Taxes, Tariffs & Trade

NAFEM members gained more relief from the Section 301 tariffs on Chinese imports as the United States Trade Representative (USTR) published two, separate Federal Register notices announcing additional exclusions Wednesday, Oct. 2.

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The U.S. and China return to the negotiating table in October to continue addressing trade issues.

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Paul Nathanson, executive director of the Coalition of America Metal Manufacturers and Users (CAMMU), recently published an editorial in the sheet metal Industry’s SNIPS magazine analyzing the impact of the Section 232 import tariffs on steel and aluminum.

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Negotiations between the Trump administration and a working group of House Democrats on the U.S. ‒ Mexico ‒ Canada Agreement (USMCA) continue. U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer sent a confidential letter addressing the group’s concerns with USMCA provisions on labor, environment, enforcement and prescription drugs. Lighthizer also is scheduled to meet with House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Richie Neal (D-MA) who said, “There has been significant progress on two of the four issues Democrats sought to change … discussions continue to go forward.”

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Trade negotiations between the U.S. and China concluded July 31 without achieving significant progress. Since then, China has allowed its currency to weaken against the dollar, making its exports more affordable despite U.S. tariffs.

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House Democrats continued to meet with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and his team during the August Congressional recess to discuss concerns about certain aspects of the United States ‒ Mexico ‒ Canada Agreement (USMCA). Specifically, they want to ensure Mexico’s adherence to stricter labor and environmental standards included in the Agreement.

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The U.S. Department of Commerce has launched a new portal for exclusion requests. Exclusion requests submitted before June 13 will continue to be addressed via www.regulations.gov.

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NAFEM member Mark Sanford, chief engineer-compliance, Unified Brands, Conyers, Ga., has been working to better understand Mexico’s new requirements to its Normas Oficiales Mexicanas (NOMs) for imported electrical and electronic goods.

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Good news for NAFEM members who have imported List 2 items from China that have now been excluded from tariffs.

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