On January 31, Nirav Desai, PNWER Innovation Working Group co-chair, and Steve Myers, PNWER Senior Program Manager, had the opportunity to testify during the Alaska Senate Labor and Commerce Committee hearing in Juneau. During their testimony, Mr. Desai and Mr. Myers highlighted the options in Alaska for economic diversification and development. Watch the Senate Labor and Commerce Committee hearing HERE.
Alaska has similar challenges as other cities, states, and provinces that are dependent on one sector of the economy. Automation and globalization have increased over time, and jobs in traditional sectors have been eliminated or outsourced. Economies that are primarily resource-based are particularly impacted by swings in prices because of the cost to commit to development as well as getting products to market. It is often difficult to justify investment in development and an increase in production if the price of resources is down. Additionally, as calls for new transportation options like pipelines and increased rail capacity are being scrutinized, the cost of getting products to market increases. This has an adverse effect on jobs and revenue for resource-based economies.
Mr. Desai pointed out that some regions have had success attracting technology-based industries in an effort to diversify the local economy and enhance its incumbent industries. For example, over the past 20+ years, Austin and Houston, traditionally resource-based economies, have encouraged technology firms to open engineering offices in Texas, selling the low cost of living, educated talent, and low taxes. It has taken several years and courting by economic development leaders, but when a community lays out a strategy and sticks to it, there is opportunity for growth. This strategy is opposite to the traditional method of targeting corporations for complete relocation. The traditional relocation process can be challenging and harmful as states and provinces undermine each other to get the best deal by offering the most incentives – essentially a race to the bottom marked by tax breaks and incentives that may surpass the growth in municipal revenue.
Cities like Austin, Texas; Raleigh, North Carolina; and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, have embraced the innovation economy and sought ways to connect their educational institutions with technology platforms to foster the growth of engineering offices and a start-up ecosystem. States and provinces can foster an innovation ecosystem that creates jobs and revenue by enticing firms to work in their community. States and provinces need to remember to focus on their strengths and get buy-in from stakeholders. States and provinces like Alaska could take on the strategy of attracting satellite offices using its uniqueness to test products and support incumbent industries.
Learn how workforce development and talent can foster an innovation ecosystem in a future post.
Check out our 2019 PNWER Annual Summit in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, July 21-25, 2019!
Future posts in this blog series will showcase the working groups that will hold sessions at our Annual Summit including workforce, transportation, economic development, and more. Stay tuned!
Today marks the opening of the fifth round of negotiations between the U.S. and Canada on the Columbia River Treaty (CRT) since talks to modernize the Columbia River Treaty regime began in May 2018. PNWER has taken a keen interest in the Columbia River Treaty negotiations and is looking forward to seeing the Treaty modernized for the mutual benefit of the region. In fact, PNWER has been working with partner jurisdictions over several years to underscore the importance of the CRT. In 2004, the PNWER Executive Committee affirmed the Columbia River Treaty as one of the most important issues for the region. Since then, much has been done in the region to provide input to the U.S. and Canadian entities leading up to the renegotiation of the treaty. This past year marked a major effort by PNWER to bring stakeholders and experts together to learn more about the treaty, the negotiations, and the impact on the region.
This past July, PNWER organized a Symposium which was held at the PNWER Annual Summit in Spokane, WA. This Symposium was the first joint session to include stakeholders from both sides of the border as well as the chief negotiators from the U.S. and Canada. The Symposium provided the chief negotiators the opportunity to present together and hear testimony from stakeholders. Stakeholders shared the benefits and impacts of the Treaty, focusing on areas including ecosystems, tribal groups, utilities, tourism, agriculture, recreation, and more. The Symposium also featured legislators of jurisdictions that are in and surrounding the Columbia River Basin who spoke about effects of the CRT on livelihoods in the region.
Watch TVW's coverage of the CRT Symposium HERE.
Following the Symposium, PNWER and its partners organized two policy tours highlighting aspects of the Columbia River Basin to legislators, policymakers, and stakeholders. The first tour to the Grand Coulee Dam in central Washington showcased hydroelectric power and water storage for irrigation projects in the U.S. and Canada. Participants heard from several experts including a speaker from the Bonneville Power Administration who illustrated the delivery of power throughout the region. The Chelan County Public Utility District Leadership spoke about operations and the important role the Grand Coulee Dam has in power generation. Tour attendees also heard about the importance of water storage for irrigation to the region’s agricultural community.
