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Kate Irwin

Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

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4/16/2014
4/16/2014
4/15/2014

The World Trade Organization announced April 14 that world trade is now expected to grow by 4.7% this year, up from the 4.5% estimated last fall, and 5.3% in 2015.

4/15/2014

The EU will shortly grant duty-free treatment to most imports from Ukraine, while the U.S. considers whether to reinstate GSP duty preferences for the embattled country.

4/15/2014

A Texas company has signed an agreement with the Bureau of Industry and Security to settle a charge that it knowingly violated the Export Administration Regulations by transshipping various oil and gas equipment parts to Iran through the United Arab Emirates.

4/15/2014
4/15/2014
4/14/2014

The court will seek to clarify whether a federal requirement to disclose “purely factual and uncontroversial” commercial information for reasons other than preventing deception is entitled to the same limitation on First Amendment protections as a requirement to disclose information to correct a deception (e.g., false advertising).

4/14/2014

Two New York importers of women’s apparel have agreed to pay $10 million to settle a False Claims Act case alleging that over a nine-year period they purposefully evaded customs duties by undervaluing their shipments.

4/14/2014

The FDA has concluded that the use of irradiation to treat chilled or frozen raw, cooked or partially cooked crustaceans, or dried crustaceans, with or without spices, minerals, inorganic salts, citrates, citric acid and/or calcium disodium EDTA used in accordance with applicable laws and regulations, is safe, provided that the absorbed dose does not exceed 6.0 kiloGray.

4/14/2014

The ALJ has recommended the issuance of a limited exclusion order barring the infringing products of three named respondents from entry into the U.S. but did not recommend the issuance of any cease and desist orders.

4/14/2014

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced that as of April 4 FWS inspectors will no longer clear imports of African elephant trophies taken in Tanzania and Zimbabwe during calendar year 2014.

4/14/2014
4/11/2014

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., who took the reins of the powerful trade oversight committee earlier this spring after the departure of Max Baucus, said his view is that “every single trade discussion must now focus on how trade policy can be a springboard to high-skill, high-wage American jobs.”

4/11/2014

The head of the Federal Maritime Commission said this week that an agency effort to substantially overhaul its regulations on ocean transportation intermediaries could be revamped to make the changes more business friendly.

4/11/2014

In total, the three entities will pay $76.8 million in criminal penalties and forfeiture. In a related settlement with the SEC, the parent company will pay an additional $31.5 million in disgorgement and prejudgment interest.

4/11/2014
4/11/2014
4/11/2014
4/11/2014
4/10/2014

The three-year anniversary of a plan to improve labor rights in Colombia that was concluded in association with a free trade agreement with the U.S. was met this week with conflicting views on its efficacy.

4/10/2014

The World Trade Organization estimates that the revised Government Procurement Agreement will yield market access gains of $80-100 billion a year for participating WTO members, an 8-10% increase from the GPA’s existing coverage.

4/10/2014

The Consumer Product Safety Commission announced April 8 that it has provisionally accepted an agreement under which a New Jersey company will pay a $600,000 civil penalty to settle charges that it knowingly failed to report its sale of children’s upper outerwear garments with drawstrings.

4/10/2014

The ITA will issue no new AD duty rates for lightweight thermal paper from China and the ITC will soon determine whether an AD duty order will be finalized for steel threaded rod from Thailand.

4/10/2014

The International Trade Commission has issued a limited exclusion order against encapsulated integrated circuit devices and products containing same determined to infringe certain patents.

4/10/2014

The products at issue are used to control certain weeds in various agricultural crops, including soybean, sunflower and tobacco, and to control pests in non-crops such as ornamental plants, turf and golf courses.

4/10/2014

APHIS states that these changes aim to make permit procedures more transparent and easier to use, allow permit applications to be evaluated more quickly and thoroughly, and hold permittees accountable for complying with permit conditions.

4/10/2014

The Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is accepting comments through June 9 on two proposed rules that would ease existing restrictions on imports of mangoes from the Philippines and Unshu oranges from Japan.

4/10/2014
4/10/2014
4/9/2014

The U.S. and the European Union recently held another round of negotiations on a bilateral free trade agreement, but progress in the talks has been slower than anticipated amid difficulties reaching agreement on tariff elimination, investment protection measures and other issues.

