Tuesday, August 31, 2010

U.S. Manufacturers Welcome Improvements in Trade Practices

(Industry Week)

The ENFORCE Act of 2010 will give the Commerce Department and U.S. Customs and Border Protection new tools to combat illegal schemes to evade special duties.

The Coalition for Enforcement of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Orders applauded a set of 14 proposals released by the U.S. Department of Commerce that would introduce changes in a variety of the agency’s practices.

“These changes will result in more accurate and effective trade orders,” said Joe Downes, spokesperson for the Coalition and Senior Vice President of Leggett & Platt, Inc.

At the same time, the Coalition noted the need for continued efforts to provide Commerce and U.S. Customs and Border Protection with enhanced capabilities and tools to combat illegal schemes to circumvent trade orders once they are in place. Read more here.

President to Announce Reforms to Export Control Lists, Licensing, Enforcement

(World Trade Interactive)

President Obama will announce Aug. 31 a “major step forward” in his efforts to “fundamentally reform the export control system,” according to a White House press release. The forthcoming changes in “what we control, how we control it, how we enforce those controls and how we manage [those] controls” will help strengthen national security by “focusing our efforts on controlling the most critical products and technologies and by enhancing the competitiveness of key U.S. manufacturing and technology sectors.”

The press release states that a broad-based interagency review of the U.S. export control system determined that it is overly complicated and contains too many redundancies. For example, the system operates under two different control lists that have fundamentally different approaches to defining controlled products and are administered by two different departments. There are also three different primary licensing agencies, each applying their own policies, leading to gaps in the system and disparate licensing requirements for nearly identical products. Enforcement is spread among a multitude of agencies with overlapping and duplicative authorities, creating redundancies and jeopardizing cases. Finally, all of these agencies operate on a number of separate information technology systems, none of which is compatible with the others or accessible to other licensing or enforcement agencies. Read more here.

Export Slowdown Widens Current Account Gap

(Reuters – Louise Egan)

A slowdown in exports to the United States caused Canada’s current account deficit to widen more than expected in the second quarter to C$11.02 billion ($10.5 billion), Statistics Canada said on Monday. The country’s seventh consecutive current account shortfall was larger than the C$10.7 billion deficit analysts had predicted in a Reuters poll and represented deterioration from the revised first-quarter deficit of C$8.46 billion. Statscan revised its first-quarter figure from an initial estimate of a C$7.82 billion deficit.

Read more here. Summary statistics and links to the data files are on the Statistics Canada website here.

Monday, August 30, 2010

U.S. Fleets Fear HoS Reduction, Driver Shortage

(Canadian Transportation & Logistics – James Menzies)

There are several issues weighing heavily on the minds of U.S. fleet executives who were speaking at the Commercial Vehicle Outlook Conference this week in Dallas, and they may not be what you'd expect.

Trucking industry leaders at the event seemed satisfied that freight volumes, and even trucking rates, were rebounding. What really concerned them was a growing sense that U.S. hours-of-service will soon be reduced and that a driver shortage of unprecedented proportions will soon arrive.

U.S. hours-of-service rules have been under review since late last year, when a coalition of special interest groups convinced the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration they were unsafe, even though highway safety has improved under the existing rules.

Fleet managers in attendance seemed resigned to the fact that allowable daily driving hours will be reduced by one or two hours as early as this fall and the 34-hour restart provision could even be stretched to 48 hours if lobbyists have their way.

"The hours-of-service rewrite is a political football and it will have nothing to do with good science," said ATA chairman Tommy Hodges. "It's a political football that is going to get passed over our heads. There's a good possibility we will lose one to two hours of driving time and there's a strong possibility we'll lose the 34-hour restart." Read more here.

Canada and Costa Rica Set to Enhance Free Trade Agreement

(Minister of International Trade)

The Honourable Peter Van Loan, Minister of International Trade, announced yesterday that Canada and Costa Rica have agreed to work toward modernizing the existing bilateral free trade agreement. Minister Van Loan made the announcement following his meeting with the Costa Rican Foreign Trade Minister, Anabel Gonzalez.

“Our government’s aggressive free trade agenda is creating opportunities for Canadian businesses and workers and is securing future prosperity for Canadians and our trading partners in the hemisphere,” said Minister Van Loan. “Costa Rica is our largest trading partner in the region, and updating our free trade agreement is the logical next step in our growing commercial relationship.”

Canada and Costa Rica have enjoyed excellent bilateral relations, enhanced by the entry into force of the Canada-Costa Rica Free Trade Agreement in 2002, a first-generation agreement that focuses mainly on trade in goods and excludes substantive provisions in areas such as cross-border trade in services, government procurement, financial services and investment.

An updated free trade agreement could lower tariffs on goods and remove trade barriers in a broad range of sectors, creating new opportunities for the Canadian construction, manufacturing and agricultural industries. It could also expand market access for cross-border trade in services, financial services, electronic commerce, telecommunications and investment, as well as secure access to the government procurement market.

Two-way trade between Canada and Costa Rica totalled $441.8 million in 2009. In the same year, Canadian exports consisted mainly of preserved foods, machinery, and paper and paperboard.

USTR Confirms Sept. 1 Date for Eliminating Import Duty on Canadian Softwood Lumber

(World Trade Interactive)

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has issued a notice confirming that as of Sept. 1 it will stop collecting an additional 10% import duty on certain softwood lumber products from the Canadian provinces of Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. The U.S. has collected this duty since April 2009 to remedy Canada’s breach of certain obligations under the 2006 Softwood Lumber Agreement. That step followed Ottawa’s refusal to comply with a February 2009 arbitral tribunal decision that Canada should collect this charge itself.

