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PNCT:  Tuesday, Nov 6th, PNCT Gates will be CLOSED for Election Day. Heavy Lift will work Monday + Friday

Presidential Proclamation to Modify the List of Products Eligible for Duty-Free Treatment Under the Generalized System of Preferences - WhiteHouse

1.  Pursuant to section 503(c)(1) of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended (the “1974 Act”) (19 U.S.C. 2463(c)(1)), the President may withdraw, suspend, or limit application of the duty-free treatment that is accorded to specified articles under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) when imported from designated beneficiary developing countries. 
2.  Pursuant to section 503(c)(1) of the 1974 Act, and having considered the factors set forth in sections 501 and 502(c) of the 1974 Act (19 U.S.C. 2461 and 2462(c)), I have determined to withdraw the application of the duty-free treatment accorded to a certain article.

3.  Section 503(c)(2)(A) of the 1974 Act (19 U.S.C. 2463(c)(2)(A)) subjects beneficiary developing countries, except those designated as least-developed beneficiary developing countries or beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries as provided in section 503(c)(2)(D) of the 1974 Act (19 U.S.C. 2463(c)(2)(D)), to competitive‑need limitations on the duty-free treatment accorded to eligible articles under the GSP.

4.  Pursuant to section 503(c)(2)(A) of the 1974 Act, I have determined that in 2017 certain beneficiary developing countries exported eligible articles in quantities exceeding the applicable competitive‑need limitations.  I hereby terminate the duty-free treatment for such articles from such beneficiary developing countries.

5.  Section 503(d)(1) of the 1974 Act (19 U.S.C. 2463(d)(1)) provides that the President may waive the application of the competitive‑need limitations in section 503(c)(2) of the 1974 Act with respect to any eligible article from any beneficiary developing country if certain conditions are met

6.  Pursuant to section 503(d)(1) of the 1974 Act, I have received the advice of the United States International Trade Commission on whether any industry in the United States is likely to be adversely affected by such waivers of the competitive‑need limitations provided in section 503(c)(2) of the 1974 Act.  I have determined, based on that advice and the considerations described in sections 501 and 502(c) of the 1974 Act, and having given great weight to the considerations in section 503(d)(2) of the 1974 Act (19 U.S.C. 2463(d)(2)), that such waivers are in the national economic interest of the United States.  Accordingly, I have determined that the competitive‑need limitations of section 503(c)(2) of the 1974 Act should be waived with respect to certain eligible articles from certain beneficiary developing countries.

7.  Section 503(c)(2)(C) of the 1974 Act (19 U.S.C. 2463(c)(2)(C)) provides that a country that is no longer treated as a beneficiary developing country with respect to an eligible article may be redesignated as a beneficiary developing country with respect to such article, subject to the considerations set forth in sections 501 and 502 of the 1974 Act, if imports of such article from such country did not exceed the competitive‑need limitations in section 503(c)(2)(A) of the 1974 Act during the preceding calendar year.

8.  Pursuant to section 503(c)(2)(C) of the 1974 Act, and having taken into account the considerations set forth in sections 501 and 502 of the 1974 Act, I have determined to redesignate a certain country as a beneficiary developing country with respect to a certain eligible article that during the preceding calendar year had been imported in quantities not exceeding the competitive‑need limitations of section 503(c)(2)(A) of the 1974 Act.

9.  Section 604 of the 1974 Act (19 U.S.C. 2483) authorizes the President to embody in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS) the substance of the relevant provisions of the 1974 Act, and of other Acts affecting import treatment, and actions thereunder, including removal, modification, continuance, or imposition of any rate of duty or other import restriction.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, acting under the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including title V and section 604 of the 1974 Act, do hereby proclaim that:

(1)  In order to provide that several countries should no longer be treated as beneficiary developing countries with respect to one or more eligible articles for purposes of the GSP, the Rates of Duty 1-Special subcolumn for the corresponding HTS subheadings and general note 4(d) to the HTS are modified as set forth in sections A, B, C, and D of Annex I to this proclamation.

(2)  In order to redesignate a certain article as an eligible article for purposes of the GSP, the Rates of Duty 1‑Special subcolumn for the corresponding HTS subheadings and general note 4(d) to the HTS are modified as set forth in sections E and F of Annex I to this proclamation.

(3)  A waiver of the application of section 503(c)(2) of the 1974 Act shall apply to the eligible articles in the HTS subheadings exported by the beneficiary developing countries as set forth in Annex II to this proclamation.

(4)  The modifications to the HTS set forth in Annexes I and II of this proclamation shall be effective with respect to articles entered for consumption, or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption, on or after 12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time on November 1, 2018.

