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USTR lists out trade concerns with countries

"The office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) released the 2018 National Trade Estimate (NTE) annual report, which highlights the foreign trade barriers American exports face. Robert Lighthizer, US Trade Rep., said the President is fully committed to addressing unfair foreign trade barriers through tough enforcement and the negotiation of new agreements that increase US exports and support high-paying jobs for all Americans. The government intends to use every available tool to ensure Americans are treated fairly. As per the annual report, there is a huge probability of amendments in existing trade agreements."

 

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The office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) released the 2018 National Trade Estimate (NTE) annual report, which highlights the foreign trade barriers American exports face. Robert Lighthizer, US Trade Rep., said the President is fully committed to addressing unfair foreign trade barriers through tough enforcement and the negotiation of new agreements that increase US exports and support high-paying jobs for all Americans. The government intends to use every available tool to ensure Americans are treated fairly. As per the annual report, there is a huge probability of amendments in existing trade agreements.

Bangladesh

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Bangladesh is the United States’ 6th largest supplier. As per recent data, the US imported $5.27 billion worth of apparel and textile goods from Bangladesh in 2017. In the same year, the US goods trade deficit with Bangladesh was $4.2 billion, a 15.6 per cent decrease over 2016. US goods exports to Bangladesh were up 61.7 per cent to $1.5 billion, and US imports from Bangladesh were down 3.8 per cent to $5.7 billion. As far as tariffs are concerned, the average most-favoured nation tariff rate for goods going to Bangladesh is 14.78 per cent, and the maximum applied rate is 25 per cent. As one of the concerns, the US wants to see Bangladesh eliminate the double fumigation of its imported cotton.

China

China has sustained its lead as far as the biggest exporter to the US amounting to $38.7 billion worth of goods. China, as per Trump administration, accounts for more than half of the overall trade deficit, which is why the country has been the target of much of President’s trade ire. In 2017, the US goods trade deficit with China was $375.2 billion, an 8.1 per cent increase over 2016. US goods exports to China were up 12.8 per cent to $130.4 billion, and US imports from China were up 9.3 per cent to $505.6 billion. Steel and aluminum tariffs are aimed at curbing China’s overcapacity in steel, and then there is the $60 billion in tariffs over concerns with China’s intellectual property and technology transfer actions. As a counteractive measure, China has retaliated with $3 billion in tariffs on US fruits and steel in response but has yet to respond to the intellectual property tariffs.

While ostensibly intended simply to raise industrial productivity through more advanced and flexible manufacturing techniques, ‘Made in China 2025’ is indicative of China’s evolving and increasingly sophisticated approach to ‘indigenous innovation,’ revealed through numerous supporting and related industrial plans. Their common, overriding aim is to replace foreign technology, products and services with Chinese technology, products and services in the China market through any means possible so as to ready Chinese companies for dominating international markets.

Canada and Mexico

Canada was the 9th largest supplier of apparel and textiles to the country, sending $1.3 billion worth of goods in 2017. According to the Mexican government, the measures were designed to enhance productivity and competitiveness of Mexican footwear and apparel producers and protect Mexico’s domestic footwear and apparel industries from the importation of undervalued goods. US exporters expressed a number of concerns with regard to the schemes, including a lack of transparency in how reference prices are determined and uneven enforcement by Mexico’s customs and tax authorities.

India

India is second only to China, shipping $7.4 billion worth of product of textile & apparels to the US. In 2017, the US goods trade deficit with India was $22.9 billion, a 5.9 per cent decrease from 2016. US goods exports to India were up 18.7 per cent to $25.7 billion, and US imports from India were up 5.6 per cent to $48.6 billion. India has a disparity between its bound rate tariffs and applied tariff rates charged at the border, with the bound rate averaging 48.5 per cent and the applied rate closer to 13.4 per cent. The report suggests, the large gap between bound and applied tariff rates allow India to use tariff policy to make frequent adjustments to the level of protection provided to domestic producers, creating uncertainty for importers and exporters. Despite its goal of moving toward Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) tariff rates (approximately 5 per cent on average), India has not systematically reduced tariffs and in recent years has been increasing tariff rates across sectors.

India’s customs officials generally require extensive documentation, inhibiting the free flow of trade and leading to frequent and lengthy processing delays. Largely this is due to India’s complex tariff structure, including the provision of multiple exemptions, which vary according to product, user, or intended use.

 
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