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February 15 2013 Issue

Friday, February 15, 2013
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

Ways and Means Committee Plans Robust Trade Oversight Agenda

A draft letter expected to be finalized this week indicates that the House Ways and Means Committee and its Trade Subcommittee anticipate handling a wide range of international trade issues in the 113th Congress, which extends through 2014. The letter indicates that hearings and other oversight-related activities are planned on the following topics but that priorities and concerns may change over time.

- trade promotion authority, which would allow the president to negotiate and conclude trade agreements in consultation with Congress and provide a clear framework for congressional consideration and implementation of those agreements

- the miscellaneous trade bill, which would eliminate or reduce import duties on products not made in the U.S.

- systemic problems in U.S.-China trade relations, including issues related to intellectual property rights protection, indigenous innovation requirements, use of industrial subsides, export restraints on key products such as rare earth minerals, and currency undervaluation

- customs reauthorization legislation, with a particular emphasis on streamlining and facilitating legitimate and compliant trade at the border, automating U.S. Customs and Border Protection processes and improving enforcement

- the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations and U.S. negotiating positions therein

- prospects for additional trade negotiations, including the International Services Agreement, a U.S.-European Union free trade agreement and bilateral investment treaties

- major U.S. trade preference programs, including the Generalized System of Preferences (expiring July 2013), the Andean Trade Preferences Act (expiring July 2013) and the African Growth and Opportunity Act (expiring 2015)

- U.S. goals at the World Trade Organization, dispute settlement, the prospect for a trade facilitation agreement and expansion of the Information Technology Agreement, and WTO accessions

- enforcement of U.S. rights under trade agreements, including the WTO agreements and bilateral and regional FTAs

- proposals to strengthen border enforcement related to U.S. intellectual property rights, import safety and illegal transshipment

- the administration of U.S. trade remedy laws, including border enforcement

- whether the U.S. is in compliance with its obligations, particularly where it is facing retaliation

- the role of trade in creating U.S. jobs and how to create new market access for U.S. manufactured goods, agriculture and services

- import sanctions against Iran, Burma, North Korea, Syria and Cuba

- implemented FTAs

- Trade Adjustment Assistance programs for workers, firms, communities and farmers

- Office of the U.S. Trade Representative priorities for the 113th Congress and concerns related to the international trade agenda

- International Trade Commission priorities and operations 

Dates and Deadlines: Footwear, IPR Protection, HTSUS Modifications

Following are highlights of regulatory effective dates and deadlines and federal agency meetings coming up in the next week.

Feb. 19 – deadline for comments on proposal to increase fees for voluntary federal dairy grading and inspection services

Feb. 19 – deadline for comments on proposal to ease restrictions on imports of pork from Italy

Feb. 20 – ST&R webinar on footwear classification

Feb. 20 – USTR hearing on foreign countries’ acts, policies and practices concerning IPR protection

Feb. 22 – deadline for comments on proposed ITC recommendations on modifying HTSUS for film, game controllers and chemicals

AD/CV Notices: Washing Machines, Wind Towers, Sawblades, Shrimp

Agency: International Trade Administration.
Commodity: Large residential washers.
Country: Korea.
Nature of Notice: Issuance of antidumping and countervailing duty orders, effective Feb. 15.
Scope: These orders cover all automatic clothes washing machines, regardless of the orientation of the rotational axis (with certain exceptions), with a cabinet width of at least 24.5 inches (62.23 cm) and no more than 32.0 inches (81.28 cm). Also covered are certain subassemblies. Stacked washer-dryers are excluded. Covered washers are currently classifiable under HTSUS 8450.20.0090 and may also enter under HTSUS 8450.11.0040, 8450.11.0080, 8450.90.2000 and 8450.90.6000.
Duty Rates: AD cash deposits are required at rates ranging from 9.23% to 79.11%. CV cash deposits are required at rates ranging from 1.85% to 72.30%.

Agency: International Trade Administration.
Commodity: Large residential washers.
Country: Mexico.
Nature of Notice: Issuance of antidumping duty order, effective Feb. 15.
Scope: These orders cover all automatic clothes washing machines, regardless of the orientation of the rotational axis (with certain exceptions), with a cabinet width of at least 24.5 inches (62.23 cm) and no more than 32.0 inches (81.28 cm). Also covered are certain subassemblies. Stacked washer-dryers are excluded. Covered washers are currently classifiable under HTSUS 8450.11.0040, 8450.11.0080, 8450.90.2000 and 8450.90.6000.
Duty Rates: AD cash deposits are required at rates ranging from 36.52% to 72.41%.

Agency: International Trade Administration.
Commodity: Utility scale wind towers.
Country: Vietnam.
Nature of Notice: Amended final antidumping duty determination and issuance of AD duty order, effective Feb. 15.
Scope: The goods covered by this order are certain wind towers, whether or not tapered, and sections thereof, whether or not they are joined with non-subject merchandise such as nacelles or rotor blades and whether or not they have internal or external components attached. Covered wind towers are designed to support the nacelle and rotor blades in a wind turbine with a minimum rated electrical power generation capacity in excess of 100 kilowatts and with a minimum height of 50 meters measured from the base of the tower to the bottom of the nacelle when fully assembled. Specifically excluded are nacelles and rotor blades, regardless of whether they are attached to the wind tower, as well as any internal or external components not attached to the wind towers or sections thereof. Covered items are currently classified under HTSUS 7308.20.0020 or 8502.31.0000.
Duty Rates: AD cash deposits are required at rates of 51.54% for The CS Wind Group and 58.54% for the Vietnam-wide entity.

