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USITC Issues Follow-Up Report on Economic Effects of Significant U.S. Import Restraints
 U.S. International Trade Commission http://www.usitc.gov

Special Topic Chapter Explores the Role of Services in Manufacturing

The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) today issued an update of its report The Economic Effects of Significant U.S. Import Restraints.

The USITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency, completed the report for the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR). The report is the eighth update in a series of reports to the USTR.

The report estimates changes in U.S. welfare, output, employment, and trade that would result from the unilateral elimination of significant import restraints, including U.S. tariffs and tariff-rate quotas on certain agricultural products, textiles and apparel, and other manufactured products. The Commission estimates that liberalization of all significant import restraints quantified in this update would increase annual U.S. welfare by 1.1 billion by 2017.

The role of services in manufacturing is the subject of a special topic chapter in the report.

The Economic Effects of Significant U.S. Import Restraints: Eighth Update (Inv. No. 332-325, USITC Publication 4440, December 2013) is available on the USITC web site at
http://www.usitc.gov/publications/332/pub4440.pdf.

A CD-ROM or printed copy may be requested by emailing pubrequest@usitc.gov, calling 202-205-2000, or writing to the Office of the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436.


Philadelphia CBP Intercepts First in Nation Beetle
U.S. Customs & Border Protection / http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/newsroom/news_releases/local/12262013.xml

Philadelphia – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) confirmed Tuesday that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agriculture specialists at the Philadelphia Seaport made a first in nation pest discovery when they intercepted, Parepitragus pulverulentus Denticeps, a type of beetle, while inspecting a shipment of grapes from Peru on December 14.

Beetles may pose a significant agriculture threat because they cause damage by feeding on agricultural crops as well as native plants, thereby lowering crop yields and crop quality.

“CBP agriculture specialists take their job of detecting foreign invasive plants and plant pests very seriously,” said Tarance Drafts, acting CBP port director for the Port of Philadelphia. “This is another example of our agriculture specialists performing a thorough inspection and finding a new potential threat to the U.S. agriculture industry.”

The beetles were discovered within a shipment of 1,700 boxes of grapes from Peru. Specimens of the beetles were forwarded to a USDA- Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) - Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) entomologist for identification.

CBP issued an Emergency Action Notification to the importer requiring the shipment to be cold treated, re-exported, or destroyed. The importer chose the cold treatment option.

CBP agriculture specialists work closely with USDA’s, APHIS, PPQ to protect our nation’s agriculture resources against the introduction of foreign plants, plant pests, and animal diseases.

For more on the USDA, APHIS, PPQ program, please visit USDA.gov.

CBP agriculture specialists have extensive training and experience in the biological sciences and agricultural inspection. On a typical day, they inspect tens of thousands of international air passengers, and air and sea cargoes nationally being imported to the United States and seize 4,919 prohibited meat, plant materials or animal products, including 476 insect pests.


ITA - Press Release
 International Trade Administration / http://www.trade.gov/press/press-releases/

12/23/2013 Commerce Preliminarily Finds Dumping of Imports of Steel Threaded Rod from Thailand


CBP Officers Intercept More Than 24,000 Counterfeit Headphones
 U.S. Customs & Border Protection / http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/newsroom/news_releases/local/12202013_6.xml

Portal, N.D. — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers recently targeted a rail container at the port of Portal, North Dakota. On November 16, CBP officers inspected the container and discovered headphones, manufactured in China, bearing the trademark “Beats.”

“Our CBP officers are working diligently at our ports of entry to protect businesses and consumers every day by combating the trade in counterfeit and pirated goods,” said Barbara Hassler, CBP assistant port director for Trade. “These seizures represent the commitment by CBP to protect the American consumer from receiving fraudulent, inferior and in many cases potentially dangerous products.” 

CBP is a key player in the enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPR). Stopping the flow of illicit goods is a Priority Trade Issue for CBP. The importation of counterfeit merchandise can damage the U.S. economy, and threaten the health and safety of the American people.