In recent months, however, the government of Canada had adopted measures to address the SLA violations and has agreed to collect the 10% export charge, effective with respect to softwood lumber products with a shipment date of Sept. 1 or later. Canada will collect this charge until the total of the amounts collected under the U.S. import duty and the Canadian export charge is equal to C$68 million. Because USTR has determined that these measures satisfactorily grant the rights of the U.S. under the SLA, it is removing the additional 10% import duty, effective with respect to imports with a shipment date of Sept. 1 or later.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Medical Devices Reimbursement Workshops – Winnipeg & Edmonton, Sept 20-23


Date: September 20-23, 2010
Location: Winnipeg and Edmonton, Canada

Contact: Cynthia Stevenson, Trade Commissioner (Health Industries), Canadian Embassy, Washington, D.C.

One-day workshops in Winnipeg and Edmonton for medical device companies on developing a market strategy that integrates reimbursement, the FDA regulatory process, securing investment/VC partners, and successful commercialization through appropriate business partners and distribution channels.

FDA Pre-Market Approval Workshops – Toronto & Montreal, Sept.21-23


Date: September 21 to 23, 2010
Location: Toronto and Montreal, Canada

Contact: Cynthia Stevenson, Trade Commissioner (Health Industries), Canadian Embassy, Washington, D.C.

Two specialists from the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health will present day-long workshops to Canadian manufacturers of medical devices and technologies and supporting institutional stakeholders that are approaching completion of product development with intent to export to the U.S. in the near term. The workshops address in-depth the requirements for Pre-Market Notification (510(k)) and Pre-Market Approval (PMA) procedures for the importation of medical devices and technologies into the U.S.

Export Controls & Economic Sanctions: A Guide to Canadian Trade Restrictions


The first of its kind in Canada, Export Controls & Economic Sanctions: A Guide to Canadian Trade Restrictions contains a comprehensive review of Canada’s system of trade restrictions, with emphasis on Canadian export controls but covering as well U.N.-mandated sanctions and a range of other measures that may be less well-known but which have a critical impact of Canada’s external trade and on the conduct of business in the international marketplace. Find out more here.

The C-TPAT 5-Step Risk Assessment: How to Meet CBP’s Expectations and Keep Your Cargo Moving – Webinar, September 8

(Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg)

Webinar – Ref#1124
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
1:00-2:30pm EST
Cost: $99.00

CBP is now requiring companies, particularly importers, to develop and implement a 5-step risk assessment process as part of their C-TPAT programs. Although CBP has stated that this is not a new concept, many companies are not sure how to satisfy this requirement in the most efficient, cost-effective manner.

Importers and C-TPAT members are urged to attend this ninety-minute webinar, in which we will cover the mechanics of conducting a C-TPAT risk assessment that effectively addresses all five steps, including threat and vulnerability assessments, in a way that will satisfy CBP without overburdening company personnel.

Attendees will also take away the most up-to-date information on how to adequately prepare for C-TPAT validations and revalidations, as well as conduct security training and awareness for company personnel and supply chain partners. The webinar will address proven C-TPAT “best practices” to effectively maintain validation status, and will include an interactive question and answer session during which participants can raise issues pertinent to their C-TPAT activities.

This webinar will be presented by Lenny Feldman, a Member of Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A. and Manager of the Miami office. Mr. Feldman concentrates his practice in complex issues pertaining to import classification and valuation, trade preference qualification, textile transshipment, seizures and penalties, importer/broker compliance programs, export controls, and C-TPAT/border security. Mr. Feldman is nationally known as a leading C-TPAT expert having advised hundreds of companies through the certification, validation and revalidation processes. Prior to joining the Firm, Mr. Feldman was a senior attorney with the U.S. Customs Service in Washington, D.C., from 1991 to 2000. While serving in the Penalties, Value and General Classification branches at CBP headquarters, he issued several hundred national guidelines, directives and administrative rulings.

Register online here.

Bringing Compliance into the Boardroom – Webinar, Sept 15

(American Shipper)

American Shipper is pleased to invite you to attend Bringing Compliance into the Boardroom, hosted by associate editor Eric Kulisch. This free webinar will broadcast live on September 15th at 2 PM ET. Please register here.

This 60 minute roundtable discussion will include the following expert panelists:

• Beth Peterson, President of BPE

• Nathan Pieri, SVP of Marketing & Product Management for Management Dynamics

• Virginia Thompson, Director of Import/Export Operations and Int. Trade Compliance for Crate and Barrel

Our panel will discuss the best strategies for compliance professionals to get executive level cooperation and sponsorship of their initiatives. Our focus will include:

• The pain points of each member in the boardroom and how they relate to compliance issues - Key messaging to use when speaking to each board member

• Tools to use in your presentation, such as quantifying compliance and its effect on the bottom line

• How automation can contribute to your efforts by adding value and saving money

This webinar, sponsored by Management Dynamics, is a must-attend event to help you learn how to get the attention your compliance department deserves from your C-level executives.

Please feel free to reach out to our help desk if you have any questions at HelpDesk@shippers.com

Friday, August 27, 2010

China Flexes Its Currency Muscles

(Joong Ang Daily)

Beijing took an important step last week by turning the renminbi into a global currency

China has now surpassed Japan in terms of nominal second-quarter gross domestic product, emerging as the world’s second largest economy after the U.S. The news is hardly surprising. It had been widely expected and was just matter of time.

But the global market was enthralled with different news from China last week. The People’s Bank of China announced on Monday measures to liberalize the bond market, allowing foreign central banks and commercial banks to invest their yuan holdings in sovereign debt as well as corporate bonds on the Chinese interbank bond market. The world’s second largest economy is now pitching its debt as equally attractive as U.S. Treasury bonds. The goal is to widen the international role of the Chinese currency and make it as accessible as the U.S. dollar. Read more here.

Canada Can’t Ignore ASEAN Region

(Canadian Manufacturing.com)

Already seen as a laggard in China and India, Canada can ill afford to miss out on the economic boom in Southeast Asia

Canada has dragged its heels developing trade with southeast Asian nations, and a scathing report says that gaffe has left us on the margins while other countries organize lucrative pacts in one of the most important economic regions in the world. The report, released today by the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, a Vancouver-based think-tank that assesses Canada’s relations with Asia, says Canada’s lack of a “consistent and sustained policy” towards the region was ill-advised and now puts us behind economic forces such as India, China and the US in trying to organize trade with those countries.

