Aweekly roundup of news reports, government announcements, and other information about current and emerging developments in international trade and customs compliance.
CBSA Issues Normal Values for Turkish Exporter of Rebar
Last week, the Canada Border Services Agency announced it has concluded a normal value review to update the normal values and export prices applicable to certain concrete reinforcing bar (rebar) exported to Canada from Turkish steelmaker Kaptan Demir Çelik Endüstrisi ve Ticaret AŞ. Accordingly, anti-dumping duties will not be payable on imports of subject rebar from this exporter, provided it is sold at the same or higher price than the normal values issued by CBSA.
U.S. and Canada Report Strong Export Growth in October
The U.S. trade deficit narrowed sharply in October as an increase in exports of U.S. energy and agricultural commodities outpaced growth in imports, which were restrained by a backlog at U.S. ports that month. Commerce reported this week that the trade deficit fell by 17.6% to $67.1 billion, compared with a record $81.4 billion gap in September. Imports rose 0.9% to $290.7 billion, but exports grew much more quickly, rising 8.1% to $223.6 billion. In Canada, both merchandise exports and imports rose sharply (6.4% and 5.3%, respectively) mainly due to higher trade in motor vehicles and parts as well as energy products. Canada’s trade surplus in goods widened from $1.4 billion in September to $2.1 billion in October, the largest so far this year.
CBP Gets First Senate-Confirmed Leader In Over 2 Years
The Senate on Tuesday confirmed President Biden’s pick to lead Customs and Border Protection by a vote of 50-47, with the only Republican vote coming from Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine). Chris Magnus, the police chief for Tucson, Ariz., will head up the federal government’s largest law enforcement agency, which includes the Border Patrol and more than 60,000 employees charged with overseeing border security and travel. An outspoken critic of the former administration’s policies and known to be a reform-minded progressive, Magnus will be the first confirmed leader the agency has had since 2019.
USITC Recommends Biden Extend Solar Safeguards Until 2026
In a 586-page report released this week, the U.S. International Trade Commission has unanimously recommended that President Biden extend for an additional four years the safeguard measures on solar products imposed by the prior administration. While noting some signs of a “positive adjustment” by U.S. producers since the measures were applied in 2018, the USITC determined that in view of their “weak financial position” and various challenges facing them at present, additional time is needed to make the changes required to compete more effectively against a rising tide of imports. The national trade association for the U.S. solar industry issued a statement blasting the “job-killing tariffs,” saying they “have not moved the needle nearly enough to justify the USITC’s recommendation.”
CBP Issues Updated Emergency Protocols for B.C. Flood Situation
On Thursday, CBP issued updated emergency protocols to address the flood situation in British Columbia. Noting that Canadian domestic truck carriers may still need to transit through the United States to reach destinations in Canada, according to the new guidance: “Any Canadian carriers that currently operate between the U.S. and Canada as well as domestically are expected to follow the standard procedures for transit, including the advance filing of an electronic truck manifest and utilization of an in-bond or in-transit transaction. This applies to both rail and truck carriers.” This supersedes the guidance previously issued last month.
U.S. House Pass Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act
By an overwhelming 428-1 vote, the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this week approved legislation imposing economic sanctions on China for goods sold to Americans from the forced labor of Muslim Uyghurs. As explained by Sen. Marco Rubio, a supporter of the effort to move the bill through Congress: “This is a bill that says if products are made in that part of China [i.e., Xinjiang] they are presumed to have been made by slave labor unless the manufacturer can prove it wasn’t.” The bill now heads to the Senate, but it’s unclear when the chamber will take it up.