China and the United States Coming to Terms on Trade Agreement
On December 13, the US and China’s standoff became a little less tense when the two trade behemoths came to terms on a Phase One trade agreement. The terms require that China makes structural reforms and other changes to their economic and trade philosophies related to intellectual property, technology transfer, agriculture, financial services, and currency and foreign exchange. China is also required to make “substantial additional purchases of US goods and services in the coming years” and work towards establishing a strong dispute resolution system. The US has agreed to modify its section 301 tariff actions in return for China’s commitment to the changes imposed.
Based on the new terms of the deal, US Customs and Border Protection released a CSMS message stating:
— List 2 duties covered by the $300 billion tariff action have been suspended indefinitely and will not go into effect on December 15, 2019.
–CBP will provide updates to any changes to the 15% Section 301 duties applicable to the products of China covered by List 1.
2020 Haiti HOPE Value-Added Apparel TPL Began December 20th
Certain goods imported directly from Haiti have a 12-month 2020 value added tariff preference level set by the Commerce Department. HTS 9820.61.25 for entry specific claims, or 9820.61.30 for aggregate claims, would be eligible to receive duty-free treatment under HOPE (Haitian Hemispheric Opportunity Through Partnership for Encouragement Act). There will be a time period of one year, beginning December 20, 2019 and lasting through December 19, 2020. During this time the recalculated quantity of imports is up by 4 million SME (square meters equivalent) from 2018, totaling 376,935,586 SME. Any apparel articles exceeding this TPL will be subject to otherwise applicable duty rates.
Qualifying for duty-free treatment under the value-added TPL, apparel must be assembled in their entirety, or knit to shape in Haiti from a combination of fabrics, fabric components, components knit to shape and yarns. Further, qualification requires the sum of the cost or value of materials produced in Haiti or one or more beneficiary countries, plus the direct costs of processing operations performed in Haiti or one or more beneficiary countries must not be less than 60% of the declared customs value of such articles.
Beneficiary countries in this case will include the U.S., any other country that’s a Party to a current free trade agreement with U.S., or that enters into an FTA under the Bipartisan Trade Promotion Authority Act of 2002. Additionally, any country designated as a beneficiary country under the OGOA (African Growth and Opportunity Act), the CBTPA (Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act), or the ATPDEA (Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act).
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