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,

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 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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USTR Proposes New Tariffs on EU Products under Section 301

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) announced on July 1, 2019 a proposed list of tariffs on approximately $4 billion worth of products from the European Union (EU). This is a supplemental list to the April 12, 2019 proposed tariffs with an approximate trade value of $12 billion.

According to USTR, this action is designed to pressure the EU to implement the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Dispute Settlement Body recommendations in regard to the United States’ WTO dispute against the EU’s subsidies on large civil aircraft.

Interested parties can appear at a public hearing or file comments on the proposed list.
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India Loses GSP Preferential Status Effective June 5, 2019

In a sudden announcement after 8pm on Friday May 31, 2019, the President made the anticipated decision that India was to be removed from the Generalized System of Preferences (“GSP”), effective June 5, 2019. The statement issued by the White House claims that the President had “determined that India has not assured the United States that India will provide equitable and reasonable access to its markets.” The end of the GSP eligibility and removal of India’s developing country status comes after holding that status for approximately 30 years and is a deepening indication of the U.S.’s increased protectionist stance in the global trade environment. To see our full post on India losing its GSP status, click here.
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USTR Publishes Notice on Increase in Section 301 List 3 Tariff Rate

On May 8, 2019, USTR released its federal register notice on the tariff increase for the third tranche (List 3) Section 301 tariffs on China. The duty rate on the estimated $200 billion worth of Chinese products will increase from 10% to 25% effective 12:01am ET on Friday, May 10, 2019. The notice also announces that an exclusion process will be instituted for these products in a separate notice.

The rate increase to 25% means that entries of goods

  1. entered for consumption, or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption, on or after 12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time on May 10, 2019, and
  2. exported to the United States on or after May 10, 2019 will now be subject to an additional tariff of 25%. Entries must be subject to both qualifiers-meaning that if a shipment has been exported prior to May 10, 2019 it will still be subject to the 10% duty rate.  However, if the shipment is exported after 12:01am ET on May 10 the 25% duty rate will apply. To see our full post, click here.


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In a sudden announcement after 8pm on Friday May 31, 2019, the President made the anticipated decision that India was to be removed from the Generalized System of Preferences (“GSP”), effective June 5, 2019.  The statement issued by the White House claims that the President had “determined that India has not assured the United States that India will provide equitable and reasonable access to its markets.” The end of GSP eligibility and removal of India’s developing country status comes after holding that status for approximately 30 years and is a deepening indication of the U.S.’s increased protectionist stance in the global trading environment.  Last month the U.S. ended Turkey’s preferential status.
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