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Updates to PierPass Will Go Into Effect - Federal Martime Commission

The Federal Maritime Commission voted to take no action to prevent amendments to the West Coast MTO Agreement (WCMTOA) related to "PierPass" from becoming effective.

Under the terms of the updated agreement (FMC Agreement No. 201143), WCMTOA will replace the current two-tier PierPass fee structure with a uniform flat fee applicable to certain container moves on all shifts. It will also establish appointment systems for dray truckers serving marine terminal facilities at the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach.

As part of its vote, the Commission directed agency staff to review how monitoring requirements on WCMTOA can be enhanced. The Commission will consider and vote on staff recommendations on how to increase monitoring of the agreement during a yet to be scheduled closed meeting to be held in the coming weeks.

"Though not acting to stop the amendment from becoming effective, I continue to have concerns regarding the joint fee pricing process used by the terminal operators via WCMTOA," said Acting Chairman Michael A. Khouri.

Commissioner Rebecca Dye said, "All parties concerned with the supply chain—carriers, terminal operators, truckers, and shippers—should focus on port efficiency and cargo fluidity. I share Chairman Khouri’s concerns about aspects of PierPass, and emphasize that achieving actual visibility into the supply chain will ultimately alleviate the need for programs like PierPass."

The amended agreement goes into effect on Monday, November 19, 2018.

WCMTOA originally filed this amendment on April 13, 2018, but the Commission issued a Request for Additional Information on May 24, 2018. A response was received from WCMTOA on October 5, 2018.


U.S. Department Of Commerce Initiates Antidumping Duty and Countervailing Duty Investigations of Imports of Polyester Textured Yarn from China and India - U.S. Department of Commerce

Today (11/7/18), the U.S. Department of Commerce announced the initiation of new antidumping duty (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) investigations to determine whether polyester textured yarn from China and India is being dumped in the United States and to determine if producers in China and India are receiving unfair subsidies.

These investigations were initiated based on petitions filed by Unifi Manufacturing, Inc. and Nan Ya Plastics Corp. America on October 18, 2018.

In the antidumping duty investigation, Commerce will determine whether imports of polyester textured yarn from China and India are being dumped in the U.S. market at less than fair value.

The alleged dumping margins for China and India range from 74.98 to 77.15 percent and 35.14 to 202.93 percent, respectively.

In the countervailing duty investigation, Commerce will determine whether Chinese and Indian producers of polyester textured yarn are receiving unfair government subsidies.

There are 20 subsidy programs alleged in the China countervailing duty investigation, including the provision of low-priced inputs, preferential loans, grants, as well as income tax incentives, while there are 43 subsidy programs alleged in the India countervailing duty investigation, including tax incentives, the provision of low-priced inputs, grants, and loan subsidies.

If Commerce makes affirmative findings in these investigations, and if the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) determines that dumped and/or unfairly subsidized U.S. imports of polyester textured yarn from China and/or India are causing injury to U.S. industry, Commerce will impose duties on those imports in the amount of dumping and/or unfair subsidization found to exist.

In 2017, imports of polyester textured yarn from China and India were valued at an estimated $35 million and $19.6 million, respectively.

Click HERE for a fact sheet on these initiations.

Next Steps:
During Commerce’s investigations into whether polyester textured yarn from China and India are being dumped and/or unfairly subsidized, the ITC will conduct its own investigations into whether U.S. industry and its workforce are being harmed by such imports. The ITC will make its preliminary determinations on or before December 3, 2018. If the ITC preliminarily determines that there is injury or threat of injury, then Commerce’s investigations will continue, with the preliminary CVD determinations scheduled for January 11, 2019, and preliminary AD determinations scheduled for March 27, 2019, unless these deadlines are extended.

If Commerce preliminarily determines that dumping and/or unfair subsidization is occurring, then it will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection to start collecting cash deposits from all U.S. companies importing polyester textured yarn from China and India.

Final determinations by Commerce in these cases are scheduled for March 27, 2019, for the CVD investigations, and June 10, 2019, for the AD investigations, but those dates may be extended. If Commerce finds that these products are not being dumped and/or unfairly subsidized, or the ITC finds in its final determinations there is no harm to U.S. industry, then the investigations will be terminated and no duties will be applied.

The strict enforcement of U.S. trade law is a primary focus of the Trump Administration. Since the beginning of the current Administration, Commerce has initiated 135 new antidumping and countervailing duty investigations – this is a 255 percent increase from the comparable period in the previous administration.
Antidumping and countervailing duty laws provide American businesses and workers with an internationally accepted mechanism to seek relief from the harmful effects of the unfair pricing of imports into the United States. Commerce currently maintains 460 antidumping and countervailing duty orders which provide relief to American companies and industries impacted by unfair trade.

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Enforcement and Compliance unit within the International Trade Administration is responsible for vigorously enforcing U.S. trade law and does so through an impartial, transparent process that abides by international law and is based on factual evidence provided on the record.