The region, commonly known as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, includes Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam. Individually, these nations have little economic clout, but together they represent a market of 600 million people with a burgeoning middle class.

The association’s statistics-gathering agency ASEANStats has GDP pegged at US$1.5 trillion and 2008 trade of nearly US$1.9 trillion. If this were one country, it would represent the world’s 10th largest economy.

The report criticizes Canada for failing to sign free-trade agreements with any of these countries while New Zealand and Australia, India and South Korea already have agreements and the U.S. has begun negotiating.

Read more here and click here to view the report.

The Weekly Scope: Technical Bulletins from GHY at a Glance

An updated list of recently published government memorandums, notices, regulations and decisions for the week ending August 27, 2010 is now available on our website here.

Draft Rule Lays Out Interpretation of “Children’s Product” under Product Safety Law

(World Trade Interactive)

The Consumer Product Safety Commission will vote Sept. 9 on whether to accept a draft final interpretative rule providing additional guidance on the factors considered when evaluating what is a children’s product under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008.

The CPSIA defined “children’s product” as a consumer product designed or intended primarily for children 12 years of age or younger. This law also specifies certain factors that are to be taken into consideration when making a determination about whether a consumer product meets this definition, including the manufacturer’s intended use of the product; the packaging, display, promotion and advertising of the product; consumer perception; and the CPSC’s Age Determination Guidelines. Read more here.

AMPS Regulations Consultation

(Health Canada)

Regulatory Consultation on the proposal for the Making of Administrative Monetary Penalty (AMP) Regulations under the proposed Canada Consumer Product Safety Act has been posted on the Health Canada CCPSA website here.

U.S. Lays Out Plan to Strengthen Anti-Dumping Regime

(Reuters – Doug Palmer)

The United States on Thursday announced plans to toughen rules against what it sees as unfair foreign trade practices, proposing a number of changes likely to irk China, its biggest import supplier. At least some of the proposals could lead to higher anti-dumping or countervailing duties on goods from the Asian manufacturing giant, the most frequent target of U.S. complaints about unfair trade in recent years.

But the plan seeks to strengthen the effectiveness of U.S. trade protection measures “across a range of areas,” a senior Commerce Department official told Reuters.

With President Barack Obama’s popularity falling and Democrats in danger of losing control of Congress in November elections, the party has been pushing a “Make it in America” agenda aimed at creating U.S. manufacturing jobs.

“Today’s announcement is another demonstration of our continuing efforts to sharpen our trade enforcement tools,” U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said in a statement. It outlined 14 proposals that increase penalties or toughen requirements on foreign companies that sell goods the United States deems unfairly priced or subsidized.

Although less than 3% of imports into the United States are hit with anti-dumping or countervailing duties, the trade laws can be an important source of protection for sectors such as steel, tires, paper and other industrial goods. Read more

Thursday, August 26, 2010

U.S. May Face WTO Disputes over “Zeroing” from Developing Economies

(World Bank Research e-Newsletter)

The U.S. use of the controversial method of “zeroing” in its antidumping procedures and its failure to reform in light of World Trade Organization legal rulings threaten the legitimacy of the WTO’s dispute settlement system, according to a new working paper by Chad Bown and Thomas J. Prusa.

With zeroing, when a country calculates a weighted average margin of dumping, it uses zero to replace the actual amount of dumping that yields negative dumping margins, which effectively increases overall dumping margins and the size of the antidumping duty. Not surprisingly, zeroing especially punishes suppliers with export price variation.

Evidence suggests imports from developing economies into the U.S. subject to antidumping have prices that are just as volatile as imports from rich economies. Hence, zeroing is just as likely to impact the size of U.S. antidumping duties applied on developing country exports as developed-economy exports.

Thus while developed economies have so far filed the vast majority of WTO disputes against the U.S. over zeroing, zeroing is also likely a relevant issue for developing-country exporters. In fact, more than 60% of the product lines currently subject to U.S. antidumping are exported by developing countries.

Read the World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 5352 here.

Japan: Dark Clouds Obscure the Sunrise

(Export Development Canada – Peter G. Hall)

Last week began with double-barreled news from Japan that grabbed the airwaves. The industrial giant was bumped out of second place among world economies by China. This occurred as growth in Japanese GDP slowed to a crawl in the second quarter. The world seemed shocked, but it shouldn’t have been. China’s ascendancy was as imminent and predictable as Japan’s nascent slowing.

Progress in the post-recession months seemed to fuel hopes that at long last, the Japanese economy was turning the corner. For a six-month span starting last October, GDP growth averaged 4.2% at annual rates, quite a feat for Japan. But the optimists seemed to forget that even this growth still left the country’s GDP a hefty 4.6% below peak, thanks to the pounding that production endured in the recession. They were reminded when the economy eked out just 0.4% growth in the second quarter.

Read more and/or watch the video here.

Update on Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement Negotiations

(World Trade Interactive)

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative released Aug. 20 a joint statement from the countries negotiating the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement following the most recent round of talks last week in Washington, D.C. According to the statement, participants during this round “advanced their discussions in all sections of the agreement,” including general obligations, civil enforcement, border measures, criminal enforcement, enforcement measures in the digital environment, international cooperation, enforcement practices, institutional arrangements and final provisions. Read more here.

Is CBP “Management by Account” Becoming a Reality?

(Karen Lobdell, Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP)

The concept of Management by Account (MBA) is not new. Sometimes referred to as Account Based Processing or Account Management, the concept of viewing an importer’s business from a more holistic approach has been under discussion between the trade and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for years. For numerous reasons, however, the idea has languished and never truly moved forward. Now, with efforts by the Commercial Operations Advisory Committee (COAC) and support from CBP Commissioner Bersin, the initiative appears to be taking off.