The following day, attendees were invited to a two-day study tour of southeast B.C. During the two-day tour, fifty attendees visited the Hugh Keenleyside Dam as well as the Spicer farm in Nakusp, which is one of the farms inundated when the treaty dams were built. Columbia River Basin residents and local experts were present during the two days to share their knowledge of how the treaty affects the region’s ecosystems, agriculture, tourism, and community.
The U.S. Chief Negotiator for the Columbia River Treaty, Jill Smail, will lead a town hall in Kalispell, Montana on March 20. The town hall will provide an opportunity for the public to hear about the status of the negotiations as well as to ask questions. For more details on the town hall, visit the U.S. Department of State's website.
For more information on the Columbia River Treaty, its history, and impact, visit the links below.
Government of British Columbia:
February 2019 Columbia River Treaty Newsletter
U.S. Department of State:
The following PNWER statement on tariffs was released on November 15, 2018, during the PNWER Economic Leadership Forum in Whitehorse, Yukon.
UNWARRANTED TARIFFS ARE DISRUPTING TRADE BETWEEN THE WORLD’S CLOSEST ALLIES & LARGEST TRADING PARTNERS AND NEGATIVELY IMPACTING REGIONAL SUPPLY CHAINS
WHITEHORSE, YUKON - “We believe that unilateral tariffs between the US and Canada go against the principles of free and fair trade and only harm industries in both countries. When markets are open, and goods are transported freely across borders, the results are economic growth, new businesses and more and better job opportunities for individuals.”, said Pacific NorthWest Economic Region (PNWER) President Larry Doke, MLA Saskatchewan at the PNWER Economic Leadership Forum in Whitehorse, Yukon, on Thursday.
Oregon Senator Arnie Roblan, Past President of PNWER said, “Here in the Pacific Northwest, we are stronger by working closely together, and our relationships are intact because of the ongoing partnerships in every major sector of our economy, and in state, provincial, territorial, local, and tribal governments. The US should exempt Canada from any steel and aluminum tariffs, which are causing significant disruption to the largest trading relationship in the world.”
The US and Canada’s trading relationship is incredibly important to the Pacific Northwest. The US and Canada have the largest trading relationship in the world, and here in the Pacific Northwest, we benefit from the two-way trade of over USD $541 billion (CAD $630 billion) annually, of which about USD $22.6 billion (CAD $29 billion) is in the Pacific Northwest. Protectionism is seriously damaging the vital economic regional partnership in both of our countries.
The steel and aluminum tariffs may cost the US and Canada over USD $11 billion combined, and we could see losses of over 6,000 jobs, according to CD Howe Institute, a Canadian independent not-for-profit research institute fostering economically sound public policies.
As a result of the steel and aluminum tariffs, retaliatory tariffs from Mexico and Canada could cause US Agriculture exports to decline by USD $1.9 billion to these two trading partners.
The US tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum products based on Section 232 US national security investigations are of great concern. As a trusted ally and partner, Canadian steel and aluminum products are used as vital inputs in the Canada-US manufacturing supply chains. Tariffs on these critical inputs are not only making consumer goods expensive in both countries, but also making North American products uncompetitive in international markets.
This cross-border region continues to work closely together every day with our interconnected and interdependent supply chains, and dozens of cross-border cooperative agreements on everything from our shared transboundary watersheds, cross-border airsheds, climate action, cross-border law enforcement, invasive species prevention, forest fire prevention, to defending our shared borders in the 60-year-old NORAD (North American Air Defense) System.
PNWER is an example of these interconnections and the ongoing relationships that make our bi-national region stand out in North America as a place where innovation happens, precisely because of the multi-faceted relationships of trust that have been built up for the past 30 years.
The following post was written by Daniel D. Ujczo, Practice Group Chair - Intl & Regional Practices, Dickinson Wright
The last week of Summer 2018 will jumble a number of trade actions—starting with today’s announcement of 10% duties on $200 billion of China-sourced goods, the ongoing renovation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and potential relief from the Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs—into a goulash that will leave companies wondering what is stalled, in standby mode, or steaming ahead. To summarize all of these expected developments, Dickinson Wright will hold two free, interactive webinars on Monday, September 24, 2018:
Please register directly to the listed websites. Once registered, the webinars will be available “on-demand” post-September 24.
