With regulations ever changing and updates constantly being made, we understand keeping up with new regulations affecting global trade can be challenging. Therefore, Global Trade News has taken the information that we have gathered over the last month from governments around the world, and compiled it into a monthly summary, posted here for you. You can access this information, along with all related FTA posts at any time by visiting the Free Trade Agreement category on this blog.


FTAs
Recently In Force or Scheduled to Come Into Force:

EU – Guatemala - http://bit.ly/IVx8Fi

 

FTAs Recently Signed:

Canada – Honduras - http://bit.ly/19lQARw

Costa Rica – European Free Trade Association (EFTA)  - http://bit.ly/1juea6b

 

FTAs under Negotiations:

EU – US - http://bit.ly/Iwe5AP

South Korea - Japan - China - http://bit.ly/1cql8Gi

Thailand – India - http://bit.ly/19lRSw3

EU – Thailand - http://bit.ly/IORbo3

India – Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) - http://bit.ly/1eVdR0M

Malaysia – EU - http://bit.ly/1d5gVWM

EU – Vietman - http://bit.ly/1iGMKfm

Canada – Japan - http://bit.ly/IHHtUd

European Free Trade Association (EFTA) – Vietnam - http://bit.ly/1ceZ9hO

South Korea – China - http://bit.ly/IweDXp

Mexico – Panama - http://bit.ly/IwdW0i

China – Australia - http://bit.ly/1gK98A9

FTA Talks Beginning:

Ecuador – EU - http://bit.ly/1gcAAcj

Bangladesh and the US have signed the Trade and Investment Cooperation Forum Agreement (TICFA). The Bangladesh capital, Dhaka, hopes the agreement will mend the two nations’ relationship damaged by the fatal Savar garment factory collapse in the spring of 2013. The US suspended duty-free trade access to some products from Bangladesh following the tragedy.

Bangladesh overturned their decision to reject a previously proposed US deal after it came under pressure from the US and Europe regarding the working conditions in its garment factories.

Sky News reports that Bangladesh has enacted a series of reforms including easing curbs on labor unions and raising the rock-bottom wages of the country's four million workers in its effort to reclaim trade benefits.

According to the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), the US goods imports from Bangladesh totaled $4.9 billion in 2012 with two of the largest import categories being woven and knit apparel.

"This will pave the way for stronger engagement between the parties to resolve some crucial trade issues", including the suspension of duty-free access to Bangladeshi exports in the US market, Bangladesh ambassador Akramul Qader said.

Qader views the agreement as “an opening of a new chapter” in the two nations’ relationships.

Access the full article here.

Through the efforts of an interagency collaboration, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers and Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) investigators seized more than 200,000 toy dolls arriving from China due to high levels of a group of banned chemical compounds.

According to CBP.gov, the ten shipments, valued at nearly $500,000, were seized at the ports of Chicago, IL, Dallas, TX, Los Angeles, CA, Norfolk, VA, Memphis TN, Newark, NJ, Portland, OR, and Savannah GA. The toy parts contained high levels of phthalates, a potential safety risk to the public, especially children.

The Import Safety Commercial Targeting and Analysis Center (CTAC), designed to streamline and enhance federal efforts to address import safety issues, had been tracking these shipments since April 2013, due to the potential threat.  “Using advanced technology to track certain shipments before they reach our shores is helping CPSC better protect America’s consumers,” said CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum. “CPSC and CBP are working in partnership to detect and detain violative imports.” CTAC’s efforts, in conjunction with the actions of CBP and CPSA, stopped more than 1.1 million unsafe products in the 2012 Fiscal Year alone.

The Toy Industry Association (TIA) Executive Vice President, Ed Desmond states, “[TIA] commends CBP and CPSC for their diligence and hard work at the ports to ensure that products violating strict federal safety laws never reach consumers.”

You can access the full article, including video, images and testing results, here.

This interagency collaboration is a great example of the One US Government at the Border initiative.  To hear more about the One US Government at the Border initiative, join Integration Point & CBP for a free, educational webcast on December 11, 2013.  More information and registration for the webcast can be accessed here.