Read the complete article here.

Overcapacity Could Force Transpacific Rates Down

(International Freighting Weekly – Mike King)

Forwarders claim lines have failed to impose surcharges as available space increases

Lines have failed to push through peak season surcharges (PSSs) on transpacific trades, and new capacity entering the market could see freight rates fall in the middle of the peak season, claim forwarders.

“Lines have been trying to impose the second PSS, but without much success,” said Paul Tsui, Chairman of the Hong Kong Association of Freight Forwarding and Logistics. “Not many customers are willing to pay, with so much additional capacity being added.”

A number of lines committed extra, short-term capacity to transpacific trades earlier this year to help alleviate equipment shortages and in response to criticism from shippers and the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission over rising freight costs, which some attributed to liner collusion.

In the coming weeks, the rise or fall of transpacific spot rates could depend on whether carriers are able and willing to move this temporary capacity to other trades, claim forwarder sources. Read more here.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Auto Parts Industry to Return to Profitability in 2011: Conference Board of Canada

(Windsor Star – Dave Hall)

Cost-saving measures undertaken over the past 18 months and a gradual recovery in the U.S. economy will allow Canada’s automotive parts industry to return to profitability next year, according to a report released Tuesday by the Conference Board of Canada.

After losing $674 million in 2009, largely due to a worldwide recession and virtual collapse of the domestic auto industry, the board forecasts the parts sector will turn a profit of $378 million in 2011 with gradual increases over the next three years until profits hit $894 million by 2014. The industry is expected to lose another $41 million this year before the recovery takes hold.

According to the report, U.S. vehicle demand is gradually recovering and cost-cutting measures implemented during the recession are improving the bottom line. Read more here.

Related: Canada’s auto parts industry won’t return to profitability until 2011: study.

NAFTA Chemical Case Goes Canada’s Way

(Embassy – Luke Eric Peterson)

Victory for Foreign Affairs over Chemtura may scare Dow off

The lawyers at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade are not bragging about it – at least not to date – but they’ve just won an impressive victory in an $80 million-plus NAFTA lawsuit. Earlier this month, a panel of three arbitrators dismissed claims filed by the U.S. chemical company Chemtura under Chapter 11 of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Chemtura had sought to hold Canada liable for financial losses related to the government’s phase-out of lindane, a hazardous agricultural chemical. However, the company failed to persuade arbitrators that government regulators acted without regard for scientific evidence or due process. In addition to kicking Chemtura’s claim to the curb, arbitrators also ordered the company to reimburse Canada for $3 million in legal costs and expenses.

While the feds will still be out of pocket for time devoted to defending the NAFTA lawsuit, the outcome is about as good as a government could hope for.

In fact, the victory could signal a set-back for another NAFTA claim which has been looming in the shadows. In early 2009, a subsidiary of the Dow Chemical Company set in motion a similar NAFTA Chapter 11 claim. As was first revealed in these pages, Dow wants Canadian taxpayers to compensate them for losses arising out of provincial bans on cosmetic lawn pesticides. Read more

Ocean Container Rates Still on the Decline

(International Freighting Weekly – Damian Brett)

Carriers reported to be cutting prices and looking for post-peak season guarantees

Global ocean container rates fell last week and forwarders say shipping lines are starting to look to guarantee cargo for after the peak season. For the week ending 20 August, the global Shanghai Containerised Freight Index, which is based on rates for 15 different destinations from Shanghai, dropped 13.46 points on the previous week to reach 1,513.60.

The index showed that all-in spot rates on services to European ports last week dropped by US$20 per teu on a week earlier, to reach $1,847.

Over the last four weeks, westbound Asia-Europe rates have dropped $43 per teu, according to the index. Read more here.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Mumbai Collision a Warning to Shippers

(International Freighting Weekly – Damian Brett)

Make sure you have the right insurance policy, warns lobby group

The vessel collision off the coast of Mumbai has served as a warning to shippers to make sure they have the right insurance policy, according to online shipper forum Shippers’ Voice.

The collision between the 2,100teu MSC Chitra and cargo ship Khalija 3, which resulted in hundreds of containers falling into the sea and closing the Indian ports of Mumbai and Nhava Sheva for several days, will result in insurance claims for various losses.

But many of the shippers making claims are bound to find they won’t be compensated because they have the wrong sort of cover, claims the site.

Shippers’ Voice said: “Many shippers will find that they either do not have insurance cover, or that which they have has, hidden within the small print, exclusion clauses that limit or nullify their claim. Some will be surprised at just how little they can claim, despite the value of the consignment. And those expecting compensation for the indirect costs of delayed or lost cargo will be greatly disappointed and frustrated. There may also be wrangling between the salvers and those to whom the cargo originally belonged – the salvers will expect recompense for their work from someone.” Read more here.

CFIA Statistics on Wood Packaging Non-Compliance (Imports)

(CIFFA eBulletin)

The CFIA has provided the following statistical information on Wood Packaging Non-compliance for Imports, for the period January 1 to March 31, 2010.

The CFIA said twenty-four (24) countries received a notice of non-compliance for this period. A total of 1657 shipments with wood packaging material (WPM) were inspected during that period (data includes shipments inspected at the ports of Halifax, Montreal, Vancouver, Prince Rupert). Data collected by the CBSA during that period has been analyzed by the CFIA to determine that compliance is about 93.4% with regards to presence of a IPPC mark or a Phytosanitary Certificate and with no live pests or signs of living pests.

Approximately 2.2% (37/1657) of shipments were infested. Most of these infested shipments were from China. The remaining non-compliant shipments had no mark and no Phytosanitary Certificate and no live pests or signs of living pests. No fraudulent phytosanitary certificates were intercepted during this period. Pest identification has been included in the notices sent to exporting countries.

