It’s been a big week for trade news coming out of Washington, D.C. with two new developments in trade relations. The United States and China signed the initial phase of a trade deal, and the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) is a step closer to reality.

On Wednesday, the United States and China signed a phase one trade deal to address several issues in the ongoing trade negotiations between the world’s two largest economies. The phase one agreement, which was tentatively agreed to last month, includes updates that impact the recreational fishing industry, such as:

  • List 4a tariffs, which went into effect on September 1, 2019, are reduced from 15% to 7.5%. Information on recreational fishing items impacted can be found in ASA’s previous trade communication.
    • The Office of the United States Trade Representative issued a notice stating that the tariff reduction will go into effect for products landing in the U.S. beginning on Feb. 14, 2020. Until that time, the existing 15% rate will still apply.
  • List 4b tariffs, which were originally scheduled to go into effect on December 15, 2019, are suspended.
  • No changes were announced for the 25% tariffs that impact products on List 1, 2 and 3.

Additionally, for members still impacted by existing tariffs on List 4a, there is still time to apply for an exclusion before January 31, 2020.

On Thursday, the USMCA was passed in the Senate on a bipartisan vote. The agreement, which updates the 26-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), is now expected to be approved by Canada later this month before going into effect.

ASA will continue to monitor trade negotiations and assist members who may have questions, particularly as it pertains to the exclusion process. Please contact Mike Leonard, vice president of Government Affairs, with questions.