4/9/2014

The ITC’s decision could have significant implications for industries such as software and media in which digital imports are prevalent.

4/9/2014

Talks between the U.S. and Taiwan last weekend showcased a trade relationship that is steadily improving after several years of tension.

4/9/2014

An annual review of the operation and effectiveness of telecommunications trade agreements released April 4 by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative finds that over the past year the U.S. made progress in advancing market liberalization in this sector but continued to see the emergence of new barriers.

4/9/2014

The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control has issued a final rule that, effective April 7, revised the Iran Transactions Sanctions Regulations to allow exports of certain agricultural and medical goods to Iran without a license.

4/9/2014

The Federal Trade Commission has issued a final rule that, effective May 9, will make conforming amendments to the Energy Labeling Rule to require a new Department of Energy test procedure for televisions and establish data reporting requirements for those products.

4/9/2014
4/9/2014
4/9/2014
4/8/2014

China is challenging at the WTO the United States' use of a targeted dumping methodology, zeroing and other non-market economy related methodologies in its antidumping and countervailing duty proceedings on various imports from China.

4/8/2014

The Department of Justice announced April 4 that an Italian national has been extradited to the U.S. from Germany on a charge of participating in a conspiracy to suppress and eliminate competition by rigging bids, fixing prices and allocating market shares for sales of marine hose sold in the United States and elsewhere.

4/8/2014

The Environmental Protection Agency has reopened through May 8 the comment period for a proposed rule designed to ensure that imported or domestically produced composite wood products meet the formaldehyde emission standards established by Congress in 2010.

4/8/2014
4/8/2014

The ITA has advanced an AD probe of nickel-plated steel from Japan and announced new AD duty rates for steel nails from China.

4/8/2014

Holbein will oversee the ITC office that is responsible for maintaining and publishing the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States, represents the U.S. in the work of the World Customs Organization and coordinates interagency work on statistical annotations in the HTSUS.

4/8/2014

The Foreign-Trade Zones Board has authorized production under zone procedures at the Crosman Corporation facility within subzone 289A in Bloomfield and Farmington, N.Y.

4/8/2014
4/7/2014

What little attention there has been to trade issues in Congress recently has focused on trade promotion authority, though there has been little resembling progress on this issue. Other topics such as renewal of the Generalized System of Preferences, tariff suspensions under the miscellaneous trade bill, and customs reauthorization remain off the radar screens of most lawmakers, and even the introduction of new trade-related legislation has slowed.

4/7/2014

Both Census and U.S. Customs and Border Protection have agreed to a 180-day informed compliance period during which they will educate the trade on the new requirements contained in the March 2013 final rule.

4/7/2014

The government of Costa Rica has requested formal talks with the U.S. on its elimination of a tariff-rate quota providing preferential access to the U.S. market for fuel-grade dehydrated ethanol from Costa Rica.

4/7/2014

Trade statistics released April 3 by the Department of Commerce show that the U.S. trade deficit climbed 7.6% in February to $42.3 billion. Exports fell 1.0% to $190.4 billion while imports rose 0.4% to $232.7 billion.

4/7/2014

The ITA has determined new AD rates for frozen fish from Vietnam and terminated CV investigations of MSG from China and Indonesia.

4/7/2014

The Foreign-Trade Zones Board has received from the Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company, grantee of FTZ 7, a request for subzone status at the Neolpharma Inc. facility in Caguas, Puerto Rico.

4/7/2014
4/7/2014
4/4/2014

The Federal Maritime Commission announced April 2 its unanimous decision to allow six major ocean carriers to expand the scope of their cooperation to trade routes between the U.S. and Asia and the U.S. and Europe.

4/4/2014

The Department of Justice announced April 2 a federal indictment charging six foreign nationals with participating in an alleged international racketeering conspiracy involving bribes of state and central government officials in India to secure licenses to mine titanium minerals.

4/4/2014

ST&R webinars on the basics of tariff classification and verifications under the U.S.-Korea FTA, as well as a deadline for comments on removing “routed export transactions” from the export regulations, are coming up next week.

4/4/2014

OFAC states that this company invoiced a distributor in South Korea for 16 orders of marine antenna systems with a total value of $378,281 and exported those systems to its distributor with knowledge or reason to know that they were intended for installation and use on vessels owned by the National Iranian Tanker Company.

