Background

The U.S. saw mixed results for trade enforcement and trade preference program activities in 2021, according to the International Trade Commission’s annual review of trade-related activities. The Year in Trade 2021 includes information on (1) antidumping, countervailing, safeguard, intellectual property rights infringement, national security, and section 301 cases, (2) the operation of trade preference programs, (3) significant activities in the World Trade Organization, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, (4) implementation and enforcement matters under free trade agreements, (5) bilateral trade issues with major trading partners such as the European Union, Canada, China, Mexico, Japan, the United Kingdom, and India, and (5) U.S. trade in goods and services.

Section 301. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative instituted no new Section 301 investigations, terminated investigations of digital services taxes with respect to 11 trading partners, suspended retaliation against imports from the EU in a long-running dispute over large civil aircraft subsidies, and suspended further action in investigations of currency and timber for Vietnam.

AD/CV. The ITC instituted 30 new antidumping injury investigations (down from 85 in 2020) and made 21 preliminary determinations (down from 89) and 83 final determinations (up from 29). The Department of Commerce issued 82 AD duty orders on 24 products from 37 countries (up from 21, 10, and 11).

The ITC instituted 16 new countervailing injury investigations (down from 26) and made 11 preliminary determinations (down from 30) and 30 final determinations (up from 19). The DOC issued 30 CV duty orders on 21 products from 14 countries (up from 13, 8, and 6).

The ITC instituted 114 sunset reviews of existing AD and CV duty orders and suspension agreements (up from 64) and completed 56 (down from 75), resulting in the continuation of all 56 AD and CV duty orders for five additional years.

IPR Infringement. There were 127 active section 337 investigations and ancillary proceedings (up from 122), 73 of which were instituted in 2021. The ITC completed 67 investigations and ancillary proceedings (down from 68) and issued five general exclusion orders (down from nine), eight limited exclusion orders (down from 13), and 24 cease and desist orders (down from 63). Computer and telecommunications equipment accounted for about 28 percent of the active proceedings, followed by pharmaceuticals and medical devices at 14 percent, consumer electronics at 14 percent, and automotive, transportation, and manufacturing products at nine percent.

National Security. The DOC instituted one new Section 232 national security investigation covering neodymium magnets, while an investigation of vanadium concluded with a negative determination.

GSP. The Generalized System of Preferences was not in effect for all of 2021 but imports claiming duty-free treatment under GSP increased 10.4 percent to $18.7 billion. These imports accounted for 9.2 percent of total U.S. imports from GSP beneficiary countries (down from 11.1 percent). The top three sources of imports entered under GSP were Indonesia, Thailand, and Cambodia.

AGOA. There were 39 sub-Saharan African countries eligible for AGOA benefits, 27 of which were also eligible for AGOA textile and apparel benefits for all or part of 2021. AGOA eligibility for Ethiopia, Guinea, and Mali was terminated effective Jan. 1, 2022.

Imports entering duty-free from beneficiary countries under AGOA (including GSP) were valued at $6.7 billion, a 61.9 percent increase from 2020. In total, AGOA and GSP accounted for 24.5 percent of total imports from AGOA beneficiary countries (up from 22.4 percent in 2020).

Nepal. U.S. imports from Nepal under the Nepal Trade Preferences Program were nearly $4 million, up almost 60 percent from 2020, and accounted for 3.6 percent of total U.S. imports from Nepal (up from 2.8).

Caribbean. Seventeen countries and dependent territories were eligible for preferences under the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act, eight of which were eligible for expanded preferences under the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act. The total value of U.S. imports under CBERA (including CBTPA) increased 18.7 percent to $2.2 billion,. Haiti remained the leading supplier of U.S. imports under CBERA, followed by Trinidad & Tobago, and methanol, crude petroleum, and apparel were the top imported products. Imports entered under CBERA accounted for 25.0 percent of all imports from beneficiary countries (down from 33.9 percent).

Trade with FTA Partners. The value of imports that entered under FTAs increased 18.7 percent to $417.0 billion, accounting for 43 percent of U.S. imports from FTA partners (up from 39 percent) and 14.8 percent of U.S. imports from the world (down from 15.0 percent). FTA imports increased from all partners except Panama. Imports entered under the USMCA grew by 17.1 percent while imports under all 13 other FTAs combined increased by 24.5 percent.

A new U.S.-Chile work program on environmental cooperation was negotiated for the period 2021-24 and a new environmental cooperation plan of action was negotiated with Singapore. Guatemala published a single customs schedule that resolved longstanding challenges concerning tariff classification and U.S. preferential access in that country. The U.S. and Morocco agreed to the use of self-attestations to meet requests by the Moroccan government regarding additional documentation of U.S. beef and beef product exports. The Colombian government announced that its investigation into imports of U.S. dairy products did not find evidence justifying any safeguard measures.

WTO Dispute Settlement. WTO members filed nine new requests for dispute settlement consultations, up from five in 2020 but still the second-lowest number since the WTO was established in 1995. For the first time ever the U.S. was not a complaining or respondent party in any of these cases.

Other. A trade and investment framework agreement with Paraguay entered into force. The U.S. launched the U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council and relaunched the U.S.-India Trade Policy Forum.

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