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Precision News Round-Up: 18 September 2020

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Global Trade

WTO FINDS THAT THE US’S CHINA TARIFFS VIOLATE TRADING RULES

The World Trade Organization (WTO) has said that US tariffs imposed on Chinese goods in 2018 violated international trade rules. According to the WTO, the US failed to provide evidence that its claims of China's unfair technology theft and state aid justified the tariff imposal. China argued that the US tariffs were a breach of trade rules as they were higher than US commitments and only China was targeted. On Tuesday, China’s Commerce Ministry said it hoped the US would respect the ruling of the WTO. For in-depth details on this news item, please see the BBC.

LAW FIRMS ADVISE IMPORTERS TO SUE FOR CHINA TARIFFS

In more tariff news, a number of law firms and trade attorneys are encouraging US importers affected by the Section 301 China tariffs to file lawsuits. The lawyers believe that businesses could receive refunds on list 3 and 4A tariffs paid to date and avoid tariffs on future imports. On September 10, HMTX Industries filed a claim stating the Office of the US Trade Representative failed to issue List 3 or 4 within 12 months of investigating China’s theft of intellectual property. List 3 initially imposed 10 percent tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports, later rising to 25 percent. Importers looking to file a similar suit have until September 21. For further information and analysis, please see Supply Chain Dive.

Retail

AMAZON TO HIRE 100,000 NEW EMPLOYEES TO PREPARE FOR PEAK SEASON

On Monday, Amazon announced plans to hire 100,000 new part- and full-time employees in operations roles in the US and Canada in preparation for peak season. In September, Amazon will open 100 new operations facilities. These include fulfilment centers, delivery stations and sortation centers. The new operations roles are in addition to the 100,000 employees Amazon hired in April to handle the surge in volume due to the coronavirus pandemic. These new roles are also in addition to the 33,000 jobs in tech and corporate roles that Amazon announced last week. For more information and analysis, please see Supply Chain Dive.

US RETAIL SEE ANNUAL GAINS

On Wednesday, the United States Department of Commerce and the National Retail Federation (NRF) issued retail sales data which showed gains for the month of August. Total retail sales for August were $537.5 billion, an increase of 0.6 percent from July and 2.6 percent annually. Furthermore, total retail sales grew 2.4 percent from June to August compared to the same period last year. Non-store retail, including e-commerce, saw a 22.4 percent annual gain. You can read more on this story at Logistics Management.

Carriers

DHL UNVEILS AIR FREIGHT CHARTER COVERING US, EU & ASIA

This week, DHL Global Forwarding (GF) launched a new air freight charter service covering China, Europe, the US and South Korea. The charter service will run twice per week. The flight will originate from Chongqing and stop in Amsterdam, Chicago and Incheon before returning to China. According to DHL GF, the service is a response to a higher demand for pharma and technology goods. For further details, please see Air Cargo News.

FEDEX ANNOUNCES PRICE INCREASES FROM JANUARY

This week, FedEx Express, Ground and Freight announced an average rate increase of 4.9 percent from January 4, 2021. Furthermore, from January 18, FedEX will introduce three surcharges. These include changes to how FedEx assesses the Additional Handling Surcharge for Express and Ground packages larger than 105 inches in length and across. Furthermore, FedEx Freight is to charge a High Cost Service Area Surcharge in some US zip codes. Additionally, FedEx will apply an International Out-of-Delivery-Area Surcharge or an International Out-of-Pickup-Area Surcharge to some US locations when using FedEx International Express Freight. For more information on this news story, please see Supply Chain Dive.

Precision News

3 MINUTE EXPLAINER: FREE TRADE AGREEMENT COMPLIANCE

A free trade agreement (FTA) is an arrangement between two or more countries to remove trade barriers. Under the terms of the FTA, the signatories agree to reduce tariffs. Once the agreement is ratified, they can access each other’s markets with preferential duties — and sometimes with no duties at all.

As a result, an enterprise that engages in foreign trade can use FTA compliance to reduce duty obligations by sourcing goods and raw materials that are eligible for lower or zero duties. A company that can source goods at a lower price gains a competitive advantage.

Despite this, many companies do not do so. There is a good reason why — FTA compliance is a complex challenge. In this 3-Minute Explainer we look at the challenges of FTA compliance and how automation can help. Read the full report here.

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