Bar (Turkey).
CIT Denies Porche Duty-Free Treatment of Auto Parts Returned After Export
A trailer containing roughly $1.5 million worth of assorted auto parts and tools exported to Canada in connection with several Porsche GT3 Cup races in 2014 and then subsequently re-imported doesn’t qualify for duty-free treatment under the provisions of 9801.00.85.00, the Court of International ruled in a decision on Friday. Likening the plaintiff’s years of litigation to an operatic character that “has repeatedly tried to reshuffle the deck dealt to it to avoid an outcome foretold” the Court determined that the subject goods neither qualified as “professional implements or instruments,” nor as “tools of the trade” stipulated in the U.S. Goods Returned tariff.
CBP Announces 2022 Quota Openings
In several recently published bulletins, U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced various 2022 import quota openings set to begin in the new year. The products covered in these quota openings include the following: Mandarins/satsumas; Panama agriculture; Olives; Animal feed; Peanut butter/paste; Tuna; and Beef. The quotas for these products open on January 3, 2022