Doubts over the progress of negotiations between the U.S. and China have been raised today as President Trump announced that the U.S. has not agreed to roll back tariffs as part of an agreement to end the trade dispute, contradicting statements from China’s Ministry of Commerce and several news reports. Based on recent news reports,

U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer and certain officials in the administration have expressed optimism about the future of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). Concerns are growing, however, about whether the intended overhaul of NAFTA will be ratified by the United States Congress.

On October 23, 2019, Senator Grassley, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee,

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (“USTR”) announced that starting on October 31, 2019, the exclusion process for Chinese imports subject to List 4 Section 301 tariffs of 15% will open and will conclude on January 31, 2020.

Details on the specifics of the application process are to be published in the Federal Register

On October 14, 2019, President Trump announced via Twitter his intention to authorize sanctions against Turkey and “any persons contributing to Turkey’s destabilizing actions in northeast Syria.” The announcement followed Turkey’s recent military operation against predominately Kurdish forces in northern Syria, which began following the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the region. Later in the day, President Trump issued an Executive Order (the “Syria-Turkey EO”) to formally implement those sanctions. Under the Syria-Turkey EO:

  • The U.S. Secretary of the Treasury is now authorized to impose blocking sanctions on any person that it determines to be: (i) responsible for or complicit in actions that threaten Syrian stability or abuse human rights, (ii) an official or agency of the Government of Turkey, or (iii) operating in sectors of the Turkish economy that the Secretary of Treasury might later decide to target with sanctions. The Syria-Turkey EO also authorizes the Treasury Secretary to impose blocking sanctions on any person (including non-U.S. persons) who provides material assistance, goods or services to or in support of any person sanctioned under the Syria-Turkey EO.
  • The U.S. Secretary of the Treasury is authorized to restrict or prohibit foreign financial institutions from opening or maintaining correspondent or payable through accounts in the U.S. if the Treasury Department determines that those foreign financial institutions have knowingly conducted or facilitated any significant financial transaction for or on behalf of any person who becomes subject to the above-described blocking sanctions.
  • The U.S. Secretary of State is now authorized to impose menu-based sanctions on any person the Secretary determines to have interfered with peacekeeping and restorative efforts in northern Syria. These authorized menu-based sanctions include (but are not limited to): blocking sanctions, denial of U.S. entry visas and financing-based sanctions.


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On October 7, 2019, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) announced that it would add twenty eight (28) Chinese entities consisting of companies, government offices, and security bureaus to the Entity List for engaging in or enabling activities contrary to U.S. foreign policy interests.  Similar to the actions taken against

On October 2, 2019, the World Trade Organization (WTO) Arbitrator ruled in favor of the United States and Boeing in its dispute against the European Union and Airbus on the subsidies provided by the E.U. to Airbus. The ruling permits the U.S. to levy retaliatory tariffs on approximately $7.5 billion worth of European exports to

On September 25, 2019, the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) announced a new bilateral trade deal between the U.S. and Japan. According to the Office of the USTR, Japan will reduce or eliminate tariffs for certain American agricultural goods, while the U.S. will reduce or eliminate tariffs for certain agricultural imports from Japan. American agricultural goods

On Wednesday, September 11, 2019, President Donald Trump posed an unexpected tweet that the United States would be delaying the implementation of the tariff increase from October 1, 2019 to October 15, 2019 as a “gesture of good will” towards China. Originally, President Trump had planned to increase the current 25% tariff rate on $250

On August 23, 2019, President Trump announced via Twitter that the tariff rates on Lists 1, 2, and 3, worth approximately $250 billion worth of goods imported from China, will increase from 25% duty to 30% beginning October 1, 2019. Additionally, the President indicated that the tariff rate on the List 4 tariffs currently set to begin on September 1 will increase to 15% from 10%. It is unclear if the tariffs currently set to go into effect on December 15 will also be increased to 15%.
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