Ocean and air freight rates and trends; trucking and customs news for the week of August 28, 2019.
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U.S.-China Trade War Escalates An announcement from the Chinese government of tariffs on $75 billion worth of American imports triggered a flurry of responses from President Trump. Changes include an additional 5% increase on $300 billion worth of goods already scheduled for increased tariffs effective September 1 and December 15.
United States and Japan Agree to End Beef and Pork Tariffs Bloomberg reported that President Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe have reached an agreement that would reduce Japanese tariffs on American agricultural products — including beef and pork — while avoiding increased levies on automobile exports out of the country to the U.S.
Section 301 Changes President Trump tweeted out a wide array of tariffs increases on Friday. The already implemented Section 301 lists 1, 2, and 3 will all be raised from 25% to 30% on a proposed October 1 implementation date. The fourth list that was split into two (4a and 4b) will now be going up from 10% to 15% with the same implementation dates of September 1 and December 15, respectively. There is still no official notice posted on the Federal Register, but the USTR did post a press release that it would be coming soon.
G7 Free Trade Talks The two-day G7 meeting wrapped up in France and aside from the dominant climate and China trade war discussion, President Trump also stated that progress has been made on two separate trade deals. The US-Japan agreement is still in the process of completing the final framework, but there is a possibility that could be concluded and signed at the end of September when the leaders will see each other next at the United Nations General Assembly. Lighthizer stated that the sectors it will help the most for the US in the agreement are agriculture, technology, and industrial goods. The US-UK trade deal appears to also be making progress. There weren't many details released, but both parties seem to think a deal would be imminent and help both countries.
Amendments on Requirements for MTB Petition The International Trade Commission is finalizing changes to the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB) filing process that will be rolled out before the 60-day October 15 petition period. In a released document, the ITC decided not to ask for specific tariff classification justification. They will include the request for information regarding any known domestic producers of the product(s) seeking special tariff rates. The last change made was directed towards when a petitioner can withdrawal a petition. They must do it within 30 days after the Commissioner submits the preliminary report to Congress.
CBP Releases Data on IPR Theft for 2018 CBP released statistics for IPR theft in 2018. Among the interesting statistics, there were fewer IPR arrests 381 vs. 457 (from 2017), but convictions of those charged were up to 288 from 242. Most (90%) of seizures have occurred from international and express mail ($800 de-minimus). The amounts of seizures for apparel, footwear, watches, jewelry, and pharmaceuticals all increased by double digits while consumer products and toys saw the biggest reductions in seizures. China and Hong Kong were unsurprisingly the leading culprits based on origin and made up 85% of the total value of counterfeit goods.
For a roundup of tariff-related news, read our Tariff Insider.