With the growth of foreign trade, unscrupulous companies have profited billions of dollars from the sale of counterfeit and pirated goods. To combat the illicit IPR trade, trademark and copyright holders may register with CBP through an online system that assists CBP officers and import specialists to identify fake merchandise.

CBP’s IPR enforcement strategy is multi-layered and includes seizing fake goods at our borders, pushing the border outward through audits of infringing importers and cooperation with our international trading partners, and collaborating with industry and other government agencies to enhance these efforts.


USITC Will Expedite Five-Year (Sunset) Review Concerning Steel Wire Garment Hangers from China
U.S. International Trade Commission / http://www.usitc.gov/press_room/news_release/2013/er1220ll1.htm?source=govdelivery&utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery

The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC or Commission) has voted to expedite its five-year ("sunset") review concerning the antidumping duty order on steel wire garment hangers from China (Inv. No. 731-TA-1123 (Review)).

As a result of this vote, the Commission will conduct an expedited review to determine whether revocation of this order would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of material injury within a reasonably foreseeable time.

The Uruguay Round Agreements Act requires the Department of Commerce to revoke an antidumping or countervailing duty order, or terminate a suspension agreement, after five years unless the Department of Commerce and the USITC determine that revoking the order or terminating the suspension agreement would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of dumping or subsidies (Commerce) and of material injury (USITC) within a reasonably foreseeable time.

The Commission's notice of institution in five-year reviews requests that interested parties file with the Commission responses that discuss the likely effects of revoking the order under review and provide other pertinent information. Generally within 95 days from institution, the Commission will determine whether the responses it has received reflect an adequate or inadequate level of interest in a full review. If responses to the USITC's notice of institution are adequate, or if other circumstances warrant a full review, the Commission conducts a full review, which includes a public hearing and issuance of questionnaires.

The Commission generally does not hold a hearing or conduct further investigative activities in expedited reviews. Commissioners base their injury determinations in expedited reviews on the facts available, including the Commission's prior injury and review determinations, responses received to its notice of institution, data collected by staff in connection with the reviews, and information provided by the Department of Commerce.

All six Commissioners concluded that the domestic group response for this review was adequate and the respondent group response was inadequate and voted for an expedited review.

A record of the Commission's vote on this matter is available from the Office of the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436. Requests may be made by telephone by calling 202-205-1802.

The record of the Commission's vote is also posted on the USITC's Internet site at http://pubapps2.usitc.gov/sunset/caseProf/list?sort=caseTitle&order=asc. From this page, search "steel wire garment hangers" using the search box in the upper right corner.

The Federal Register notice will indicate whether any further information or statements will be available. Only parties that filed adequate responses and filed timely notices of appearance are eligible to participate further in this review. The Commission will issue a report after it completes its review.


FDA Proposes New Food Defense Rule
U.S. Food & Drug Adminstration / http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm379424.htm

Proposed rule marks the 6th issued under FDA Food Safety Modernization Act this year

As required by the bipartisan FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration today proposed a rule that would require the largest food businesses in the United States and abroad to take steps to prevent facilities from being the target of intentional attempts to contaminate the food supply.

The FDA is unaware of an event where the food supply was adulterated with the goal of inflicting massive public health harm. While such events are unlikely to occur, mitigating strategies proposed in the rule can continue to ensure the safety of the food supply. The proposed rule is intended as a preventive measure, and the FDA seeks public comment on the proposed approach. The proposed rule is the sixth issued under the landmark FDA FSMA law, which focuses on prevention and addresses the safety of foods that are produced domestically or are imported to the United States.

“The goal is to protect the food supply from those who may attempt to cause large-scale public health harm,” said Michael R. Taylor, the FDA’s deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine. “Such events, while unlikely to occur, must be taken seriously because they have the potential to cause serious public health and economic consequences. The FDA’s goal is to devise an approach that effectively protects the food supply in a practical, cost effective manner.”

