Review Category : Blog

USDA’s Food Safety and inspection Service’s plans to reinspect all shipments of imported Siluriformes fish and fish products, including catfish,  beginning on Aug. 2, one month earlier than originally scheduled, according to a Federal Register Notice published on July 3. Countries that want to continue to export siluriformes fish and fish products, including catfish, to the U.S. must submit a complete “Self-Reporting Tool” and supporting documentation to USDA/FSIS by Sep 1, 2017.

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The TPP itself is, in essence, a series of bilateral commitments under a plurilateral umbrella. Attached to it are a series of bilateral exchanges of letters between some of the members on specific commitments, perhaps a similar device could be used to “tweak” the TPP sufficiently to allow US ratification. Alternatively, in the absence of the TPP, there may be scope for the new US Administration to take a greater leadership role in APEC, an organisation which does important work in enhancing regional economic integration and removing behind-the-border barriers to trade. Importantly, APEC does this through promoting business linkages and voluntary means rather than imposing binding legal rules.

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The U.S. is the world leader in producing new medicines. The country’s strong intellectual-property laws, coupled with a comparatively free-market pricing system, encourage firms to research new treatments. Companies wouldn’t take on the enormous cost of developing a new drug without a solid chance of recouping their investment. On average, a new medicine takes 10 years and costs $2.6 billion to develop, according to the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development.

The problem is that rather than promote innovation, many other countries impose price controls on prescription drugs—including new medicines invented in the United States—to make them artificially cheaper for consumers. If American companies refuse to sell their medicines at these steeply discounted dictated prices, foreign countries threaten to break their patents and produce knockoff versions of the medicines.

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In the Future Thought Leaders series, nationally prominent chefs, fishermen, academics, and activists call on consumers to choose local species of fish when possible to protect the long-term vitality of harvested seafood and the well-being of the oceans. This series was presented by the Berry Good Food Foundation, and the University of California. Some key numbers: 70 to 80% of global fish populations are not sustainably fished. 90% of seafood consumed in the U.S. is imported. 2% of that is inspected by the FDA.

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Overview: EIA estimates the South China Sea contains approximately 11 billion barrels of oil and 190 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in proved and probable reserves. Conventional hydrocarbons mostly reside in undisputed territory. Undiscovered resources could be greater. In November 2012, the Chinese National Offshore Oil Company (CNOOC) estimated the area holds around 125 billion barrels of oil and 500 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in undiscovered resources, although independent studies have not confirmed this figure.

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President-elect Donald Trump will nominate lawyer Robert Lighthizer as U.S. trade representative, picking an experienced trade official who has questioned the conservative movement’s commitment to free trade. Experts say that veteran attorney Robert Lighthizer is uniquely qualified to transform the rhetoric into actual concrete policy. Where Robert Lighthizer differs from others  is his firsthand experience with the ins and outs of U.S. trade law.

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The Seafood Import Monitoring Program final rule to combat fish fraud and illegal fishing was issued on Dec 8, 2016. The rule requires that fish species most often passed off fraudulently or at risk of illegal fishing be tracked from their source of origin before they can be imported to the United States. It requires retention of supply chain data by the importer of record and extends an existing NMFS requirement to obtain an annually renewable International Fisheries Trade Permit (IFTP) to import the seafood and seafood products regulated under this rule.

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“The U.S. is not changing China’s status as a non-market-economy,” a senior U.S. administration official said in an interview. “China’s protocol of accession to the WTO doesn’t require the U.S. or any other WTO member to automatically grant China market-economy status after December 11, 2016.”

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As the year 2016 draws to a close, we sincerely thank AmCham companies, members, and business associations and government partners for their friendship and cooperation during the year in our efforts to help make Vietnam the best business and investment destination in Southeast Asia.

We wish you all health, happiness and prosperity in 2017, the TET Lunar Year of the Rooster, and the Year of APEC 2017 in Vietnam !

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