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.