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August 17 2012 Issue

Friday, August 17, 2012
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

Thirty-Four U.S. States Achieved Record Exports during First Half of 2012

Recently-released trade data show that 34 U.S. states achieved record high merchandise exports during the first half of 2012. These states were Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming. Texas remains by far the largest exporting state with a 16.9% share of total U.S. merchandise exports during January-June 2012, followed by California (10.6% share), New York (5.4%), Washington (4.5%), Illinois (4.5%), Florida (4.3%), Louisiana (3.7%) and Michigan (3.7%). On the other hand, Hawaii, Wyoming, South Dakota, Montana and Rhode Island were the states with the fewest exports during January-June 2012. 

Merchandise exports from Texas grew the most in absolute dollar terms during the first half of this year, up by $9.2 billion to $130.8 billion. Washington registered a $4.8 billion increase to $35.1 billion while California (up $4.6 billion to $82.0 billion), Illinois (up $3.6 billion to $35.1 billion) and Michigan ($3.1 billion to $28.3 billion) followed. The best performers during the first half in terms of percentage growth included the District of Columbia (162.1%), New Mexico (63.4%), Nevada (39.2%), Arkansas (36.2%), West Virginia (31.1%), Mississippi (25.3%), Wyoming (24.1%), North Dakota (23.9%), Iowa (22.1%), Washington (16.0%) and Alabama (15.9%). Conversely, exports from Hawaii (-29.7%), New Hampshire (-18.6%), Maine (-16.3%) and Idaho (-9.6%) were especially lethargic during the first half. 

U.S. exports of transportation equipment were particularly lively during January-June 2012, with shipments from Washington (up $4.9 billion), Michigan (up $2.3 billion), Texas (up $2.2 billion), Ohio (up $1.1 billion) and California ($1.0 billion) leading the way. Overall, U.S. exports of transportation equipment increased by $17.5 billion during the first half and accounted for one-third of the dollar growth in U.S. merchandise exports. 

A press release by the U.S. Department of Commerce states that total merchandise exports from all 50 states contributed to a record $2.1 trillion in goods and services exports last year, which supported 9.7 million jobs. 

CBP Provides Additional Details on Expansion of Simplified Entry Pilot Test

As previously reported, U.S. Customs and Border Protection recently announced certain modifications to the National Customs Automation Program test concerning the simplified entry functionality in the Automated Commercial Environment. Specifically, CBP indicated in an Aug. 14Federal Register notice that the participant selection criteria have been modified to reflect that while importer self-filers must still hold a Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism Tier 2 or higher status to be eligible to participate in the test, the C-TPAT status of an importer for whom a customs broker files a simplified entry is no longer an eligibility criterion. In addition, the test will no longer be limited to nine participants. 

CBP announced on Aug. 15 an expansion of the simplified entry pilot test to additional ports. The first simplified entry filings took place at Indianapolis, Chicago and Atlanta, with 7,914 entries filed for 338 importers of record from June 4 through Aug. 10. Based on an evaluation of the success of the pilot, CBP is deploying simplified entry/cargo release to additional airports using a regional approach. The port of Seattle received its first simplified entry on Aug. 14 and expansion to the ports of San Francisco, Oakland and Los Angeles will follow soon thereafter. CBP indicates that the pilot will expand in mid-September to the ports of Dallas/Ft. Worth, Houston and Miami and will subsequently be implemented in Newark, New York/JFK and Boston. Parties interested in participating in this expanded test must submit an application to CBP by Sept. 4. 

CBP states that it is also working to expand the pilot functionality in the future to include additional capabilities: the participating government agency message set, the simplified entry transaction set, single transaction bonds, automatic cancellations and deletions, and the document image system. CBP will also work to include remote location filing in future pilot deployments.

Canada and China Issue Study on Bilateral “Economic Complementarities”

Canada and China issued on Aug. 15 a study that examines the economic complementarities that exist between the two countries as part of a broader effort to expand bilateral trade and economic relations. According to a press release by Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, the study provides a broad overview of the Canadian and Chinese economies and bilateral trade relations and examines seven economic sectors in greater depth. These sectors are agriculture and agri-food (including fish and seafood), clean technology and environmental goods and services, machinery and equipment, natural resources and derived products, services, transportation infrastructure and aerospace, and textiles and related goods. The study concludes that the Canadian and Chinese governments should continue to deepen and strengthen bilateral trade and investment ties through appropriate bilateral instruments to ensure that citizens in both countries can continue to build a prosperous and sustainable future. Minister of International Trade Ed Fast indicated that the Canadian government is “carefully reviewing the information contained in the study” and “considering its findings.”

China is Canada’s second-largest single-nation trading partner with two-way merchandise trade of $65 billion last year. Canadian exports to China grew by 27% last year while imports from the mainland increased 8%. The Harper administration has identified China as a priority market under its Global Commerce Strategy and has declared that advancing Canada’s trade and investment interests with that country is “key to the future and prosperity of Canadians.”

AD Notices: Brass Sheet and Strip, Pipe and Tube

Agency: ITA.
Commodity: Brass sheet and strip.
Country: Italy.
Nature of Notice: Rescission of AD administrative review.
Details: The ITA has rescinded its administrative review of KME Italy SpA for the period Mar. 1, 2011 through Feb. 29, 2012 because the petitioners withdrew their request for a review of that company.

Agency: ITA.
Commodity: Light-walled rectangular pipe and tube.
Country: Mexico.
Nature of Notice: Termination of panel review.
Details: The panel review that had been constituted to examine the final results of the ITA’s 2009-2010 AD administrative review of imports of subject merchandise was terminated Aug. 9.

DOE Considers Amendments to Energy Conservation Standards for Dehumidifiers

The Department of Energy has issued a framework document to consider whether to further amend the energy conservation standards for residential dehumidifiers. The Energy Policy and Conservation Act requires that any new or amended energy conservation standard be designed to achieve the maximum improvement in energy or water efficiency that is technologically feasible and economically justified. To determine whether a standard is economically justified, EPCA requires that DOE determine whether the benefits of the standard exceed its burdens by considering, to the greatest extent practicable: (1) the economic impact of the standard on the manufacturers and consumers of the affected products; (2) the savings in operating costs throughout the estimated average life of the product compared to any increases in the initial cost or maintenance expense; (3) the total projected amount of energy and water (if applicable) savings likely to result directly from the imposition of the standard; (4) any lessening of the utility or the performance of the products likely to result from the imposition of the standard; (5) the impact of any lessening of competition that is likely to result from the imposition of the standard; (6) the need for national energy and water conservation; and (7) other relevant factors.

To begin the required rulemaking process, DOE has prepared a framework document to explain the issues, analyses and processes that it is considering for the development of amended energy conservation standards for residential dehumidifiers. DOE will hold a meeting in connection with this rulemaking process on Sept. 24 and will accept requests to speak at the meeting by Sept. 10. Written comments may also be submitted by Sept. 17.

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 Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, United Arab Emirates and Yemen. Iraq is the only new country on this list.

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