Thursday, April 30, 2020
Wednesday, April 29, 2020
USTR Releases Annual Special 301 Report on Intellectual Property Protection and Review of Notorious Markets for Counterfeiting and Piracy
On April 29, 2020, The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) released its annual Special 301 Report on the adequacy and effectiveness of trading partners' protection of intellectual property rights and the findings of its Review of Notorious Markets for Counterfeiting and Piracy (the Review), which highlights online and physical markets that reportedly engage in and facilitate substantial trademark counterfeiting and copyright piracy.
The Special 301 Report identifies trading partners that do not adequately or effectively protect and enforce intellectual property (IP) rights or otherwise deny market access to U.S. innovators and creators that rely on protection of their IP rights.
Trading partners that currently present the most significant concerns regarding IP rights are placed on the Priority Watch List or Watch List. USTR identified 33 countries for these lists in the Special 301 Report.
Priority Watch List:
- Saudi Arabia,
- Ukraine and
- Dominican Republic,
- Trinidad & Tobago,
- the United Arab Emirates,
- Uzbekistan and
USTR also announced Out-of-Cycle Reviews for Malaysia and Saudi Arabia.
These trading partners will be the subject of increased bilateral engagement with USTR to address IP concerns. Over the coming weeks, USTR will review the developments against the benchmarks established in the Special 301 action plans for those countries. For countries failing to address U.S. concerns, USTR will take appropriate actions, which may include enforcement actions under Section 301 of the Trade Act or pursuant to World Trade Organization (WTO) or other trade agreement dispute settlement procedures.
Saturday, April 25, 2020
USMCA To Enter Into Force July 1 After United States Takes Final Procedural Steps For Implementation
On April 24, 2020. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer notified Congress that Canada and Mexico have taken measures necessary to comply with their commitments under the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA), and that the Agreement will enter into force on July 1, 2020. Following that notification to Congress, the United States became the third country to notify the other Parties that it had completed its domestic procedures to implement the agreement—the final step necessary for the USMCA to enter into force.
The USMCA’s entry into force marks the beginning of a historic new chapter for North American trade by supporting more balanced, reciprocal trade, leading to freer markets, fairer trade, and robust economic growth in North America. The Agreement contains significant improvements and modernized approaches to rules of origin, agricultural market access, intellectual property, digital trade, financial services, labor, and numerous other sectors. These enhancements will deliver more jobs, provide stronger labor protections, and expand market access, creating new opportunities for American workers, farmers, and ranchers.
“The crisis and recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic demonstrates that now, more than ever, the United States should strive to increase manufacturing capacity and investment in North America. The USMCA’s entry into force is a landmark achievement in that effort. Under President Trump’s leadership, USTR will continue working to ensure a smooth implementation of the USMCA so that American workers and businesses can enjoy the benefits of the new agreement,” said Ambassador Robert Lighthizer.
Thursday, April 23, 2020
CBP Implementing Instructions and Procedures for the Submissions of Petitions Regarding USMCA Rules of Origin
On April 22, 2020, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative issued China 301 Exclusions relating to 108 articles.
The list includes the following textile articles:
18) Messenger bags of polyester, each measuring not more than 50 cm by 38 cm by 11 cm, weighing not more than 2.5 kg (described in statistical reporting number 4202.12.8130)
19) Backpacks with hydration system, each measuring not more than 51 cm by 28 cm by 9 cm, weighing not more than 1 kg (described in statistical reporting number 4202.92.0400)
20) Backpacks of 66.66 tex polyester, without hydration systems, each measuring not more than 57 cm by 44 cm by 11 cm (described in statistical reporting number 4202.92.3120)
21) Duffel bags of polyester, each measuring not more than 81 cm by 39 cm by 11 cm, weighing not more than 7 kg (described in statistical reporting number 4202.92.3131)
22) Duffel bags made predominantly of man-made fibers, each measuring not more than 98 cm by 52 cm by 17 cm, weighing not more than 7 kg, with wheels (described in statistical reporting number 4202.92.3131)
23) Garment bags of polyester, each measuring not more than 69 cm by 46 cm by 11 cm, weighing not more than 2 kg (described in statistical reporting number 4202.92.3131)
24) Shaving/toiletry bags of polyester, each measuring not more than 30 cm by 28 cm by 11 cm, weighing not more than 1 kg (described in statistical reporting number 4202.92.3131)
25) Padfolios of faux leather or polyester, with or without zippers, each containing a writing pad (described in statistical reporting number 4820.10.2020)
26) Binders with polyester covers, weighing less than 800 g, each measuring less than 36 cm in length, less than 25 cm in width, and less than 6 cm in depth (described in statistical reporting number 4820.30.0040)
27) Chinstraps designed for use on football helmets, each with webbing of woven polyester fabric encased in PVC, foam padding of closed cell foam and buckle clasp of stainless steel (described in statistical reporting number 6507.00.0000)
Free Webinar: Disaster Relief, Initiatives and Other Resources for Textiles and Apparel Companies in California, April 24, 2020, 2 p.m. ET. Register here.
