Archives: Trade Agreements

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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

Trump Moves on Steel Under Section 232

On April 20, 2017, President Trump issued a memorandum announcing that the Secretary of Commerce had initiated an investigation to determine the effects of imported steel on national security. The investigation was initiated under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, as amended. I. Conduct of Section 232 Investigations Under Section 232, Secretary … Continue Reading

Trump, Xi Kick Off Economic Relationship

On Friday, April 14, the U.S. Department of Treasury published a widely anticipated semi-annual report detailing the foreign exchange practices of America’s major trading partners. Although he regularly called for China to be labeled as a “currency manipulator” as a candidate, President Donald J. Trump and his administration declined to use the occasion of this … Continue Reading

President Trump Acts on Several Trade-Related Campaign Promises

During the 2016 presidential campaign, President Trump made clear his plans to chart a new course on U.S. trade policy. The first few days of his presidency indicate his commitment to follow through on these plans. In his Inaugural Address, President Trump included trade among the policy areas that would be guided by an “America … Continue Reading

Global Policy Watch: Tensions Building Up in Cross-Strait and U.S.-China Relations

Cross-Strait Relations In her year-end press conference on December 31, 2016, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen focused on her administration’s domestic policy agenda but also noted Beijing’s increasing pressure on Taiwan since she took office on May 20. Beijing has cut off high-level communications between the two sides (while maintaining ties with the former KMT party), … Continue Reading

Global Enforcement of the Nagoya Protocol in Life Sciences Industries

In October 2014, the Nagoya Protocol entered into force. It created a new international regulatory system affecting all life science companies that conduct R&D on biological material such as animals, seeds, flowers, viruses, fragrances, flavonoids, essential oils, enzymes, yeasts, and so on. So far, compliance by companies is progressing slowly due to unawareness of the … Continue Reading

Re-Opening NAFTA: Consequences for U.S. Businesses

President-elect Donald Trump made trade policy a key issue in his campaign and has declared his interest in either withdrawing from or renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Government officials from Mexico and Canada have publicly stated that their respective governments are open to renegotiating the treaty. As a result, companies that do … Continue Reading

A New Miscellaneous Tariff-Cutting Process Takes Shape

In a notice published in Friday’s Federal Register, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC or Commission) has issued interim rules implementing the new miscellaneous tariff bill process mandated by Congress in the American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act of 2016.  The rules create a new pathway for U.S. manufacturers to seek temporary suspension or reduction of tariffs … Continue Reading

Congress Overwhelmingly Approves Federal Civil Cause of Action for Trade Secret Misappropriation Backed By Broad Coalition of U.S. Interests

When the dust settles on 2016, and Congress is receiving year-end grades from political pundits, voters and even self-evaluations from the Members themselves, there will no doubt be a common refrain that election year politics, gridlock and a short legislative calendar have yet again left too many important issues unresolved. But one important piece of … Continue Reading

A call for 50 percent tariffs on U.S. imports of aluminum

The United Steelworkers union (USW) on April 18 filed a petition with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) for the U.S. to invoke a global safeguard under Section 201 of U.S. trade law and impose tariffs of up to 50 percent on primary unwrought aluminum. This proceeding could have significant impacts on global aluminum producers … Continue Reading

How Big a U.S. Export Market Could Cuba Be?

Since President Obama announced the normalization of U.S. relations with Cuba in December of 2014, U.S. businesses have begun to plan for the eventual lifting of U.S. economic sanctions against Cuba.  While the Obama Administration has taken a number of steps to jumpstart interactions between U.S. businesses and the Cuban private sector, including easing travel … Continue Reading

What’s Next for TPP: Will Congress Ratify in 2016?

After more than 5 years of negotiations between partner countries (Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, and the United States), the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement was finalized in October 2015 and will be confirmed through a formal signing ceremony on February 4th in New Zealand. Although the terms … Continue Reading

What’s New in the TPP’s Intellectual Property Chapter

Note: This post is the third in a series of posts on the final text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) by Covington’s International and Public Policy lawyers.  The final TPP text, which was released on November 5, 2015, is available here.  TPP is not expected to enter into force until at least 2016, with the … Continue Reading

The Trans-Pacific Partnership Investment Chapter: Maintaining Important Protections for U.S. Investors Overseas

Note: This post is the second in a series of posts on the final text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) by Covington’s International and Public Policy lawyers.  The final TPP text, which was released on November 5, 2015, is available here.  TPP is not expected to enter into force until at least 2016, with the timeline … Continue Reading

Next steps for TPP Deal

Yesterday, the twelve countries negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) announced that they have reached an agreement. While this represents a significant milestone after more than five years of intensive negotiations, there is still a long road ahead before this agreement can enter into force for the United States – from releasing text to the … Continue Reading

From the AGOA Forum in Gabon to the WTO Ministerial in Nairobi

For years, many observers treated Africa’s plans for regional integration with a healthy dose of skepticism. Though the skepticism remains, what has changed is the wide-spread acknowledgement and elevated importance of regional economic integration to grow Africa’s economies, create jobs for its rapidly growing youth population, and improve lives. Last month’s AGOA Forum, hosted by … Continue Reading

Benefits and Barriers to Expanded U.S.-Cuba Trade

Proponents of increased U.S. trade with Cuba rightly point to the potential economic benefits to U.S. exporters, particularly in the food and agriculture sector, from greater trade.  But achieving that potential may take more than the lifting of the U.S. trade embargo with Cuba.  A forthcoming study from the U.S. International Trade Commission promises a … Continue Reading
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