CIFFA would like to remind Members that Canada strictly regulates the entry of wood packaging from all countries of the world. The entry requirements for wood packaging from all areas except the continental United States are specified in policy D-98-08. You should also be aware that non-compliant wood packaging may be refused entry into Canada. Members can help prevent the introduction and spread within Canada of pests by staying vigilant and ensure that the overseas agents used are reputable. For more visit here.

Governments of Canada and BC Launch Asia Trade Program

(Canada Asia News – BC Ministry of Small Business, Technology and Economic Development)

Joint funding of $2,030,000 for the BC Economic Innovation Partnership Program, a program to boost trade and investment with Asia, was announced by the Government of Canada and the Province of BC. The BC Economic Innovation Partnership Program supports activities that promote trade and investment between Asia and BC such as seminars, inbound and outbound trade missions and online marketing initiatives.

The program involves businesses, academia, industry associations and various levels of government. One element of the program is an initial business accelerator pilot project operating out of the Province’s Trade and Investment Representative Office in Bangalore, India. Through this pilot project, companies from BC can temporarily set-up shop at the trade office and tap the staff’s on-the-ground expertise and network of contacts while exploring the Indian market, developing partnerships and creating business opportunities.

Candy Makers Go After Obama over Impasse on Mexican Tariffs

(The Hill – Mike Lillis)

The nation’s candy makers this week slammed Washington policymakers for failing to settle a trade dispute with one of their most lucrative export markets: Mexico.

The impasse, the National Confectioners Association warned Friday, will ding the industry with a 20 percent tax on tens of millions of dollars worth of chewing gum and chocolate products heading south of the border. “Dozens of U.S. gum and chocolate makers large and small will immediately feel the effects of these duties,” NCA President Larry Graham said in a statement.

The concerns come in response this week’s announcement by the Mexican government that it would expand the number of products subject to new border taxes – a move designed to pressure the U.S. to allow Mexican long-haul trucks on U.S. roadways. Read more here.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Canada's Customs Inquisition

(Lysiane Gagnon — Globe & Mail)

‘Going through customs is the only moment when a Canadian can imagine he lives in a police state’

When Marie-Claude Lortie, a food critic for La Presse, returned home from a family trip to France and Italy, she told the customs officer she was carrying more bottles of wine than the limit of two per adult. She was expecting to be asked for the receipts and charged for the taxes. But instead of being treated like a law-abiding citizen, she and her whole family – her husband and three young exhausted children – were subjected to an aggressive search. Looking for the few bottles of Merlot and Sangiovese, the gloved officer rampaged through panties, stuffed animals and dirty jeans as if the family were guilty of illicit trafficking.

When Ms. Lortie wrote about this in La Presse, her inbox was flooded with e-mails from readers who’d suffered the same experience. Each time they declared something over the limit, their baggage would automatically go through what’s called “a secondary search.” Many readers confessed that, at some point, they stopped declaring anything and just tried their luck. Read more here.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Imported e-waste Seized by Customs Officials

(Times of India)

More than 120 tonnes of e-waste imported from various countries by different companies in violation of Customs Act and hazardous waste management rules have been seized at the port.

The e-waste shipped here in eight containers were seized by Directorate of Revenue Intelligence officials.

Of the total five consignments, one was from Australia, one from Canada, two from Korea and one from Brunei, a DRI release said.

The subsequent examination of the goods revealed that all the computer monitors, CPUs, processors were very old, used and appeared to be in unusable condition. Read more here.

Border Guards’ Firearms Trainer Fired; Union Calls Move ‘Vindictive’

(Chris Cobb — Ottawa Citizen)

The firearms expert chosen to supervise the weapons training of Canada’s border guards has been dismissed by the Canadian Border Service Agency in what his lawyer says is “vindictive and unfair” treatment.

RCMP Sgt. Richard Groulx, one of Canada’s leading firearms trainers, appears to have been unwittingly caught in a bitter dispute between the border guards’ union and senior agency managers in Ottawa.

Groulx remains employed by the RCMP but is now fighting to continue the secondment to CBSA, which began almost four years ago when he was hand-picked to lead the firearms training of the country’s 4,800 border guards.

The union-management dispute is over the arming of customs officers who are asked to take part in joint search operations with the RCMP and other police forces. Read more here.

US-Bahrain Customs Meeting Held

(Gulf Daily News)

Customs officials from Bahrain and the US met to discuss ways to further enhance the capability of Bahrain Customs to effectively implement all the aspects of the US-Bahrain Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

The officials from Bahrain Customs and the US Department of Commerce, US Customs and Border protection officials attended programmes that were organised and funded by the Middle East Partnership Initiative under the Commercial Law Development Programme of the US Department of Commerce.

Phase I programme was conducted in Bahrain in June and phase II in Washington this month.

Phase I covered the overall aspects of “advance ruling”, which is one of the vital components of the FTA.

Phase II programme was an extension of Phase I and covered an in-depth understanding of all the specific sub-clauses of this aspect such as, valuation determination, regulatory audit, penalties, classification and determinations.

Further joint committee meetings are expected to be held between US and Bahrain officials soon.

Former Blackwater Firm to Pay U.S. Fine

(Nathan Hodge — Wall Street Journal)

Xe Services LLC, the private security firm formerly known as Blackwater, reached an agreement with the State Department to pay a multi-million-dollar fine over alleged violations of U.S. export-control law.

The agreement spares the firm from possible criminal charges over allegations that it violated arms export restrictions, and allows the company to continue doing business with the U.S. government.

Among other things, the company was said to have proposed a package to train and equip the armed forces of southern Sudan, which emerged as an autonomous region after a U.S.-brokered peace deal in 2005. McClatchy newspapers reported details of Xe's Sudan business aspirations, which were said to include a proposal to train a security detail for south Sudanese leadership and a more ambitious deal worth $100 million to train and equip the south's army. Xe was under scrutiny for other alleged export violations. Read more here.

