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The Trade Act of 1974-Part 3: Section 301's Impact Under Trump and Biden

Leslie Glick | February 15, 2021 | Import Basics, Export Basics

The first and second parts of this series, Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, illustrated how, for many years,  Section 301 was used to eliminate trade barriers and open markets to U.S. exports. However, the average business may not have become familiar with this law until President Trump began to invoke it and impose tariffs against China in 2018. The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR)—after a notice in the Federal Register and a period for public comment—determined that China violated Section 301 by denying market access to United States companies and infringing on their intellectual property rights. Based on this finding, President Trump imposed the first round of 15% tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese goods covered in what is referred to as List 1.

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World Trade Month 2021 Calendar of Events

David Noah | February 10, 2021 | Import Basics, Export Basics

World Trade Month is scheduled for May 2021, and is publishing a calendar of international-trade-related events scheduled to be held throughout the United States that month.

If your company or organization is hosting events during May 2021, simply complete the form located on the World Trade Month website to add it to the directory of events.

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International Shipping and Logistics: 4 Key Considerations

David Noah | February 3, 2021 | Import Basics, Export Basics

To be a successful exporter, you need a solid understanding of each phase of the export journey—what it requires in terms of infrastructure, compliance and documentation (just to name a few), as well as the key players who are involved.

In this article, I’ll share four important considerations related to international shipping and logistics that new exporters must consider as they begin their journey in international trade.

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How to Classify Your Products for Import and Export

David Noah | January 20, 2021 | Import Basics, Export Basics

Understanding product classification is a necessary and important part of a successful importer and exporter’s toolkit. Unfortunately, it’s also a complicated, and therefore misunderstood, aspect of international trade. Companies may be quick to rush through classification and make mistakes. Improper classifications may trigger audits, long delays in shipping and substantial financial penalties, so it’s important to do correctly!

This article will help clarify this often-muddled topic by summarizing some of the key points discussed by Robert P. Imbriani in his free webinar, Classifying Your Products for Importing and Exporting.

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Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow-Part 2

Leslie Glick | January 18, 2021 | Import Basics, Export Basics

In the first article of this series—How Section 301 Investigations and Tariffs Have Impacted TradeI gave an introduction to Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, a trade law with a long history and one which has been used more frequently during the Trump administration. I traced the use of the law through the founding of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the historic Japanese semiconductor investigations in the mid 1980s.

Today I'll look at Special 301, which emerged in the late 1980s and 1990s to address trade barriers to U.S. companies due to the ineffective protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights.   

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World Trade Month Is May 2021 and You Are Invited

David Noah | January 13, 2021 | Import Basics, Export Basics

May is World Trade Month in the United States, and to coordinate the plethora of events traditionally scheduled for that month, the World Trade Month Association's website,, will once again serve as a directory of international trade-related events scheduled for May 2021 across the country.

The theme for this year's World Trade Month website is "Growing exports in uncertain times," a reflection of the challenges facing companies during a global pandemic, economic volatility and a new U.S. presidential administration.

Individuals may register for free on the website to receive notifications of World Trade Month events they may wish to attend. Organizations may submit the events they are planning to host during the month. There is no charge for the listings.

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What's So Important about the Harmonized System Classification?

Hank Selby | January 4, 2021 | Import Basics

For those of us who have been in the international trade arena for a while, the subject of product classification has always been interesting and, often, quite confusing.

When I started in this business more than 20 years ago, there was no single system used to classify imports worldwide. The United States used the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the U.S. (HTSUS), Europe generally used the Brussels Tariff Nomenclature, and many other countries had their own unique systems.

Sound confusing? It was!

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How Section 301 Investigations and Tariffs Have Impacted Trade

Leslie Glick | December 14, 2020 | Import Basics, Export Basics

The past two years, importers and exporters have become increasingly familiar with Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974: the Trump administration has used it extensively to impose tariffs on approximately $370 billion in Chinese-origin goods. But you may be less familiar with how this versatile statute was used over the past 45 years to eliminate trade barriers with other countries and open markets to U.S. exports. 

This article looks at how the use of Section 301 has evolved since its inception and examines one of the more significant earlier investigations under the law. Look for future articles about how the law is being used in regards to China and on strategies companies should be using to monitor its use.    

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A Glossary of International Shipping Terms

Arnesh Roy | December 7, 2020 | Import Basics, Export Basics

Shipping products seems simple, right? You simply package the product and send it to your customer. But did you know there are different types of shipment?

Depending on the size of your shipment, it may be considered parcel, less-than-load (LTL) or a full truckload (FTL) shipment. Your shipment may be too small for certain carriers, or conversely, if you have a large shipment, you may have to rely on a carrier certified to ship large containers. There are also unique considerations depending on the mode of transport—whether you’re shipping via air, sea, road or rail.

The wide variety of terms that relate to the process of moving goods through a supply chain may seem overwhelming. Understanding the different types of shipment and related terms is crucial to ensure your goods get shipped on time, within compliance and in good shape.

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The Harmonized Tariff Schedule: Beyond the General Rules of Interpretation

John Goodrich | November 23, 2020 | Import Basics, Export Basics

I explored unorthodox methods companies use to find the correct Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) classification for their goods in a previous article. Now, I will outline the best practices your company should use when classifying your products.

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