T&C Insights/Analysis2019-03-13T18:49:29+00:00

Revoke Separate Customs Treatment for Hong Kong? Not So Fast

At a White House press briefing on May 29, President Trump sternly declared that because the Government of the People’s Republic of China announced its intention to enact a national security law for Hong Kong, the Special Administrative Region is no longer “sufficiently autonomous.”  Therefore, the President said, he is instructing his administration to “begin the process” of revoking the “special treatment” the United States has provided to Hong Kong since it was under British control.  Among the treatments the President said he is including in that instruction is recognition of Hong Kong as a separate customs territory.[1]  The sweeping assertion that the United States might treat products of Hong Kong like products of China has sparked considerable concern, and speculation as to whether such a step is legally necessary or appropriate.  On June 17, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, responding to a question from Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) [...]

By |June 19th, 2020|

Competing Bills to Reform Section 232 Signal Bipartisan Congressional Displeasure, But No Guarantee of Enactment

After the unexpected resurrection of a long dormant trade law by President Trump in 2017 and 2018, Congress wants to reclaim some of its trade oversight authority in 2019.  A pair of bipartisan, bicameral competing bills have been introduced in Congress to modify Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 (19 U.S.C. §1862), the provision relied upon by President Trump to justify imposing additional duties or quotas on imports of steel and aluminum (and potentially on automobiles and auto parts and perhaps uranium) entering the United States on the ground that such imports threaten to impair U.S. national security.  A close review of those bills provides some insight into why one of those bills has a greater likelihood of moving forward than the other, and why further revisions to any such bill are likely to be considered, to prevent a presidential veto. That review also indicates that [...]

By |February 20th, 2019|

Full-Spectrum Supply Chain Due Diligence Essential to Avoiding CBP and OFAC Violations

U.S. imports that are produced in part or whole in North Korea risk being denied entry or seized by U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) as products of forced labor.  A newly revealed enforcement action by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) highlights that the importer also may face significant penalties under U.S. economic sanctions programs. Since 2015, when the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act (TFTEA) was signed into law and expanded the authority of CBP to stop entries of products made with forced labor, U.S. importers have been on notice that (1) they need to monitor their supply chains to ensure that their imports are not produced with forced labor and (2) if there was any manufacturing performed in North Korea, an import would be presumed to be made with forced labor.  Last summer, CBP’s parent agency, the Department of Homeland Security, along with the Department [...]

By |February 6th, 2019|

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