Lawmakers Seek to Drum Up Support for House Vote on China Currency Bill

(World Trade Interactive)

Reps. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, and Tim Murphy, R-Pa., are working to obtain their colleagues’ signatures on a letter calling on House leaders to bring the Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act (H.R. 2378) to the House floor for a vote. According to a draft of the letter, this bill would direct the Department of Commerce to treat currency undervaluation as a prohibited subsidy, which would allow the imposition of antidumping or countervailing duties on injurious imports from any country that persistently undervalues its currency. The letter asserts that this measure has been written to be consistent with U.S. rights and obligations as a member of the World Trade Organization and the International Monetary Fund. Read more here.

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Weekly Scope: Technical Bulletins from GHY at a Glance

An updated list of recently published government memorandums, notices, regulations and decisions for the week ending August 20, 2010 is now available on our website here.

Manufacturing to Grow 5.7% in 2010, Industry Group Predicts

(Industry Week)

For 2011 MAPI sees 4.7% increase

The U.S. economy has decelerated to a “slow growth mode,” primarily driven by consumers continuing to deleverage and rediscovering the need for thrift, according to a new report from The Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI.

The group predicts that GDP will expand by 2.9% in 2010, followed by 2.6% growth in 2011.

“There is a somewhat bleaker outlook amid weaker economic data and it clearly indicates a slow growth mode,” said Daniel J. Meckstroth, Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI Chief Economist. “For instance, the numbers for June retail trade, inventories, and foreign trade have all come in weaker than the Bureau of Economic Analysis had estimated in the preliminary estimate of second quarter GDP growth. The homeowners’ tax credit has expired. Consumers are not spending as much. They are saving more and repaying debt, which is good for the long run but not the near term. The inventory swing is over and the benefits of the stimulus have basically run their course.”

There remain, however, positive economic signs, and the manufacturing sector should continue to hold its own. Read more here.

Egg Recall Renews Calls for Movement on Food Safety Legislation

(FoodNavigator.com – Caroline Scott-Thomas)

A massive multi-state recall of salmonella-tainted shell eggs has led to renewed calls for food safety legislation to move forward in the Senate, as the number of related illnesses looks likely to grow, according to officials.

The recall covers an estimated 380 million in-shell eggs – and products made from them – from Iowa-based Wright County Egg. The recall affects food retailers, distributors and foodservice companies that distribute eggs nationwide, but does not directly affect commercial food manufacturers, as eggs must be pasteurized for commercial food use.

Food safety director at the Center for Science in the Public Interest Caroline Smith DeWaal said in a statement: “This outbreak demonstrates the need for a food safety cop-on-the-beat. FDA needs a strong inspection force with the tools to mandate recalls, impose civil and criminal penalties, and require testing at farms and production facilities. The agency should be able to impose fines for violations when they find them, detain and recall food, and impose enhanced criminal penalties when companies intentionally violate the law, resulting in harm to the public. The Senate should move immediately to pass S. 510 and Congress should move a bill that incorporates the strongest enforcement provision of each bill promptly to the President’s desk for signature.”

The Food Safety Modernization Act (S.510) is currently pending consideration in the Senate after it unanimously passed committee in November. A companion bill, the Food Safety Enhancement Act, passed through the House in July last year. Read more here.

Mexico May Rotate Tariffs on U.S. Goods in Dispute

(The Associated Press)

Mexico may rotate punitive tariffs on U.S. goods from one set of products to another until the Unites States resolves a dispute over access for Mexican trucks. While the number of total products may not change, individual goods could be added or removed from the list of 99 items subject to tariffs announced this week. Economy Secretary Bruno Ferrari said Thursday Mexico “would not hesitate” to take such steps.

Current tariffs range from 5% to 15% on products like cheese, fruits, juices, wine, toilet paper and some pork products.

The tariffs are a response to the cancellation of a pilot program allowing some Mexican trucks to transport goods into the U.S. under the North American Free Trade Agreement.

U.S.-EU Food Fight Dogs Anti-Counterfeiting Talks

(Reuters – Doug Palmer)

A long-running battle over the right to use European place names, like Parma or Roquefort, for some of the world’s most popular foods and beverages looks to be the toughest remaining issue in international trade talks aimed at reducing copyright and trademark theft.

The 27-nations of the European Union want the proposed Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) to cover “geographical indicators”, which are names for food and alcoholic products drawn from a particular location, such Champagne or Cognac, both in France.

But U.S. business groups worry that the EU demand would mean American products as commonplace as Kraft parmesan cheese could potentially be treated as illegal items under the pact and subject to seizure by customs officials. Read more here.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Management by Account Webinar – August 25


U.S. Customs and Border Protection will host a webinar regarding CBP’s Management by Account effort on Wednesday, August 25, 2010 at 2:00 p.m. (EDT).

Hear from CBP’s Subject Matter Experts on the proposals under development to advance CBP’s Management By Account approach to doing business. Topics include Centers of Expertise, Account Executive, Risk-Based Account Management, Single Partnership Program, Simplified Entry Process and Simplified Financial Processing.

The list of featured presenters includes:
• Cynthia Whittenburg, Director, Trade Facilitation and Administration, Office of International Trade
• Leon Hayward, Assistant Director, Field Operations, Trade and Cargo Security, New York Field Office
• Thomas Overacker, Supervisory National Account Manager, Office of International Trade
• Cherie Parsons, Supervisory Supply Chain Specialist, Office of Field Operations
• Lawrence Fanning, Assistant Port Director, Trade, San Diego
• Bruce Ingalls, Director, Revenue Financial Operations, Office of Administration

Space is limited for this event. To register for this webinar, please go to here no later than August 23, 2010.

We look forward to your online participation and would like to hear from you regarding suggestions for future webinar topics. Please feel free to send in your suggestions of future webinar topics via email to tradeevents@dhs.gov.

