Fashion Intel & Analysis
We want to share the following update from the Port of Long Beach. "In an effort to keep you informed, I wanted to provide a brief update on the status of port operations in Long Beach. In response to protest activity across many Southern California communities, local governments have enacted curfews. Please note, however, that neither the curfews nor protest activity have impacted port operations. All Port of Long Beach terminals are open and operating without disruption." If you have any questions, you can also visit the Port of Long Beach COVID-19 page for the latest updates on port operations.
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer announced today that the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) is initiating a 301 investigation into the digital services taxes that have been adopted or considered by several U.S. trading partners. The countries under investigation are Austria, Brazil, the Czech Republic, the European Union, India, Indonesia, Italy, Spain, Turkey and the United Kingdom. The Administration has complained that many digital services taxes are aimed at U.S. companies. This investigation raises the possibility of new Section 301 tariffs on imports from these countries.
Yesterday the U.S. Secretary of State, Michael Pompeo, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada, François-Philippe Champagne, UK Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, and Australian Foreign Minister, Marise Payne, released a joint statement responding to China’s proposed new security law in Hong Kong. The statement expresses deep concern that the new security law proposed by Bejing will dramatically erode Hong Kong's autonomy. The statement says the new law is in direct violation of the UN-registered Sino-British Joint Declaration and the signatories call on the Chinese Government to work with Hong Kong to find a mutually acceptable accommodation and honor China's international obligations.
This afternoon, President Trump announced that the Administration will be taking a series of new measures to respond to actions by China. Some of the measures are based on the spread of the COVID-19 virus, including the U.S.termination of support for the World Health Organization. There also are a series of actions that the Administration will take in response to China's actions to use a new national security law to control Hong Kong. One action that the President talked about is that the Administration will "begin the process to eliminate special treatment" to Hong Kong. While we do not yet have any detailed documentation from the Administration that explains the process or the exact actions, in his remarks the President mentioned that this includes the elimination of separate customs and travel regulations for Hong Kong. While many expected that the President would also sign the recently-passed Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2020, he did not mention the issue in his prepared remarks. We will provide additional information as soon as it is available.
This week U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) modified a Withhold Release Order (WRO) regarding gold from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Gold imported from the Democratic Republic of the Congo by the Chambers Federation will now be admissible at all U.S. ports of entry (effective May 28, 2020). According to CBP, the decision to modify the WRO came after rigorous evaluation of the Chambers Federation’s due diligence program and evidence that the gold was not produced with forced labor. Executive Assistant Commissioner Brenda Smith said "As part of its trade enforcement responsibilities, CBP will continue to vigilantly monitor U.S.-bound supply chains for products made with forced labor."