Print PDF

March 15 2012 issue

Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

CV Duty Bill Enacted into Law March 13

On March 13, President Obama signed into law legislation to explicitly allow the federal government to impose countervailing duties on goods from non-market economy countries like China and Vietnam. The bill reverses a recent court ruling against that practice and its retroactive application to Nov. 20, 2006, will allow the United States to continue the 24 CV duty orders and several ongoing CV investigations involving Chinese and Vietnamese goods. The legislation also addresses a March 2011 ruling by the World Trade Organization Appellate Body that determined that the U.S. imposition of antidumping and CV duties on the same product (i.e., double remedies) is inconsistent with Article 19.3 of the WTO Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures.

Click here for a copy of the legislation

Alleged Violations of DR-CAFTA Labor Provisions by DR Government to be Reviewed by Labor Dept.

The Department of Labor’s Office of Trade and Labor Affairs has accepted for review a submission from Father Christopher Hartley alleging that the government of the Dominican Republic has violated the labor chapter of the DR-CAFTA. Specifically, the petitioner charges that the DR government’s actions or lack thereof have denied workers their rights under the laws of the DR relating to freedom of association, the right to organize, child labor, forced labor, the right to bargain collectively and acceptable conditions of work. Among other things, the petition discusses a number of issues in the sugar sector that the petitioner believes are in violation of DR labor laws.

OTLA states that its decision to accept the submission for review is not intended to indicate any determination as to the validity or accuracy of the allegations. Instead, the objective of this review is to gather information so that OTLA can better understand and publicly report on the U.S. government’s views regarding whether the DR government’s action were consistent with the obligations set forth in the DR-CAFTA. As report is expected within 180 days.

Click here for a copy of the OTLA notice

EPA Proposes to Revise Certain Export Provisions of Cathode Ray Tube Rule

The Environmental Protection Agency is seeking comments by May 14 on a proposed rule that would revise certain export provisions of the cathode ray tube final rule published on July 28, 2006. The proposal would revise in various ways the conditional exclusions from the Resource Conservation and Recovery regulations that apply to persons who export CRTs for reuse or recycling.

For example, a definition of “CRT exporter” would be added to the rule to ensure that the EPA receives proper notification of all CRT shipments. Specifically, a CRT exporter would be defined as “any person in the United States who initiates a transaction to send used CRTs outside the United States or its territories for recycling or reuse, or any intermediary in the United States arranging for such export.” While the EPA expects only one person to perform the exporter duties required under the law, it would have the authority to enforce the CRT rule export regulations against all persons associated with the export who meet the definition of a CRT exporter. The EPA is also proposing that the CRT exporter and any intermediary arranging for the export must be in the United States because foreign-based entities add to the possibility of confusion over fulfilling the export responsibilities, and it is more difficult to establish EPA jurisdiction over such persons.

The EPA is also proposing to revise the notifications that must be submitted when CRTs are exported for reuse or recycling and require exporters of CRTs for recycling to submit annual reports. The EPA indicates that annual reports would provide the agency with more accurate information on the total quantity of CRTs exported for recycling during the calendar year and help determine whether CRTs exported for recycling are handled as commodities and not discarded.

Click here for proposed rule

Hefty Fine Expected in Price-Fixing Probe of LDC Panels

The Department of Justice announced March 13 that a Taiwanese producer of liquid crystal display panels, its U.S.-based subsidiary and two former top executives have been convicted for their role in a five-year conspiracy to fix the prices of thin-film transistor-liquid crystal display panels sold worldwide. The indictment charged that the Taiwanese company participated in the worldwide price-fixing conspiracy from Sept. 14 , 2001, to Dec. 1, 2006, and that its subsidiary participated at various times during the conspiracy. According to the Justice Department, the jury found that the gain derived from these illegal activities was at least $500 million and the maximum fine that may be imposed on these companies is $1 billion.

An additional seven companies have pleaded guilty in this case and have been sentenced to pay criminal fines totaling more than $890 million. In addition, 17 executives have been charged and sentenced to serve a combined total of 2,681 days in prison.

Amended IPR Infringement Petition Filed on Certain Mobile Electronic Devices; Remedy Comments Sought in Handbag/Luggage IPR Probe

The International Trade Commission received March 2 an amended petition requesting that it institute a Section 337 investigation regarding certain mobile electronic devices incorporating haptics. The proposed respondents are located in Taiwan, the British Virgin Islands and the U.S. A notice outlining this action is available here.

Separately, the presiding administrative law judge in the Section 337 investigation involving certain handbags, luggage, accessories and packaging thereof made in China has issued a recommended determination on remedy and bonding. The ITC is seeking input by April 4 on any public interest issues raised by the recommended relief, specifically the issuance of a general exclusion order covering subject merchandise that infringes certain U.S. trademarks. A notice outlining this action is available here.

Section 337 investigations primarily involve claims regarding intellectual property rights violations by imported goods, including the infringement of patents, trademarks and copyrights. Other forms of unfair competition involving imported products, such as misappropriation of trade secrets or trade dress and false advertising, may also be asserted. The primary remedy available in Section 337 investigations is an exclusion order that directs U.S. Customs and Border Protection to stop infringing imports from entering the U.S. In addition, the ITC may issue cease and desist orders against named importers and other persons engaged in unfair acts that violate Section 337, including selling infringing imported articles out of U.S. inventory.

ITA Unveils Improved Intellectual Property Website

The International Trade Administration has unveiled a new and improved interagency online resource for U.S. companies looking for information on obtaining intellectual property rights and enforcing their rights overseas. The revamped website features a more user-friendly layout, a self-paced IPR tutorial in English, French and Spanish, and self-help manuals that provide the ins and outs of foreign IPR systems to help U.S. companies protect their business and IPR interests in foreign countries.

AD Notice: 1-Hydroxyethylidene-1, 1-Diphosphonic Acid

Agency: ITA.
Commodity: 1-Hydroxyethylidene-1, 1-Diphosphonic Acid.
Country: India.
Nature of Notice: Final results of administrative review of AD duty order for the period April 1, 2010, through March 31, 2011.
Details: The final dumping margin for Aquapharm Chemicals Pvt. Ltd. is 0.00%. As a result, no AD duties or cash deposit requirements will be imposed on entries of subject merchandise from this company during the period of review.

Oklahoma City and Connecticut Foreign-Trade Zones Reorganized and/or Expanded

The Foreign-Trade Zones Board has approved the reorganization and expansion of FTZ 106 in the Oklahoma City area. This zone will have a service area of Blaine, Caddo, Canadian, Cleveland, Comanche, Custer, Garfield, Garvin, Grady, Kay, Kingfisher, Lincoln, Logan, McClain, Noble, Oklahoma, Payne, Pontotoc, Pottawatomie, Seminole and Stephens counties, within and adjacent to the Oklahoma City Customs and Border Protection port of entry.

The FTZ Board has also approved the expansion of FTZ 71 in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, to include a site in East Granby/Windsor within the Hartford Customs and Border Protection port of entry.

Click here for FTZB notice on the Oklahoma City FTZ
Click here for FTZB notice on the Windsor Locks, Connecticut, FTZ

To get news like this in your inbox daily, subscribe to the Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report.

Customs & International Headlines