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Business Alert – US
A biweekly newsletter providing up-to-date information on the latest developments in US trade policy and trade regulations.
Business Alert – US
About Business Alert - US
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Latest update: 15 Jan 2001 - Issue 01
Bush Administration Likely to Focus on National Security
As speculated in the year-end issue Business-Alert-US, President-elect George W. Bush's prospective trade-related cabinet appointments demonstrate a renewed national security focus. Now that Bush has named his cabinet appointees, political observers agree that the nominees for the foreign and trade policy cabinet posts are all but certain to be confirmed by the Senate in the coming weeks. Accordingly, it may now be time to examine the impact that Bush's main policy advisers could have on the for...
Senate Republicans, Democrats Reach Power-Sharing Agreement
In the evenly divided US Senate, Republicans and Democrats reached a historic power-sharing agreement on 5 January 2001. The agreement will give Democrats equal representation on Senate committees. In case a committee is deadlocked, the majority leader would have the authority to call up the legislation or nomination through an expedited procedure. The full Senate would then vote on whether to take it up, and Vice President Richard Cheney would be able to exercise his constitutional authority to...
Grassley Calls on Bush for Trade Leadership
On 10 January 2001, in an interview with Reuters, Senator Charles Grassley (Republican-Iowa), who will serve as the chairman of the powerful Senate Finance Committee after 20 January, said that President-elect George W. Bush must act early to restore US trade leadership. However, the senator also noted that Bush is not likely to win presidential fast-track trade negotiating authority from Congress before the 20-22 April 2001, Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) summit meeting in Quebec City,...
House Organization Yields Few Trade Surprises
Discarding the tradition of awarding committee chairs on the basis of seniority, on 4 January 2001 House Republicans ratified their Steering Committee's recommendation that Congressman William Thomas (Republican-California) serve as the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee in the 107th Congress. With this decision the Republican House leadership under Majority Leader Richard Armey (Republican-Texas) and House Speaker Dennis Hastert (Republican-Illinois) passed over Ways and Means Trade...
White House Relaxes HPC Export Controls Again
On 10 January 2001 President Clinton issued the sixth revision to US export controls on high performance computers (HPC) since his administration took office in 1993. In making the announcement, White House Chief of Staff John Podesta stressed that the US would increase export restrictions on critical nuclear and military software applications. Nevertheless, the revision outlines such sweeping changes that it effectively prevents President-elect George W. Bush's administration from making change...
Clinton Issues Environmental Guidelines for Trade Deals
President Clinton has announced the completion of guidelines for the environmental review of major new trade agreements. These guidelines, which were required to implement Executive Order 13141 issued in 1999, are designed to ensure that environmental considerations are integrated into the negotiation of new trade agreements. Ignoring the fact that his call for including environmental and labour standards contributed to the failure of the 1999 World Trade Organisation (WTO) ministerial in Seattl...
US Aims to Remove Trade Barriers in WTO Services Negotiations
US Trade Representative (USTR) Charlene Barshefsky said on 14 December 2000 that the US is presenting a series of proposals to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) negotiations on services aimed at removing trade barriers across a broad range of services sectors. According to Barshefsky, the new US proposals seek to open world markets and eliminate barriers affecting US companies operating in financial services, telecommunications, energy, audiovisual services, and seven other sectors....
Barshefsky Claims Solid Base for Global Expansion
At one of her last Washington, DC forums as the Clinton administration's chief spokesperson for trade, outgoing US Trade Representative Charlene Barshefsky outlined the international trade achievements of the past eight years as a solid foundation for global expansion and also laid out a suggested course for trade policy for the incoming President George W. Bush. Ultimately, Barshefsky claimed the recent accomplishments help nurture the development of less developed countries, and that in the cu...
New Freighter Flights between US and China Added, Could Affect Hong Kong
The US Department of Transportation (DOT) recently awarded the majority of the ten new direct flights between the US and China to freight service providers. This allocation is reportedly in direct response to the growing scarcity of cargo space particularly on flights from China to the US. Such additional direct flights could affect Hong Kong, which has been the previous location for indirect service from the US to China....
NAFTA Mexican Drawback, Maquiladora Duties to Start
Major North American Free Trade (NAFTA) changes in import programs and duty rates took effect on 1 January 2001. The new NAFTA rules impose duties on previously duty-free articles imported into Mexico for use by maquiladora industries to produce exports, and limit duty refunds on materials when the goods are exported to NAFTA countries....
2001 Quotas for Certain Textile Products from China
The Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements (CITA) has issued a directive, effective 1 January 2001, announcing the import limits for certain cotton, wool, manmade fibre, silk blend and other vegetable fibre textiles and textile products produced or manufactured in China and exported during the twelve-month period beginning on 1 January 2001 and running through 31 December 2001. The 2001 quotas may be revised if China becomes a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the...
CITA Announces 2001 Quotas for Cambodia, Grants 9% Increase
CITA has issued a directive, effective 11 January 2001, announcing the import limits for certain cotton, wool, manmade fibre, silk blend and other vegetable fibre textiles and textile products produced or manufactured in Cambodia and exported during the twelve-month period beginning on 1 January through 31 December 2001....
2001 Visa Requirements Amended for Certain Textile Products from Cambodia
The Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements (CITA) has issued a directive, effective 1 January 2001, prohibiting entry into the US of certain cotton, wool, man-made fibre, silk blend, and other vegetable fibre textiles, and textile products, in Categories 200-239, 300-369, 400-469, 600-670, 800-899, including part and merged categories, produced or manufactured in Cambodia, and exported on or after 1 January 2001, for which the government of Cambodia has not issued an appropriate...
US Executive Calendar
New Legislation Introduced in the 107th US Congress
During the period 3-6 January 2001 members of the US Congress introduced several international trade-related bills that may have an impact on Hong Kong or China, as listed below......
antidumping duty (AD) actions: Petroleum Wax Candles......
USITC Initiates Five-Year Review of AD Order on Manganese Metal from China. Effective 2 January 2001......
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