Several potential developments nevertheless warrant attention throughout the week:
Steaming Ahead--USTR announced 10% tariffs on approximately $200 billion of China-sourced goods. The full list of goods subject to tariffs is available at
The 10% tariffs will commence on September 24, 2018. The tariffs will increase in 2019 to 25%. More than 5,000 products are on the final list. USTR removed approximately 300 product lines from the proposed list including consumer electronics (smart watches/Bluetooth), chemicals used in manufacturing, textiles, agriculture products, health and safety products (bike helmets, car seats, sanitary gloves), and several other areas. Unfortunately, most manufacturing equipment (e.g., tools and dies) as well as a number of goods already subject to significant anti-dumping/countervailing duties remain on the final list.
On a more positive note, USTR announced on Monday a process for product exclusions relating to the second round of Section 301 tariffs (25%) that were finalized on August 16, 2018 (aka “List II”) that will be due on or before December 18, 2018. Companies should standby to see if USTR announces a similar product exclusion process for today’s tariffs (aka “List III”) in the near term.
Steaming Ahead—The US and Mexico have continued their work toward finalizing the first text of the US-Mexico agreement and the parties reaffirmed their commitment to publically provide the USM text by the October 1st deadline. The parties intend to sign the USM 90 days later—i.e., prior to the December 1, 2018 transition to the new President of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO). The US thereafter will prepare the deal for ratification by the next (2019) Congress.
Key issues between Canada and the US include dairy (although there are reports that a “landing zone” has been reached), Chapter 19 dispute resolution, Canada’s cultural “exemption”, intellectual property rights, de minimis thresholds, and government procurement/Buy America. USTR purportedly advised that it would not hold another Ministerial meeting with Canada until there was a closing phase/final deal on the table. Companies should standby to see what happens midweek. Should Minister Freeland arrive in Washington, D.C., there likely will be results.
Steaming Ahead-- Companies importing steel and aluminum from other jurisdictions, as well as subject to retaliatory tariffs from those countries, should be aware of these new Section 232 processes. We do not anticipate the Section 232 tariffs being lifted on any jurisdiction outside of North America, including EU and Japan, before the close of October.
Following a flurry of activity this week, NAFTA talks between the US and Canada have concluded for the week. This follows off-the-record comments made by Trump, and made public by the Toronto Star on Friday that Trump does not want to compromise with Canada.
Minister Chrystia Freeland spoke following the conclusion of talks today.
"The United States and Canada have now agreed to negotiate beyond the Friday deadline. While members of Congress could theoretically object, they are unlikely to do so, since most are eager for Canada to remain part of the pact." Talks between the US and Canada are expected to resume again next week. This latest news has created more uncertainty in an already uncertain future for an agreement. But there is still hope that a new free trade deal will include Canada.
On late Friday, the Trump Administration sent Congress a letter formally notifying of their intention to sign a trade deal with Mexico. While the letter only signaled a deal with Mexico, there is still time for Canada to be included. This letter is required for the administration to sign a trade deal under "fast-track" authority, which requires a straight up or down vote by Congress for approval. This letter starts the 90-day clock before the earliest date that a deal can be signed.
Earlier this week, the US reached a bi-lateral trade deal with Mexico, and Trump announced his intention to rename the agreement from NAFTA. Canada rejoined NAFTA talks after sitting out while the US and Mexico worked on negotiating a trade deal. Canada resumed talks to negotiate bi-lateral and tri-lateral issues and look at creating a tri-lateral deal between the three countries. However, following an eventful Friday, talks have concluded. They are expected to resume again next week.
Other Links and Resources:
NAFTA 2.0 End Game Briefer - Canada Institute - Aug. 30
What to watch as Canada looks for a breakthrough in NAFTA talks - Financial Post - Aug. 31
Friday isn’t the real deadline for ‘NAFTA 2.0’ - The Washington Post - Aug. 30
COLIN ROBERTSON THE GLOBE AND MAIL AUGUST 28, 2018: A little more than a year after negotiations began on a revised North American free-trade agreement, a deal looks possible, although big questions remain.
For much of the past two months, Mexican and American negotiators have wrestled with the U.S. demand around the content rules for our most-traded commodity, the automobile. North Americans produce 17.5 million cars or trucks annually. The original U.S. demand of 85 per cent North American content with 50 per cent of that “Made in the USA” has apparently morphed into 75 per cent North American content with 40 per cent to 45 per cent made by workers making US$16 or more a hour.
