Feb 13 2012 issue
DOC Issues Rule to Eliminate Zeroing in Certain AD Proceedings
As required by agreements the U.S. recently concluded (http://strtradenews.com/rv/ff0002b3a98330a415c12ff2a14e8d12bcf0fd99/p=4917836) with the European Union and Japan, the International Trade Administration is issuing a final rule that will effectively end the practice of zeroing in certain antidumping duty proceedings. This rule will become effective 60 days after it is published in the Federal Register and the modified methodology it contains will apply to preliminary AD duty determinations issued after that date.
In AD proceedings, the ITA determines dumping margins (which are used to set AD duty rates) by comparing normal value with the export price of comparable merchandise. This is typically done using the average-to-transaction method, which involves a comparison of the weighted average normal value to the export price of individual transactions for comparable merchandise. When aggregating the results of these comparisons to determine the weighted-average dumping margin, the ITA has not offset instances of sales below normal value with those above normal value. This practice, known as zeroing, has been overturned by the WTO in numerous cases.
The ITA is now modifying its methodology for calculating weighted-average dumping margins and assessment rates to provide offsets for non-dumped comparisons while using monthly average-to-average comparisons in reviews in a manner that parallels the WTO-consistent methodology the ITA currently applies in original investigations (which itself was changed in response to prior findings of inconsistency with WTO rules). When the weighted average dumping margin is zero or de minimis, no AD duties will be assessed.
Click here for ITA final rule
Federal Agencies Issue Semiannual Regulatory Agendas
U.S. federal agencies have published in the Federal Register their semiannual regulatory agendas, which list rulemakings the agencies currently have underway or have recently completed. The agenda for each agency can be accessed by clicking on the appropriate link below. Future issues of the Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report will include more details on pending proposed and final rules of interest to the international trade community.
- Department of Agriculture http://www.ofr.gov/OFRUpload/OFRData/2012-01640_PI.pdf
- Department of Commerce http://www.ofr.gov/OFRUpload/OFRData/2012-01641_PI.pdf
- Department of Energy http://www.ofr.gov/OFRUpload/OFRData/2012-01646_PI.pdf
- Environmental Protection Agency http://www.ofr.gov/OFRUpload/OFRData/2012-01656_PI.pdf
- Department of Homeland Security http://www.ofr.gov/OFRUpload/OFRData/2012-01648_PI.pdf
- Department of the Interior http://www.ofr.gov/OFRUpload/OFRData/2012-01649_PI.pdf
- Department of Justice http://www.ofr.gov/OFRUpload/OFRData/2012-01651_PI.pdf
- Department of Labor http://www.ofr.gov/OFRUpload/OFRData/2012-01652_PI.pdf
- Securities and Exchange Commission http://www.ofr.gov/OFRUpload/OFRData/2012-01669_PI.pdf
- Department of Transportation http://www.ofr.gov/OFRUpload/OFRData/2012-01653_PI.pdf
- Department of the Treasury http://www.ofr.gov/OFRUpload/OFRData/2012-01654_PI.pdf
New Legislation on Taxation, Port Security, CBP Officers
S. 2091 – to reform the international tax system of the United States (introduced Feb. 9 by Sen. Enzi, referred to the Senate Committee on Finance)
H.R. 4005 – to direct the Secretary of Homeland Security to conduct a study and report to Congress on gaps in U.S. port security and a plan to address them (introduced Feb. 9 by Rep. Hahn, referred to the House Committee on Homeland Security)
H.R. 4006 – to require the submission of a plan to ensure the placement of sufficient U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at each of the ten international airports in the United States with the largest volume of international travelers to effectively combat security threats and vulnerabilities (introduced Feb. 9 by Rep. Hahn, referred to the House Committee on Homeland Security)
Monthly, Annual Trade Deficits Both Up as Imports, Exports Rise
Trade statistics released Feb. 10 by the Department of Commerce show that the monthly U.S. trade deficit in goods and services rose again in December and that the annual trade deficit increased by 11.6% in 2011.
Monthly Deficit for December. The monthly trade deficit gained $1.7 billion in December, reaching $48.8 billion. Exports reversed a two-month slide and increased $1.2 billion to $178.8 billion while imports climbed for the second straight month, from $224.6 billion to $227.6 billion. Compared to a year earlier, the December trade deficit was up by $8.3 billion (compared to $8.9 billion in November ) as exports gained $14.8 billion (9.0%) and imports rose $23.1 billion (11.3%).
According to DOC, the goods trade deficit rose $1.8 billion in December to $64.3 billion while the services surplus was virtually unchanged at $15.5 billion. Exports of goods edged up $0.9 billion to $127.1 billion and imports increased $2.7 billion to $191.4 billion. Services exports and imports both saw a $0.3 billion rise, to $51.7 billion and $32.6 billion, respectively.
Bilateral deficits declined with China (14.1% to $23.1 billion), the European Union (1% to $9.6 billion), Mexico (10.9% to $4.9 billion), Nigeria (43.5% to $1.3 billion), Taiwan (42.9% to $0.8 billion) and Korea (61.5% to $0.5 billion) but increased with Japan (4.8% to $6.5 billion), Germany (2.1% to $4.8 billion), Canada (30% to $3.9 billion) and Venezuela (5.2% to $2.0 billion). The U.S. ran trade surpluses with Hong Kong (down 21.9% to $2.5 billion), Australia (up 13.3% to $1.7 billion), Singapore (up 33% to $1.3 billion), and Egypt (up 50% to $0.2 billion).
