It’s now 2020, and the trade industry should get ready for a busy year. With lots of activity right at the
beginning, it’s sure to be another interesting time for importers and exporters in the USA.
Right away the Trump Administration is looking to move fast in trade policy by scheduling a signing of a
“phase one” trade deal with China on January 15 th . The date was set in a New Year’s Eve tweet by the
President, pushing both sides to come to an agreement by the publicly set date.
The details of what’s in the deal have not been fully released, though they will likely not be substantial in
the vein of the pending USMCA trade deal. As a phase one part of it, it will more than likely be
agreement to a framework and should lead to the lessening of tariffs on both sides as well as potential
promises for goods purchases.

The extent of changes to the new section 301 tariffs are not yet apparent, though the US Trade
Representative’s office has indicated many of the 15% duties will be cut in half. These duties have been
a major point of interest for the Chinese delegation, and agricultural purchases by China have been a big
focus of the US side.

If the 301 tariffs are removed or scaled back, there will still be substantial opportunities for companies
that were affected by them to claim duty drawback. Claimants are eligible to get refunds on duties up to
five years following the import, and the first of the 301 tariffs went into effect mid-2018, and so will be
claimable through 2023. Meanwhile the USMCA deal with Canada and Mexico is expected to pass through the Senate soon,
having recently sailed overwhelmingly through the House. It could be voted on perhaps as early as this
coming Friday, which will then head to the President’s desk for signature. This new deal, building off the
25-year-old NAFTA, has been ratified by Mexican parliament but still will need the approval of both the
American and Canadian governments to go into effect.

In this changing environment it is important as ever to have a broker that can help you navigate the
details and get as much money back for you as possible. As Customs compliance and duty drawback
experts, JM Rodgers has the personnel and skills to help any importer or exporter to succeed. If you’d
like to discuss further, please contact J.M.Rodgers on our website to learn more.