Negotiators from 12 countries finally agreed on a comprehensive trade deal to reduce barriers to exports and imports in the Pacific Rim. During meetings earlier this month in Atlanta, representatives from Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam met with the U.S. Trade Representative to hammer out the final details of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP.) The future for the accord remains almost as mysterious as its contents however.
The exact contents of the deal have not been publicly released yet, but that did not stop political officials from attacking it as soon as the accord was announced. Delays in completing the agreement have made its actual acceptance by the governments of the participating countries unclear. It may not be possible to move such a controversial piece of legislation so close to Congressional elections in 2016. Further, both leading democratic contenders for U.S. President have come out against the pact. Therefore if a Democratic President is elected in the next cycle it may never be possible to get TPP ratified.
An unofficial border crossing lane, that is. Federal agents spearheaded by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) shut down one of the longest and most sophisticated smuggling tunnels ever discovered along the U.S.-Mexico border, seizing 12 tons of marijuana and arresting 22 suspects on October 22nd.
The just completed tunnel extended the length of approximately eight football fields, from a warehouse in Tijuana to a building in San Diego’s Otay Mesa industrial park. The reinforced passageway featured lighting, ventilation, and a rail transportation system. This is the 10th large-scale drug smuggling tunnel discovered in the San Diego area since 2006. In the last five years, federal authorities have detected more than 80 cross-border smuggling tunnels.
The House voted Friday to lift the 40-year-old ban on oil exports, fueling a clash with President Barack Obama and acting on one of the oil industry’s top congressional priorities. The measure’s Senate prospects are uncertain in part because of the White House’s opposition and the need for Democratic support to get it over a likely 60-vote hurdle most major bills face in the chamber.
The Export-Import Bank was started by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1934 as a New Deal program to boost exports. Sound familiar? Despite the name, Ex-Im doesn’t offer import assistance in the U.S. It provides loan guarantees, loans and insurance to help foreign companies buy U.S. goods when private banks can’t or won’t make loans in industries including aerospace, energy and manufacturing. Last week, Democrats in the U.S. Houses of Representatives and pro-Ex-Im Republicans forced a successful vote on reauthorization. The reauthorization decision moves to the U.S. Senate, where its prospects are unclear. President Obama now supports Ex-Im reauthorization.
The ACE Portal Account, currently under test, was modified by CBP effective October 21st to add export functionality. The portal will soon include access to AESDirect functionality and report generation. CBP invites comments on the test through its notice in the Federal Register.
H-J Enterprises, Inc. submitted a notification of proposed production activity in FTZ 102 for producing electrical transformer bushing assemblies in High Ridge, Missouri (more)
Nine West Holdings, Inc. applied for subzone status for its two sites totaling 60 acres in West Deptford, New Jersey in FTZ 142 (more)
Flextronics America, LLC submitted a notification of proposed production activity to expand the scope of its personal computer finished products and components produced in Subzone 183C in Austin, Texas (more)
The City of Hitchcock, Texas, has filed an application to establish an ASF FTZ for the City of Hitchcock. It would be the sixth Foreign-Trade Zone within the Port of Houston. (more)
Saft America Inc. received authorization of production activity for lithium-ion batteries within FTZ 64 Site 10 in Jacksonville, Florida (more)
Port Freeport applied for expansion of Site 1to include 40 additional acres, bringing the Site 1 total to 320 acres in FTZ 149 in Freeport, Texas (more)