Archive for the ‘Free Trade Agreements’ Category


 

CPTPP: Trade In The Pacific Rim Is About To Open Up | PCB Blog

CPTPP

The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), as discussed in our blog post What Does CPTPP Stand For? | CPTPP FAQ is a new free trade agreement between Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

 

The last Pacific Rim Trade deal went dead two years ago when the U.S. withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. All original TPP signatories, with the exception of the U.S., agreed to revive the TPP and reached an agreement in January 2018 to move towards the CPTPP.

 

The agreement specifies that its provisions enter into effect 60 days after the ratification by at least 50% of the signatories (six of the eleven countries). The sixth country to ratify the deal was Australia on October 31, 2018 and the agreement now coming into force with the initial six countries on December 30, 2018.  The six countries are Canada, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore and Australia.  The remaining signatories; Brunei, Chili, Malaysia, and Peru will not be bound or benefit from the CPTPP until they ratify.  Vietnam recently signed on, is now a signatory and will start benefiting from the agreement after their 60 days has passed. Peru is expected to ratify before 2019.

 

Canada is the first and only G7 nation with a free trade agreement with the other six. It is another way Canada hopes to diversify its trade with a longer-term goal of less reliance on the U.S. consumers for Canadian goods and services. Even without the U.S. involvement, the CPTPP represent about 13% of the world’s gross domestic product. Should the U.S. reconsider and join the CPTPP the bloc would represent 40% of the GDP.

Two thirds of the provisions in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership are the same as the TPP draft.

The benefits of the free trade agreement for Canada are best explained in the Government of Canada Overview and Benefits of the CPTPP.

 

There are two sectors that are not exactly sold on the CPTPP for Canada and they include the auto manufacturers and dairy industry. The Canadian government argues the CPTPP will help Canada retain its strategic advantage for their supply chains over the increasing competitiveness of China.

 

How Canada will implement this new agreement is contained in Canada Border Services Customs Notice 18-22.

 

If you have any questions about the implementation of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership please contact a Pacific Customs Broker Trade advisor at 604.538.1566, toll-free at 888.538.1566 or [email protected]

Jan Brock | Author

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What Does CPTPP Stand For? | CPTPP FAQ

CPTPP

What Does CPTPP Stand For?

The CPTPP stands for the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. As of February 2018, CPTPP is a new free trade agreement between Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

Who Has Ratified CPTPP?

The countries that have ratified the CPTPP includes:

  • Mexico | June 28, 2018
  • Japan | July 6, 2018
  • Singapore | July 19, 2018
  • New Zealand | Oct 25, 2018
  • Canada | Oct 29, 2018
  • Australia | Oct 31, 2018
  • Vietnam | November

Who Has Not Ratified?

  • Peru | Expected before 2019
  • Brunei
  • Chile
  • Malaysia

When Does It Start?

Since 6 of the countries have ratified, CPTPP will start on Dec 30th, 2018. For all of the countries that have ratified, they will be able to start using the agreement on Dec 30th. For the rest of the countries who have yet to ratify, the agreement will come into force for them 60 days after that country ratifies and deposits as well.

When Was It Signed?

The CPTPP was signed on March 8th, 2018, in Santiago, Chile.

When Will CPTPP Come Into Force?

The CPTPP will come into force on Dec 30th, 2018, which would mean 2018 is year 1 and 2019 is year 2. Which means faster duty reductions. The “years” for the agreement run from Jan 1 – Dec 31.

Who Can Use The CPTPP Agreement?

The agreement can only be used by the countries that have ratified the agreement.

For example, since Canada is ratified but Malaysia is not, Canada and Malaysia are not able to use the agreement with each other until Malaysia ratifies and the 60 days has passed.

What Are The Benefits?

Approximately 98% of the customs duties will be removed at the time of final implementation. Once CPTPP comes into force, many commodities will be duty free upon entry. The elimination of tariffs will depend on the staging category. Some items will have the duty reduced faster than others. A few commodities will not be reduced at all.

Are You Prepared For The Agreement?

The CPTPP agreement will affect the world of trade. Are you prepared for the new CPTPP agreement? You can learn about the rules of origin, regional value content, de minimis, and more from an expert trade advisor from Pacific Customs Brokers. Contact one of our experienced trade advisors today for your trade edge.

 

 

 

 

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USMCA Effective Date | Is The Deal Done?

USMCA Effective Date

In the USMCA Details blog you learned what is new in the revised North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). This includes the changes to the auto industry, dairy, Chapter 19, intellectual properties and de minimis threshold. The next question on your mind is when will the United States Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA) become live, in other words,  when is the USMCA effective date?

When Is The USMCA Effective Date?

The USMCA is not in law yet, and will not likely be until 2020. As of late October, 2018, NAFTA is still live. A few bureaucratic knots are still tied, and this blog will cover what needs to happen in each respective country until the USMCA is effective.