The devil is always in the details, but Canadian industry and its workers can live with this and, if this gives U.S. President Donald Trump his “win,” then we are on our way to a deal.So, too, with the “sunset” clause. Originally, the United States wanted the new agreement to lapse after five years – something investors said would freeze investment, especially into Canada and Mexico. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer reportedly says it will now be 16 years with a review after six years. We can live with that.
On dispute settlement, or Chapter 19, the picture is murky and we will need clarification. The Trump team originally wanted to jettison the binational mechanism, and it appears there will be investor-state provisions, something U.S. industry lobbied hard to retain, and some form of recourse, beyond the U.S. system, for energy and infrastructure. Canada and Mexico need to stand firm. We need recourse from U.S. trade-remedy legislation – countervail, anti-dump and, as the Trump administration misapplies it, national security.
If reports are accurate, there appears to be near-agreement on agriculture (good for Canadian farmers) and on intellectual property (unchanged) but again, the devil will be in the details.
The negotiators were originally aiming for 30-plus chapters of NAFTA but until now only nine had been closed and, of course, nothing is truly closed until it is all done.
So what remains and how might they be resolved? From Canada’s perspective, assuming we can work out dispute settlement, we need to see action on three more items.
The coming days – more likely weeks – will be a test of Canadian negotiators. They are a very experienced team and they are up to the task as long as the government has their backs.
This is the bigger question: Can the Trudeau government take the political flak that will inevitably come its way? It won’t be sunny ways. If it can stick it out, the Trudeau government will make as big a contribution to Canadian well being and competitiveness as Brian Mulroney and his Progressive Conservative government did with the original Canada-U.S. FTA and then the NAFTA. It would be no small legacy.
PNWER will continue to monitor events next week as this process unfolds. Thank you for your interest and support of the greatest trading relationship in the world. We remain committed to seeing a renegotiated NAFTA that will be a win-win for all three countries, and that will reinforce the strength of the North American integrated economy, and enhance our competitiveness in global markets.
On Monday, June 4th, US and Canadian officials signed a memorandum of understanding promoting the Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC). The RCC was established in 2011 to streamline regulation between the US and Canada in order to encourage economic competitiveness as well as high health, safety, and environmental standards. This MOU reaffirms the mission of the RCC and lays a foundation for its future growth. The RCC is an excellent example of US-Canadian economic cooperation, which is crucial for two nations who trade CAD $2.5 billion in goods and services over their border every day.
In NAFTA news, all parties have agreed to continue negotiations, despite slow progress and little hope of a deal before 2019. No date has been set for the next round of talks, but they will likely resume after the Mexican presidential election on July 1st.
Winning 2026 World Cup bid shows the virtues of NAFTA - USA Today
NAFTA talks to continue in tense atmosphere as US also prepares new tariffs for China - CNBC
Contributions by Zack Tarhouni, PNWER Intern
Dickinson Wright (@dickinsonwright) advises that we are entering the “Summer of Disruption” to global trade based on five (5) categories of recent US actions and other countries’ responses:
As a result, when companies return from their Canada Day and Fourth of July parades and picnics, the global trade environment will experience the US imposing nearly $200 billion in tariffs on ferrous metals and China-sourced goods, and US exports subject to nearly $75 billion in retaliatory tariffs ($34 billion from China/$40 billion for Canada, EU, and Mexico). The overarching question is whether the US will be moving toward its objective of achieving “rebalanced” trade, or whether the global economy will be rapidly moving toward recession. Companies cannot wait for the answer. Contingency planning is a must.
You can find background on these developments, as well as a sampling of Dickinson Wright’s comments in global media, as follows:
https://apnews.com/1ca6036369df43fe868e8edd348eb3c9 (G7 NAFTA)
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/article-nafta-negotiators-aim-to-make-deal-this-summer-foreign-minister/ (NAFTA and tariffs)
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/article-nafta-negotiators-aim-to-make-deal-this-summer-foreign-minister/ (NAFTA and steel/aluminum)
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/politics/article-freeland-headed-back-to-washington-in-bid-to-reignite-nafta-talks/ (steel and aluminum)
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/article-whats-at-stake-if-the-us-slaps-tariffs-on-canadian-auto-exports/ (auto tariffs)
https://insidetrade.com/daily-news/sources-administration-pushing-finish-auto-investigation-midterms (auto tariffs)
1. Section 301 Tariffs on Imports from China The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) released on June 15, 2018 a list of products imported from China that will be subject to additional tariffs as part of the US response to China’s purported unfair trade practices. The action came following after a Section 301 investigation in which USTR found that China’s acts, policies and practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation were unreasonable and discriminatory, and burdened U.S. commerce.
