Fashion Intel & Analysis

The American Import Shippers Association (AISA) has released the second issue of the Import Transportation Digest, a publication that focuses on consumer goods imports from Asia. The second issue covers the impact of the new California Law (AB 5) on California Port Trucking, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) mandate requiring all ocean carriers to use low sulfur fuels - effective January 1st, ocean carrier alliances, and an update on the lawsuit on Portland terminal operator’s claim that the ILWU caused it severe losses in profits for productivity slowdown. The digest can be found here

This morning we finally have some answers about the Phase One deal to reduce some of the 301 tariffs on imports from China.  First Chinese officials held a press conference and announced that there is a Phase One deal.  They said that the agreement should be signed after both sides do a legal scrub of the text.  

President Trump has confirmed the deal on Twitter with the following elements:  
1)  Tariffs on Tranche 4B will not go into effect on December 15th.  The Administration still needs to publish a Federal Register notice telling Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to not impose the tariffs.
2)  Tariffs on "much of the remainder" of products will be cut by 50% and will be subject to a 7.5% tariff. What is not known is whether this reduction in the tariff will be for ALL products in List 4A, or might there be different treatment for different products.  
3)  Tariffs on other imports from China will not be reduced.  

Obviously there remain a lot of questions about the details of the deal    We will share more information as it is available.  

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has posted the changes to USMCA,  Protocol of Amendment to the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has also shared a side-by-side comparison of the Trump Administration’s original USMCA draft and the USMCA draft with the Democrats’ changes. There is still no timeline for when the bill will be implemented. Speaker Pelosi continues to say the House could vote on the legislation next week, while Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has said the Senate will not take up USMCA until next year. 

To hear the latest on the updated text of the agreement, what the timeline for a vote looks like, and how the agreement will affect fashion brands and retailers sign up for our USMCA Update Webinar with Associate Member Akin Gump on Tuesday, December 17. Click here to register. 

President Trump is hinting that a deal is close with China this morning as the deadline to decide whether to impose another round of tariffs on Chinese goods is approaching. “Getting VERY close to a BIG DEAL with China. They want it, and so do we,” Trump tweeted. The Wall Street Journal is reporting the Administration is offering to cut the existing tariffs by as much as half, as well as cancel the new tariffs scheduled to go into effect on December 15. But no decision has been announced. President Trump is scheduled to meet with his key economic and trade advisors to make the decision. We hope to have the announcement by the end of the day. 

Today, the United States Fashion Industry Association (USFIA) signed onto a coalition letter urging the Administration to suspend implementation of the Tranche 4B tariffs set to take effect on December 15th. The letter was sent by Americans for Free Trade, a coalition of more than 150 associations from every sector of the U.S. economy, including USFIA. “We think it is incredibly important for the ongoing negotiations to be allowed to continue without the specter of new tariffs taking effect before a deal is signed. As you noted when the Tranche 4B tariffs were announced, you delayed implementation of those tariffs specifically to avoid harming American consumers over the holidays. This delay should be extended until a deal is reached,” said the letter. The full letter can be found here