International Trade News February 2019

Some interesting articles that caught our attention.

Section 301 Tariffs

Six out of Ten CEOs see Trump’s Tariffs Helping

(Supply Chain Brain) About 59 percent of some 500 firms said they expected profits to benefit should tariffs on imports rise, more than double those who saw a negative impact, according to a UBS Group AG survey released this month. An increase in domestic investment was listed as one key area of advantage should the cost of doing businesses abroad grow.
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Apparel ImportsApparel Companies Importing Garments on Hangers Advised of Section 301 Scrutiny

(STR Trade) If you import hangers with your imported garments, you’ll want to read this one.  Classifying clothes hangers separately from apparel can offer cost savings but importers should use caution in utilizing this method, according to Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg’s Elise Shibles.  Check out what she says about current duty rates and possible changes in how you import your packaging material.
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importing wineUSTR Signs Wine and Distilled Spirits Continuity Agreements with the UK

(USTR) On January 31, 2019, Ambassador Gregg Doud, USTR Chief Agricultural Negotiator, and Ambassador Kim Darroch, United Kingdom (UK) Ambassador to the United States, signed two agreements covering wine and distilled spirits today to ensure there is no disruption in trade of these products between the United States and the UK when the UK leaves the European Union (EU). Currently the United States has agreements on wine and distilled spirits with the European Union which cover trade with the UK by virtue of its membership in the EU.
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eu singaporeEU votes in favour of landmark FTA with Singapore

(Singapore Press) The European Parliament has given the green light to a landmark trade agreement with Singapore that is set to remove nearly all customs duties between the two jurisdictions.  Following a majority vote in favour of the European Union-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (EUSFTA) on Wednesday (Feb 13) in France, the pact can be ratified and entered into force. Meanwhile, two other agreements were also given the go-ahead.
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due diligenceSanctions Penalty Highlights Importance of Due Diligence but Signals New Approach

(STR Trade) A recent sanctions penalty case highlights the importance of performing heightened due diligence, particularly with regard to affiliates, subsidiaries, or counter-parties known to do business with countries or persons subject to U.S. sanctions or that otherwise pose high risks due to their geographic location, customers, suppliers, products, or services. The Office of Foreign Assets Control states that this case also represents a “marked change” to the way it will respond to sanctions violations.
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