Foreign companies that price their products in the U.S. market below the cost of production or below prices in their home markets are subject to antidumping duties. Companies that receive unfair subsidies from their governments, such as grants, loans, equity infusions, tax breaks, or production inputs, are subject to countervailing duties aimed at directly countering those subsidies.


Absolute Quota Steel and Aluminum Product Relief - U.S. Customs & Border Protection

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Office of Trade (OT) is providing guidance for the entry filing of imports of steel mill articles and aluminum products granted relief, under section 232 of the Trade Expansion ACT of 1962 from absolute quota by the Secretary of Commerce, paragraphs (1) and (2) of Presidential Proclamation 9777 (83 FR 45026, Vol. 171 September 4, 2018).  ACE is programmed to process imports granted relief from quantitative limits.

Importers or filers must submit a copy of the approved Department of Commerce (DOC) quota product exclusion with the approved importer of record number to traderemedy@dhs.gov and courtesy copy the Quota and Agriculture Branch HQQuota@cbp.dhs.gov.

Only products from importer(s) designated in the product exclusion approved by the DOC are eligible for the exclusion from the Section 232 measures.

NOTE:  CBP must receive and activate the product exclusion number before any quota exemption can be processed, and goods subject to the quota exemption can be released.

ENTRY FILING INSTRUCTIONS 

If quota amount is still available under the absolute quota category under which the import is classified, follow the following filing instructions:

In addition to reporting the regular Chapters 72 & 73 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) classification for the imported merchandise, importers shall report the following HTS classification for imported merchandise subject to the relief: 

9903.80.60 – Steel Mill or Aluminum Articles non-expedited quota approval OR
9903.80.61 – Steel Mill Articles expedited quota approval 

Do NOT submit any other HTS, including any other Chapter 99 HTS 

Use Quota Entry Type (i.e. entry types 02, 06, 07, 23, 32, or 38) 

Entered Value Information:  The entered value of the commodity being imported should be reported on the appropriate Chapter 1-97 HTS classification.  

Exception:  Chapter 98 reporting provisions may require the entered value to be reported differently.  Please refer to the “HTS Sequence” instructions in CSMS # 18-000624. 

The filer must transmit the product exclusion number in the importer additional declaration field (54 record) of the entry summary data, based on the following format: 

For excluded Steel mill articles = STLXXXXXX
For excluded Aluminum products = ALUXXXXXX 

XXXXXX represents the last six digits of the Regulations.gov approval number; do not include spaces or special characters, such as hyphens. 

Example:  If a steel exclusion is granted under product exclusion docket number BIS-2018-0009-9002, the importer/filer should submit the exclusion number STL099002 (i.e. STL plus the last six digits of the docket number). 

Please refer to the Importer’s Additional Declaration Detail (Input 54-Record) of the CBP and Trade Automated Interfaces Requirements (CATAIR) Manual for further guidance.  The CATAIR document can be found at https://www.cbp.gov/document/guidance/ace-abi-catair-entry-summary-createupdate

If the quota amount has filled under the absolute quota category under which the import is classified, follow the following filing instructions:

In addition to reporting the regular Chapters 72 & 73 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) classification for the imported merchandise, importers shall report the following HTS classification for imported merchandise subject to the relief: 

9903.80.60 – Steel Mill or Aluminum Articles non-expedited quota approval OR
9903.80.61 – Steel Mill Articles expedited quota approval 

Do NOT submit any other HTS, including any other Chapter 99 HTS

As above, be sure to use Quota Entry Type (entry types 02, 06, 07, 23, 32, or 38).

Failure to follow these instructions may result in the quota exemption not processing and the entry being rejected.

For questions, contact CBP’s Quota and Agriculture branch at HQQuota@cbp.gov.


U.S. Department of Commerce Finds Dumping and Countervailable Subsidization of Imports of Rubber Bands from China - US Department of Commerce

Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced the affirmative final determinations in the antidumping duty (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) investigations of imports of rubber bands from China.

Commerce determined that exporters from China have sold rubber bands at less than fair value in the United States at a rate of 27.27 percent. Commerce determined that exporters from China received countervailable subsidies at a rate of 125.77 percent.

Upon publication of the final affirmative AD determination, Commerce will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to collect AD cash deposits equal to the applicable final weighted-average dumping margins. Further, as a result of the affirmative final CVD determination, if the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) makes an affirmative injury determination, Commerce will instruct CBP to resume collection of CVD cash deposits equal to the applicable subsidy rates.

In 2017, imports of rubber bands from China were valued at an estimated $4.9 million.

The petitioner is Alliance Rubber Company (AR).

The strict enforcement of U.S. trade law is a primary focus of the Trump Administration. Since the beginning of the current Administration, Commerce has initiated 137 new AD and CVD investigations – this is a 242 percent increase from the comparable period in the previous administration.