What Steps Do The Countries Have To Take Before USMCA Is Effective?

All three countries still have a number of steps to take before the USMCA comes into force.

  1. All three governments will take a look at the agreement and gather a better understanding of the NAFTA revisions.
  2. Each country will sign the USMCA agreement. The signing is projected to take place at the end of November. Conveniently prior to Mexico’s next President entering into office December 1st, 2018.
  3. Finally, each country must take their specific necessary steps to ratify and implement the USMCA.

How Will the U.S. Ratify And Implement USMCA?

In the U.S., the President notified Congress of the intent to sign a trade agreement with Mexico and potentially Canada, on August 31st. The notification set off the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA). The 90-day consultation period finishes at end of November where the USMCA could, in principle, be signed.

All three leaders could sign the agreement at the G20 Leaders Summit in Buenos Aires, which is scheduled for the end of November. The U.S. Midterm elections take place November 6th, 2018 and the new incoming Congress takes effect January 3rd, 2019. The U.S. Administration has 60 days from signing the agreement to submit a list of changes. The Final Agreement text is submitted to Congress at least 30 days prior to implementing it as Legislation.

Sometime in April, an Implementation Bill will be introduced in the House and the Senate where it is debated and considered before a final vote. Around the middle of July 2019, the Senate will vote on the USMCA Implementation Bill and then shortly after the President will sign the agreement into law.

How Will Canada Ratify And Implement USMCA?

For Canada, once the agreement is signed it will be tabled in the House of Commons for discussion. There is a full discussion but no vote to change the text of the agreement. The House of Commons has 21 days to consider the agreement before the Executive takes the necessary steps to ratify it. The Cabinet controls the ratification. The Governor – in Council (Cabinet) prepares an Order-in-Council authorizing the Minister of Foreign Affairs to sign an Instrument of Ratification or Accession.

After, an Implementing Bill is tabled in the House of Commons where the treaty is implemented into Canadian Law. Once the Bill is passed in the House of Commons it is sent to the Canadian Senate where it is debated. It is possible that the Senate may quash the Bill. If passed, the Bill is then provided to the Provinces and Territories, which may pass provincial legislation regarding the Bill. Regulations are then written to implement the Bill.

The date the agreement comes into force is part of the agreement itself, January 2020. The pressing timeline for Canada is to have all of the above completed before October 2019 when Canada has its next Federal Election.

How Will Mexico Ratify And Implement USMCA?

Mexico has a similar process to Canada. Most of the process is already complete and Mexico intends to ratify the agreement in December 2018 when the New President takes office.

Will The USMCA Come Into Effect?

The USMCA is far from being a reality and anything can happen in the U.S., Mexico and Canada to throw this agreement off the tracks. You will know if the USMCA is a reality by July 2019.

If the agreement fails, the original NAFTA would remain in effect until the time NAFTA 3.0 is renegotiated.

If you have questions about NAFTA or USMCA feel free to contact our Trade Advisory Specialists for NAFTA or USMCA details, and how they will affect you.

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USMCA Details | United States Mexico Canada Agreement | NAFTA 2.0

USMCA Details

The United States Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA)

The U.S., Mexico and Canada reached a revamped NAFTA deal in the 11th hour on Sunday September 30th, 2018. NAFTA 2.0 has been renamed the United States Mexico Canada Agreement.

After more than a year of intense negotiations, the U.S., Mexico and Canada reached an agreement to update NAFTA. NAFTA dates back to 1994 when the pact was originally signed by all three countries to govern the $1.2 trillion worth of trade between the countries.

In August, the U.S. and Mexico resolved an issue over auto manufacturing but Canada and the U.S. still had some contentious points to resolve. The U.S. wanted Canada to open its dairy market to U.S. farmers and Canada wanted to preserve a mechanism for resolving disputes. These goals were eventually achieved which resulted in the new USMCA.

Auto Industry

Starting in 2020, to qualify for zero tariffs, a car or truck must have 75% of its components manufactured in the U.S., Mexico, or Canada, a boost from the current 62.5% requirement. In addition, also starting in 2020, cars and trucks should have at least 30% of the work on the vehicle done by workers earning at least $16 an hour, which will gradually move to 40% for cars by 2023.

Supply Management Agriculture Sector

Canada agreed to set new quotas for dairy imports from the U.S. Canada will still put tariffs on dairy products that exceed quotas. The new quotas will give the U.S. access to 3.6% of Canada’s market. U.S. farmers will now be able to export 120 million eggs into Canada the first year. This will grow 1% per year for the next 10 years. The chicken concession will allow 57,000 metric tons phased in over six years and in year 7 will increase 1% per year for the next 10 years.

