AAEI Protests Border Closing between DR and Haiti

AAEI joined other trade organizations last week in sending Dominican Republic President Luis Abinader a letter urging him to re-open the border with Haiti, which represents “an important market for the U.S. textile industry, with the Dominican Republic… currently positioned as the second largest market for U.S. yarn exports.” The Dominican Republic closed the border with Haiti last month because workers started constructing a canal to divert water from the Massacre River into Haiti, in violation of a 1929 treaty. It’s not clear how long the border closing will last, but it has blocked the only trade lane between the two countries. The Dominican Republic also is denying all exports into Haiti, including exports by U.S. companies trying to supply their factories in Haiti. Read the multi-association letter.

Revoking PNTR with China Could Cost U.S. Billions

Researchers from the American Action Forum conducted a study analyzing the impact of revoking permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) with China. Using the Global Trade Analysis Project (GTAP) database, Tori Smith and Tom Lee found revoking PNTR could reduce U.S. GDP by $15.9 billion, lead to a 17% drop in total exports, and push consumer prices up by 5.9%. Reciprocal action from China could exacerbate these impacts. Read the report for more details.

ASEAN States Sign Agreement to Align Standards

All 10 ASEAN Member States signed the ASEAN AEO Mutual Recognition Arrangement (AAMRA) last week, aligning with the World Customs Organization’s SAFE Framework of Standards. This agreement ensures compatibility between certification standards of member states’ customs administrations, promising faster cargo clearance and priority inspections for Authorized Economic Operators (AEOs) within ASEAN. A six-month pilot starts in late 2023, with full implementation targeted by Q3 2024. Read the full text of the agreement.

Lawmakers Urge DHS to Investigate Alleged Trade Fraud

Chairman Mike Gallagher (R-WI) and Rep. Darin LaHood (R-IL) of the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) urged the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) last Friday to investigate allegations of trade fraud against Qingdao Sunsong. The lawmakers claim Qingdao Sunsong is avoiding 25% Section 301 tariffs by conducting minimal assembly processing in Thailand and declaring the products as Thai-made. The committee emphasizes that the company’s tactics allegedly led to an American company’s layoffs and violate U.S. law, undermining national economic security. Read the full letter here.

Lawmaker Calls on CBP for Stronger UFLPA Enforcement

Congresswoman Carol Miller (R-WV) called on U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) last Friday to enforce the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) more rigorously. The bipartisan effort, joined by several Representatives, focuses on blocking solar panel imports made with Chinese polysilicon due to concerns about forced labor. Read more in the full letter.