The FDA is proposing a targeted approach focused on certain processes within a food facility that are most likely to be vulnerable to attack. Under the proposed rule, a food facility would be required to have a written food defense plan that addresses significant vulnerabilities in its food production process. Facilities then would have to identify and implement strategies to address these vulnerabilities, establish monitoring procedures and corrective actions, verify that the system is working, ensure that personnel assigned to the vulnerable areas receive appropriate training and maintain certain records.

This is the first time the FDA has proposed a regulatory approach for preventing intentional adulteration of the food supply, and the agency is seeking public input to refine our approach and further focus the scope of the rule.

Since Sept. 11, 2001, and the subsequent passage of the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002, the FDA has developed a variety of guidances and other tools to help industry protect the food supply against intentional adulteration. This rule builds on those efforts, as well as the steps industry has taken.

The FDA has proposed exemptions to the rule based on size of business, sales and certain types of operations such as holding and repacking food, with certain exceptions. The proposed rule does not apply to farms and food for animals.

Also in the proposed rule, the FDA describes its current thinking and is seeking comment on other issues, including economically motivated adulteration.

The FDA is seeking comments on its evaluation of what the agency considers to be low-risk activities for intentional contamination at farm mixed-type facilities, with a specific focus on the risk presented by acts of terrorism.

The FDA is proposing staggered implementation dates for the proposed rule based on business size, ranging from one year to three years after publication of the final rule. The proposed rule is available for public comment until March 31, 2014.

For more information:

  • Federal Register Notice for the Proposed Rule “Focused Mitigation Strategies to Protect Food Against Intentional Adulteration”
  • FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)

The FDA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, protects the public health by ensuring the safety, effectiveness, and security of human and veterinary drugs, vaccines and other biological products for human use, and medical devices. The agency also is responsible for the safety and security of our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, dietary supplements, products that give off electronic radiation, and for regulating tobacco products.


FDA Warns Consumers Not to Use Muscle Growth Product
Food & Drug Administration /  http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm379711.htm?source=govdelivery&utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery

Product marketed as a dietary supplement contains potentially harmful synthetic steroids

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is advising consumers to immediately stop using a product called Mass Destruction, marketed as a dietary supplement for muscle growth. The product is labeled to contain at least one synthetic anabolic steroid and has been linked to at least one reported serious illness.

The FDA was alerted by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services of a serious injury associated with use of Mass Destruction. The report described a previously healthy 28-year-old male with liver failure requiring transplant after several weeks of product use. Liver injury is generally known to be a possible outcome of using products that contain anabolic steroids and steroid-like substances. The product’s ingredients are undergoing further analysis by the FDA.

Mass Destruction is manufactured for Blunt Force Nutrition in Sims, N.C. and sold in retail stores, fitness gyms, and on the Internet. An investigation is underway to identify the product’s manufacturer. Consumers who suspect they are experiencing problems associated with Mass Destruction or other body building products should consult a health care professional, especially if they have experienced unexplained fatigue, abdominal or back pain, discolored urine, or any other unexplained changes in their health.

“Products marketed as supplements that contain anabolic steroids pose a real danger to consumers,” said Howard Sklamberg, director of the Office of Compliance in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “The FDA is committed to ensuring that products marketed as dietary supplements and vitamins do not pose harm to consumers.”   

In general, anabolic steroids may cause other serious long-term consequences in women, men and children. These include adverse effects on blood lipid levels; increased risk of heart attack and stroke; masculinization of women; shrinkage of the testicles; breast enlargement; infertility in males; and short stature in children.   

Health care professionals and consumers are encouraged to report adverse events that may be related to this or similar products to FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program by:

  • completing and submitting the report online at www.fda.gov/medwatch/report.htm; or
  • downloading and completing the form, then submitting it via fax at 800-FDA-0178.

The FDA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, protects the public health by assuring the safety, effectiveness, and security of human and veterinary drugs, vaccines and other biological products for human use, and medical devices. The agency also is responsible for the safety and security of our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, dietary supplements, products that give off electronic radiation, and for regulating tobacco products.

 
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