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The Department of Justice announced April 20 that a former executive of a Japan-based automotive parts company will pay a $20,000 criminal fine and serve 18 months in prison for his role in a conspiracy to fix prices and rig bids for the sale of automotive body sealing products for installation in vehicles manufactured and sold in the U.S. and elsewhere. Automotive body sealing products consist of body-side opening seals, door-side weather-stripping, glass-run channels, trunk lids and other smaller seals installed into automobiles to keep the interior dry from rain and free from wind and exterior noises.
The DOJ states that the former executive’s guilty plea is the result of an ongoing federal antitrust investigation into price fixing, bid rigging and other anticompetitive conduct in the automotive parts industry. A total of 58 individuals and 38 companies have been charged and agreed to pay more than $2.6 billion in criminal fines in this investigation to date.