Social distancing due to the coronavirus didn’t deter Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support’s Clothing and Textiles supply chain from getting vital information to American manufacturers by hosting a virtual Dress Clothing Industry Day April 8. To read more CLICK HERE.
Monday, April 20, 2020
Monday, April 20, 2020, is Patriots' (plural possessive) Day in Massachusetts and Patriot's (singular possessive) Day in Maine. In a normal year state and local government offices and many businesses in Massachusetts and Maine would be closed. This year -- well it's just day 28 of the ban on gatherings of 10 or more persons. Patriots' Day is also the date of the running of the Boston Marathon. According to Runners World: "The Boston Marathon was first run in 1897, making it the oldest annual marathon in the world. Since it started, the Boston Marathon has never been fully canceled, except in 1918 when a marathon military relay was run instead. The race was stopped in 2013 when two bombs were detonated at the finish line." This year's race has been rescheduled for September 14, 2020.
Check out this video WE WOOL WIN from the Woolmark Company highlighting why for many marathon runners wool is the fiber of choice.
"Listen, my children and you shall hear
of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five."
"You know the rest. In the books you have read,
How the British Regulars fired and fled--"
And that morning of April 19 officially marks the beginning of the American War of Independence. In Massachusetts and Maine (part of Massachusetts until 1820, when, under the "Missouri Compromise" Maine, a free State was admitted to the Union, paired with Missouri, a slave State) we celebrate it as Patriots'/Patriot's Day, and, like Revere, take to the road – a renowned twenty-six miles of road from Hopkinton to Boston.
At the original Marathon, 26 miles from Athens, Greece, free, Democratic, Western civilization faced and defeated the forces of absolutism. It is a battle that has been fought many times. It will be fought many more times. Freedom must always be prepared to fight just to be free.
President Trump Invokes Defense Production Act to Switch Northern New England Company Puritan Medical to Production of Flocked Swabs for Corona Virus Testing
Treasury and CBP Announce Deferment of Duties and Fees for Certain Importers during COVID-19 Response
On April 18, 2020, President Trump signed an Executive Order 18 to provide additional economic support for U.S. businesses, including critical supply chains for U.S. manufacturers, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The order gives the Administration the flexibility to allow for a 90-day deferment period on certain payments for importers who have faced a significant financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic response.
This temporary postponement applies to formal entries of merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption (including entries for consumption from a Foreign Trade Zone) in March 2020 or April 2020. CBP will not return deposits of estimated duties, taxes, and fees that have already been paid.
This temporary postponement does not apply to any entry, or withdrawal from warehouse, for consumption, where the entry summary includes merchandise subject to one or more of the following:
- Antidumping duties,
- Countervailing duties,
- Duties assessed pursuant to Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962,
- Duties assessed pursuant to Section 201 of the Trade Act of 1974, and
- Duties assessed pursuant to Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974.
No interest will accrue for the postponed payment of such estimated duties, taxes, and fees during this 90-day postponement period. No penalty, liquidated damages, or other sanction will be imposed for the postponed payment of the deposit of estimated duties, taxes, and fees in accordance with this temporary postponement.
This temporary postponement does not apply to deadlines for the payment of other debts to CBP, including but not limited to deadlines for the payment of bills for duties, taxes, fees, and interest determined to be due upon liquidation or reliquidation, deadlines for the payment of fees authorized pursuant to 19 U.S.C. 58c (except for merchandise processing fees and dutiable mail fees), or deadlines for the payment of any penalty or liquidated damages due to CBP.