Annual Deficit. The annual trade deficit climbed to $558 billion in 2011, up $58 billion from 2010. Imports rose 9.6% to $2.56 trillion and exports surged 14.4% to $2.1 trillion. The overall goods deficit was $737.1 billion, a $91.2 billion increase from 2010, and the services surplus rose $33.2 billion to $179.0 billion.
Click here for Census report on trade deficit
Dates and Deadlines in the Week Ahead
Following are highlights of regulatory effective dates and deadlines and federal agency meetings coming up in the next week.
Feb. 13 – deadline for comments on applications for special permits (http://www.strtrade.com/wti/wti.asp?story=39013&date=1/13/2012&company=) for exceptions from the Hazardous Material Regulations, including for motor vehicles, rail freight, cargo vessels, cargo aircraft and passenger-carrying aircraft
Feb. 15 – meeting of Chronic Hazard Advisory Panel on phthalates and phthalate substitutes (http://www.strtrade.com/wti/wti.asp?story=39026&date=1/16/2012&company=)
Feb. 17 – deadline for comments on CBP Form 7501 (http://www.strtrade.com/wti/wti.asp?story=39037&date=1/18/2012&company=), the entry summary
Feb. 17 – deadline for comments on State Dept. proposed rule that would amend part 129 of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations relating to brokers and brokering activities (http://www.strtrade.com/wti/wti.asp?story=38807&date=12/19/2011&company=)
Foreign Regulatory Changes That Could Affect Exports
According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the World Trade Organization has been notified of regulatory changes that may affect exports of specific products to the following countries. More details, including regulatory texts, can be accessed here (https://tsapps.nist.gov/notifyus/data/request/new_notifications.cfm). For information on how these restrictions may affect your business, contact ST&R.
- Chile: standard establishing requirements for masonry cements obtained by blending or intergrinding process (comments due by March 24)
- Colombia: technical regulation on zinc-carbon and alkaline cells and batteries (effective July 27)
- France: order on the fire behavior of electric cables
- Guatemala: technical regulation establishing labeling requirements for pre-packaged distilled alcoholic beverages for human consumption (comments due by April 3)
- Guatemala: technical regulation establishing requirements for registration of microbiological pesticides for agricultural use (comments due by April 3)
- Korea: safety criteria for paints, heating eyelash curlers, synthetic resin children’s products, and children’s chairs (comments due by April 8)
- Mexico: draft official standard on integrated, omnidirectional/directional LED lamps for general lighting services (comments due by March 19)
IPR Enforcement Actions on Mobile Electronic Devices, Strollers
Potential IPR Probe of Mobile Electronic Devices Evaluated for Public Interest Issues. The International Trade Commission is requesting comments no later than Feb. 21 on any public interest issues raised by a Section 337 intellectual property rights infringement complaint against certain mobile electronic devices incorporating haptics. Comments should address whether the issuance of exclusion orders and/or cease and desist orders pursuant to this complaint would negatively affect the public health and welfare in the U.S., competitive conditions in the U.S. economy, the production of like or directly competitive articles in the U.S., or U.S. consumers. In particular, the ITC is interested in comments that:
- explain how the articles potentially subject to the orders are used in the U.S.;
- identify any public health, safety or welfare concerns in the U.S. relating to the potential orders;
- identify like or directly competitive articles that the complainant, its licensees or third parties make in the U.S. that could replace the subject articles if they were to be excluded;
- indicate whether the complainant, the complainant’s licensees and/or third-party suppliers have the capacity to replace the volume of articles potentially subject to exclusion orders and cease and desist orders within a commercially reasonable time; and
- explain how the requested remedial orders would impact U.S. consumers.
Click here for ITC notice
Patent Infringement Investigation of Strollers and Playards Terminated. The International Trade Commission has terminated patent infringement investigation 337-TA-762 of certain strollers and playards on the basis of a settlement agreement.
Click here for ITC notice
Energy Conservation Standards for Wine Chillers Subject of Feb. 22 Meeting
The Department of Energy is considering establishing energy conservation standards for residential wine chillers and other residential refrigeration products. To inform stakeholders and facilitate this process, DOE has prepared a framework document that details its planned analytical approach and identifies several issues on which DOE is particularly interested in receiving comments (click here for copy of framework document - http://www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/appliance_standards/residential/refrigerators_freezers.ht
ml). Comments on these and any other subject within the scope of this notice may be submitted through March 14. DOE will also hold an informal public meeting Feb. 22 in Washington, D.C., to discuss and receive comments on its analytical approach and issues that it will address in this proceeding. This meeting will also be broadcast as a webinar.
Click here for DOE notice
Treasury Publishes International Boycott Country List
The Treasury Department has published a current list of countries that may require participation in, or cooperation with, an international boycott. The list includes Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, United Arab Emirates and Yemen. Treasury notes that Iraq is not included on this list but that its status with respect to future lists remains under review.
Click here for Treasury notice