Jun 26, 2008

Doha Pact - another push to be done

Since the so-called Doha trade round was started in 2001, talks have repeatedly become deadlocked because of disagreements between trading powers like Brazil, the European Union, India and the United States.

The meeting is scheduled to be held over five days at the W.T.O. headquarters in Geneva starting July 21, with the goal of agreeing to specific tariff and subsidy cuts. Up to 40 countries are expected to attend.

Status Brief - CBP

Backgrounder :

From the Senate Finance Committee, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Ralph Basham - Date June 24th 2008

Brief :

HTSUS 9801. Timothy Skud, deputy assistant secretary for tax, trade and tariff at the Treasury Department, said that the HTSUS 9801 proposed rule is under review at the Treasury Department, but noted that a proposal to include language in the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill may render the issue moot. In January, CBP had proposed to revoke an interpretation regarding qualification under HTSUS 9801.00.20, which permits the duty-free return of certain previously-imported goods that have been exported pursuant to a lease or similar agreement.

ACE. Basham reported that CBP expects to fully implement the Automated Commercial Environment by 2011 and that the agency has sufficient funding to meet that requirement.

Collection of AD and CV Duties. Basham said that CBP has proposed a continuous bond to be set upon entry, which would give the agency a better opportunity to collect duties at a later date when the liquidation is determined. CBP is working closely with the Department of Commerce on collecting antidumping and countervailing duties. Basham said that CBP would like to work with the Finance Committee to develop a better process for collecting duties and fees. Skud said that CBP collects over 99 percent of duties due, but the figure drops below 50 percent for AD duty obligations that result from retroactive increases after entry….

10+2 Cargo Data Proposal. Basham said that CBP is currently working to finalize the importer security filing rulemaking for the collection of imported cargo data. The "10+2" rule would require additional data elements from importers and ocean carriers before oceanborne cargo is brought into the U.S. He said that the trade community helped CBP to identify the data elements needed to increase the transparency of the global supply chain and to improve the overall targeting process for containers destined for U.S. ports. Basham said that they hope to submit the rule to OMB by the end of the week and have it ready for publication by the end of the summer.

International Trade Data System. Skud reported that the federal agencies that participate in the International Trade Data System are unable to access other data CBP already collects electronically, and that the ACE team is looking for ways to make the information available.

IPR Enforcement.
Committee Chairman Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., inquired about the agencies' progress on intellectual property rights enforcement. Basham said that the agencies are working together on the issu
Committee Chairman Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., inquired about the agencies' progress on intellectual property rights enforcement. Basham said that the agencies are working together on the issue.


Jun 25, 2008

Inflation and Canada

Canadians are already feeling the effects of strong emerging-market demand for commodities. They'll feel it more next week when hundreds of thousands will see their Enbridge natural gas bills jump 30 per cent. They'll see it when they fill up their cars' gas tanks for summer vacation.

The U.S. Federal Reserve, facing a rapidly slowing American economy and a collapse in the U.S. housing market, will likely lay the anti-inflation rhetoric on thick Wednesday. The Fed is widely expected to not only keep rates steady, but maybe even hint at future increases, after months of aggressive cuts to stimulate growth.

Around the world, inflationary pressure is increasing. Total global inflation was rising at a 6.0-per-cent annual pace in May, and core inflation – which excludes the most volatile prices such as energy and food – was 3.5 per cent. …

But in emerging markets – which now make up about half the globe's economy – total inflation is bubbling over, and in many countries, core prices are jumping too, rising from about 3 per cent in 2006 to 5.3 per cent this May

... according to Goldman Sachs

For years, emerging markets have kept prices low around the world, producing copious amounts of cheap goods of increasingly better quality. This helped the US and Canada. However , this is a red alert situation. While Global inflation hits the emerging markets , the cost of their food, oil and cost of living goes up. This is directly being transfered to commodities. This means that nothing will be cheaper in Canada or the US and thereby the CPI will continue to increase.

Bottom line, The cost of living is on the raise and thereby the expandable income of consumer will continue to drop. Sometime in the near future, there will be the tipping point. Economic depression will hit. There's a vicious cycle in the making.

Jun 24, 2008

WTO, Canada and China - Follow the $$$ Trail

On June 20, 2008, pursuant to the WTO Agreement, Canada requested consultations with China concerning measures affecting foreign financial information suppliers in China.

The objective of the consultations is to seek a better understanding of China's regulatory regime governing the provision of financial information services by foreign suppliers, including how the relevant measures are applied. Canada seeks to resolve concerns over measures adopted by China that put Canadian financial information service suppliers at a disadvantage relative to domestic suppliers.

The consultations will also provide Canada with an opportunity to confirm its understanding of the Chinese measures and their consistency with China's obligations under the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) and its Protocol of Accession. Canada's goal is to ensure that Canadian financial information service suppliers operate on a level playing field.

As a global leader in financial information services, Canada has significant interests in the Chinese market. Timely and reliable financial information is of crucial importance to financial markets and to the ability of financial service providers to operate effectively in the global marketplace.

