The United States, Canada, and Mexico have signed an addendum to the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) Free Trade Commission (FTC) Decision No. 5 on North American Competitiveness that will strengthen coordination across all three countries on emergency response.

US Customs officals and their French counterparts signed a Joint Declaration of Intent on Thursday. Improved collaboration as outlined in the Joint Declaration is expected to include intelligence, inspections, investigations, targeting and operational cooperation, and exchange of best practices in the customs field.  

A group of developing and developed members appealed for the EU to postpone the implementation of its new Regulation on Deforestation-Free Products (EUDR).

Eight Democratic lawmakers sent a letter to Ambassador Bathsheba Nell Crocker, U.S. Permanent Representative to the UN and other International Organizations in Geneva, in support of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) draft Pandemic Agreement that will be considered by the WHO members this month.  Meanwhile, in Geneva,  the Associated Press reports Roland Driece, co-chair of WHO’s negotiating board for the agreement, acknowledged Friday that countries were unable to come up with a draft. 

Wednesday the House Foreign Affairs Committee  passed H.R. 8315, the “Enhancing National Frameworks for Overseas Critical Exports Act” (ENFORCE Act) 43-3, with broad bipartisian support.   Introduced by Rep. Michael McCaul, the bill expands the authority of the BIS to control the export of Artificial Intelligence Systems.

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) released a Federal Register notice for the enhanced Section 301 tariffs announced by the Biden administration last week. The notice includes annexes listing the 382 HTSUS subheadings and 5 statistical reporting numbers of the HTSUS, with an approximate annual trade value of $18 billion. Included are Exclusions and a process for requesting exclusions.

Export-Import Bank of the United States (“EXIM”) announced an application for final commitment for a long-term loan of upwards of $1 billion to expand its expposure to solar development schemes in Angola.

Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship today reported out a bill  modifying the State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) . The STEP Modernization Act of 2024 updates STEP by streamlining the application, reporting and compliance requirements, improving award consistency and transparency and establishing a formula that will replace the current competitive process for determining award amounts once appropriations reach a set level.

Two Florida men have pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud conspiracy for their roles in a scheme to fraudulently procure deeply discounted products from Massachusetts biochemical company Sigma-Aldrich Inc., doing business as MilliporeSigma, and export them to China using falsified export documents. As a result of MilliporeSigma’s timely self-disclosure and extraordinary cooperation, MilliporeSigma will not be charged, despite the criminal wrongdoing committed by a MilliporeSigma employee.

Customs & Border Protection (CBP) issued an update including a high level comparison between the two Section 321 Programs (Section 321 Data Pilot and the Entry Type 86 Test). Section 321, 19 USC 1321 is the statute that describes de minimis, which provides admission of articles free of duty, but the aggregate fair retail value of articles imported by one person on one day and exempted from the payment of duty shall not exceed $800.

A report from the GAO notes the challenges facing nonproliferation safeguards efforts due to limited funding if the International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA) and a growing set of threat opportunities.

Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) held an outreach event on beneficial ownership reporting requirements at the Puerto Rico Department of State. the May 22 event was FinCEN’s first outreach event in Spanish regarding the Federal requirements to report information to FinCEN about the individuals who ultimately own or control them.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen convened with German bankers on Tuesday. The roundtable discussion focused on global macroeconomic trends, the risks to financial security, and the impact of multilateral sanctions against Russia. She asked bankers to be more proactive in their adherence to sanctions restrictions, and to impress the same upon their affiliates and correspondents. In remarks to the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management the day prior, Yellen defended the Boden Administrations efforts to rebuild the transatlantic alliance. "Put simply, the transatlantic alliance has delivered for Americans, Europeans, and many others. And the United States has been committed to advancing it—through multilateralism, most notably through the G7, NATO, and U.S. relations with the EU—and through bilateral relationships between the U.S. and European countries, including, of course, with Germany.

The inaugural Luzon Corridor Steering Committee meeting, to drive infrastructure investment and development along the Corridor met on the sidelines of the Indo-Pacific Business Forum in Manila last week. Luzon Corridor is  the first project of the U.S.-initiated Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment in the Indo-Pacific (PGI), which is touted as an alternative to China’s Belt and Road Initiative and Maritime Silk Road.

Tuesday Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Environment and Natural Resources Kelly Milton was in Hanoi to lead the fourth meeting of the U.S.-Vietnam Timber Working Group.

Kevin Wolf at Akin Gump brings to our attention "a reminder re the scope of the GTN and how to read all technology ECCNs on the CCL (i.e., with a "required" limiter)," can be found in an advisory opinion published in 2014 by Eileen Albanese,  then Acting Director, Office of Exporter Services, now Director of the Office of National Security and Technology Transfer Controls Bureau,

At the opening of the AI Seoul Summit, Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo released a strategic vision for the U.S. Artificial Intelligence Safety Institute (AISI), describing the department’s approach to AI safety. Raimondo also shared the department’s plans to work with a global scientific network for AI safety through meaningful engagement with AI Safety Institutes and other government-backed scientific offices.

China's Foreign Ministry on Tuesday announced countermeasures against former U.S. lawmaker Mike Gallagher.   He will be banned from entry into China, and all types of property and assets of his in China will be frozen starting on May 21. Organizations and individuals within the territory of China are prohibited from engaging in relevant transactions, cooperation and other activities with Gallagher. If the sanctions are strictly enforced, those who transact with him, including individuals and institutions, could be affected.

 The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service is accepting applications from current and potential U.S. exporters for a trade mission to Vietnam, Sept. 9-13, 2024. Participants will attend events in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, and will also have the opportunity to engage with visiting buyers from Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia and Thailand.

BMW, Jaguar Land Rover, and Volkswagen all rely on suppliers banned for using Uyghur forced labor, according to a report issued by the Senate Finance Committee. Interviews and documents obtained by committee staff show that Bourns, Inc., a California-based auto supplier, had sourced components from Sichuan Jingweida Technology Group, a company added to the UFLPA Entity List in December 2023, and whose goods are presumed to be made with forced labor.

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