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October 4 2012 Issue

Thursday, October 04, 2012
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

Brazil Tariff Hike on 100 Products Effective Oct. 1      

Effective Oct. 1 Brazil has increased to as much as 25% its import tariffs on a list of 100 products in the steel, petrochemical, chemical, pharmaceutical and capital goods industries. The higher duties will initially remain in place for a year but can be extended for additional 12-month periods through Dec. 31, 2014. A similar tariff hike is planned for an additional 100 products expected to be identified later this month. 

Brazilian officials have said the higher duties are needed to provide relief to domestic manufacturers from “a flood of imported goods at artificially low prices” and that Brazil is fully within its rights under World Trade Organization rules to take this step. U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk has replied that, while this is true, the decision to raise tariffs is just one of several “protectionist” measures Brazil has taken in recent months and that the U.S. is concerned it could invite retaliatory measures from other countries.

Of Note: U.S. Trade Policy on China, Tomato Trade Dispute, In-Bond Q&A, Cargo Safety      

Why China-Bashing Matters 
US groups fear Mexican trade war over Obama tomato move 
CBP Issues Q&A on In-bond Issues in New E-Manifest for Rail and Sea System 
Flags of Convenience: Making Cargo Safety Inconvenient

AD Notices: Steel Sinks, Frozen Fish, Polyester Staple Fiber, Silicomanganese      

Agency: International Trade Administration. 
Commodity: Drawn stainless steel sinks. 
Country: China. 
Nature of Notice: Initiation of antidumping duty investigation covering the period July 1 through Dec. 31, 2011. 
Details: Covered products are drawn stainless steel sinks with single or multiple drawn bowls, with or without drain boards, whether finished or unfinished, regardless of type of finish, gauge, or grade of stainless steel. Mounting clips, fasteners, seals and sound-deadening pads are also covered if they are included within the sales price of the sinks. Stainless steel sinks with multiple drawn bowls that are joined through a welding operation to form one unit are covered. Coverage also applies regardless of whether or not the sinks are sold in conjunction with non-subject accessories such as faucets (whether attached or unattached), strainers, strainer sets, rinsing baskets, bottom grids or other accessories. Covered sinks are currently classified under HTSUS 7324.10.0000 and 7324.10.0010. 

Agency: International Trade Administration. 
Commodity: Frozen fish fillets. 
Country: Vietnam. 
Nature of Notice: Initiation of new shipper review of antidumping duty order for the period Aug. 1, 2011, through July 31, 2012, covering Golden Quality Seafood Corporation. 

Agency: International Trade Commission. 
Commodity: Polyester staple fiber. 
Country: China. 
Nature of Notice: Sunset review determination that revocation of antidumping duty order would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of material injury to an industry in the U.S. within a reasonably foreseeable time. As a result, this order will soon be continued for another five years. 

Agency: International Trade Commission. 
Commodity: Silicomanganese. 
Country: Brazil, China and Ukraine. 
Nature of Notice: Oct. 11 open meeting for vote in sunset reviews of antidumping duty orders.

CPSC Reviewing Information Collections Associated with Product Safety Standards      

The Consumer Product Safety Commission is accepting comments through Dec. 3 on the proposed extension of information collections associated with the safety standards on the following products. Comments should address whether these collections are necessary for the proper performance of the Commission's functions, ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information collected, the accuracy of the estimated burden of the collections and ways to minimize that burden by use of automated, electronic or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology. 

Residential garage door openers – Manufacturers and importers must issue certificates of compliance with the standard. In addition, manufacturers, importers and private labelers must establish and maintain records to demonstrate compliance with the requirements for testing to support certification of compliance. 

Walk-behind power lawn mowers – The standard contains performance and labeling requirements to address risks of blade-contact injuries. It also sets forth regulations prescribing requirements for a reasonable testing program to support certificates of compliance. These regulations require manufacturers, importers and private labelers to establish and maintain records to demonstrate compliance with the requirements for testing to support certification of compliance. 

Children's sleepwear – Manufacturers and importers must perform testing of products and maintain records of the results of that testing. 

Electrically operated toys and children’s articles – The regulations (a) prescribe design, construction, performance and labeling requirements for these articles, (b) require manufacturers and importers to develop and maintain a quality assurance program, and (c) require such firms to maintain for three years records containing information about material and production specifications, quality assurance programs, results of all inspections and tests conducted, and sales and distribution. 

Citizens band base station antennas – Manufacturers, importers and private labelers must perform tests to demonstrate that these products meet the requirements of the standard and must maintain records of those tests.

IPR Enforcement Actions on COQ10 Products, Consumer Electronics, Circuit Devices      

COQ10 Products. In patent infringement investigation 337-TA-790 of certain coenzyme Q10 products and methods of making same, the presiding administrative law judge has recommended the issuance of a limited exclusion order with respect to the accused products of certain respondents. The International Trade Commission is seeking comments through Oct. 29 on the potential effect of this remedy on the public health and welfare, competitive conditions in the U.S. economy, the production of like or directly competitive articles in the U.S., and U.S. consumers. 

Electronic Devices. In patent infringement investigation 337-TA-794 of certain electronic devices, including wireless communication devices, portable music and data processing devices, and tablet computers, the presiding administrative law judge has recommended a limited exclusion order against certain infringing electronic devices. The International Trade Commission is seeking comments through Oct. 22 on the potential effects of such exclusion on the public health and welfare, competitive conditions in the U.S. economy, the production of like or directly competitive articles in the U.S., and U.S. consumers. 

Semiconductor Integrated Circuit Devices. The International Trade Commission has terminated patent infringement investigation 337-TA-840 of certain semiconductor integrated circuit devices and products containing same based on a settlement agreement between complainant Microchip Technology Incorporated and respondents.

FTZ Procedures Approved for Automobile Factories      

The Foreign-Trade Zones Board has approved an application to manufacture electric-powered, light-duty passenger vehicles under FTZ procedures within FTZ 99 at the Fisker Automotive Inc. facility in Wilmington, Del. This facility (formerly owned by General Motors Corporation) will be used to produce up to 300,000 units per year for the U.S. market and export. The FTZ Board states that Fisker must admit all foreign man-made fiber and cotton bags (HTSUS 4202.12.8030, 4202.12.8070, 4202.92.4500, 4202.92.9060, 4202.99.9000 and 6305.20), labels and cords (6307.90), and felt (5602.90) to the zone under privileged foreign status or domestic (duty-paid) status. 

The FTZ Board has also granted authority for subzone 18G for activity related to the manufacturing of electric passenger vehicles and related powertrain components at the Tesla Motors Inc. facilities in Palo Alto and Fremont, Calif.

Foreign Regulatory Changes Could Affect Exports of Electrical Goods, Foods, Tires      

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. For information on how these restrictions may affect your business, contact ST&R. 

Chile – Oct. 15 effective date for basic safety analysis and/or test protocol for electrical products 

Colombia – March 1, 2013, effective date for technical regulation on requirements to be met by packaged foods containing trans and/or saturated fats 

Korea – revised safety criteria for automobile tires 

Mexico – Sept. 10 publication of official standard on starter formulas, follow-up formulas and formulas for special nutritional requirements (effective 120 days later)

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