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Shawn McCausland

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Kate Irwin

Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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3/27/2014

Effective May 1, the European Union will drop a 26% retaliatory tax on women’s jeans made in the U.S. to 0.35%. This move will lower the EU duty rate on such jeans to 12.35% a year after it saw a significant increase in an ongoing trade dispute.

3/27/2014

A World Trade Organization dispute settlement panel has ruled that China’s export duties and quotas on 17 rare earth elements, tungsten and molybdenum are in violation of WTO rules and cannot be justified as legitimate conservation or environmental protection measures. The panel also found that China’s export quota administration requirements are inconsistent with WTO rules.

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3/26/2014

Handbags and wallets continued to be the most seized commodity by value, China and Hong Kong accounted for nearly all of the value of IPR seizures, and seizures at express consignment and cargo facilities saw sharp increases.

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3/25/2014

The Department of Justice reports that an importer of computer cable assemblies located in California has paid $1.2 million to settle allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by underpaying customs duties owed on goods imported from China.

3/25/2014

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative notified Congress March 21 that the U.S. intends to enter into negotiations on a new trade agreement aimed at eliminating tariffs on a wide range of  environmental goods.

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3/24/2014

Senior Obama administration officials said this EO authorizes the Treasury Department to designate any or all of the following sectors of the Russian economy for additional sanctions: financial services, energy, metals and mining, engineering, and defense and related materiel. Once any such sector is designated, the officials said, the U.S. will be able to impose sanctions on specific entities within that sector.

3/24/2014

The Federal Maritime Commission approved March 20 the P3 Network Vessel Sharing Agreement, which authorizes the world’s three largest container carriers to share vessels and engage in related cooperative operating activities on routes between the U.S. and Asia, North Europe and the Mediterranean.

3/24/2014

Among other things, this work will aid Manila’s consideration of whether or not it will seek to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership now under negotiation among the U.S. and 11 other Pacific Rim countries.

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3/21/2014

The European Commission released March 20 a report detailing its efforts in 2013 to remove “some of the most trade-distortive barriers that hinder EU companies’ access to the markets of China, India, Japan, Mercosur (Brazil/Argentina), Russia and the U.S.”

3/21/2014

The Department of Justice announced March 19 that a Japanese trading company involved in the handling of products and provision of services in a broad range of sectors around the world has agreed to pay an $88 million criminal fine for its participation in a seven-year scheme to pay and conceal bribes to high-ranking government officials in Indonesia to secure a $118 million power project.

3/21/2014

Jordan’s port of Aqaba will utilize near real-time remote imaging of a container examination process while incorporating a live video transmission/feed to monitor the inspection process.

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3/20/2014

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has posted to its Web site data on its textile and apparel enforcement efforts in fiscal year 2013. These statistics show increases in many categories compared to FY 2012, including seizures, penalties, liquidated damages and examinations.

3/20/2014

According to Sandler & Travis Trade Advisory Services professionals in Europe, the European Commission has proposed to drop from 26% to 0.35% the additional tariff it imposed last year on premium U.S.-made women’s jeans. The change could take effect around May 1, if approved.

3/20/2014

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has issued a notice indicating that any vessels or cargo diverted to northwest U.S. ports from the port of Vancouver, Canada, due to the ongoing truck driver strike there will be subject to all applicable U.S. laws and regulations.

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3/19/2014

The European Commission released this month a report that offers a positive assessment of a European Union program aimed at lowering the cost of imported manufacturing inputs. The report acknowledges that there have been some unintended negative effects but asserts that these are not significant enough to call into question the program’s overall effectiveness and justification.

Customs & International Headlines