U.S. and EU Extend Green Steel Agreement

The U.S. and EU extended the deadline for their green steel and aluminum deal to January 1, 2024. Both sides are working to prevent the re-imposition of Trump-era tariffs, with an interim agreement expected to be announced at the summit on October 20, 2023. The deal addresses non-market excess capacity and carbon emissions, marking a significant development in the ongoing U.S.-EU trade negotiations that began in 2021. For background, read the 2021 U.S.-EU Joint Statement.

Lawmaker Updating Proposed Customs Modernization Bill

AAEI met with staff members working for Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) last week on the progress of his long-awaited Customs Modernization legislation. Cassidy staff members tell AAEI’s Mitchell Hart that they are currently working on an updated draft, which will include trade facilitation measures. The first draft of the bill focused only on trade enforcement. The revised draft takes into consideration a number of comments lawmakers solicited from the trade earlier this year. The staff told AAEI that Sen. Cassidy is looking into including improvements to the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE). If you have any specific ideas for enhancements and modernization of ACE, please contact AAEI’s Mitchell Hart.

EU Working to Scale Up Compliance for Deforestation Regs

The European Union and Members States are trying to boost support to fully implement the European Deforestation Regulation (EUDR), and they have about a year to go. Supply chains for coffee, cocoa, rubber, soy, palm oil, wood, beef and leather–which account for 70% of all agricultural imports to the EU–are affected by the EUDR. Some countries, like palm oil producer Malaysia, are responding early. The Competere policy institute will hold a webinar on the practical implementation of the EUDR in Europe and other producing countries on Wednesday, October 17, 2023 at 9:00 a.m. EDT. Click here for more info and the link to register.

CBP Reopens Bridge of the Americas for Cargo; Hours Limited

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reopened the Bridge of the Americas cargo facility in El Paso, Texas, but the hours will be limited, from 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. CBP had suspended cargo processing there on September 15th. CBP said the closure would allow agents at the border crossing to assist the U.S. Border Patrol in processing noncitizens at the border. CBP continues to encourage members of the trade community to consider other nearby commercial cargo facilities located at the Ports of Ysleta, Marcelino Serna (Tornillo), and Santa Teresa. Read more from CBP.

AAEI Participates in NADEC’s Board Meeting

AAEI President and CEO Eugene Laney participated in the National Association of District Export Councils’ (NADEC’s) Board meeting last week, representing the Mid-Atlantic Region on the NADEC Board. The Board met with Arun Venkataraman, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Global Markets and Director General of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service. Venkataraman discussed the International Trade Administration’s reorganization efforts to better advocate for U.S. exporters and support U.S. exporters in finding new clients and expanding to new markets. Learn more about NADEC.

WTO Report Warns of Supply Chain Fragmentation

The World Trade Organization released its Global Trade Outlook and Statistics Report last week, analyzing recent global trade developments up to the second quarter of 2023 and trade forecasts for 2023 and 2024. The report highlights that the volume of goods traded worldwide will grow slower than expected in 2023 at 0.8%, roughly half of the 1.7% forecast released in April. Trade volume is forecast to grow in 2024 to 3.3%. However, early signs indicate that supply chain fragmentation could threaten the positive outlook. Read more in the WTO’s full report.