MEMO TO CLIENTS ISSUE 22-014 – November 22, 2022

Reminder:  USTR is Looking for Comments on Effects of 301 duty

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) is looking for comments on the impact of China 301 duties. They are looking for comments on the following questions:  Has there been any effectiveness on changing China’s polices and what are the effects on U.S. businesses?  Have they affected your business, your employees and your customers? 

The window to provide comments opened on November 15, 2022 and is open until January 17, 2023.  The notice explaining the request can be found on the USTR website.

GSP and MTB Update in the Lame Duck Session

The House Ways and Means Committee is still working on a possible Generalized Systems of Preferences (GSP) and Miscellaneous Trade Bill (MTB) renewal, but there is a disagreement holding up progress. The democrats want to include the renewal of Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) that expired in July of 2022. The republicans want TAA tied together with Trade Promotion Assistance (TPA).

The Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) is a federally funded program that helps workers who are adversely affected by foreign imports or job shifts to a foreign country. Assistance is provided to eligible workers in the form of reemployment services, training, job search, relocation, and support benefits.  Both sides are still negotiating for a compromise.

Rail Labor Negotiations Update

The National Carriers’ Conference Committee (NCCC) represents rail carriers in negotiations with the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Division (BMWED) that represent the 12 unions in the contract negotiations.  All twelve unions have voted on ratification. Eight of the twelve unions have ratified the proposed contract. Four unions have rejected the contract.  All twelve unions must ratify a final contract. 

The NCCC has announced that the original cooling off period ending on November 19 has been extended to December 9. There will be no labor actions while the two sides stay engaged in negotiations in the cooling off period. Congress will be watching the progress of the negotiations.

CBP Commissioner Magnus has Resigned from the Service

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Chris Magnus was asked by the Department of Homeland Security to resign his position.  Commissioner Magnus has tendered his resignation.  Deputy Commissioner Troy Miller has been assigned to act in his place.