Chapter 19

Canada wanted to keep Chapter 19 in place and in the end Chapter 19 remained intact. Chapter 19 allows the U.S., Mexico and Canada to challenge anti-dumping and countervailing duties in front of a panel of representatives from each country. In the past, Canada has successfully used Chapter 19 to challenge the U.S. on its softwood lumber restrictions.

Intellectual Properties Protections

The USMCA has a new IP chapter, which is 63 pages long and contains stricter protections for patents and trademarks, including biotech, financial services and even domain names. Copyright terms in Canada now extend for 70 years beyond the year the creator of the work dies, bringing Canada in line with those of the U.S. and Europe. The IP chapter also includes an extension of the length of time new biological drugs will be protected from generic drug competition, up 2 years from Canada’s previously agreed upon 8 years to 10 years of exclusivity. This was necessary for all sides to update this field as the original agreement was over 25 years old.

De Minimis Threshold

The de minimis threshold or the duty-free amount Canadians can buy in the U.S. and import into Canada without having to pay a duty has increased from $20 to $150. Mexico agreed to raise their de minimis from $50 to $100.

The tax portion of the de minimis threshold has been separated. The new rules will see the tax threshold rise to $40.

For example, when someone in Canada buys something online in the U.S. for $149 they will be spared the duty but they will pay anywhere from $17 to $22 in taxes depending on the province and the tax rate for that province.

Labor & Environmental Rights

Significant upgrades to environmental and labor regulations were made, especially in Mexico. Mexican trucks crossing the border must meet higher safety regulations and Mexican workers must have the ability to organize and form unions.

Chapter 11

Chapter 11 provided companies and investors a special process to resolve disputes with one of the governments of the agreement. The premise being that if an investor put money into a project and then the government changed the rules, there is a dispute process outside the court system where the investor could get their problem resolved. Chapter 11 is essentially gone with the exception of few industries such as energy and telecommunications.

USMCA Timeline

The USMCA will not go into effect right away. Most of the key provisions will not start until 2020. The leader of each country still has to sign the agreement, and then congress in the U.S. and the legislatures in Canada and Mexico have to approve it. This process is expected to take months.

How Will The USMCA Affect You?

You have the opportunity to get an early edge on your competitors with the advantage of a trade advisor. Pacific Customs Brokers has you covered with expert trade advisors who are able to help you navigate the changes that will affect you with the new United States Mexico Canada Agreement.

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Jan Brock | Author

U.S. Customs To Pilot Test Blockchain Viability

blockchain

In September 2018, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will start pilot testing the viability of blockchain technology in international trade. One of the first tests will be to see if they can successfully receive Certifications of Origin to identify if a product can qualify for preferential treatment under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

What is Blockchain?

Blockchain allows for digital information to be shared but not copied. It was originally created for financial transactions however, tech communities are starting to get more creative on what it can be used for. This includes smart contracts, transparent voting for elections, file storage, and in the world of trade, supply chain auditing.

Blockchain acts as a large database spread over a network of many, many computers. By not storing the data in any one location decentralizes the data. By decentralizing the data, it makes it difficult for a “hacker” to corrupt, thus making it a safe way for many people to access the data simultaneously.

Another interesting fact about blockchain is it can be setup to share with the entire public, or only shared with a few selected individuals. This allows for it to be used on massive scales, such as an election, or small scales, such as a one-on-one contract between you and a supplier.

History is another important factor. Blockchain has the ability to collect and maintain all transactions and previous data. In the trade industry this could be vital since records are required to be kept by Customs for multiple years in case of an audit. With a clear history that is accessible at any time, it can make it easier on Customs and the individual or business being audited.

What is Your Commodities Origin?

The goal is to certify the backstories of commodities are genuine. Is your sweater really made in Canada? Is every part from your laptop obtained or produced entirely in Canada, the U.S. or Mexico? Probably not, however with the assistance of blockchain technology and supply chain auditing, the answer could be quick and easy for CBP to discover.

Why This Potentially Helps U.S. Customs?

The reason CBP is excited for the viability of blockchain technology is because it can permanently verify transaction records in a fast and secure way. Being able to work fast and safe is any businesses dream, and CBP wants to start testing the technology in the early stages to make sure they are ready to handle the demand for blockchain technology once more companies adopt the relatively new idea.

How Supply Chain Auditing Can Help You?

It is easy to drown in the science behind blockchain technology, but what matters most to you is blockchain can allow you to do business easier and safer than before. The introduction of Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) has eliminated the need for faxing, mailing or hand delivering paper documents. By having a safe way to transport the same “paper documents” digitally in only a way where you, the sender, and CBP, the receiver, can access it, than business will become better for you.

If You Need An Expert

With pilot testing to begin in September it will be interesting to see what the findings are from CBP. This might be the first step U.S. Customs takes to adopting blockchain technology and electronic supply chain auditing. For the latest in trade news and expert advice feel free to contact an experienced trade advisor to help you navigate the world of trade.

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