The list of products https://ustr.gov/sites/default/files/2018-0018%20notice%206-15-2018_.pdf covers 1,102 separate US tariff lines valued at approximately $50 billion in 2018 trade values. This list of products consists of two sets of US tariff lines. The first set contains 818 lines of the original 1,333 lines that were included on the proposed list published on April 6. These lines cover approximately $34 billion worth of imports from China. USTR has determined to impose an additional duty of 25 percent on these 818 product lines after having sought and received views from the public. US Customs and Border Protection will begin to collect the additional duties on July 6, 2018.
The second set contains 284 new tariff lines. These 284 lines, which cover approximately $16 billion worth of imports from China, will undergo further review in a public notice and comment process with written submissions due July 23, 2018 and a public hearing will be held on July 24, 2018. Parties desiring to appear at the hearing must submit a request and proposed testimony on or before June 29, 2018. After completion of this process, USTR will issue a final determination on the products from this list that would be subject to the additional duties.
USTR also has advised that it will be establishing procedures for product exclusions. Dickinson Wright will circulate notices regarding that process as they become available.
Unsurprisingly, China immediately announced that it would target $50 billion of US goods in two phases. http://gss.mof.gov.cn/zhengwuxinxi/gongzuodongtai/201806/t20180616_2930323.html The first phase on $34 billion of goods is slated to take effect on July 6 and targets soy, cars, sorghum, fish, pork, and cotton. Additional duties on $16 billion worth of US goods, including chemicals, medical equipment and energy products, will be finalized later.
President Trump has threatened additional tariffs against nearly $100 billion of China-sourced goods if Beijing retaliates. No talks between the US and China are planned before the July 6 deadline. Also factoring into the US-China trade talks is that the US Treasury Department has until July 30 to decide new rules and restrictions on China-sourced investments into the US.
· What Should We Do? Do not wait for July 6. The procedural, policy, and political factors all indicate that the first phase of US tariffs and China’s retaliation will occur. All companies should review (and review again) the list of products to determine potential exposure to the US Section 301 tariffs and China’s retaliation. In the event companies are subject to tariffs as of July 6, 2018, please contact Dickinson Wright and we can assist in preparing a product exclusion request once that process if fully established. In the event that your company may be impacted by one of the 284 product lines, it is imperative to participate in the written submissions and hearings. Notably, USTR removed 515 product lines from the original target list based on submissions received from companies. Dickinson Wright will monitor all developments and assist upon request.
2. Section 232 Steel and Aluminum Tariffs—The US has imposed 25% tariff ad valorem on steel and 10% ad valorem on aluminum imports into the United States from all countries previously subject to the tariffas well as the European Union, Canada, and Mexico.
Korea, Australia, Argentina, and Brazil received long-term exemptions from the tariffs in varying degrees based on commitments to quotas or other measures (if you are importing steel and, or, aluminum from these countries, please review US-CBP guidance on the issue or request assistance from Dickinson Wright).
As further predicted, the EU, Canada, and Mexico announced retaliatory measures. These retaliation lists include items tied to the steel and aluminum industry as well as products from key congressional districts and other political pressure points.
Mexico imposed retaliatory measures on June 6 ranging from 10%-25% on nearly $3 billion worth of US goods. (See attached report from Dickinson Wright’s Mexico-based ally IQOM.) These included steel, aluminum, bourbon, pork bellies, blueberries, apple, grapes and some cheese. However, Mexico did not impose retaliatory tariffs on US grains (nearly $4 billion) but is exploring whether or not to do so if the US imposes more tariffs.
The EU approved its 10 page list of retaliation targets zeroing in on $3.3 billion worth of goods on June 14, 2018 and implementation is expected in July (if not before). http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/docs/2018/march/tradoc_156648.pdf.
Canada released its list of countermeasures against US imports www.fin.gc.ca/activty/consult/cacsap-cmpcaa-eng.asp and the public comment period is now closed. These measures will be implemented on July 1, 2018.
We anticipate that the retaliatory measures will be fully implemented against the US. It is imperative that companies monitor the retaliation lists to ensure that their goods will not be impacted by retaliatory tariffs. Dickinson Wright has produced a webinar to explain the retaliation process and strategies.http://www.dickinsonwright.com/events/canada-to-impose-tariffs-webinar In the event that retaliatory measures impact a company, Dickinson Wright can assist with working with the foreign government to potentially minimize the consequences.
