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Important EPA and Trade Updates

Thursday, August 17, 2017   (0 Comments)
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The following EPA and Trade updates that may be of interest to JPMA members are as of August 17, 2017.

 

 EPA Updates

  • NGOs Sue EPA on TSCA Framework Final Rules: Last week, several NGOs sued EPA challenging their final rules for both the chemical evaluation processes. Their stated concern was the agency’s expedited review of all uses of chemicals just focusing on certain high risk uses. Until the lawsuit gets resolved,  EPA will apply mandated TSCA review as per procedures outlined in the final rules published this June.
  • EPA Publishes Inventory Reset Rule: EPA recently published the final rule that outlines the process they will use to reset the inventory of chemicals currently in commerce. This publication starts a clock that gives chemical manufacturers six months to inform EPA of those chemicals they still produce. If a chemical is not listed on this inventory but is still found to be used, then it will need to go through an extensive review process done by EPA. After this initial six month reporting period for chemical manufacturers is complete, EPA will provide another six month period where “processors” (users of chemicals) have an opportunity to review the list of chemicals submitted to ensure all necessary ingredients are listed on the registry. JPMA  will let members know when this period of review begins.

 

Trade Updates

  • China IP Investigation: The White House issued a Presidential Memorandum asking the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to determine whether to conduct an investigation into whether China’s laws, policies, practices or actions are harming U.S. IP rights, innovation or technology development. Such a “Section 301 investigation”, could result in tariffs or import restrictions from China. House and Senate trade committees welcomed the directive for review and encouraged negotiations before additional unilateral action.  The ordered review was widely reported in media.
  • NAFTA Negotiations: NAFTA negotiations are underway in Washington, DC with topics such as impact of state owned enterprises, currency valuations, reducing regulations on IP and elimination of subsidies expected to be discussed over the next few days. There are disagreements between the three sides on some issues with the U.S. proposal to raise the de minimis exemption on goods subject to tariff in Mexico and Canada to align with the US  facing resistance. The current de minimis exemption for goods being brought into the US  is approx. $800 while the Canadian and Mexican thresholds are $20 and $50 respectively. Mexico and Canada have expressed reservations on raising the de minimis citing concerns about unfair e-commerce competition and other types of violative products, escaping screening and coming into their respective countries.
  • USTR Seeks Comment on International IP Infringement: USTR issued a request for comments to develop the annual “Notorious Markets List” – a report that lists international markets based outside the U.S. (both physical and online) that regularly engage in and/or facilitate IP infringing activities. Previously infringing internet websites included Alibaba’s Taobao. If members have a concern with counterfeits of their products being subject to sales online, please let JPMA know.


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