Brazil’s Trade Mission to Canada, September 22- 24, 2010

(Them Concept)

The Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade of Brazil (MDIC) and the Brazilian Agency for Export Promotion and Investment (Apex-Brazil), in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, will promote Brazil´s Trade Mission to Canada. The goal is to expand and diversify the flow of trade and investment between the two countries and explore possibilities for cooperation between the productive sectors. The agenda will focus on the business meetings that will take place on September 23 in Toronto, where Brazilian companies will meet with potential local buyers, who will be identified and selected by the Canadian consulting company Them Concept, specialized in “matchmaking”.

For more information please contact Them Concept:
Johanne Fondrouge Email: jfondrouge@themconcept.ca, Tel: 514-274-0151 x 101

Nordic Telecom Summit – Stockholm, September 28-29, 2010


The Nordic Telecom Summit, the leading event of its kind in the region, will feature the latest trends and technologies shaping the industry as well as new business models for growth and profitability, successful partnering strategies and innovative approaches in telecoms.

Event website: http://www.nordictelecomsummit.com/

Contact: Euan Scott, Canadian Trade Commissioner Service in Sweden, tel.: (011-46-8) 453-3000, stkhm-commerce@international.gc.ca

Manufacturing Enhancement Act of 2010


CBP is announcing changes to the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) by the Manufacturing Enhancement of 2010.


The Manufacturing Enhancement Act of 2010, which was signed into law on August 11, 2010, sets forth changes to subchapter II, chapter 99 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), as amended. Goods listed in Titles I, II, and III of the Manufacturing Enhancement Act of 2010, entered or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption, on or after August 26, 2010 are afforded the duty suspensions or reductions listed in the Manufacturing Enhancement Act of 2010.

Title I of the Manufacturing Enhancement Act of 2010, added new duty suspensions and reductions to subchapter II, chapter 99 of the HTSUS. Titles II and III of the Manufacturing Enhancement Act of 2010, pertain to either existing duty suspensions and reductions or additional existing duty suspensions and reductions to subchapter II, chapter 99 of the HTSUS.


Goods listed in Titles II and III of the Manufacturing Enhancement Act of 2010, are provided retroactive benefits for merchandise entered or withdrawn from warehouse, on or after January 1, 2010 and before August 26, 2010. Notwithstanding section 514 of the Tariff Act of 1930, any other provision of law, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) shall liquidate or reliquidate articles listed in Titles II and III in accordance with the Manufacturing Enhancement Act of 2010 upon a formal request filed with CBP. Liquidation or reliquidation will occur only if the request is filed with CBP within 180 days after the enactment of the Manufacturing Enhancement Act of 2010. The request must contain sufficient information to enable CBP to locate the entry or request a reconstructed entry if it cannot be located. The request must be made at the port of entry. Any payment of amounts owed by the Government pursuant to liquidation or reliquidation of an entry shall be paid without interest, not later than 90 days from the date of the liquidation or reliquidation. CBP is in the process of updating the Automated Commercial System (ACS) to reflect the provisions of the Act. And it is expected that these changes will be completed by the effective date.

The Manufacturing Enhancement Act of 2010, and applicable tariff numbers listed in Titles I, II, and III can be found here.

Intermodal Volumes on the Rise

(Materials Management & Distribution)

Second-quarter numbers show record growth

If the second-quarter results are any indication, the intermodal freight sector is recovering nicely from the recession. According to the U.S.-based Intermodal Association of North America (IANA), overall intermodal volumes were up 17.2% compared to the second quarter of 2009.

Domestic container volumes rose 16.4% to 1,128,108 units – a new record high. This marked the 20th consecutive quarter of growth for domestic containers. At 406,080 units, trailer volumes were up five percent, but are expected to further decline later this year. Read more here.

Few “Green” Technologies Subject to Export Controls but BIS Pledges Further Improvements

(World Trade Interactive)

An assessment of the impact of U.S. export controls on “green” technology items released this month by the Bureau of Industry and Security finds that while most such items do not currently require an export license there are steps BIS can take to further promote and expedite exports in this sector.

This assessment examines the potential effects of export controls on commodities, software and technology that either are or can be used to create products that contribute to clean energy, energy efficiency and other environmental or green initiatives (i.e., green technology). BIS states that although this is not an exhaustive assessment of all green technology items and initiatives that may be captured by dual-use export controls, it is an attempt to anticipate ways that BIS can support the creation of green jobs and advances in green technology by facilitating secure trade while mitigating national security concerns. Read more here.

In Search of Growth... Elsewhere

(Export Development Canada – Peter G. Hall)

Recent international trade statistics corroborate what is obvious in other economic indicators: growth is slowing worldwide. For the trade stats, it’s a new phenomenon, but other, forward-looking data suggest that weakness will linger through the second half of this year. Governments, worried enough about local demand, are busy implementing trade promotion policies. Are they likely to succeed?

The rebound from the drubbing trade took in late 2008 makes it look like a great solution to domestic woes. Worldwide, export growth vaulted from deep negatives back into a solid, double-digit pace, recovering a good chunk of lost ground over the past three quarters. It’s the very recent data that rings a more ominous tone. Exports had become an engine of U.S. growth, but in June they shrunk back by 1.3%. At the same time, exports fell 2.5% in Canada and 0.6% in Japan, while they were flat in Singapore, the Asian trade hub. Numbers aren’t down universally, but there are questions about the sustainability of the recent spurts in the UK and Germany, and of ongoing Chinese growth.

What makes the impending slowing more dangerous is the extent to which the rebound in trade has influenced overall GDP growth. During the good quarters, U.S. trade activity was up 14%, while GDP growth averaged 3.4%. German GDP growth was modest at 2%, but trade expanded on average by 12%. Japan, which in recent years has been particularly trade-dependent, saw 22% trade growth while GDP averaged just 3.3%. Canada has likewise seen an eye-catching increase in exports and imports, averaging 15% while GDP tracked at 4%. In these locations, the trade balance wasn’t necessarily contributing to the bottom line, but both rapid export and import activity creates local jobs.

