The International Trade Blog

U.S. and Chile Free Trade Agreement: Frequently Asked Questions

Ever since the the U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement (FTA) was signed, I have received questions from exporters asking how the agreement works and how to qualify their products for preferential duty treatment under the agreement. I have compiled a list of the top 10 questions I have received and provided a short answer for each.

Read More

The Trans-Pacific Partnership: What It Is and How It Benefits the U.S.

Globalization is no longer a “when it happens” issue—it’s already here. We’re living in a time when commerce and trade are more interconnected than ever.

As countries across the globe compete and partner with each other, it’s crucial that the United States leads the way in solidifying its leadership and fostering trade relationships. Moreover, it’s crucial that U.S. businesses—including small to midsize businesses—have clear paths to success in global trade. 

Read More

Correctly Completing the Panama FTA Certificate of Origin

Dear John:

My customer wants me to complete a certificate of origin for the Panama Free Trade Agreement. They gave me a form that looks much like the official NAFTA certificate. When I declared the preference criterion, I simply put B in the field. This is because I used the rules from General Note 35 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule that provided for tariff change and regional value content.

My customer rejected my certificate and told me I had to claim B1 or B2 to indicate which part of the General Note 35 rule I had used. I don't understand. I thought I only had to claim A, B, or C preference criteria just like under the NAFTA.

Read More

U.S. - Chile Free Trade Agreement: Do You Qualify?

The U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement (FTA) became effective on Jan. 1, 2004. At that time, more than 85 percent of two-way trade in consumer and industrial goods became duty free. In fact, as of Jan. 1, 2015, all qualifying products are now duty free.

To take advantage of the benefits for U.S. goods under this agreement, exporters will need to understand how to determine that their goods are originating or qualify for preferential duty treatment under the U.S.-Chile FTA Rules of Origin.

Read More

CAFTA-DR: Determining the Rules of Origin

The Central America-Dominican Republic-United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) provides duty-free trade on most goods traded between the United States, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.

My first article in this series provides some background about the agreement. My last article discussed how to declare that a good is originating. This final article in the series addresses the rules of origin.

Read More

CAFTA-DR: How to Declare That a Good Is Originating

The Central America-Dominican Republic-United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) provides duty-free trade on most goods traded between the United States, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In a previous article I provided some background about the agreement.

In order to get this preferential treatment, the importer is responsible for making the claim. The exact manner for doing so is determined by the individual signatory countries. While there is no specific certificate of origin form that must be used (unlike NAFTA), there is a commonly used version of the CAFTA-DR Certificate of Origin form, which you can download here.

Read More

CAFTA-DR: Central America-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement

The Central America-Dominican Republic (CAFTA-DR) Free Trade Agreement (FTA) went into effect for the United States, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua in 2006. The Dominican Republic joined this monumental agreement in 2007, followed by Costa Rica in 2009.

CAFTA-DR is a historic and comprehensive free trade agreement that removed barriers to trade, eliminated tariffs, opened markets and promoted investment. By promoting economic growth, this cutting edge pact expanded U.S. opportunities in important regional markets.

Read More

The Role of the Harmonized System in USMCA

The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) provides preferential tariff treatment on goods originating in and traded among the three North American countries. The process for determining whether or not goods "originate" and therefore are eligible for duty-free entry depends on the Harmonized System (HS) number.

With USMCA, or any free trade agreement, using an incorrect classification number creates a domino effect.

Read More

How the Tariff Shift Rule Works In a Free Trade Agreement (FTA)

It bears repeating: the duty reduction benefits of Free Trade Agreement (FTA) programs are limited to those products that meet the eligibility criteria set forth in each of the FTAs. Unless the goods qualify, and unless the importer is able to prove to U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) satisfaction that the goods qualify, they are not going to benefit.

Read More

Promoting Export and Job Growth through the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)

Who knew that getting onto the grounds of the White House would be infinitely easier than getting from Minneapolis to Washington, D.C.?

But after sitting on the tarmac for seven hours—first for engine repairs and then for weather, watching a mini-revolt by airline flight attendants, and waiting for a replacement pilot and co-pilot to arrive, I was pleasantly surprised by how relatively fast and easy it was to get through White House security so I could attend a White House Business Council briefing on international trade.

Read More