(5)  Any provisions of previous proclamations and Executive Orders that are inconsistent with the actions taken in this proclamation are superseded to the extent of such inconsistency.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirtieth day of October, in the year of our Lord two thousand eighteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-third.   DONALD J. TRUMP

 CBP Finds Meth Masquerading as Food - U.S. Customs & Border Protection
Over 66 pounds pulled from canned goods

HOUSTON - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agriculture specialists and officers inspecting cargo shipments discovered an unusual surprise hidden within food items at Houston Intercontinental Airport (IAH), Oct. 30.
CBP officers seized 66.3 pounds of methamphetamine valued at over $225,000 that was discovered within canned items of hominy, tomato puree, and mole in a shipment arriving from Mexico and destined for Houston.

It was during a regularly scheduled examination of the arriving cargo, that a CBP agriculture specialist took notice of an irregular weight distribution of a single can of tomato puree. He turned the item over to a CBP officer for further examination.

When CBP officers opened the canned item, they found an odd colored liquid substance that began crystalizing. Testing indicated a positive result for methamphetamines.

“This particular seizure illustrates how well trained, experienced and committed to our mission that our CBP agriculture specialists are,” said Houston Area Port Director Raymond S. Polley.  “His attention to detail resulted in the prevention of over 66 pounds of methamphetamines from ending up in the hands of our community.”

CBP agriculture specialists typically have biological sciences degree which they use in their critical role of preventing harmful exotic plant pests and foreign animal diseases and potential ag/bio-terrorism into the U.S.

On a typical day in fiscal year 2017, CBP seized 5,863 pounds of narcotics and disrupted 222 pounds of narcotics.
Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) Resin from China and India Does Not Injure U.S. Industry, Says USITC - U.S. International Trade Commission

The United States International Trade Commission (USITC) today determined that a U.S. industry is not materially injured or threatened with material injury by reason of imports of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) resin from China and India that the U.S. Department of Commerce (Commerce) has determined are sold in the United States at less than fair value.

Chairman David S. Johanson and Commissioners Irving A. Williamson, Meredith M. Broadbent, and Rhonda K. Schmidtlein voted in the negative.  Commissioner Jason E. Kearns did not participate in these investigations.

As a result of the USITC’s negative determinations, no antidumping duty orders will be issued on imports of this product from China and India.

The Commission’s public report Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) Resin from China and India (Inv. Nos. 731-TA-1392-1393 (Final), USITC Publication 4841, November 2018) will contain the views of the Commission and information developed during the investigations.

The report will be available by November 30, 2018; when available, it may be accessed on the USITC website at:

Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) Resin from China and India
Investigation Nos. 731-TA-1392-1393 (Final)

Product Description:  Polytetrafluoroethylene (“PTFE”) is a crystalline polymer of tetrafluoroethylene (“TFE”) consisting of repeating units of carbon and fluorine (C2F4).  The product covered by this investigation is polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) resin, including but not limited to granular, dispersion, or coagulated dispersion (also known as fine powder). PTFE is covered by the scope whether filled or unfilled, whether or not modified, and whether or not containing co‐polymer additives, pigments, or other materials. Also included is PTFE wet raw polymer. PTFE further processed into micropowder, having particle size typically ranging from 1 to 25 microns, and a melt‐flow rate no less than 0.1 gram/10 minutes, is excluded from the scope of covered products. PTFE has a variety of end‐use applications due to its chemical inertness, heat and chemical resistance, electrical insulation properties, low coefficient of friction and functionality over a wide temperature range (‐40°C to 260°C).  PTFE’s properties make the resin resistant to oxidation and reaction with other chemicals (e.g., strong acids, alkalis, and oxidizing agents). PTFE products include gaskets, seals, linings, packing materials, tubing, pipe liners, and pipe coatings.

Status of Proceedings:

  1. Type of investigation:  Final antidumping duty.
  2. Petitioners:  The Chemours Company FC, LLC, Wilmington, Delaware.
  3. USITC Institution Date:  September 28, 2017.
  4. USITC Hearing Date:  May 17, 2018.
  5. USITC Vote Date:  October 31, 2018.
  6. USITC Notification to Commerce Date:  November 9, 2018.

U.S. Industry in 2017:

  1. Number of U.S. producers and processors:  8.
  2. Location of producers’ plants:  Alabama, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Texas.
  3. Production and related workers: [1]
  4. U.S. producers’ U.S. shipments: 1
  5. Apparent U.S. consumption: 1
  6. Ratio of subject imports to apparent U.S. consumption: 1

U.S. Imports in 2017:

  1. Subject imports: 1
  2. Nonsubject imports: 1
  3. Leading import sources:  Germany and Italy (in terms of value).

[1] Withheld to avoid disclosure of business proprietary information.

Statement from FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., on Findings from the Romaine Lettuc E. Coli 0157:H7 Outbreak Investigation and FDA's Efforts to Prevent Future Outbreaks - FDA

Earlier this year, we experienced the largest E. coli O157:H7 outbreak the country has seen in the last decade, leaving hundreds sick and claiming the lives of five people who consumed contaminated romaine lettuce.

We’re committed to taking necessary actions to prevent future outbreaks like this and to improving the safety of leafy greens available in the marketplace. Since the next romaine growing season for the Yuma region is underway, it’s critical for all of us to understand what happened so we can identify the changes that can prevent future outbreaks and reduce the scope of any problems that could arise.