4/4/2014

Textile imports totaled 2.38 billion SME, down 17.9% for the month and 4.0% from the previous year, while apparel imports of 1.98 billion SME were down 7.5% from January and 4.2% from a year earlier.

4/4/2014

The FTC has said that this rule seeks to give businesses more compliance options without imposing significant new obligations.

4/4/2014

The Environmental Protection Agency has issued a final rule providing that, effective April 4, any person who exports or intends to export octamethylcyclotetrasiloxane (D4) is subject to the export notification requirements under the Toxic Substances Control Act.

4/4/2014

U.S. firms are required to report annually information on contracts for the sale of defense articles or defense services to foreign countries or foreign firms that are subject to offsets agreements exceeding $5 million in value.

4/4/2014

Under IBP Select, the ITA will select approximately ten domestic trade shows with participation by U.S. firms interested in exporting and provide them with assistance in the form of targeted promotion and recruitment in five foreign markets, export counseling to exhibitors, and export counseling and matchmaking services at the trade show.

4/4/2014

The Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service has issued an interim rule that, effective April 5, will exempt apples shipped to Canada in bulk containers from the minimum requirements and inspection provisions of the Export Apple Act.

4/3/2014

The addition of the FDA, FWS and NMFS to the CTAC is expected to boost increasingly high-profile federal efforts to ensure the safety of imported foods, drugs and drug ingredients and to prevent illegal cross-border wildlife trafficking.

4/3/2014

Discussions focused on topics such as small and medium-sized enterprises, utilization of the African Growth and Opportunity Act, protection of intellectual property rights, agri-business prospects and development, and improving bilateral investment opportunities.

4/3/2014

The ITC has launched AD/CV injury probes on sugar from Mexico and the ITA has indicated that it is unlikely to impose AD duties on oil country tubular goods from Taiwan.

4/3/2014

The products at issue are used by medical providers to control bleeding during surgery.

4/3/2014
4/3/2014
4/3/2014
4/3/2014
4/3/2014
4/2/2014

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative issued April 1 its annual National Trade Estimate report, which describes significant foreign barriers to U.S. exports of goods and services, foreign direct investment and intellectual property rights protection as well as the actions being taken to address those barriers.

4/2/2014

This information will aid Brussels in its work to address these barriers and increase the participation of SMEs in U.S.-EU trade through an eventual Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.

4/2/2014

CBP is accepting applications for additional public-private partnerships that will allow private reimbursement for enhanced services, including those related to customs and immigration inspection.

4/2/2014

The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control announced March 31 that a Pennsylvania company has agreed to pay $157,500 for supplying bunker fuel in Brazil for an Iranian vessel carrying an agricultural commodity.

4/2/2014
4/2/2014
4/2/2014
4/2/2014
4/1/2014

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative requested this report as part of an effort to ensure that the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership agreement enhances the ability of SMEs to participate in U.S.-EU trade by addressing barriers that may have a disproportionate impact on them.

4/1/2014
4/1/2014
4/1/2014
4/1/2014
4/1/2014
4/1/2014
3/31/2014

A World Trade Organization dispute settlement panel issued March 27 what the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative called “a mixed result” in a challenge brought by China against a U.S. trade remedy law and 25 related determinations issued by the Department of Commerce.

3/31/2014

The Environmental Protection Agency announced March 27 that a California-based vehicle and engine importer will pay $630,000 in civil penalties after illegally importing and selling nearly 28,000 highway motorcycles, recreational vehicles and engines manufactured in China that did not comply with Clean Air Act standards to limit harmful pollution.

3/31/2014

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has provisionally accepted an agreement under which a New Jersey-based clothing retailer will pay a $600,000 civil penalty to settle charges concerning the presence of drawstrings in its garments.

3/31/2014
3/31/2014
3/31/2014
3/31/2014
3/31/2014
3/31/2014
3/28/2014

The Bureau of Industry and Security said its hold was effective as of March 1, while the State Department’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls did not specify when its hold took effect.

3/28/2014

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative is inviting comments through May 5 on U.S. interests and priorities in the negotiations for a World Trade Organization Environmental Goods Agreement, which are expected to begin this summer.

Customs & International Headlines