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Ask the Experts: What’s REALLY Happening With TPP?

Do you have a question for the United States Fashion Industry Association's staff or counsel? This week, we’re talking—still!—about TPP.

Q: Call me crazy, but I haven’t given up on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Any updates? 

A: Don’t give up yet! There is no new information to report about TPP—mainly because of the focus on the election campaigns. But, during his recent trip to Europe, President Obama said he believes Congress could take action to approve TPP after the November elections during the “lame duck” session of Congress. It’s definitely a possibility. And right now, that seems to be the earliest we could see any congressional action. –Julia K. Hughes, President, USFIA

Ask the Experts: TPP Implementation, GSP for Travel Goods

Do you have a question for the United States Fashion Industry Association's staff or counsel? This week, we answer questions about when apparel from Vietnam will be duty-free, how CBP knows if products were produced by forced labor, and whether travel goods will be eligible for GSP benefits.

 

Q: One of my suppliers in Vietnam said apparel will be duty free starting January 1, 2017, under the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Is this accurate? Is there a concrete date for Vietnam or any other TPP partner country?

A: We have heard from a number of members that their suppliers are confused and think TPP goes into effect immediately. However, there is a ratification process that will take some time to complete. All 12 TPP countries must ratify the agreement before it can go into effect before February 2018. At this point, we are not comfortable predicting an exact date for the implementation of the TPP—but we are absolutely certain that the agreement will not go into effect on January 1, 2017. The current political situation in the United States suggests that the TPP may not be approved by Congress until either the end of this year, or potentially the next Administration. We will likely be talking about this for a long time, and will continue to report on the progress. It’s important for companies to start thinking about how they will implement TPP in their supply chains, but do not plan on receiving duty-free treatment any time soon. –Julia K. Hughes, President, USFIA

 

Q: Regarding CBP’s detentions of rayon fibers produced by forced labor in China, how does CBP know if the rayon fiber was manufactured by Tangshan Sanyou Group? Are they targeting any rayon fibers imported from China?

A: CBP will not reveal how they know the rayon fiber was produced in Tangshan, though the detention is limited to rayon fibers produced by Tangshan. Fibers produced by others in China should not be detained, though it is certainly possible that a shipment of rayon fibers from China NOT produced by Tangshan will be detained until the importer demonstrates that the producer was indeed not Tangshan. During our recent Board of Directors meeting, CBP informed us that the standard of proof is quite low, so companies need to know their supply chains. CBP looks at things like Department of Labor reports and investigative reporting, though they do not reveal exactly how they know the forced labor exists. –John Pellegrini, USFIA Customs Counsel, McGuireWoods LLP

 

Q: What’s the latest update on the initiative to obtain Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) benefits for travel goods?

A: Right now, we are in a holding pattern while the U.S. government folks review the statements and testimony at the hearings. Both the International Trade Commission and the Obama Administration trade policy committee will need to make decisions. The hope is that the Administration will approve the extension of GSP to handbags, sport bags, luggage, etc. by July 1st. We don’t have a guarantee, because a lot of analysis about the impact is required. But, that’s the expectation! Until we hear from the ITC and USTR, this issue will remain quiet. We also are hoping that they will grant GSP benefits to all products from all GSP beneficiary countries; that is not guaranteed, either. We will let members know as soon as there is a decision! –Julia K. Hughes, President, USFIA

Ask the Experts: Clarification on AGOA

Do you have a question for our staff or counsel? We’re here to answer questions both general and specific about trade policy, customs procedures, or sourcing opportunities! Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and one of our experts will get back to you! This week, get some clarification on the status of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). USFIA members should log in to read more.

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Ask the Experts: Clarification on Carnet Process

Do you have a question for our staff or counsel? We’re here to answer questions both general and specific about trade policy, customs procedures, or sourcing opportunities! Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and one of our experts will get back to you! This week, get some clarification on the Carnet process from an expert customs broker. USFIA members should login to ask the experts.

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Ask the Experts: Timeline for TPP and “Made in USA” Labels

It’s back! Do you have a question for our staff or counsel? We’re here to answer questions both general and specific about trade policy, customs procedures, or sourcing opportunities! Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and one of our experts will get back to you! This week, we have questions about the timeline for the Trans-Pacific Partnership—and specifically, duty-free imports from Vietnam—as well as the ruling on “Made in USA” labels. 

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