AD and CVD laws provide American businesses and workers with an internationally accepted mechanism to seek relief from the harmful effects of unfair pricing of imports into the United States. Commerce currently maintains 461 AD and CVD orders which provide relief to American companies and industries impacted by unfair trade.

The ITC is currently scheduled to make its final injury determinations on December 28, 2018. If the ITC makes affirmative final injury determinations, Commerce will issue AD and CVD orders. If the ITC makes negative final determinations of injury, the investigations will be terminated and no orders will be issued.

Click HERE for a fact sheet on today’s decisions.

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Enforcement and Compliance unit within the International Trade Administration is responsible for vigorously enforcing U.S. trade laws and does so through an impartial, transparent process that abides by international law and is based on factual evidence provided on the record.

Foreign companies that price their products in the U.S. market below the cost of production or below prices in their home markets are subject to AD duties. Foreign companies that receive financial assistance from foreign governments that benefits the production of goods and is limited to specific enterprises or industries, or is contingent either upon export performance or upon the use of domestic goods over imported goods, are subject to CVD duties.


CPSC Expands Toy Safety Collaboration Efforts with Retail, Toy Industries & Safe Kids; Top Toy Safety Tips for Shoppers This Holiday Season - Consumer Product Safety Commission

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), Safe Kids Worldwide, and The Toy Association are joining together to promote toy safety and smart purchasing practices for parents, grandparents, and loved ones this holiday season. The groups are collaborating to provide consumer guidance and Toy Safety Shopping Tips to help elevate consumer toy safety awareness during the year’s busiest shopping season.

“By working collaboratively, CPSC’s toy safety tips can reach more people this holiday toy buying season. We all have the same goal, which is to keep children safe during the holidays and all year long,” said Acting CPSC Chairman Buerkle.

“CPSC’s mission is safety. Whether it is working with Customs and Border Protection (CBP)  to stop unsafe products at the ports, recalling hazardous products that have entered the marketplace, or educating businesses on how to comply with safety regulations, CPSC works every day to keep unsafe products off store shelves and out of consumers’, especially children’s, hands. U.S. toy safety standards are among the toughest in the world, but injuries still occur. It is crucial that parents and caregivers heed this call to keep safety in mind when shopping for toys this holiday season so that together we can ensure the safety of our most vulnerable consumers,” said Buerkle.

“Nothing is more important than the safety of a child. As the trade association for America’s most recognized brands, our members work year-round to ensure that all products sold in their stores and online meet or exceed state and federal requirements. While consumers purchase their holiday presents, we are encouraging parents and loved ones to “check out before they check out”— look for and follow safety guidance, heed the age grade listed on toy packaging, and buy from retailers they know and trust. Retailers want all families to have fun and safe holidays. We are proud to be joining with the CPSC, Safe Kids, and the Toy Association to protect our youngest customers by promoting toy safety,” said Kathleen McGuigan, Deputy General Counsel and Senior Vice President for RILA.

“The toy industry, safety community and the Consumer Product Safety Commission have made great strides in the area of toy safety. Toys are now safer than they’ve ever been before – fewer are being recalled, and dangerous products imported from other nations are being stopped at the border. That said, parents still have a job to do to ensure their child is safe. Give the gift of safety by following age-specific guidelines and separating toys by age, because toys intended for older kids may pose a risk to younger, curious siblings,” said Anthony Green, Chief Advocacy and Network Officer for Safe Kids Worldwide.

“The holidays can be a stressful time of year, and toy shopping need not add to that stress,” said Steve Pasierb, President/CEO, The Toy Association. “Our member companies take product safety seriously every day of the year; and we want families to have fun finding the perfect holiday toys to delight the children in their lives. They can shop with confidence knowing that the toys being sold by U.S. companies

to the most stringent regulations in the world and are tested for compliance.”

While CPSC, retailers, toymakers, and nonprofits are committed to ensuring the safety of toys, it is equally important that parents and caregivers take an active role in ensuring safe and fun play. That is why the groups issued the following tips for consumers when purchasing toys:

Check the label: Follow age guidance and other safety information on packaging (age grading is based on safety concerns and on the developmental appropriateness for children).
Avoid toys with small parts, as well as marbles and small balls, for children under age three.

  • Ensure that stuffed toys have age-appropriate features such as embroidered or secured eyes and noses for younger children and seams that are reinforced to withstand an older child’s play.
  • Be careful with magnets: High-powered magnet sets are a safety risk to children – toddler through teen.  Children have swallowed loose magnets, causing serious intestinal injuries.
  • Choose toys that match your child's interests and abilities as well as your family's play environment.
  • Get safety gear. With scooters and other riding toys, be sure to include helmets. Helmets should be worn properly at all times, and they should be sized to fit.
  • Know your seller. Purchase toys from retailers you know and trust.

To learn more about toy safety, click here, and remember – give the gift of safety this holiday season by choosing toys for kids wisely! 

 
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