Treasury Department and U.S. Customs and Border Protection today are issuing a joint Temporary Final Rule.
Wednesday, April 15, 2020
The Brickle Goup, John Matouk & Co. among New Southern New England Manufacturers Switching over to PPE
The Brickle Group, a Woonsocket, R.I. producer of a wide range of textiles, especially for the federal government, and John Matouk & Co., a Fall River, Mass., manufacturer of high-end bed and bath products are among the Southern New England manufacturers turning their plant capacity to the production of personal protective equipment for the battle against COVID-19, reports Providence Business News. To read about it CLICK HERE.
|Activity||2019 Q1||2019 Q2||2019 Q3||2019 Q4||2019 Total|
|Seizures (Non-IPR, including smuggling)|
|Commercial Fraud Penalties|
|TPVT Trade Preference Programs Verifications|
Number of Audits/Completed
Recommended /Accepted Recoveries
Number of Samples Tested
Number of SEO Initiated
Number of SEO Completed
|Section 301 (Textiles)|
|* Includes examinations for Intellectual Property Rights violations.|
Tuesday, April 14, 2020
On April 13, 2020, The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) instituted an investigation that will identify imported products that may be needed to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and provide trade-related information for them, including their source countries, tariff classifications, and applicable rates of duty.
The investigation, COVID-19 Related Goods: U.S. Imports and Tariffs, was requested by the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Ways and Means and the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance in a letter received on April 7, 2020.
In their request letter, the Committees noted: “On March 20, 2020, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) established a process to receive and consider comments for provisional modifications to tariffs imposed on goods that may assist in the public health and clinical response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In view of the Commission’s knowledge in trade and tariff matters, we ask that the Commission provide a report to the Committees and the USTR that identifies imported goods related to the response to COVID-19, their source countries, tariff classifications, and applicable rates of duty so as to assist the Committees and USTR in proposing or taking appropriate and responsive actions.”
As requested, the USITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency, will provide the following information for each product it identifies:
- the 10-digit HTS code for the article;
- its legal description;
- general duty rate;
- any special or additional rates of duty imposed on the article, and the dates on which the rates were imposed, and the authorities under which they were imposed;
- whether any such duties have been suspended and, if so, the date of suspension as well how the long suspension is scheduled to last;
- the total rate of duty imposed on such article, including any special or additional rate of duty; and
the major countries of origin for each such article, and the import value of each such article from each country for the years 2017-2019. As requested, to the extent practical, the USITC will provide the electronic version of the report in a format that allows the information to be sorted by the fields listed above. It will also include a “plain English” description or examples of products that fall within the identified HTS codes and citations to sources consulted in identifying the products.
The USITC expects to deliver its report to the Committees and the U.S. Trade Representative by April 30, 2020. The USITC will provide updated data runs on its website through June 30, 2020, as requested.
Further information about the investigation can be found in the notice of investigation, dated April 13, 2020, which can be obtained from the USITC Internet site (www.usitc.gov).
Friday, April 10, 2020
Wednesday, April 8, 2020
The COAC will hear from the current subcommittees on the topics listed below and then will review, deliberate, provide observations, and formulate recommendations on how to proceed:
1. The Intelligent Enforcement Subcommittee will provide updates and recommendations from the working groups under their jurisdiction for COAC’s consideration. The Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Working Group will provide information regarding improvements in the eRecordation process and data sharing. The IPR Working Group will also provide updates and recommendations regarding the Department of Homeland Security Report on Combatting Trafficking in Counterfeit and Pirated Goods and the Executive Order on Ensuring Safe and Lawful E-Commerce for United States Consumers, Businesses, Government Supply Chains, and Intellectual Property Rights. The Anti-Dumping and Countervailing Duty (AD/CVD) and Bond Working Groups will provide updates on risk-based bonding as well as bonds for Foreign Trade Zones and pipeline operators. The Forced Labor Working Group will provide updates and recommendations on the proof of admissibility for forced labor allegations, industry collaboration, and statutory guidance related to disclosure and mitigation.
