On November 18, 2022, the Department of Commerce (“the Department”) published a notice of advanced proposed rulemaking seeking public comments with respect to its methodology in determining the existence of a particular market situation (“PMS”) that distorts the cost of production in the ordinary course of trade in the context of its antidumping duty (“AD”) proceedings. This PMS provision was added to Section 773(e) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, through the Trade Preferences Extension Act in 2015. As a result of several adverse court decisions since the passage of this amendment, the Department intends to reconsider its approach to determining the existence of a PMS, and to issue a new regulation to identify the types of information that should be considered when determining whether a PMS distorting the cost of production exists. Comments are due no later than December 18, 2022. Continue Reading The Department of Commerce Seeks Comment on Its “Particular Market Situation” Practice
On May 23, 2022, President Biden announced the launch of negotiations for the long-awaited Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (“IPEF”). The IPEF had been under consideration for some time, but was finally announced during the President’s first trip to Asia.
These negotiations are beginning with a total of 12 countries in addition to the United States: Australia, Brunei, India, Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. Many of the countries on the list had been predicted (e.g., Australia, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, New Zealand and Singapore), but some were unexpected (e.g., Brunei and the Philippines). While Taiwan had indicated interest in joining, it was excluded from this launch largely because of concerns that its inclusion would prove an irritant to China, which might in turn dissuade other countries from joining. Nevertheless, there appears to be support in the Administration and elsewhere for continued bilateral engagement on trade and investment issues. On May 27, 2022, Fiji also joined the IPEF, the first Pacific Island nation to join the framework.Continue Reading The Biden Administration Announces the Launch of Negotiations for the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity
In October 2021, President Biden announced the United States’ intention to pursue an “Indo-Pacific Economic Framework” (IPEF) as a means of strengthening U.S. ties in the Asian region. Substantive discussions on the IPEF have not yet begun, and indeed, there has not yet been an announcement how the negotiations will be conducted or which nations will be involved. Nevertheless, enough about this proposed framework of agreements has been announced that companies in the region can begin to prepare for the process. This article will discuss what is known about the IPEF, why the current administration is taking this approach, and how countries in the Asian region may be affected by this new agreement.
By way of background, in February 2016, after years of negotiations, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was signed. The TPP covered 12 countries, including the United States, and was described as a high-standard “21st Century” trade agreement. However, one of then-President Trump’s first actions in office was to withdraw the United States from the TPP. The remaining TPP countries renegotiated the agreement without the United States (essentially removing certain elements of the agreement the United States alone had backed), and ultimately entered into the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Since President Biden’s inauguration in January 2021, pressure has been building for the United States to reengage with Asia on economic and commercial matters. The IPEF is the United States’ current policy response.Continue Reading The Indo-Pacific Economic Framework: How the United States Intends to Re-Engage with Asia on Trade
2022 is shaping up to be a critical year for the Biden Administration regarding U.S. international trade policy. In 2021, the Biden Administration made headway in resolving some of the challenges with United States’ allies that arose during the last Administration, and trying to build bridges in important regions that had perhaps had been neglected. But in a number of other critical areas, and arguably in the most significant areas, the Biden Administration made little tangible progress over the past year. The discussion below offers a look back at the key developments in 2021 with respect to U.S. trade relations with the EU, China, the rest of Asia and North America, and a look ahead at what could come in 2022.
Continue Reading The US International Trade Agenda: A Look Back, A Look Ahead
On January 25, 2021, the EU-Korea Panel of Experts found that Korea had failed to uphold its labor obligations to “respect, promote, and realise” the right to freedom of association and to take concrete steps to ratify all eight fundamental conventions of the International Labor Organization (ILO). In the final report, the Panel recommended Korea to bring its domestic laws “into conformity with the principles concerning freedom of association” but recognized that Korea had “ma[de] continued and sustained efforts towards ratification of the core ILO Conventions.”
This case marked the EU’s first victory in enforcing labor obligations under the trade and sustainable development (TSD) chapter of the EU’s “new generation” of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs). The EU adopts the TSD provisions as tools to improve and reinforce the labor and environmental standards of its trading partners – a key policy objective the EU has recently adopted. Within the last two years, the EU has increased enforcement of TSD obligations in its trade agreements, requesting 3 other TSD consultations, and successfully securing a win against Ukraine for the violation of the TSD environmental obligations under the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement.
Although labor and environmental provisions are not unique to the EU’s “new generation” FTAs, EU-style TSD provisions impose additional and higher obligations, beyond those commonly provided for in the labor and environmental provisions of other model FTAs. The following example compares the labor provisions of the EU-Korea FTA and the Korea-US (KORUS) FTA to demonstrate the differences in labor standards between these two agreements.Continue Reading The EU-Korea FTA Labor Dispute: Comparing Labor Provisions Under the EU-Korea FTA and the KORUS FTA