capital report: december 11, 2018

U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) Signed

President Trump, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto signed the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) on Nov. 30 during the G20 Summit in Buenos Aires. The agreement was signed without resolving U.S. Section 232 tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum from Canada and Mexico.

President Trump has threatened to terminate NAFTA "within a relatively short period of time" in order to pressure Congress to pass the USMCA.

The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has launched an investigation into the likely economic impacts of the USMCA. USITC is seeking comments to assess the impact on the U.S. economy, selected industry sectors and U.S. consumer interests. Written comments from the public are due Dec. 20, 2018. Please contact Angela Chiang with any comments you would like included in the association’s submission or require assistance in completing comments of your own.

View the USMCA resource page:


Tariffs Update: White House Announces Temporary Trade Deal with China

On Dec. 1, President Trump announced that he and Chinese President Xi had agreed to a temporary trade deal during the G20 summit in Buenos Aires. In return for President Xi committing to buy a “very substantial amount” of U.S. agricultural, energy and industrial products, President Trump agreed to not raise the tariff rate on $200 billion worth of imports from China to 25 percent from the current 10 percent rate.

Prior to this agreement, the administration was set to increase tariffs on those products included in the third Section 301 list announced back in September to 25 percent, beginning on Jan. 1, 2019. Members can use the HTS search engine to see whether their products are included in this list.

Both parties agreed to start and complete negotiations within 90 days. If the parties are not able to reach a long-term agreement, that increase to 25 percent will go into effect.

"[W]e are encouraged by the Trump administration’s commitment to engaging with the Chinese government in order to reach an agreement with respect to forced technology transfer and intellectual property protection,” said Bill Hanvey, president and CEO, Auto Care Association. “We are hopeful that the upcoming negotiations will resolve many of our long standing concerns in these areas.”

View the Section 301 tariffs resource page:


Proposed Amendments to California’s Prop 65 Address Retail Seller Responsibility

The California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) proposed amendments to Proposition 65 (Prop 65) regulations setting forth the circumstances when a “retail seller” is required to provide a consumer product exposure warning. Retail sellers are defined under the regulations as:

A person or business that sells or otherwise provides consumer products directly to consumers by any means, including via the internet. For purposes of this article, a retail seller includes those functions of a business involved in the sale of consumer products, including foods, directly to consumers, even if the business or facility is primarily devoted to non-retail activities.

Under the amended regulations, manufacturers, producers, packagers, importers, suppliers and distributors have primary responsibility for complying with Prop 65 requirements. Retail sellers can be responsible for placement and maintenance of consumer product exposure warnings only under specified conditions set forth in the regulations. OEHHA states that it has proposed these clarifying amendments in response to a number of questions and requests for clarification the agency has received regarding these conditions.

OEHHA scheduled a public hearing on the amendments for Jan. 3, 2019, 10 a.m.-12 p.m. PST in Oakland, Calif. Comments on the proposed amendments are due by Jan. 11, 2019. 

Questions? Contact Tom Tucker.

Read the new amendments:


FMC Approves PierPass 2.0 at California Ports

Last month, the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) approved PierPass to launch its revised OffPeak program of extended gate hours at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

Beginning Nov. 19, the revised OffPeak program, informally called PierPass 2.0, replaced the original OffPeak congestion-pricing model with a system using appointments to mitigate traffic. It uses a reduced Traffic Mitigation Fee (TMF) across all hours of terminal operation to help offset the cost of operating extended gates.

Cargo owners moving containers into and out of the ports by truck gate and who aren’t already registered with PierPass can do so at

The current TMF of $72.09 per TEU (20-foot equivalent unit) will be reduced to $31.52 per TEU or $63.04 for all other size containers. The TMF will be charged during all shifts on all days.

Read more about PierPass:


Get Ready: California’s Cleaning Products Right to Know Act Will Go into Effect in 2020

The Cleaning Products Right to Know Act of 2017 (CPRTKA), which requires additional disclosure and labeling for cleaning products sold in California, will go into effect beginning on Jan. 1, 2020. Auto Care Association members who do business in California should begin preparing now for these new requirements.

The CPRTKA requires a manufacturer of a "cleaning product" sold in California to disclose on the product label and post on the product's website, a list of all intentionally added ingredients contained in any product included on a "designated list," and a list of all fragrance allergens included on specified regulations when present in the product at a concentration at or above 0.01 percent (100 ppm).

The CPRTKA requires employers to maintain a safety data sheet, and to ensure that those safety data sheets are available to an employee pursuant to the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board. If any of the designated products are used in the workplace, the employer must make available certain information included in the online disclosures related to the chemicals in those designated products.

In addition, the law’s definition of "designated product" applies to a much broader list of products, including air care products, automotive products, general cleaning products and floor polish or floor maintenance products used primarily for janitorial, domestic or institutional cleaning purposes.

To protect confidential business information, the CPRTKA does not require a manufacturer to disclose how a product is manufactured or the weight or amount of an intentionally added ingredient, including a fragrance ingredient, or a nonfunctional constituent. Manufacturers are also not required to list ingredients or nonfunctional constituents in any particular order if they are present in a designated product at a concentration of less than 1 percent.

A designated product shall not be sold in California unless the designated product and the manufacturer of the designated product comply with the act. The online disclosure requirements apply to a designated product sold in California on or after Jan. 1, 2020. The product label disclosure requirements apply to a designated product sold in California on or after Jan. 1, 2021.

Questions? Contact Tom Tucker.

Read the bill text:


CARB Releases Consumer Product Survey Data

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) Draft Consumer Product Survey Data are now available for public review. These materials provide a detailed summary of consumer product sales, emissions, volatile organic compound content, chemical speciation, reactivity and other information for over 400 categories of consumer products over a three-year period. In total, more than 1,500 product manufacturers and formulators participated in this effort, providing product sales and chemical formulation information for over 300,000 products sold in California. This survey data is typically used by CARB to develop regulations that seek to reduce emissions from use of these products.

To protect confidentiality of responding companies, CARB has withheld information in cases in which few products were reported within a particular category. In addition, the quantity of some reported chemical ingredients have been withheld from some tables to protect confidentiality. Finally, CARB has taken steps to ensure both the preliminary draft survey data summaries published this June and the Draft Consumer Product Survey Data released continue to be protective of manufacturer confidentiality.

CARB staff will hold a public webinar to discuss the Draft Consumer Product Survey Data and supplemental materials with interested stakeholders on Jan. 15, 2019, 9:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. PST.

View the survey data:
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