2. The Secure Trade Lanes Subcommittee will provide updates on the Trusted Trader Working Group’s activities specific to Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT) Trade Compliance implementation and new forced labor program requirements. The subcommittee will also provide an analysis of the In-Bond processes with a focus on specific ‘‘Pain Point’’ areas by mode, that are being developed for potential solutions and to create greater efficiency and present some recommendations for deliberation. Additionally, the Export Modernization Working Group will provide updates of export data elements and opportunities for export process efficiencies. The subcommittee will also report on the activities of the Remote and Autonomous Cargo Processing Working Group.
3. The Next Generation Facilitation Subcommittee will provide an update on the progress on the Emerging Technologies Working Group’s various initiatives, including the recent completion of the IPR Blockchain Proof of Concept assessment. The One U.S. Government Working Group will discuss progress on the Global Business Identifier and working group priorities. There will be a subcommittee update on the progress of the Unified Entry Processes Working Group’s work towards an operational framework and the results of mapping out perceived deficiencies in the current entry process.
4. The Rapid Response Subcommittee will provide updates on the newly formed U.S.–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA) Working Group, the work that has been completed by the Broker Continuing Education Taskforce, and discuss its opinion as to why continuing education is important and should be mandated.
Thursday, April 2, 2020
Jacqueline Campbell a Panelist on the Panel “Now Listen Carefully… It's Time to Get Smart” during the 2020 Smart Fabrics Summit
Wednesday, April 1, 2020
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., USA, February 7, 2020—H. Kenneth Greeson, manager of Textile Chemistry Research at Cotton Incorporated, is the 2019 recipient of the AATCC Olney Medal. Greeson is being recognized for his work in durable press finishing of cotton. He has spent many years working with durable press chemistry—in particular, resin and cross-linking chemistry—and has made several significant advancements in cotton durable press technology.
Throughout his career, Greeson has applied and shared his knowledge of textile chemistry. His practical work experience, coupled with his textile chemistry education, have allowed him to make some significant contributions to finishes for cotton that enhance the fabric’s characteristics and prolong the usable life of the treated garments. Upon Greeson’s arrival at Cotton Incorporated, he worked with John Turner to develop the Tough Cotton technology, which provides abrasion resistance and improved tear strength for cotton fabrics. Turner originally developed this technology for woven fabrics; however, Greeson modified the technology to make it applicable for knit fabrics.
Not only has Greeson made important contributions to textile chemistry, he also generously shares his knowledge by mentoring and educating interns, contractors, and colleagues. His innate ability to describe, simulate, and perform complex chemical reactions, mechanisms, and application processes makes it possible for him to nurture and guide many future textile chemists, positively impacting their successes and achievements. While this aspect of his work may not easily be measured, it is another example of Greeson’s significant and meritorious contributions to the field of textile chemistry.
Greeson has been an active member of AATCC since 1982. Greeson has shared his knowledge through publications in AATCC Review and Textile Research Journal, in addition to serving as a reviewer for AATCC publications. In recognition of his service to AATCC research committees, he was awarded the AATCC TCR Service Award.
In addition to his service to AATCC, he is also the secretary of the Southern Textile Research Conference (STRC).
Greeson received a BS in Textile Chemistry, with a concentration in Polymer Chemistry, from North Carolina State University (NCSU). He began his career in 1981 at Collins & Aikman Corp. as a research chemist assistant before joining Cheraw Dyeing and Finishing/Cone Mills in 1982 as a technical advisor. He transferred to Cone Mills Technical Services as a Senior Finish Chemist/Chemist IV, where he stayed for five years, before becoming the manager of the chemist lab at Granite Finishing Plant/Cone Mills. Prior to joining Cotton Incorporated in 2002, he worked as a Manager in the Applications Lab at Sedgefield Specialties, an Applications Supervisor at Apollo Chemical Corp., and a Technical Services Representative at Stockhausen Inc.
The Olney Medal
Established in 1944 in honor of Louis Atwell Olney, the founder and first president of AATCC, the Olney Medal Award recognizes outstanding achievement in textile or polymer chemistry or other fields of chemistry of major importance to textile science. The award consists of a gold medal, a scroll, and an honorarium. Presentation of the Medal each year is a highlight of AATCC’s International Conference.
For a complete list of our esteemed past award recipients, visit www.aatcc.org/abt/awards/
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., USA, February 14, 2020— In recognition of her outstanding service to the Association, Debra F. Chronicle has been chosen as the 2019 recipient of the Harold C. Chapin Award for her dedicated service and outreach—locally, nationally, and internationally.