Read more or watch the video here.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Greenbuild – Chicago, November 17-19, 2010


Greenbuild is the largest conference and expo dedicated to green building in North America. Thousands of international building professionals will come for the latest innovative green technologies, products and services, educational sessions, green building tours, seminars and networking events. Event website: http://www.greenbuildexpo.org/Home.aspx

Contact: The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service in Chicago, tel.: 312-616-1860,chcgo-td@international.gc.ca

U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s first ever Private Sector Resources Catalog


I am pleased to announce today the release of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s first ever Private Sector Resources catalog.

The DHS Private Sector Resources Catalog allows our private sector partners to access to the resources the Department needs to help keep our country secure. Targeted specifically towards our private sector partners, this document collects the training, publications, guidance, alerts, newsletters, programs, and services available to the private sector across the department. Recognizing the diversity of the available resources as well as the continually evolving work of the department, this catalog will be updated regularly to publicize new resources and to increase private sector awareness.

You may download the catalog by visiting http://www.dhs.gov/xabout/gc_1273165166442.shtm. We encourage you to pass this message along to your colleagues, partners, and member organizations and have included a short sample newsletter item for your website, blogs, list serve and publications.

As you may be aware, DHS the Private Sector Office (PSO) coordinates active engagement between DHS and the private sector. PSO is always available to provide assistance or address your comments, questions, issues and concerns and can be reached at private.sector@dhs.gov, (202) 282-8484.

Kimberly Marsho
Director, Trade Relations, Office of the Commissioner
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
Tel: (202) 344-1440 Fax: (202) 344-4290 Kimberly.Marsho@DHS.GOV

Proposed U.S. Legislation Would Raise Risks and Costs of Exporting

(Gregory O. Somers, Ogilvy Renault LLP)

A bill currently before the United States Congress – the Foreign Manufacturers Legal Accountability Act of 2010 (FMLAA)-could, if made into law, have an adverse impact on businesses and manufacturers that export products to the United States. [...]

Implications for Canadian and other foreign exporters and manufacturers

Potential consequences of the FMLAA include:

• Comparative disadvantage: The expense associated with having a registered agent in the U.S. may decrease the competitiveness of foreign manufacturers and exporters in relation to their U.S. domestic counterparts.

• Regulatory difficulties: Exporters will face the challenge of overseeing the activities of their suppliers, as they may be required to declare that their suppliers meet the requirements of the FMLAA. Even compliant exporters may have their goods delayed at the border if there are irregularities in documentation.

• Increased exposure for liability: Ordinarily, foreign manufacturers are often well-advised to defend product liability lawsuits in their home country. The U.S. imposes greater burdens on manufacturers for product liability than foreign laws of many other jurisdictions. By compelling submission of exporters to the jurisdiction of U.S. courts, costs of litigation and the likelihood of a negative outcome may be significantly increased. Read more here.

FDA Inspection of Foreign Food Facilities

(Mondaq – Andrew Hudson, Hunt & Hunt)

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) has issued notices to all foreign food facilities registered with the FDA advising that it plans to conduct an inspection of those facilities between 1 October 2010 and 30 September 2011.

The FDA inspection scheme affects facilities that manufacture, process, pack, hold or ship food to the United States.

The FDA has issued notices only to foreign food facilities that are registered with the FDA. Under the Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act (2002), any foreign food facility that manufactures, processes, packs, holds or ships food to the United States is required to be registered with the FDA. If your facility engages in any of these activities and you are not yet registered, you are advised to visit http://www.fda.gov to register or contact us for further advice or assistance.

The FDA has reported that the inspections are designed to:

“identify potential food safety problems before products arrive in the United States, to determine compliance status of firms to FDA’s requirements, and food safety standards, to help the agency make admissibility decisions when food products are offered for importation into the United States, and to help ensure that food products under FDA’s jurisdiction meet U.S. requirements under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.”

Foreign food facilities that do not comply with an inspection notice risk having their products refused for admission into the United States and may have their registrations terminated.

Consultation Regarding Exemption Regulations under the Proposed Canada Consumer Product Safety Act

(Penny Bonner et al., Ogilvy Renault LLP)

On August 6, 2010, Health Canada announced that it would be conducting a consultation regarding proposed Exemption Regulations pursuant to the proposed Canada Consumer Product Safety Act (the “CCPSA”), which would provide stakeholders with the opportunity to provide their comments.

The proposed Exemption Regulations would exempt certain classes of consumer products from compliance with specified provisions of the proposed CCPSA or other regulations made pursuant to the CCPSA:

i. products manufactured domestically or imported into Canada then exported for sale;
ii. products which can be imported and then brought into compliance with the CCPSA; and
iii. products manufactured, imported or advertised for testing, research or exhibition.

The consultation document available for comment regarding Consumer Products Non-Compliant with Requirements in Regulations, can found by clicking here.

The exemption with respect to preparation and maintenance of documents is for any recipient of a consumer product where the consumer product is donated (i.e., given for no consideration) and the donation is from a person other than a manufacturer, importer, distributor or retailer.

The consultation document available for comment regarding Preparing and Maintaining Documents can found here.

Any comments related to these documents will be taken into consideration. These consultations are open for comment until October 19, 2010.

Seaway Cargo Up by 16.6% So Far This Year

(St Catharine’s Standard – Don Fraser)

The St. Lawrence Seaway’s post-recession recovery has gathered steam this year. Cargo shipments through the Canada-U.S. waterway saw an increase of 16.6% year to date compared to the same period last year.

Demand continues to be buoyed by order for iron ore and steel slabs, said the Seaway in a Tuesday release. The Seaway reports that marine vessels carried 14.8 million tons of cargo from March 25 to July 31. That’s an increase of more than two million tons compared to 12.7 million tons handled during the same period last year. Read more here.