Report: House Readies Stalled Trade Bill

February 14, 2024 – Lawmakers are reportedly expected to introduce trade preference legislation this month that was long delayed. Politico reports today that the House Ways and Means Committee plans to introduce a bill this month to renew the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), a tariff relief program that expired in 2020. However, Politico reports, there is less momentum to renew the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill. Read more from Politico (paywall).

House Passes No Dollars To Uyghur Forced Labor Act

February 14, 2024 – The House of Representatives passed a bill today to combat forced labor in China called the No Dollars To Uyghur Forced Labor Act (H.R. 4039). It would prohibit two federal agencies from spending tax-dollars in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR). The bill says, “No funds available to the Department of State or the United States Agency for International Development may be used to develop, design, plan, promulgate, implement, or execute a policy, program, or contract that uses goods, wares, articles, or merchandise mined, produced, or manufactured wholly or in part in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China or produced by a covered entity, unless such activity is specifically authorized.” Read the text of H.R.4039.

VW Delays Car Deliveries Amid Allegations of Forced Labor

February 14, 2024 – Thousands of Porsche, Bentley, and Audi cars have reportedly been held at US ports due to a Chinese subcomponent violating Forced Labor laws. Volkswagen is said to have postponed deliveries until as late as the end of March as it replaces the electronic part that was supposedly sourced from “western China.” Read more from Financial Times (paywall).

New Report Coming Soon on Uyghur Forced Labor

February 14, 2024 – Adrian Zenz, the director and senior research fellow for China Studies at the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, is reported to publish a report later this week on the forced labor transfers of the Uyghur workforce in Xinjiang. The report states that forced labor transfers in 2023 exceeded those from 2022 and “surpassed state-mandated quotas.” Read more from Politico.

Lawmaker: Watch out for Unintended Consequences Involving De Minimis

February 14, 2024 – House Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee Chairman Adrian Smith (R-NE) warned against unintended consequences involving proposed changes to de minimis. Speaking at the Washington International Trade Association (WITA) annual conference this week, Rep. Smith said proposals around de minimis include lowering the $800 threshold, excluding certain products from eligibility, and eliminating de minimis for products imported from China. Each proposal carries the possibility of unwanted results, including making trade enforcement more difficult for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Read more from International Trade Today (paywall).

CBP Releases Updated Bond Directive

February 14, 2024 – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) released a new guidance document on Monday to replace the bond directive it issued in 1991. The document outlines how the agency determines bond amounts and will accompany a revised internal directive on bonds. The guide has updated language to reflect current terminology as well as updates to bonding policies and procedures made over the last 30 years. Changes include the transition of customs functions from the Department of Treasury to the Department of Homeland Security, as well as the creation of CBP. Read CBP’s Guide for the Public here.

CBP Extends GBI Test Period by 3 Years and Welcomes Feedback

February 14, 2024 – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) published an amended Federal Register Notice (FRN) on Monday extending the Global Business Identifier (GBI) Test period for 3 more years. The updated FRN removes previous commodity and country of origin limitations on the types of entries that can be evaluated. CBP welcomes participants to voluntarily transmit GBI data with their entry filings to share direct feedback with CBP. Participation requests and questions can be directed to Read the notice here.

Senators Urge Biden for Increased BIS Funding

February 14, 2024 – Top Democrats on the Senate Banking Committee urged President Biden to include a “significant increase in funding” for the Bureau of Industry and Security’s (BIS’s) export control mission. In their letter last week, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) cited Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo’s statements about the increasing role of export controls in addressing national security risks posed by the Chinese government. The letter also emphasizes the need for BIS to keep pace with technological developments to maintain an “effective, efficient, and responsive” export control regime. Read the letter here