Trade & Policy Round-up for May

Updated: Jun 2

By SPESA

Below is a collection of stories related to trade and government policy that may impact the sewn products industry around the world.


Post-Brexit EU-UK Trade Deal Ratified

The EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement officially went into effect May 1, 2021, after it received an overwhelming majority of votes in the European Parliament. The agreement sets out preferential arrangements in areas such as trade in goods and in services, intellectual property, public procurement, aviation and road transport, judicial cooperation, and participation in EU programs. While this doesn’t change much — the agreement has provisionally been in place since January — it should give some peace of mind to those moving goods across Europe. Read more.


Request for Comments on AGOA Eligibility The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) has initiated its annual eligibility review of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). AGOA provides eligible sub-Saharan African countries with duty-free access to the U.S. market for over 1,800 products not included in the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), as well as preferential treatment for certain textile and apparel articles. To receive AGOA benefits, countries must establish or make continual progress toward establishing a market-based economy and democratic processes. Countries must also eliminate barriers to U.S. trade and investment, enact policies to reduce poverty, combat corruption, and protect human rights. Interested parties are encouraged to submit written comments on the countries eligible to receive AGOA benefits by the June 23rd deadline.


Federal Register Notice Outlining the Public Comment Process | 2020 USTR Report on AGOA Implementation


Industry Groups Testify on USTR Section 301 Proposal

Last month, we highlighted USTR’s proposal to impose new Section 301 tariffs on goods imported from Austria, India, Italy, Spain, Turkey, and the United Kingdom in response to the countries’ Digital Service Taxes (DSTs). During USTR’s public hearings in early May, several industry lobbying groups spoke out against the proposal. The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) stressed that the imposition of additional tariffs on imported goods would punish American companies, consumers, and