In her role as treasurer of the AATCC New England Section, Chronicle is a fiscally attentive and responsible officer. She has provided consistent financial guidance to the local section, and transparent fiscal reporting on the local and national levels. She volunteers tirelessly for section and regional events and encourages participation and service from members, as well as textile and design students in the region. She motivates her fellow section officers and brings a sense of regional responsibility to her peers. Even when traveling, she promotes the Association and the benefits of membership.
Nationally, Chronicle served as the New England Regional Board Member from 2015 through 2016. She was reappointed by the New England Region to continue her service from 2017 through 2018. As the New England Regional Board Member, she represented the New England Region on the AATCC Board of Directors, as well as the AATCC Membership and Publications Committees, Committee on Conferences, and Technical Committee on Research. She served as chair of the AATCC Membership Committee from 2015 through 2018. Also, from 1991 through 2010, Chronicle was a member of the Printing Technology Research Committee.
The Chapin Award
The Chapin Award was established in 1958 in honor of Harold C. Chapin, professor of chemistry at Lowell Textile School, who served as national secretary of AATCC for nearly 25 years.
For a list of past Chapin Award recipients, visit www.aatcc.org/abt/awards/chapin
On March 31, 2020, the Office of the United States Trade Representative released the 2020 National Trade Estimate Report
The National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers (NTE) covers 63 countries, customs territories and regional associations, including each of the 20 United States’ free trade agreement (FTA) partners and all of the 50 largest markets for U.S. goods exports. These partners together account for over 95% of the United States’ $5.5 trillion in two-way goods and services trade. The NTE Report reviews each in detail, highlighting concerns regarding issues ranging from industrial tariffs and import licensing to digital data flow, customs, agricultural quotas, industrial subsidies, restrictions on provision of telecommunications services, and more.
Each year’s edition of the NTE Report changes and evolves. Sometimes this reflects the creation of new barriers to U.S. exports, and at other times new conceptual challenges and opportunities arising from the progress of science, technology, and logistics. Changes in the NTE Report from one year to the next also reflect the success of U.S. negotiations and enforcement efforts. Such successes have been worldwide since the publication of the 2019 NTE Report, highlighted by examples including:
Canada and Mexico – United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA): The USMCA represents a generational, comprehensive revision of the old North American Free Trade Agreement. In addition to landmark revisions of automotive rules of origin, state-of-the-art labor and environmental provisions, and 21st-century digital trade rules, the USMCA contains numerous provisions that – once in force – will address outstanding trade-related irritants with Canada and Mexico. For example, under the USMCA and related instruments, Canada agreed to eliminate milk classes 6 and 7, discriminatory grading of U.S. wheat, and British Columbia’s discriminatory treatment of U.S. wine in grocery stores. The USMCA also includes obligations to strengthen enforcement against counterfeiting and piracy, camcording of movies, satellite and cable signal theft, transparency with respect to new geographical indications, and copyright protection and enforcement in the digital environment. The USMCA also cracks down on data localization measures for services providers and financial services providers and locks in Mexico’s telecommunications and energy reforms.
Colombia – End of the “1x1” Truck Scrappage Policy: Due to U.S. engagement and enforcement efforts, Colombia ended the “1x1” truck scrappage policy on June 30, 2019. In March 2013, the Colombian government eliminated an option to pay a “scrappage fee” to legally register a heavy truck (over 10.5 metric tons) in Colombia, which negatively affected previously robust sales of imported trucks (which were generally over 10.5 metric tons).
Technical Standards for Certain Heavy Electrical Products: The EU's requirements for restricting hazardous substances in electronic and electrical products are burdensome and arbitrary, and force companies to pursue an onerous and lengthy exemption process. In 2017, companies applied for exemptions to continue to use two substances (DEHP phthalate in rubber and lead in solder) that would have otherwise been banned in 2019 in engines, because there are no viable alternatives that provide the necessary flexibility in rubber and heat-resistance in solder. Following engagement by the U.S. government and industry, the EU approved in September 2019 the continued use of those two substances in engines for an additional five years. Those exemptions were fully implemented by EU member states in early 2020.
North Africa Markets Open to U.S. Beef, Poultry, Eggs, and Genetics: In April 2019, the United States and Tunisia finalized U.S. export certificates to allow imports of U.S. beef, poultry, and egg products into Tunisia. In June 2019, the United States and Morocco completed export certificates for U.S. processed eggs and beef genetics to Morocco, and reached agreement to improve U.S market access under the U.S.-Morocco FTA tariff rate quotas.
Ghana – Automobile Standards: In 2019, Ghana proposed measures that would only recognize automobile standards developed by the Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) as international standards. The proposal would have moved towards the wide adoption of the ECE standards and regulations as equivalent and significantly narrow the acceptance of U.S. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS). The United States provided comments and background information on FMVSS and their use. Following U.S. action, Ghana agreed to incorporate U.S. standards into its new standards policy, which are pending publication by the Ghana Standards Authority.
Standards Alliance Implementation with USAID: USTR worked with USAID to implement the Standards Alliance, a public-private partnership that provides technical assistance to developing countries and regions to help ensure that those countries’ standards-related measures do not impose unnecessary obstacles to trade and comply with other important obligations under the WTO TBT Agreement. In 2019, the Standards Alliance operated in five sub-Saharan African countries: Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Mozambique, Senegal, and Zambia. The programs included workshops to increase the application of good regulatory practices, the use of international standards in regulations, and the use of regulatory impact assessments. These procedures help to reduce unnecessary obstacles to U.S. trade by ensuring, for example, that proposed regulations are made available for public comment and that potential impacts of proposed measures are analyzed and taken into account.
CHINA AND TAIWAN
China – Historic “Phase One” Agreement: The United States and China reached an historic Phase One agreement that requires structural reforms and other changes to China’s economic and trade regime in the areas of intellectual property, technology transfer, agriculture, financial services, and currency and foreign exchange. The Phase One agreement also includes a commitment by China to make substantial additional purchases of U.S. goods and services in the coming years. Importantly, the agreement establishes a strong dispute resolution arrangement that ensures prompt and effective implementation and enforcement. At the same time, the United States maintains tariffs on many Chinese goods while monitoring and additional negotiations continue.
Taiwan – Adoption of Mechanism for Early Resolution of Potential Patent Disputes: In August 2019, following sustained engagement by USTR, final implementing regulations for Taiwan’s December 2017 amendments to the Pharmaceutical Affairs Act entered into force. The establishment of a mechanism for early resolution of potential patent disputes, including coverage for biologics, represents a promising step forward for Taiwan in its efforts to develop an innovative pharmaceutical sector. Taiwan – Passage of Amendments to Trade Secrets Act: On December 31, 2019, Taiwan passed amendments to the Trade Secrets Act that provided authority to prosecutors to issue protective orders during investigation proceedings. These changes, long sought by USTR, are expected to improve Taiwan’s ability to effectively prosecute cases of trade secrets theft by protecting information from unauthorized disclosures.
New Access in Japan for U.S. Agricultural Exporters: The U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement, which entered into force on January 1, 2020, further opens a critically important market for U.S. food and agricultural goods exporters, including through the reduction or elimination of tariffs or allowance of a specific quantity of imports from the United States. This agreement eliminates many long-standing barriers and ensures that over 90% of U.S. food and agriculture exports have access to Japan either on a duty-free or other preferential basis.
U.S.-Japan Digital Trade Agreement: The U.S.-Japan Digital Trade Agreement, which also entered into force on January 1, 2020, parallels the USMCA as the most comprehensive and high-standard trade agreement addressing digital trade barriers ever negotiated. The Agreement covers over $40 billion in digital trade between the United States and Japan. It incorporates strong rules prohibiting data localization measures, including for financial services data, and ensuring that data can be transferred across borders by all suppliers, as well as rules ensuring non-discriminatory treatment of digital products, and protecting against forced disclosure of proprietary source code and algorithms.
Access for Passenger Airlines: Following amendment of the 1952 U.S.-Japan Civil Air Transport Agreement in March 2020, Japan opened up 12 new slot pairings for U.S. passenger airlines at Tokyo's Haneda Airport, significantly improving access at commercially viable times long sought by U.S. air carriers.
Vietnam – Automobile Regulations: After the United States raised concerns, Vietnam rescinded a decree that required lot-by-lot testing and replaced it with a new program that requires autos to be tested by model. Vietnam revised its auto import testing regulatory system, which now facilitates the import of U.S.-manufactured autos.