Archives: Trade Agreements

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Reprieve in U.S.-China Trade Tensions: U.S. tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports to stay at 10 percent for 90 days; China to purchase U.S. goods

On December 1, during a working dinner meeting in Buenos Aires following the G20 Summit, U.S. President Donald J. Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to temporarily ease trade tensions as both sides continue negotiating over longer-term solutions to U.S. concerns about bilateral economic relations. According to a White House press release, for a … Continue Reading

U.S. Releases Final List of Tariffs on $200 Billion in Chinese Imports

On September 17, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) released its final list of approximately $200 billion in Chinese imports subject to an additional ad valorem tariff. The final list, which covers 5,745 product categories, will take effect on September 24, 2018. The tariff rate will initially be set at 10 percent and … Continue Reading

China Issues New Foreign Investment Negative List, New Market Access Openings

Through a newly published foreign investment negative list, the Chinese government is offering incrementally greater market access to foreign investors in China. The 2018 Special Administrative Measures on Access to Foreign Investment (“2018 Foreign Investment Negative List” or “2018 FI Negative list”), issued by the Ministry of Commerce and the National Development and Reform Commission … Continue Reading

US Makes Good on Trade Threats – What Now?

We are moving into uncharted waters with the Trump Administration’s announcement that the U.S. will move forward to impose $50 billion in tariffs against a wide range of Chinese products, with the first tranche of $34 billion beginning on July 6; as well as tariffs against Canadian, Mexican, European and Japanese steel and aluminum imports.  … Continue Reading

Postcard-sized agreements could solve trade disputes

While overshadowed by other remarks during the recent Group of Seven meetings, President Trump suggested that trade agreements could be “much simpler” and that they should eliminate all barriers to trade. The president’s instincts that trade agreements could be both simpler and more comprehensive are correct. Paradoxically, simpler agreements could go further than existing lengthy agreements in … Continue Reading

The June 28 European Council: Four Challenges to EU Solidarity

Transatlantic trade tensions, the Brexit negotiations, migration, and Eurozone reform will dominate the June 28 European Council. Each of these issues are potentially divisive, and the leaders know that a new dose of solidarity will be needed to address them properly. They also know that next year will see additional challenges to the cohesion and … Continue Reading

Eleventh Circuit LabMD Decision Potentially Limits FTC’s Remedial Powers

The Eleventh Circuit has issued its decision in LabMD v. FTC, a closely watched case in which LabMD challenged the Federal Trade Commission’s authority to regulate the data security practices of private companies. The Court of Appeals declined to decide that issue, instead finding that the FTC’s order requiring LabMD to implement certain data security … Continue Reading

Competing in Africa: China, the European Union, and the United States

Given recent developments in the global economy, especially Brexit and the Trump administration’s “America First” policy, it is worth assessing how Africa’s three largest commercial partners—China, the European Union, and the United States—are likely to impact the region in the near future as it relates to trade and investment trends. The China-in-Africa story may be … Continue Reading

China Raises Tariffs on 128 U.S. Imports in Retaliation for U.S. Section 232 Steel and Aluminum Tariffs

The Chinese government has announced that it is raising tariff duties on 128 products imported from the United States into China in retaliation for the Trump Administration’s Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum imports into the United States. The new Chinese tariffs went into effect on April 2. The 128 targeted products fall into … Continue Reading

US-China Trade Tensions Reflect a Battle for Technological Dominance

The arms race was a defining element of the Cold War between the U.S. and its allies, and the Soviet Union.  President Trump’s recent proposal for $60 billion in unilateral actions against China presages a pitched 21st century battle over technological supremacy, with fateful consequences for the world order. The Trump Administration rightly sees that … Continue Reading

New Wave of Trade Lobbying Presents FARA Registration Concerns

Washington is awash with lobbyists seeking to address new steel and aluminum tariffs, and other potential tariffs, on behalf of both foreign and domestic clients.  Lobbying on trade issues in some circumstances may trigger Foreign Agents Registration Act (“FARA”) obligations.  The connection between trade lobbying and FARA was the subject of close scrutiny several decades … Continue Reading

