Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Quick Items Tuesday

First Sale Alive for Now

In yesterday's Federal Register notice regarding the data reporting requirements for first sale valuation, Customs and Border Protection tossed in the following statement with little fanfare: "CBP is withdrawing the notice of proposed interpretation." In other words, the effort to eliminate first sale valuation is dead for now. Despite that, Congress has mandated data collection, so that will go on. It is kind of like a movie I remover seeing as a kid in which a hand is separated from a dead body and continues on its merry way. Without a proposal to change the interpretation of "sold for export," this data is the tale wagging a dead dog. But, unless Congress acts, it seems CBP is stuck with the requirement. Frankly, this doesn't seem like a very big burden for importers. Let me know if I am wrong.

Farm Bill Lacey Act Amendment

I guess I should mention the other big data collection program. Under Farm Bill Amendments to the Lacey Act, plant and plant product imports will need to be reported and certified as not having been taken in violation of local law or regulation. This is going to be a hassle because it covers everything from paper products, to furniture, to wooden toys. December 15 is set as the start date for that program, which will require paper filings.

The New Zealand Problem??

I majored in Political Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (except that back then it was Champaign-Urbana). While there, I participated in an arms control and disarmament program because, at the time, it seemed vitally important. I did my honors paper on the then-tumultuous relationship between the U.S. and New Zealand. This was 1985 or so. NZ had kicked U.S. navy ships out of the country because the U.S. refused to disclose whether the ships were carrying nuclear weapons. This lead to a meltdown in the Australia-New Zealand-U.S. (ANZUS) Pact, which was a sort of NATO of the South Pacific.

Well, I don't want to get people too riled up, but it seem like New Zealand is trying to sneak into the U.S. commercial market via the backdoor of NAFTA, namely Mexico. Read this article. Tricky Kiwis. First they take the America's Cup, now they invade NAFTA.

Actually, this is perfectly legit. If a NZ company wants to do production in Mexico, that is good for Mexico and presumably consistent with the NAFTA's goal of encouraging investment in the region. I have no problem with that. I just think it is funny that all the NAFTA safeguards intended to prevent "export platforming" seemed to have been targeted at Asia. Instead, we might be seeing an invasion of Kiwi products. Other than Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, I'm not sure what that would be.

No comments: