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After two years, The Senate has approved the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA). If this is approved by The House, it will reassure other countries that they can trust the U.S. The TPA will give the U.S. the leverage it needs to win a fair deal for American workers, as well as extend American influence to expand American trade.
From the Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report:
"A week after passing legislation to extend trade preference programs and strengthen trade enforcement, the Senate voted May 22 to approve a bill restoring trade promotion authority for up to six years. TPA allows the White House to submit legislation implementing new trade agreements that Congress must either approve or reject, but cannot amend, within a specified timeframe. TPA and the other trade and customs bills will now move to the House, where their prospects remain uncertain."
"According to press reports, only a handful of the numerous amendments to the bill that were proposed by supporters and opponents alike were ultimately considered, and only two were approved. One would give the executive branch the flexibility to use a variety of tools, including enforceable rules but also reporting, monitoring and cooperative mechanisms, to address unfair currency practices by future trade agreement partners. After opting for this approach senators narrowly rejected a tougher amendment that would have required U.S. negotiators to seek to include in future trade agreements enforceable provisions against currency manipulation by foreign trading partners to gain a trade advantage. The other approved amendment would require the executive branch to take a country’s record on religious freedom into account when considering it as a potential trade agreement partner."
Read the entire Trade Report.
Effective January 13 at all U.S. ports of entry, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will detain cotton products and tomato products produced in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.
CBP issued a Withhold Release Order (WRO) against cotton products and tomato products produced in Xinjiang based on information that reasonably indicates the use of detainee or prison labor and situations of forced labor. The agency identified the following forced labor indicators through the course of its investigation: debt bondage, restriction of movement, isolation, intimidation and threats, withholding of wages, and abusive living and working conditions.
The deployment of the Aluminum Import Monitoring and Analysis (AIM) system scheduled for January 25, 2021 has been delayed until March 29, 2021. The AIM system website consists of an online aluminum import license application platform and public monitoring. This delay means that licenses will not be required for covered aluminum products until the new implementation date.
The U.S. Trade Representative has determined to suspend the tariff action in the Section 301 investigation of France’s Digital Services Tax (DST). The additional tariffs on certain products of France were announced in July 2020 and were scheduled to go into effect on January 6, 2021. The U.S. Trade Representative has decided to suspend the tariffs of the ongoing investigation of similar DSTs adopted or under consideration in ten other jurisdictions. Those investigations have significantly progressed; however, have not yet reached a determination on possible trade actions. A suspension of the tariff action in the France DST investigation will promote a coordinated response in the ongoing DST investigations.