Weekly Trade Briefing: Sept. 27 – Oct. 1, 2021

International Trade News

Trade Update • OCTOBER 1, 2021

Aweekly roundup of news reports, government announcements, and other information about current and emerging developments in international trade and customs compliance.

Greenhouse-Grown Plant Certification Program Transition Deadline Extended

The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency recently announced they have mutually agreed to conditionally extend the deadline to transition the legacy Greenhouse Certification Program to the revised version, which is called the “United States – Canada Greenhouse-Grown Plant Certification Program.” The transition deadline has changed from September 30, 2021, to December 17, 2021. Note that the extension applies only to facilities that have submitted a completed application package to participate in the GCP and are still awaiting an authorization audit on September 30, 2021.

US-China Trade War Didn’t Bring Back American Manufacturers, Study Finds

In a new paper, researchers from the University of California-Irvine and Kansas University found that the trade war between the U.S. and China failed to motivate American businesses to leave the Chinese market, with businesses in each of the countries remaining “deeply integrated” despite increased tariffs on both sides. Although 46% more US-funded subsidiaries in China closed in 2018 compared with the previous year, the study found that less than 1% of that rise was caused by US tariffs. Foreign direct investment outflows do not “follow the flag” the findings suggest, but are determined more by “the balance of heightened political risks against the availability of firm-level and institutional resources to mitigate these risks,” according to the report.

New Commerce Rule Increases Transparency of Sec. 232 Investigation Process

As part of an effort to shed additional light on the Section 232 process, a new rule issued by the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security now requires companies seeking national security tariffs that include business confidential information to also issue public copies of their requests at the same time.  The public version must contain a summary of the sensitive data in question “providing sufficient detail to permit a reasonable understanding of the substance of the information.” Commerce’s rule also enacts a number of procedural changes to Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, which authorizes the government to impose tariffs on imports deemed a threat to national security. The rule, however, exempts government agencies from the same transparency requirements.

Wheat Products TRQ Will be Filled on Oct. 20

Global Affairs Canada advised this week that the 2021-2022 Wheat Products tariff rate quota will be filled as of 11:59 p.m. local time on October 20, 2021 and that the “within access commitment” tariff items will be closed at that time. All imports of wheat products accounted for after the cut-off date and time will be classified at the “over access commitment” tariff item number, even if they were imported and/or released before the quota has been filled. Once the TRQ level is reached, General Import Permit No. 20 will be suspended in respect to the relevant goods and higher rates of duty will be applicable until July 31, 2022.

USITC Makes Affirmative Determination in Sunset Review of Petroleum Wax Candles from China

The U.S. International Trade Commission on Wednesday determined that revoking the existing antidumping duty order on imports of petroleum (aka paraffin) wax candles from China would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of material injury within a reasonably foreseeable time. As a result of the affirmative determination, the existing order on imports of this product from China will remain in place. The Commission’s report (Inv. #731-TA-282) will be available here by November 2, 2021.

US-EU Trade and Tech Council Makes ‘Practical Progress’ at First Meeting

The U.S. and the European Union made “very practical progress” between the launch of the Trade and Technology Council in June and the first meeting this week in Pittsburgh, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said at the conclusion of the summit. According to Blinken, a “remarkable spirit of cooperation and collaboration” between the two sides helped clear the way for accords on semiconductor supply chains, artificial intelligence, export controls, and trade, among other areas. In a joint statement, the U.S. and the EU pledged to deliver “concrete outcomes” in several outlined areas before the next TTC meeting, which likely will take place sometime in the spring.

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