The European Communities and the United States launched consultations with China concerning these same measures in March 2008.

WTO consultations are a first step toward finding a resolution to a dispute through a discussion of the matter at issue. If consultations fail to resolve the matter, a party may request the establishment of a WTO dispute settlement panel.

Jun 19, 2008

Form B227 is no more !!

Woot Woot ? They have pulled out a advance ruling form ? Not sure why, my daily brief brings me this !!

Form B227, Request for a Free Trade Agreement Advance Ruling or for a Review of a Free Trade Agreement Advance Ruling, has been cancelled by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). Changes have been made to the "Guidelines and General Information" section to remove references to this form.


This memorandum has also been revised to include updated contact information in Appendix C, CBSA Regional and Headquarters Offices.




This memorandum outlines the Canada Border Services Agency's (Agency or CBSA) program for issuing advance rulings under paragraphs 43.1(1)(a) and (b) of the Customs Act pursuant to Article 509 of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Article 5.8 of the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement (CIFTA), Article E-09 of the Canada-Chile Free Trade Agreement (CCFTA) and Articles V.9 and IX.2 of the Canada-Costa Rica Free Trade Agreement (CCRFTA).


The revised Memorandum is available on the here

GDP Vs Logstics costs

Business logistics costs in 2007 exceeded 10 percent of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product for the first time in eight years, to 10.1 percent, as transportation costs increased 5.9 percent, or 6.2 percent of the GDP.


Business logistics costs totaled $1.4 trillion in 2007, an increase of $91 billion over 2006, according to the 19th Annual State of Logistics Report prepared by the Council of Supply Chain Professionals.

Logistics costs accounted for the greatest percentage of the GDP since 2000, after totaling 9.9 percent of the GDP in 2006.

Russian accession !!

About time that Russia has a seat at the table. After all, the Berlin wall decades and decades ago and while at it,  lets not  forgot Russia hold one of the biggest reserves of oil !!

Peter Mandelson, the European Union's trade chief, on Wednesday said that agreement can be reached in 2008 on Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization if issues involving trade in meat and timber are resolved.


"I certainly think we can secure agreement on Russia's accession by the end of the year," Mandelson told Reuters…..


Russia is the still largest economy outside the WTO, and it has been negotiating membership since 1995. Russian officials say they are now very close to clinching a final deal on joining the organization.

Jun 18, 2008

eAllegations !!

U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Office of International Trade has developed a new online trade violation reporting system called eAllegations to provide concerned members of the public a means to confidentially report suspected trade violations to CBP.

Concerned members of the public bring to light many trade violations and it is in the U.S. Government's best interest to make it as easy as possible for the public to report possible violations. All information submitted to CBP is voluntary and confidential

This is interesting, wondering how many people will violate the violation system itself !! :)-

Jun 17, 2008

If the global economy is slowing, why the inflation fears?

If the global economy is slowing, why the inflation fears?


Good question. Normally, a period of slowdown would be enough to take care of runaway prices, as constraints on labour, capital and resources ease. Evidence points to slower growth in world demand for these key economic elements, but in spite of this, commodity prices are stubbornly high. Producers are increasing selling prices in the face of weakening demand, just to remain viable. This is the essence of the new stagflation – and the prospect that it may spread more

generally to the rest of the economy, through wages and prices, is what worries central banks.


Has this generalized increase begun? At first glance, it might seem so. Consumer prices (CPI) are running well ahead of inflation targets in most countries. But the recent acceleration is very focused on food and energy price increases. Take these away, and core price growth is actually at, or in many cases below target.


For example, headline CPI is 4% in the US, but core is 2.3%. In the UK, headline CPI is 3%, but core is just 1.4%. Eurozone headline CPI is 3.3%, well above the comfort zone, but core growth is just 1.6%, well within its inflation target.


Canada faces similar conditions, and the situation in other key economies is roughly the same. At present, the data strongly suggest that the pass-through effect of higher food and energy prices has not occurred.


But that doesn't mean it won't. Today's data are important, but they don't give the whole picture. Future core price growth depends critically on expectations today, and if consumers and businesses alike believe that higher price growth is here to stay, they will gear their budgets to that new reality. That's what central banks fear, and because their actions take time to affect the economy, they have decided to send a signal aimed at reining in any change in expectations. And it is abundantly clear from past experience that failure to stem a nascent increase in inflationary expectations takes time and exacts a significant toll on the economy.

Source : Peter G. Hall, Vice-President and Chief Economist, Export Development Canada.

Canada and Japan to deploy border officers to each other's countrysl

Under the Container Security Initiative (CSI) partnership, border officers from Japan and Canada will work in each other's country to coordinate the examination of high-risk containers before they leave the foreign port, to share information about any potential security threats and to promote data quality, which will improve each country's overall risk-assessment abilities.  Canada has similar CSI partnerships with the United States, South Africa and Panama.