Fashion Intel & Analysis
In an announcement that was a surprise to almost everyone, last night President Trump said that the U.S. will start to impose tariffs on all imports from Mexico on June 10th. USFIA shared the White House statement with you last night so that you could see the exact language proposed by the President. The purpose of these tariffs is to pressure the Mexican government to take “swift and effective actions” to stop illegal migration. We are trying to understand what specific actions the Administration wants to see, and it is certainly possible that there will be an agreement that will mean there will be no action on June 10th. In the meantime, we thought that you might be interested in a behind-the-scenes look at this decision published by Axios.
There was a quick response from the Mexican government. The Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador sent a letter in response, and the Mexican Foreign Affairs Secretary Marcelo Ebrard is leading a delegation to Washington today.
The tariff announcement overshadows what many see as positive news that on Thursday U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer sent the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement Draft Statement of Administration Action (SAA) to Congress. Under the terms of Trade Promotion Authority, the draft SAA is the first step for Congressional consideration of the trade agreement. This follows similar action this week in Canada and Mexico to begin the process for approval of the agreement.
After a series of meetings with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, President Trump said he expects a free trade agreement with Japan in August. “Trade-wise, I think we will be announcing some things, probably in August, that will be very good for both countries. We have to do a little catching up with Japan because they’ve been doing much more business with us, and we’d like to do a little bit more business in the reverse,” Trump told reporters. Though Prime Minister Abe did not confirm the timeline, he told reporters the two counties agreed to accelerate the pace of discussion.
The Treasury Department has found no currency manipulators among major U.S. trading partners in its latest semiannual report to Congress on the Macroeconomic and Foreign Exchange Policies of Major Trading Partners of the United States. However, the department continues to have concerns about China’s currency practices and keeps China on its monitoring list of countries whose currency practices require close monitoring. Treasury urges China to “make a concerted effort to enhance transparency of its exchange rate and reserve management operations and goals.” Also on the monitoring list are Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, and Vietnam.
In this year’s report, Treasury expanded the list of countries that it monitors for potential violations, to 21 from 12, and updated some of its criteria used to evaluate manipulation. “Treasury takes seriously any potentially unfair currency practices, and Treasury is expanding the number of U.S. trading partners it reviews to make currency practices fairer and more transparent,” says Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection has released the 2019 schedule of 35 educational webinars, each focused on specific commodity topics and hosted by the National Commodity Specialist Division. The full schedule is available here. Registration links can be found below. Once you sign up for a specific month, you will have access to all of the webinars held that month.
August 2019 NCSD Webinars Training Schedule