During his January 18th confirmation hearing, Wilbur L. Ross Jr., the Commerce Secretary-Designate asked rhetorically “ How can we in-source companies like Nissan and Toyota and Airbus?” to which he responded “I think the best incentive for foreign companies to come here is, first of all, we're the world's largest markets and so that's a big encouragement, but if we lowered the corporate tax rate, that would be a further inducement for them to come.” This focus on reducing the corporate tax rate has been warmly received by Wall Street but the details of how to do this have not yet been worked out. And those details may very well end up having an impact on trade.
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Republicans seem ready to tackle tax reform in the next 24 months while they are assured a majority in both chambers. The House proposal, championed by Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) cuts individual and corporate tax rates, including border tax adjustments whereby imported goods are subject to a tax equal to the corporate tax rate of 20% and revenues from exports are exempt. The Trump administration has expressed concerns that the so-called “border adjustability” provision is too complicated and has discussed imposing tariffs as high as 10% on imports in place of that provision. This is a story to follow and discuss with your Washington representatives.
A total of 3,164 petitions for the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB) were logged by the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) in the new electronic process for requesting duty suspensions and reductions. Several petitioners submitted multiple requests and Bayer CropScience LP led the pack with 127 individual requests. Chemicals including pigments account for a large number of petitions.
Each petition is now open to public comment; the USITC will use these comments in making a final recommendation to Congress on which MTB petitions should move forward.
Amcor Flexibles L.L.C. submitted a notification of proposed production activity for flexible packaging production, warehousing, and Distribution within a new Subzone of FTZ 29 Shelbyville, Kentucky (more)
The Casper/Natrona County International Airport applied to reorganize FTZ 157 under the Alternative Site Framework with a proposed Service Area to include a portion of Natrona County, Wyoming (more)
Givaudan Flavors Corporation received authorization of production activity for flavor products within Subzone 44H in East Hanover, New Jersey (more)
MTD Consumer Group, Inc. received authorization of production activity for lawn and garden equipment with a restriction that textile grass catcher bags be admitted in domestic status in Site 17 of FTZ 158 in Verona, Mississippi (more)
Best Chairs, Inc. d/b/a Best Home Furnishings received authorization of production activity for upholstered furniture with a restriction that upholstery leather be admitted in privileged foreign status in Site 5, 6, & 7 of FTZ 177 in Ferdinand, Cannelton, and Paoli, Indiana (more)
Stihl Incorporated submitted a notification of proposed production activity for additional components of outdoor power equipment in Subzone 20E in Virginia Beach, Virginia (more)
Samsung Electronics America, Inc. received approval to operate their Coppell, Texas facility as a subzone within Site 9 of FTZ 168 (more)
IRIS USA, Inc. submitted a notification of proposed production activity to add additional components for plastic household storage/Organizational Containers within Site 12 of FTZ 277 in Surprise, Arizona (more)
The Port of Southern Louisiana submitted an application to reorganize FTZ 124 under the Alternative Site Framework with a Service Area of Plaquemines and Assumption Parishes in Louisiana (more)
Givaudan Flavors Corporation received approval of production activity for flavor products within Subzone 79E in Lakeland, Florida (more)
Superior Weighting Products LLC submitted a notification of proposed production activity for barium, calcium carbonate, and Boentonite within a new subzone of FTZ 122 in Corpus Christi, Texas (more)
Volvo Car US Operations, Inc. Brake Parts Inc. received approval of production activity for automobiles and related parts with restrictions on textile imports within FTZ 21 in Ridgeville, South Carolina (more)
Thor Industries, Inc. received approval to expand ASF Subzone 100D in Jackson Center, Ohio (more)
Jos. A. Bank Manufacturing Company received approval to operate their Hampstead and Eldersburg, Maryland facilities as ASF Subzone 73D (more)
Canon Virginia, Inc. received authorization of production activity for additional components for toner cartridges within Subzone 20D in Newport News, Virginia (more)
AGFA Corporation submitted a notification of proposed production activity for aluminum digital printing plates within a new subzone of FTZ 44 in Branchburg, New Jersey (more)
Apple Inc. submitted a notification of proposed production activity for additional components and finished goods for data server cabinets within Subzone 221A in Mesa, Arizona (more)
MannKind Corporation submitted a notification of proposed production activity to add fumaryl diketopiperazone to its list of finished products within Subzone 76B in Danbury, Connecticutt (more)
PGTEX USA, Inc. submitted a notification of proposed production activity for fiber glass fabrics within Site 3 of FTZ 68 in El Paso, Texas (more)
MSD International GMBH (Puerto Rico Branch) LLC submitted a notification of proposed production activity for pharmaceuticals within Subzone 7G in Las Piedras, Puerto Rico (more)
Westlake Chemical Corporation submitted a notification of proposed production activity for polyethylene and styrene within Subzone 87F in Sulphur, Louisiana (more)
Givaudan Flavors Corporation received approval of production activity for flavor products within Subzone 46G in Cincinnati, Ohio (more)
TopShip, LLC received approval of production activity for shipbuilding with restrictions on steel materials within FTZ 92 in Gulfport, Mississippi (more)
January was a month of protests and marches in your Nation’s Capital. Despite the tumult, the actual transition of power in the world’s most powerful democracy again proceeded exactly as it was imagined hundreds of years ago; far smoother than in many smaller countries. The 44th and 45th Presidents of the United States were even able to stand together for the people, despite their significant differences of opinion. Where else do you see that?