INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS AND TRADE

Intellectual Properties

U.S.:          

The Defense Trade Secrets Act of 2014 (S.2267) would create a private cause of action under federal law for misappropriation of trade secrets (31 ITR 843; 5/8/14). 

Imports

Brazil:          

Import tariffs on 360 capital goods were temporarily reduced from 14% to 2% or to 0% by the Foreign Trade Chamber (Camex) taking effect April 29, 2014 – December 31, 2015 (31 ITR 875; 5/8/14). 

U.S.:           

The Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced reporting guidelines for companies regarding the description of their products as “DRC” Conflict Free under the Conflict of Minerals Rule (CMR) after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC circuit struck down certain portions of the rule as unconstitutional (31 World CCR; 5/20/14; p. 13). 

Dumping

WTO:

The World Trade Organization (WTO) concluded that anti-dumping and countervailing duties imposed by China on imports of U.S. cars and sport utility vehicles breached a number of its obligations under the WTO’s international trade rules (31 ITR 963; 5/29/14). 

INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS AND INVESTMENT

Foreign Investments

UN:            

The United Nations (UN) reported that corporations based in developing countries registered a record level of foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2013 with firms from China and Hong Kong accounting for more than 40% of the total according to the Global Investment Trans Monitor (31 ITR 797; 5/1/14).

Bi-lateral Agreements

US:   

The Customs and Border Protection (CBP) implement the preferential tariff treatment of the U.S.-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement (79 Fed. Reg. 29,077; 31 ITR 1,000; 5/29/14).

LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS

Imports

U.S.:           

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), working with other government agencies, has started taking actions against the websites that sell potentially dangerous or unapproved prescription drugs to U.S. consumers (31 ITR 967; 5/29/14). 

NAFTA

U.S.:           

Ford Motor Co. is not entitled to rebates on import duties for automotive parts under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) as ruled by the Court of International Trade (Ford Motor Co. v. U.S., 2014 BL 130,380 CT. Int’l Trade, No. 03-0015 (Slip Op. 14-53), 5/9/14; 31 ITR 898; 5/15/14). 

LEGISLATIVE DEVELOPMENTS

Export

U.S.:           

Which were moved from the US Munitions List (USML) of the International Traffic and Arms Regulations (ITAR) to the Commerce Control List (CCL) maintained under the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) (www.state.gov; 31 WorldECR.com issue 31, 5/20/14 p. 2). 

Export Controls

EU:             

The European Union (EU) member states finalized legislation to tighten waste disposal rules and reduce illegal trans-boundary shipments (31 ITR 865; 5/8/14). 

Imports

U.S.:           

Changes to the Fur Products Labeling Act will provide increased flexibility and incorporate provisions of the Truth in Fur Labeling Act thereby lowering compliance costs for manufacturers, retailers and importers when they take effect in November 2014 (31 ITR 971; 5/29/14). 

Trade

EU:             

The European Commission (EC) will adopt guidelines to clarify existing EU law concerning various trade defense rules designed to boost transparency in anti-dumping and anti-subsidy cases (31 ITR 977; 5/29/14). 

China:          

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) issued an updated set of approval and management measures that will simplify procedures for foreign investment in China (31 ITR 989; 5/29/14). 

Trade Secrets

EU:             

The European Union (EU) member states approve legislation to strengthen rules into a coherent legal framework to counter industrial espionage that goes beyond intellectual property right protection of data, business plans, market research, strategy and other confidential information (31 ITR 978; 5/29/14). 

Labeling

U.S.:           

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is altering regulations to allow the use of “collateral labeling” on shipping containers carrying pesticide products and devices intended for export (31 ITR 796; 5/1/14).

Immigration

U.S.: 

Homeland Security (CBP) published a final rule establishing the U.S. Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Travel Card Program (79 Fed. Reg. 27,161; 31 ITR 915; 5/15/14).

EXPORTS AND SANCTIONS

Agriculture

U.S.:           

China will start accepting poultry exports from Virginia after terminating a market by a closure order lasting for almost seven years (31 ITR 866; 5/8/14). 

Export Control

U.S.:           

The Export Administration Regulations (EAR) were amended to reflect a number of classification changes according to the final rule published by the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) of the Department of Commerce focusing on Export Control Classification Numbers (ECCNs) to implement changes to the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) in respect of suppliers of advanced missiles, related equipment, materials, software and technology (31 ITR 970; 5/29/14).  

The New York Federal Court charge Li Fang Wei with money laundering and other violations involved in the sale of missile parts to Iran in violations of US sanctions (31 ITR 818; 5/1/14). 

Sanctions

U.S.: 

17 Russian entities were designated for sanctions by the Treasury Department (31 ITR 805; 5/1/14). 

INTERNATIONAL DEBT WATCH*

Click here to view table.

*Excerpts from Economic and Financial Indicators published by The Economist, May 24, 2014