International Trade & Supply Chain

Yesterday, Beau JacksonRobert Stang and Linda Tiller joined manufacturers, distributors and service providers in Kansas City for a discussion about the impact of tariffs on the business community. This insightful program included economic, industry and legal perspectives on current trade conditions and the various implications of recently-imposed tariffs.

Read more on the TMT Industry Insider blog:

2019 Kansas City Manufacturing & Distribution Summit

 

With the government shutdown entering its fourth week and with no end in sight, a number of federal agencies are feeling the pressure. The Department of Commerce and the U.S. International Trade Commission have been effectively shuttered for the past four weeks and recently the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative released a short statement indicating that they had begun furloughing nonessential personnel. A number of other agencies and departments have also had their work affected or completely suspended. Outlined below is a brief analysis the current shutdown is having on those federal agencies which are critical to imports, exports, and international trade.

Continue Reading How Does the Government Shutdown Affect Trade?

shipping containersMost agencies of the United States government, including the Federal Maritime Commission (”the Commission”), have been closed since December 22, 2018. Since that date shippers, ocean common carriers, and non-vessel operating common carriers in their shipper role have not had access to SERVCON, the service contract electronic filing system of the Commission. So how is it intended for these supply chain players to adhere to Commission regulations related to initial or service contracts about to be renewed, or amendments to existing service contracts during this dysfunctional period which at this point hasn’t shown even a hint of an end game? Short answer: the same as always, but without the filing obligation nor risk of sanctions (penalties). The filing requirement is temporarily lifted. Therefore, service contract activity can continue as usual without concern of penalties. There are some caveats though. Continue Reading U.S. Government Shutdown: The Impact on Federal Maritime Commission Service Contracts

On Saturday, December 1, 2018, President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping met to discuss trade relations between the two countries. Following their meeting, President Trump indicated that he would postpone increasing the tariff rate to 25% on certain Chinese goods worth up to $200 billion currently covered under Section 301 List 3. This increase was originally slated for January 1, 2019 (see our previous post here).  The 10% duties on that $200 million in goods will remain in effect, however, as will the 25% tariffs on the goods worth about $50 billion, which appear on the first and second list of additional duties. According to the White House press statement, the parties agreed to “endeavor” on a 90-day period, until March 1, 2019, to discuss the restructuring of China’s trade policies and come to an agreement. Continue Reading President Trump Holds Off on Increase of Section 301 Tariffs

Immediately before the G-20 Summit Meeting on November 30, 2018 in Buenos Aires, President Trump, Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau, and Mexican President Nieto ceremonially signed the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). Although each leader signed the Agreement, this does not mean that it will go into effect, as the Agreement must now be approved by the legislature of each country. In regard to the U.S. legislative process, the next steps will be a 60 day period to submit a list of changes to U.S. law that are required for the Agreement to take effect. At the same time, the Agreement must also be reviewed by the U.S. International Trade Commission to assess the impact the agreement will have on GDP, exports and imports, employment, and U.S. consumer interests. The Commission has 105 days after the signing, or until March 15, 2019, to deliver its report to Congress.

Despite moving forward with the signature of the trade agreement, the U.S. continues to have steel and aluminum tariffs on imports from Canada and Mexico pursuant to Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962. Prime Minister Trudeau optimistically indicated that Canada and the U.S. will work towards removing these tariffs in the near future.

We will continue to monitor this situation. For more information, please contact Robert Stang,  Jeffrey NeeleyBeau Jackson, or Nithya Nagarajan.

globe charts graphsCongratulations! You have developed or launched an innovative new product or service, and your business dreams are becoming a reality. It’s all very exciting.  One thing you may not have considered much, however, is whether your innovations or brand are susceptible to infringement in the international context. Will competitors try to make a knock-off product or steal your trade secrets? Are foreign companies going to ship infringing articles to the U.S. market? Protecting your intellectual property (IP) is key. Here are some fundamental suggestions to thwart such threats to your growing business. Continue Reading International IP Issues for Startups