3. NAFTA—The NAFTA has been on life support since the start of June. Beginning with Twitter spats between President Trump and Prime Minister Trudeau; to brief optimism at the G7 that was abruptly darkened by post-summit news conferences, social media, and Sunday new shows; to speeches and meetings in Washington this week to cool the temperature; to strong and credible rumors that the White House was seriously considering withdrawing from NAFTA over the Fathers’ Day weekend—the past week to 10 days has been a roller coaster for North American trade. The prevailing view at the moment is that the NAFTA will be on hold until after the July 1 Mexican elections. A Ministerial meeting between the three countries likely will be held in mid-July where there may be an opportunity to close the NAFTA auto rules of origin chapter and address the steel and aluminum tariffs. However, it is important to note that while the parties may reach a deal in the Summer of 2018, the procedural and political calendars are closed for ratification by the end of the year. It will be up to the next US Congress to ratify any deal. And with Canada having a federal election in 2019 and the public rallying around Prime Minister Trudeau’s “get tough on Trump” stance, it will be interesting to see if Canada can make any concessions.
· What Should We Do? While there may be noise around the NAFTA over the coming weeks, we do not see any meaningful activity happening until after the July 1, 2018 election in Mexico. There may be an attempt right after those elections to agree on framework for the automotive rules of origin that will include a steel and aluminum threshold in exchange for lifting the tariffs, and the parties then will agree to continue negotiating on other topics throughout the Fall. At this time, we do not envision NAFTA being completed and ratified in 2018. We likewise do not view that a US withdrawal will occur. We do believe, however, that the process will be very bumpy over the coming months. The status quo will remain for 2018, but not without a great deal of noise and saber-rattling.
4. Trade Promotion Authority 2015 Extension—All of this activity is occurring against the backdrop of the President’s Trade Promotion Authority (TPA aka “fast track”) expiring on June 30, 2018. While TPA has no role in Section 232 tariffs, it is the primary authority through which the President is negotiating the NAFTA and potentially will deal with UK, Japan and others. Pursuant to the statute, the President requested an extension of TPA until 2021. While Congress is not required to affirmatively approve the extension, Congress may file a “disapproval resolution” of the request. A report on the extension was filed by the International Trade Commission https://www.usitc.gov/publications/332/pub4792.pdf and the private sector USTR Advisory Committee on Trade Policy and Negotiations (see attached ACTPN Report) supporting extending TPA until 2021. We anticipate that TPA will be extended. On the Section 232 front, US Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) and US Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) each tried to pass legislation this week limiting the President’s ability to impose Section 232 tariffs—to no avail. It appears that Congress will not take on POTUS in 2018 regarding trade; however, Dickinson Wright sources have advised that NAFTA withdrawal and Section 232 auto tariffs would be red-lines for Congress. Nevertheless, companies should not rely on Congress to stop the Trump trade agenda.
5. Section 232 Investigation into Auto Imports—As previously indicated, the US Department of Commerce (DOC) published a notice in the May 30, 2018 Federal Register regarding its proposed national security investigation into the imports of automobiles including cars, vans, SUVs, light trucks and automotive parts. https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2018-05-30/pdf/2018-11708.pdf The Notice seeks input from companies in the following areas:
Any interested party may file a written submission on or before June 22, 2018. Rebuttals may be filed on or before July 6, 2018. Procedures are in place to ensure confidentiality of proprietary/sensitive information. A public hearing will be held on July 19 and 20, 2018. Parties may request to appear at the hearing by June 22, 2018.
The Secretary of Commerce has a total of 270 days to conduct an investigation and present the DOC’s findings and recommendations to the President. If the Secretary finds that an import threatens to impair US national security, the President shall determine whether he agrees with those findings within 90 days. If so, he must determine what, if any, action to implement to “adjust” the imports of the article in question so that they will not threaten to impair national security. Dickinson Wright previously indicated that we not believe that the President will elect to impose tariffs before the close of 2018 and certainly not before the November 2018 midterm elections. Our new information suggests that the tariffs may be issued in Fall 2018, likely in October. See full story below from Inside Trade with Dickinson Wright comments.
Dickinson Wright is engaged in all of these activities. We are happy to discuss and assist at any time.
