EU Reaches Agreement on Forced Labor Ban

March 6, 2024 – Negotiators from the European Parliament and the European Council reached a provisional agreement yesterday to ban products made with forced labor from the EU market.

The new regulation would involve investigation of companies’ supply chains. If forced labor is found, the goods can be withdrawn from the EU market and confiscated at the border. The regulation would also set up a Forced Labour Single Portal to enforce the rules. The European Parliament and Council have yet to give their final approval on the agreement.

Read the news releases from the European Parliament and the European Council for more information. 

Lawmaker: End De Minimis "Exploitation"

March 6, 2024 – China Select Committee Chair Mike Gallagher (R-WI) is stepping up his call to end what he calls the exploitation of the de minimis “loophole” that allows imports to enter the U.S. duty-free if the shipment is valued at $800 or less.

Rep. Gallagher released statistics from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) last week showing that at least 485 million packages have entered the U.S. under the de minimis provision. Rep. Gallagher called it a “shocking 53% increase” from 2022. In a statement, he said, “Unless Congress takes urgent action, American retail will be forced to shift U.S. operations and jobs to China.” Read the full statement here.

Company Launches New UFLPA Trade Disruption Insurance

March 6, 2024 – FloraTrace, Inc., risk management company, announced the launch this week of its Rezylient Trade Disruption Insurance for importers into the US market.

The product is designed to provide financial protection against “unforeseen detentions and disruptions in the supply chain” along with a tool for risk management. Read more in FloraTrace’s news release.

Funding Deal Denies Increase to BIS Funding

March 6, 2024 – Congressional leaders released a compromise six-bill appropriations package this week, maintaining $191 million for the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) in FY 2024, aligning with the FY 2023 level. It is $31 million less than the Biden Administration’s request to increase funding.

The legislation does, however, open the possibility for future funding by directing BIS to report on its operational needs related to China within 90 days of enactment. Read more in a summary by the Republicans of the House Appropriations Committee. 

Commerce Secretary Aims to Restrict Chinese Data Access

March 6, 2024 – Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo stated last Thursday in an interview with Politico that she is open to banning the operations of Chinese companies from doing business in the U.S. if they can access U.S. data.

Secretary Raimondo stated in the interview that Commerce does not have statutory authority to prohibit a Chinese company’s collection or use of Americans’ data. The proposal, however, would be an expansion of the Biden Administration’s efforts to limit Chinese-owned companies that collect U.S. data. Read more from Politico.