Since the first signs of the outbreak appeared, our team has collaborated closely with our state, federal and local partners to determine the root cause of the outbreak. Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is sharing an environmental assessment that details final findings from this investigation.

One of the investigation’s main objectives was to identify factors that potentially contributed to the introduction and spread of the strain of E. coli O157:H7 that contaminated the romaine lettuce associated with this outbreak. The FDA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Arizona Department of Agriculture launched an investigation of the outbreak, leading to the collection of samples in Yuma in order to help gather evidence needed to identify the source of the outbreak.

The environmental assessment issued today confirms the presence of E. coli O157:H7 in three samples of irrigation canal water collected as part of this investigation in the Yuma region. It considers that the most likely way the romaine lettuce became contaminated was from the use of water from the irrigation canal, since the outbreak strain was not found in any of the other samples collected in the region. How the water contaminated the lettuce is uncertain. But based on interviews with growers and pesticide applicators, possible explanations include direct application of irrigation canal water to the lettuce crop or the use of irrigation canal water to dilute crop-protection chemicals applied to the crops through both aerial and land-based spray applications. We cannot rule out other ways the lettuce became contaminated. It’s important to note that we have no evidence that any other product grown in Yuma was contaminated by this water.

When and how the irrigation canal became contaminated with the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 is also uncertain. We know that a large concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) is located adjacent to this stretch of the irrigation canal where the samples were collected. This is one potential source. However, the investigation did not identify an obvious route for contamination of the irrigation canal from this facility. In addition, samples collected at the CAFO did not yield E. coli O157:H7. The investigation did not exclude other ways the irrigation canal could have become contaminated with this outbreak strain.

With the growing season underway in Yuma, we know just how important it is to continue collaborating closely with industry and our regulatory partners to ensure that leafy greens are safe. To assist with these efforts, our environmental assessment recommends a number of steps that can be taken to reduce the likelihood of another tragic outbreak from occurring in the future. Working with the produce industry to further reduce the risk of outbreaks is a key priority for the FDA.

Fully implementing the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) is critical to these efforts. We must continue to advance FSMA’s Produce Safety Rule in collaboration with our state regulatory partners and ensure that we craft agricultural water standards that work across the incredible diversity of commodities and growing conditions. The FDA has resources available to help industry comply with FSMA requirements, including produce safety experts regionally located as part of the FDA’s Produce Safety Network and growers in the Yuma region can find the contact information for their area at this website.

Because leafy greens are a highly perishable commodity, the ability to traceback the route of a food product as it moves through the entire supply chain, or traceability, is critical to removing the product from commerce as quickly as possible, preventing additional consumer exposures, and properly focusing any recall actions. During the romaine investigation we found the typical traceback process to be particularly challenging because much of the finished lettuce product contained romaine that was sourced from multiple ranches As a result, our investigation involved collecting documentation from each point in the supply chain to verify the movement of product back to the Yuma area. Complicating this already large-scale investigation, the majority of the records collected in this investigation were either paper or handwritten.

Going forward, both FDA and industry need to explore better ways to standardize record keeping and determine whether the use of additional tools on product packaging could improve traceability.

We strongly encourage the leafy greens industry to adopt traceability best practices and state-of-the-art technologies to help assure quick and easy access to key data elements from farm to fork. We also strongly encourage the leafy greens industry to explore modern approaches to standardized record keeping and the use of additional tools or labels on product packaging that could improve traceability. We urge all segments of this industry and our government partners to review the findings of our environmental assessment and make necessary changes. For our part, the FDA is exploring ways to best tap into new technologies to significantly reduce the time needed for traceback investigations.

The agency is taking steps to improve our response times and provide actionable information to consumers as quickly as possible. We are also looking at our regulatory options and considering appropriate enforcement actions against companies and farms that grow, pack, or process fresh lettuce and leafy greens under insanitary conditions. We continue to explore additional ways to improve these processes and urge all segments of the leafy greens industry to review their operations in the same way.

As a next step, the FDA plans to collect and analyze romaine lettuce samples through a new special surveillance sampling assignment for contamination with human pathogens. This will help us determine whether products are safe to enter the U.S. marketplace. If samples are found to be contaminated, the FDA will follow-up with fresh-cut leafy greens processors and their growers or suppliers to determine if these foods were produced under insanitary conditions that render them harmful to consumers and take the appropriate action to remove them from the market.

We recognize and appreciate the efforts that the leafy greens industry has taken to date. But we know more must be done on all fronts to help prevent future foodborne illness outbreaks. I remain committed to investing in the FDA’s food program and applying our food safety expertise as we work to better safeguard the U.S. food supply. We want food to be safe because it promotes the American industries that grow and produce these products. That’s part of our dedication to these efforts. But first and foremost, we pursue food safety measures as key parts of our public health mandate to protect American consumers.
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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