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March 12 2012 issue

Monday, March 12, 2012
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

DR-CAFTA Earned Import Allowance Program for Apparel Subject of Annual Review

The International Trade Commission is conducting its third annual review of the Earned Import Allowance Program under DR-CAFTA. This program allows apparel manufacturers in the Dominican Republic who purchase a certain quantity of qualifying U.S. fabric for the production of certain cotton bottoms in the Dominican Republic to earn a credit that can be used to ship a certain quantity of eligible apparel using third-country fabrics into the U.S. duty-free. The ITC is required to review this program each year to evaluate its effectiveness and make recommendations for improvements.

The ITC has not scheduled a public hearing in connection with this investigation this year. Instead, interested parties are invited to file written submissions no later than April 12. The ITC’s report will be submitted to the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance committees by July 26.

Click here for ITC notice
http://www.ofr.gov/OFRUpload/OFRData/2012-05916_PI.pdf

FTZ Board, NAFTZ to Review New Foreign-Trade Zone Regulations

Members of the public are getting even more opportunities to find out more about the recent overhaul of the Foreign-Trade Zones Board regulations. The FTZ Board has scheduled two additional free webinars, and the National Association of Foreign-Trade Zones has extended its spring conference to review the FTZ Board rules as well as proposed changes to U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s regulations on in-bond merchandise.

The FTZ Board has announced two new grantee-focused webinars as part of its ongoing outreach and education initiative. The first, scheduled for Wednesday, March 14 at 1:00 pm EST, will cover grantees’ review of reports submitted by zone operators and filing of the annual FTZ Board report through the new Online FTZ Information System (OFIS) implemented this year. The second webinar, scheduled for Thursday, March 22 at 1:00 pm EST, will focus on the various aspects of the new FTZ Board regulations that will impact grantees. Topics such as the simplified application requirements and the public utility and uniform treatment provisions will be covered.

While these two webinars will be focused on grantee functions, they are open to anyone who may be interested. RSVPs are required to participate and are due by March 13 and March 21, respectively. RSVPs should include the individual’s name and email address and should be sent to ftz@trade.gov.

The FTZ Board plans to hold additional webinars in the coming months regarding the new regulations, so if you are an interested party and unable to attend the first sessions, stay tuned for additional announcements.

In addition, the NAFTZ has added a half-day to its spring conference May 6-8 in Atlanta to review the FTZ regulations as well as the proposed in-bond rule revisions. Gary Schreffler of CBP has been invited to review the in-bond regulations, while FTZ Board Executive Secretary Andrew McGilvray has been invited to present the new FTZ regulations. McGilvray’s presentation will be followed by an overview of how these changes will impact zone grantees, operators and users. A separate half-day session will include an in-depth discussion of the changes and how they will impact zone operations.

Registration to attend the NAFTZ conference is open to anyone interested, regardless of whether they are NAFTZ members. To register, or for more information, click here http://www.naftz.org/events/event_details.asp?id=215059

Monthly Trade Deficit Up Again as Imports Rise More than Exports

Trade statistics released March 9 by the Department of Commerce show that the monthly U.S. trade deficit in goods and services rose again in January, increasing $2.2 billion to $52.6 billion. Export growth accelerated, up $2.6 billion to $180.8 billion, but imports were up $4.7 billion to $233.4 billion. Compared to a year earlier, the January trade deficit was up by $5.0 billion (compared to $8.3 billion in December) as exports gained $12.9 billion (7.7%) and imports rose $18.0 billion (8.4%).

According to DOC, the goods trade deficit gained $2.4 billion in January to $67.5 billion while the services surplus edged up $0.3 billion to $14.9 billion. Exports of goods saw a $1.9 billion gain to $128.6 billion and imports moved ahead $4.3 billion to $196.1 billion. Services exports were up $0.7 billion to $52.2 billion and imports rose $0.4 billion to $37.3 billion.

Bilateral deficits declined with the European Union (11.5% to $8.5 billion), Japan (4.6% to $6.2 billion), Mexico (14.3% to $4.2 billion), Germany (14.6% to $4.1 billion) and Ireland (17.9% to $2.3 billion) but increased with China (12.6% to $26 billion), Canada (23.1% to $4.8 billion), Korea (180% to $1.4 billion) and Taiwan (62.5% to $1.3 billion). The U.S. ran trade surpluses with Hong Kong (down 16% to $2.1 billion), Australia (down 5.9% to $1.6 billion), Singapore (down 38.5% to $0.8 billion) and Egypt (unchanged at $0.2 billion).

Click here for Census report on trade deficit
http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/Press-Release/current_press_release/ft900.pdf

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.