USTR Finds China’s IP Practices Cause at Least $50 Billion in Harm: Proposed Tariffs and Investment Restrictions Ratchet Up U.S.-China Trade Tensions

March 22, 2018 Earlier today, the administration announced its findings that China’s theft of U.S. technologies and intellectual property (“IP”) have caused at least $50 billion in harm to the U.S. economy per year. In response, President Trump issued an order announcing its intent to impose additional tariffs on Chinese imports, curtail Chinese investment in … Continue Reading

Administration Announces Procedures for Product-Specific Exclusions from Steel and Aluminum Tariffs

On March 19, 2018, the U.S. Department of Commerce published procedures for seeking product-specific exclusions from the tariffs on steel and aluminum announced on March 8, 2018. According to these procedures, an exclusion may be granted only if (1) a particular product is not produced in the United States “in a sufficient and reasonably available … Continue Reading

Export Control Reform Act Introduced in Congress

On February 15, 2018, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) introduced bipartisan legislation—the Export Control Reform Act of 2018 (“ECRA”)⸺to modernize U.S. export control regulation of commercial and dual-use items. The bill is co-sponsored by the committee’s ranking Democratic member, Eliot Engel (D-NY). The proposed legislation seeks to establish a permanent statutory basis … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Decision Provides Critical Win to FTC in its Authority over Internet Service Providers

In a ruling with implications for both net neutrality and privacy, the Ninth Circuit ruled en banc today that the common carrier exemption in Section 5 of the FTC Act is activity-based, reversing a 2016 panel ruling that the exemption was status-based.  Today’s decision bolsters the FTC’s authority to bring consumer protection (including privacy) and … Continue Reading

Update on U.S.-China Trade Relations

Recent U.S. Trade Actions Concerns about the possibility of a U.S.-China “trade war” remain strong, especially after the Trump administration announced (Section 201) safeguard decisions against imported solar panels in January, and the Commerce Department released its (Section 232) report in February on the national security impact of steel and aluminum imports recommending additional tariffs … Continue Reading

FTC Enters Into COPPA Settlement With Online Talent Search Company

On Monday, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) entered into a settlement with Nevada-based Prime Sites, Inc., doing business as Explore Talent, related to charges that Explore Talent violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).  Explore Talent, an online talent search company, will pay $235,000 in civil penalties. According to the FTC’s complaint, Explore Talent … Continue Reading

Developments in U.S. Iran Sanctions

Administration Also Revises Russia Sanctions, Terminates Most Sudan Sanctions On October 13, President Trump announced that he would no longer certify to Congress that the suspension of U.S. sanctions against Iran pursuant to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (“JCPOA”) is “appropriate and proportionate” to the steps that Iran has taken to terminate its illicit … Continue Reading

Post-AGOA: Moving to a Reciprocal US-Africa Trade Arrangement

The global trade environment is rapidly changing and already affecting the U.S.-Africa trade relationship. Indeed, the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) was not intended to be permanent. The program was designed as a stepping stone to a more mature trade relationship between the U.S. and the continent. AGOA’s expiration date in 2025 may seem … Continue Reading

Administration submits notice of NAFTA renegotiation

On May 18, 2017, newly-confirmed U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer formally notified Congress that President Trump intends to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The Trump Administration has indicated that it will request public input on the “direction, focus, and content” of these negotiations, and will publish notice in the Federal Register regarding … Continue Reading

Trump moves on aluminum under Section 232; Steel investigation update

Just one week after launching a national security investigation of steel imports under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, President Trump has announced plans to institute a similar investigation regarding aluminum. In a memorandum of April 27, 2017, President Trump announced that the Secretary of Commerce had initiated an investigation under Section … Continue Reading

Suniva Requests Global Safeguards For U.S. Solar Industry Under Section 201

On April 26, 2017, the U.S.-based solar manufacturer Suniva, Inc. filed a petition for global safeguards with the U.S. International Trade Commission (“ITC”). In particular, Suniva requests the imposition of tariffs on solar cells and the establishment of a minimum price for solar modules imported into the United States. The petition was filed under Section … Continue Reading
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