July ’23 at-a-glance … taxes, tariffs & trade

U.S. joins allies in tightening export controls to Russia

The U.S., along with the other “Five Eyes” intelligence alliance partners – Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom – is formally coordinating export control activities to best restrict Russia’s access to technologies fueling its invasion of Ukraine. The Five Eyes countries agreed to share information to identify and address export evasion risks, prevent unauthorized technology transfers, and safeguard collective national security interests.

Commerce to assist manufacturers interested in exporting

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s 2023 National Export Strategy (NES) highlights government programs and resources to assist U.S. businesses – including small and medium enterprises (SMEs), historically underrepresented businesses, and those new to exporting – to overcome barriers to trade and sell their goods and services globally. The manufacturing sector is one of seven areas of focus.

Senators seek input to modernize customs laws

A bipartisan group of Senators on the Finance Committee released an open letter requesting input from the trade community on how to modernize U.S. customs laws to ensure the U.S. remains competitive in the global market. The letter highlights four specific topics for feedback: (1) improving trade facilitation, (2) enhancing key security programs, (3) balancing security/enforcement and trade facilitation and (4) economic benefits from the suggested improvements for trade facilitation. Responses were due July 11 and Congress will use the input to help inform its future deliberations. There have been no major updates to U.S. customs laws in approximately 10 years.

U.S. and UK to partner on supply chain resiliency

The U.S. and UK announced the Atlantic Declaration for a 21st Century Economic Partnership to build resilient, diversified, and secure supply chains and reduce strategic dependencies. First steps include taking concrete and coordinated actions to deepen this partnership across five pillars, by:

  • Ensuring U.S. – UK leadership in critical and emerging technologies, 
  • Advancing ever-closer cooperation on economic security and technology protection toolkits and supply chains,
  • Partnering on an inclusive and responsible digital transformation,
  • Building the clean energy economy of the future, and
  • Further strengthening the U.S. – UK alliance across defense, health security and space. 

U.S./India reach agreement on Section 232 and retaliatory tariffs

The U.S. and India have agreed to terminate six outstanding disputes at the World Trade Organization (WTO). India also agreed to remove retaliatory tariffs it had imposed in response to the U.S. Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum on certain U.S. products, including chickpeas, lentils, almonds, walnuts, apples, boric acid and diagnostic reagents. 

In return, the United States will continue to review pending and new requests for exclusions from Section 232 duties on steel and aluminum products to ensure effective market access opportunities for Indian exporters.

House introduces bill to review trade initiatives

Details are pending on H.R.4276 that would reauthorize Trade Adjustment Assistance programs, extend and reform the Generalized System of Preferences and amend the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States to modify certain rates of duty temporarily and for other purposes.