March 12 – comments on FMC proposal to amend rules regarding the amount of bond coverage required in its optional China bond rider for non-vessel-operating common carriers
> Full Article

March 12 – comments on proposed extension of form BIS-711, Statement by Ultimate Consignee and Purchaser
> Full Article

March 12 – comments on information collection that involves nine miscellaneous activities associated with the export of items controlled by the Department of Commerce
> Full Article

March 15 – STTAS seminar on NAFTA qualification, compliance and recordkeeping
http://www.strtrade.com/Seminars/seminar_desc.aspx?id=21

March 15 – effective date of U.S.-Korea FTA
http://strtradenews.com/rv/ff00032e288a85e4d2e608e4a24b86e6de93ab1f/p=4917836

Of Note: EU Bike Tariffs, Indonesia-U.S. Relations

Chinese Bicycle Exporters May Win Easing of 48.5% EU Tariff
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-03-09/chinese-bicycle-exporters-may-win-easing-of-48-5-eu-tariff.html

Strengthening U.S.–Indonesia Economic Relations
http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2012/03/strengthening-us-indonesia-trade-and-economic-relations

AD Notices: Steel, Tires, Ironing Tables, PET Film

Agency: ITA.
Commodity: Corrosion-resistant carbon steel flat products.
Country: Korea.
Nature of Notice: Final results of administrative review for the period Aug. 1, 2009, through July 31, 2010, and partial revocation of AD duty order.
Details: Dumping margins range from 0.04% to 4.80%. AD duties based on these margins (except de minimis margins) will be assessed on entries of subject merchandise during the period of review, and AD duty cash deposits at these rates (except for de minimis margins) will be required for entries of subject merchandise entered or withdrawn from warehouse on and after March 12. The order has been revoked with respect to merchandise produced and exported by the POSCO Group, effective Aug. 1, 2010.
Link: http://www.ofr.gov/OFRUpload/OFRData/2012-05937_PI.pdf

Agency: ITA.
Commodity: New pneumatic off-the-road tires.
Country: China.
Nature of Notice: Final results of administrative review of AD duty order for the period Sept. 1, 2009, through Aug. 31, 2010, and rescission of review with respect to one company that had no shipments of subject merchandise to the U.S. during this period.
Details: Dumping margin for sole reviewed exporter is 11.07%. AD duties based on this margin will be assessed on entries of subject merchandise during the period of review, and AD duty cash deposits at this rate will be required for shipments of subject merchandise entered or withdrawn from warehouse on or after March 12.
Link: http://www.ofr.gov/OFRUpload/OFRData/2012-05939_PI.pdf

Agency: ITA.
Commodity: Floor-standing, metal-top ironing tables and certain parts thereof.

Country: China.
Nature of Notice: Final results of administrative review of AD duty order for the period Aug. 1, 2009, through July 31, 2010.
Details: Dumping margin for sole reviewed exporter is 43.47%. AD duties based on this margin will be assessed on entries of subject merchandise during the period of review, and AD duty cash deposits at this rate will be required for shipments of subject merchandise entered or withdrawn from warehouse on or after March 12.
Link: http://www.ofr.gov/OFRUpload/OFRData/2012-05915_PI.pdf

Agency: ITA.
Commodity: Polyethylene terephthalate film, sheet and strip.
Country: India.
Nature of Notice: Extension from April 1 to July 30 of time limit for preliminary results of administrative review of AD duty order for the period July 1, 2010, through June 30, 2011.
Link: http://www.ofr.gov/OFRUpload/OFRData/2012-05894_PI.pdf

Agency: ITA.
Commodity: Polyethylene terephthalate film, sheet and strip.
Country: China.
Nature of Notice: Final results of administrative review of AD duty order for the period Nov. 1, 2009, through Oct. 31, 2010.
Details: Dumping margins range from 8.42% to 76.72%. AD duties based on these margins will be assessed on entries of subject merchandise during the period of review, and AD duty cash deposits at these rates will be required for shipments of subject merchandise entered or withdrawn from warehouse on or after March 12.
Link: http://www.ofr.gov/OFRUpload/OFRData/2012-05936_PI.pdf

Memphis Foreign-Trade Zone Reorganized and Expanded

The Foreign-Trade Zones Board has approved the reorganization and expansion of FTZ 77 in the Memphis, Tenn., area. This zone will have a service area of Shelby County, within the Memphis U.S. Customs and Border Protection port of entry.

Click here for FTZB notice
http://www.ofr.gov/OFRUpload/OFRData/2012-05914_PI.pdf

ACE Application Under Review

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is requesting comments through May 11 on the proposed extension without change of the application to use the Automated Commercial Environment. To participate in various ACE pilots, companies and/or individuals are required to submit basic information to CBP, such as their name, employer identification number or social security number, standard carrier alpha code and, if applicable, a statement certifying their capability to connect to the Internet.

Comments should address whether this form is necessary for the proper performance of CBP functions, including whether the information has practical utility; ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; and ways to minimize the burden, including the use of automated collection techniques or the use of other forms of information technology.

Click here for CBP notice
http://www.ofr.gov/OFRUpload/OFRData/2012-05840_PI.pdf

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