International Trade 2012 Issues Preview
On behalf of all of us in the International Trade Practice, we wish you a Happy New Year and best wishes for a prosperous 2012.
2011 was an interesting year to be sure. Economic activity increased albeit cautiously in many sectors. US exports continued their ascent with the cheap dollar, on track for another 17 percent increase. Imports are on the rise as well at a better than 16 percent clip. We had continuing activity to reform export controls and migration of some munitions-controlled items to BIS, and a pronounced jump in trade litigation activity. The political logjam on FTAs with Korea, Panama, and Colombia finally broke. And of course more enforcement, audits, and investigations by import, export, and anticorruption authorities. So what will 2012 bring?
There are many signs on the horizon. In early January President Obama announced a large scale reorganization of several trade and export agencies, proposing to combine trade agencies within the Department of Commerce, the Small Business Administration, the US Trade Representative, the EXIM Bank, OPIC, and the Trade Development Agency. This was followed by his State of the Union address, where he announced the formation of a “Trade Enforcement Unit.”
Meanwhile BIS and DDTC continue their efforts to streamline the export agencies. We will be watching for details on these efforts as they evolve in 2012. While the Doha round of trade negotiations continues to struggle, the United States and other countries are looking elsewhere. We expect much debate over normalizing trade relations with Russia and its WTO accession, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership to become a significant driver in trade policy for 2012. TPP covers a potential wide range of market access issues, including trade facilitation, regulatory coherence, common rules of origin, etc. In the customs area, there are proposals for new pilot programs to streamline the entry process, and changes that benefit companies making prior disclosures. There are signs and developments that point to even greater use of trade litigation. For these and previews of other noteworthy developments, we present to you our 2012 Issues Preview.
From your friends in the International Trade Group at Arent Fox.
DDTC’s Proposed ITAR Brokering Regulations: The Plain English Version
A summary of the US Department of State, Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) proposed rule on defense brokering.
Audit Thyself: New Mandatory Compliance Measures in BIS Civil Settlement Agreements
BIS has adopted several new civil enforcement measures against parties settling export enforcement cases.
Mandatory Use of E-Verify Expected to Expand to Cover More Employers
The federal government contemplates expanding the use of E-Verify beyond the current requirements.
US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) rolled out several new pilot programs aimed at modernizing the customs entry process.
The WTO Ministerial Conference formally approved Russia’s terms of accession and extended the invitation to join the WTO.
The Federal Circuit's Decision in GPX Int'l Tire Corp. v. United States: A Game-Changer in Commerce's Countervailing Duty Policy Involving NMEs
The US Department of Commerce's current policy of applying both CVDs and ADs to imports from China and other NMEs will likely come to an end in 2012, but not without further efforts by the government or US producers.
Are Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Cases on the Comeback Trail?
Given the developments in the economy and with the application of targeted dumping, we anticipate a continued resurgence of cases in 2012.
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Compared with other self-disclosure programs in the trade context, including voluntary disclosures in connection with export controls violations, CBP’s prior disclosure program is already attractive to many importers.
Fast-paced developments on the FCPA front will only increase in 2012, with congressional interest in possibly amending the statute and additional DOJ interpretive guidance on the horizon.
Anyone doing business in California (who isn’t?) with significant global sales will be dealing with a new California statute in 2012 – the California Transparency Supply Chains Act.