Fashion Intel & Analysis

While the economic impact of COVID-19 on fashion brands and retailers is growing every day, companies continue to press the Trump Administration to help the companies by delaying payment deadlines for duties. Today, CEOs from over 370 companies including adidas, Levi Strauss & Co., and Under Armour signed on to a letter organized by Americans for Free Trade (AFT). The full letter is available here. There are new press reports that President Trump will sign an Executive Order providing a 90-day duty deferral for MFN tariffs (apparently the trade remedy tariffs (such as the China 301 tariffs) will not be covered). 

USFIA is committed to bringing our members the most up to date information on COVID-19. As the situation continues to evolve, we will continue to update you with the latest resources. All of the resources discussed in this update are available on the USFIA website

CBP Creates Website for COVID-19

In order to provide timely and relevant updates related to COVID-19, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) created a webpage specifically dedicated to the most recent information and messaging on the impacts of COVID-19 in the trade space. CBP says the page “will be updated regularly to reflect the most current information available, and it will include Cargo Systems Messaging Service communications related to COVID-19 as well as updates and announcements in trade programs and cargo security. We hope that this page answers any questions you may have due to the pandemic”. 

COVID-19 Updates from Port of Long Beach 

Port of Long Beach (POLB) has created a website dedicated to important information about the port and the collective response to COVID-19. The site gives an overview of COVID-19 resources and FAQ's about the port. The POLB internal Business Recovery Task Force will update the site daily. 

Recommendations for Goods Being Warehoused from Super Dry

USFIA members are facing a range of business disruptions, including forced extended storage due to COVID-19. We want to share with members detailed guidance provided by USFIA member Super Dry on best practices for extended storage as well as their extended guidelines for the use of dessicants.   

On March 30th, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) released a new update (CSMS #42203908) with guidance to the trade about resources to answer questions about entries that are covered by trade remedy cases under Section 201, 232, and 301.  CBP also includes contacts to answer other entry questions including Free Trade Agreements and ACE entry filing problems/rejects. 

In a letter to Ambassador Lighthizer on March 30th, nineteen members of the Senate Finance Committee are pushing for a delay in the June 1st entry into force date for the United States-Mexico-Canada  Agreement (USMCA). The Senators raise concerns over whether businesses who are currently dealing with COVID-19 will have the capacity to prepare for the new rules. “USMCA should not enter into force prematurely – particularly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic – and thereby deny American farmers, workers, and businesses its intended benefits. We ask you to delay the proposed June 1 entry into force and work with Congress and stakeholders to determine a more feasible timeline.” 

This week the Congressional Research Service (CRS) released an update explaining Section 307 of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. §1307), which prohibits the importation of any product that was mined, produced, or manufactured wholly or in part by forced labor. CRS reviews the application of Section 307 including the use of Withhold Release Orders. When looking at trends CSR noted "there has been some legislative activity on this issue in the 116th Congress. The Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act (H.R. 649 and S. 178), for example, urges U.S. companies operating in Xinjiang to, “take steps…to publicly assert…that their supply chains are not compromised by forced labor.” The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (S. 3471), includes a “rebuttable presumption” that all goods produced or manufactured in Xinjiang are made with forced labor and thus prohibited imports unless CBP determines otherwise."