Daniel D. Ujczo Practice Group Chair - Intl & Regional Practices
June 13, 2018
President Donald J. Trump The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20500
Dear President Trump,
From a regional perspective in the Pacific Northwest, disrupting trade between the world’s closest allies and largest trading partners is a bad idea. Oregon Senator Arnie Roblan, current President of PNWER: “Here in the Pacific Northwest, we are stronger by working closely together, and our relationships are intact because of the ongoing partnerships in every major sector of our economy, and in state, provincial, territorial, local, and tribal governments. The US should exempt Canada from any steel and aluminum tariffs before July 1 and avoid significant disruption to the largest trading relationship in the world.”
The US and Canada’s Trading Relationship is incredibly important to the Pacific Northwest. The US and Canada have the largest trading relationship in the world, and here in the Pacific Northwest, we benefit from the two way trade of over $630 Billion annually, of which $22 Billion is in the Pacific Northwest. Protectionism will seriously damage the vital economic regional partnership in both of our countries. The steel and aluminum tariffs may cost the US and Canada over $11 Billion combined, and we could see losses of over 6,000 jobs, according to CD Howe Institute, and this is likely to reduce North American competitiveness and drive competitive gains for China, Japan, and the EU.
This cross border region continues to work closely together every day with our interconnected and interdependent supply chains, and dozens of cross border cooperative agreements on everything from our shared transboundary watersheds, cross border airsheds, climate action, cross border law enforcement, invasive species prevention, forest fires prevention, to defending our shared borders in the 60 year old NORAD (North American Air Defense) System.
The Pacific NorthWest Economic Region (PNWER) is an example of these interconnections, and the ongoing relationships that make our bi-national region stand out in North America as a place where innovation happens, precisely because of the multi-faceted relationships of trust that have been built up for the past 30 years.
PNWER Vice President of Canada, MLA Larry Doke (SK): “We are each other’s largest trading partners, and this benefits people on both sides of the border. We owe it to our constituencies to do everything we can to avoid creating an escalating trade dispute, which no one will win, and to work toward a modernized NAFTA agreement.”
Sen. Arnie Roblan
Oregon State Legislature
Matt Morrison PNWER
Chief Executive Officer
PNWER CC: Senate President Senator Mitch McConnell Senate Minority Leader Senator Charles Schumer Senator Orrin Hatch, Chair of Senate Finance Committee Senator John Cornyn, Chair of Senate Finance, International Trade, Customs, and Global Competitiveness Subcommittee Speaker of the House Representative Paul Ryan Minority Leader Representative Nancy Pelosi Representative Kevin Brady, Chair of House Ways and Means Committee Representative David Reichert, Chair of House Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee Congressional Delegations from Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Montana, and Idaho Mr. Wilbur Ross, United States Secretary of Commerce Mr. Robert Lighthizer, United States Trade Representative Mr. Douglas Hoelscher, Special Assistant to the President, Deputy Director of Intergovernmental Affairs
Full Text of Letter
Dates: June 3-6
Sen. Arnie Roblan- OR, PNWER President
Larry Doke, MLA- SK, PNWER Vice President
Rep. Mike Cuffe- MT, PNWER Vice President
Graham Sucha, MLA - AB, PNWER Vice President
Bryce Campbell, Consulate General of Canada, Seattle
Lisa Harder, International Relations, SK
David Kettles, Alberta Economic Development and Trade
Matt Morrison, CEO PNWER
Brandon Hardenbrook, COO, PNWER
PNWER had an engaging visit in Ottawa last week. As always, the opportunity to discuss PNWER initiatives on both sides of the border was only made possible by our generous hosts and dedicated leadership in Canada. We look forward to continuing our partnerships and conversations at this year's PNWER Annual Summit in Spokane, and far beyond.
In response to the May 31st US steel and aluminum decision, PNWER reiterates the importance of a "stable, reliable, and open trade relationships with Canada". Canada should be permanently exempted from steel and aluminum tariffs.
The PNWER Executive Committee sent the following letter to the US President stressing the importance of the integrated North American market, negative impact of tariffs on US workers, and the proud history of US-Canadian national security cooperation.
Full Text Here
PNWER CEO Matt Morrison spoke to a local Seattle news station on the trade dispute.
"Morrison pointed out that Washington is the most trade-dependent state in the country. It doesn't matter if they're coming from Canada or Mexico -- the price of steel will go up and the price of aluminum will go up, and everything else. This is going to have an impact on our economy,” Morrison said.
Video of the interview is here