Agency: International Trade Administration.
Commodity: Utility scale wind towers.
Country: China.
Nature of Notice: Issuance of antidumping and countervailing duty orders, effective Feb. 15.
Scope: The goods covered by this order are certain wind towers, whether or not tapered, and sections thereof, whether or not they are joined with non-subject merchandise such as nacelles or rotor blades and whether or not they have internal or external components attached. Covered wind towers are designed to support the nacelle and rotor blades in a wind turbine with a minimum rated electrical power generation capacity in excess of 100 kilowatts and with a minimum height of 50 meters measured from the base of the tower to the bottom of the nacelle when fully assembled. Specifically excluded are nacelles and rotor blades, regardless of whether they are attached to the wind tower, as well as any internal or external components not attached to the wind towers or sections thereof. Covered items are currently classified under HTSUS 7308.20.0020 or 8502.31.0000.
Duty Rates: AD cash deposits are required at rates ranging from 44.99% to 70.63%. CV cash deposits are required at rates ranging from 21.86% to 34.81%.

Agency: International Trade Administration.
Commodity: Diamond sawblades and parts thereof.
Country: China.
Nature of Notice: Final results of administrative review of antidumping duty order for the period Jan. 23, 2009, through Oct. 31, 2010.
Details: Weighted average dumping margins ranging from 0.15% (de minimis) to 164.09%. AD duties based on these rates will be assessed on entries of subject merchandise made during the period of review, and AD cash deposits at these rates (except those subject to a de minimis rate) will be required for shipments of subject merchandise entered or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption on or after Feb. 15. This review was rescinded with respect to Shanghai Deda Industry and Trading Co. Ltd., which did not have any exports of subject merchandise during the period of review.

Agency: International Trade Commission.
Commodity: Frozen warmwater shrimp.
Country: China, Ecuador, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.
Nature of Notice: Preliminary affirmative countervailing injury determinations. 

Supply Chain Competitiveness Committee to Meet March 12

The International Trade Administration’s Advisory Committee on Supply Chain Competitiveness will hold an open meeting March 12 in Washington, D.C. This committee advises the ITA on the necessary elements of a comprehensive, holistic national freight infrastructure and a national freight policy designed to support U.S. export and growth competitiveness, foster national economic competitiveness and improve U.S. supply chain competitiveness in the domestic and global economy. At the upcoming meeting committee members are expected to discuss the major competitiveness-related topics raised at the previous meeting, including trade and competitiveness, freight movement and policy, information technology and data requirements, regulatory issues, and finance and infrastructure. 

Three-Layered Composite Fabric Added to DR-CAFTA Short Supply List

The Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements has determined to add to the short supply list in Annex 3.25 of DR-CAFTA in unrestricted quantities a composite fabric consisting of a three-layered fleece/shell construction, woven outer layer and brushed inner layer, bonded with a polyurethane membrane, classified under HTSUS 6001.22. CITA found that this product is not available in commercial quantities in a timely manner from a supplier in the DR-CAFTA countries.

Unlicensed Shipment of Night Vision Goggles Nets 10-Year Suspension of Export Privileges

The Bureau of Industry and Security has suspended for ten years the export privileges of a Maryland man convicted of knowingly and willfully exporting from the U.S. a set of night vision goggles designed as a defense articles on the U.S. Munitions List without having first obtained a State Department license. BIS is also revoking all export licenses in which this man had an interest at the time of his conviction.

As a result, until Aug. 24, 2021, neither this man nor anyone on his behalf may directly or indirectly participate in any way in any transaction involving any commodity, software or technology exported or to be exported from the U.S. that is subject to the Export Administration Regulations. However, this order does not prohibit any export, reexport or other transaction subject to the EAR where the only items involved that are subject to the EAR are the foreign-produced direct product of U.S.-origin technology. 

Steel Import Monitoring System Extended Until 2017

The International Trade Administration has issued a final rule extending the Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis System until March 21, 2017. As a result, licenses will be required on all subject imports entered during this period, even if the entry summary documents are not filed until after the expiration of the program.

The purpose of the SIMA system is to provide steel producers, steel consumers, importers and the general public with accurate and timely information on anticipated imports of certain steel products. Under this system steel import licenses obtained through an online system are required by U.S. Customs and Border Protection for filing entry paperwork for imports of basic steel mill products into the United States. Import data collected through the issuance of these licenses are aggregated weekly and posted to a publicly available Web site. Further details can be found here

Export Committee on Transportation and Related Equipment to Meet March 7

The Bureau of Industry and Security’s Transportation and Related Equipment Technical Advisory Committee will hold a partially open meeting March 7 in Washington, D.C. This committee advises BIS on technical questions that affect the level of export controls applicable to transportation and related equipment or technology.

The open session of the upcoming meeting will include status reports by working group chairs as well as public comments and proposals. This session will be accessible via teleconference to 20 participants on a first come, first served basis, and requests to participate in this manner are due no later than Feb. 28. In addition, a limited number of seats will be available at the public session. 

Foreign Regulatory Changes Could Affect Exports of Auto Parts, Roofing Tiles, Foods

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.

Brazil – modified conformity assessment procedures on aluminum wheels for motor vehicles and auto parts

Brazil – Jan. 10, 2013, adoption of technical regulation on roofing tiles

Japan – amended structural standard on vehicle type construction machines (comments due by March 22)

Kuwait – draft technical regulations on fried potatoes, chilled marinated meats, food packages, barley malt, bakery products and date syrup (comments due by April 13) 

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