The U.S. Department of State (“State Department”) announced the imposition of sanctions on Turkey’s Presidency of Defense Industries (“SSB”) pursuant to Section 231 of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (“CAATSA”). The U.S. is sanctioning SSB over its procurement of the S-400 surface-to-air missile system from Russia’s Rosoboronexport (“ROE”). SSB is Turkey’s primary defense procurement entity and ROE is Russia’s main exporter of arms. As a result of Turkey’s actions, the U.S. is imposing full blocking sanctions on four SSB officials along with certain non-blocking CAATSA sanctions on the SSB entity.
Continue Reading U.S. Sanctions Turkey’s Defense Procurement Entity Over Its Purchase of Russian Missile System

United States Trade Representative (“USTR”) announced the very first enforcement action under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (“USMCA”) to address Canada’s tariff-rate quotas (“TRQs”) on imported dairy products, which the USTR alleges are in violation of various USMCA Articles to the detriment of U.S. dairy producers. USTR’s announcement follows complaints from U.S. dairy farmers and Members of Congress received earlier this year over Canada’s use of TRQs.  USTR stated in its announcement that it was “disappointed that Canada’s policies have made this first ever enforcement action under the USMCA necessary to ensure compliance with the agreement.”
Continue Reading USTR Announces First USMCA Enforcement Action to Address Canada’s Tariff-Rate Quotas for Dairy Products

The U.S. International Trade Commission (“USITC”) announced on December 2, 2020 that it would begin monitoring imports of bell peppers and strawberries pursuant to Section 332 of the Tariff Act
Continue Reading USITC To Begin Monitoring Imports of Strawberries and Bell Peppers at USTR’s Request

The major thrust of this post is to underscore certain micro trends which have emerged in the ocean transport industry in the recent past, which are not expected to transcend into macro territory, but will be present for a good while, and need attention since they can result in substantial damages/losses to importers and exporters. Focusing on these can result in big dollar savings in the short and long run. These micro trends have surfaced as a result of a combination of events and developments such as unpredictable turns in the import trades from China/Asia to the United States; the export levels and trends of agricultural commodities from the U.S. to China; the prevalence of equipment unavailability to the shipping industry (both containers and chassis, and now, sometimes vessels).

Continue Reading Micro Trends for 2021: Ocean Shipping Contracting Responses