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Update:  Exclusive Request Portal for Sec. 301, Trache 3, to Open on June 30, 2019 - Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz, Silverman & Klestadt LLP

On June 20, 2019, the U.S. Trade Representative (“USTR”) announced that it will accept Exclusion Requests through an online portal for Chinese-origin merchandise listed on Section 301, Tranche 3, beginning at noon EDT on June 30, 2019 and ending on September 30, 2019. Merchandise listed on Tranche 3 is currently subject to additional tariff rates of 25% ad valorem.

Products which are the subject of a successful Exclusion Request will be excluded from application of the additional 25% tariff. “Interested persons”, including importers, U.S. producers, purchasers, industry / trade associations, and others, can submit requests for exclusion. Interested persons must submit separate requests for each product. If granted, an exclusion will be effective from September 24, 2018 (the effective date for Tranche 3), and extend for one year after the exclusion is published in the Federal Register. Therefore, importers will have the opportunity to seek refunds from U.S. Customs for additional duties previously paid on products which receive an exclusion.

After a request for exclusion is posted on the USTR portal, interested persons will have 14 days to respond, indicating support or opposition. The requestor will have the opportunity to reply to the response within the later of 7 days after the close of the aforementioned 14 day period, or 7 days after the posting of a response. All responses and replies must be submitted through the USTR portal.

If you are interested in participating in the process described above, please contact our office to speak with one of our attorneys.

U.S. Department of Commerce Finds Dumping and Countervailable Subsidization of Imports of Steel Propane Cylinders from China and Thailand - U.S. 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 steel propane cylinders from China and Thailand (AD only), determining that exporters from China and Thailand have sold steel propane cylinders at less than fair value in the United States at the following rates:

China – 25.52 to 108.60 percent
Thailand – 10.77 percent

In addition, Commerce found that exporters from China received countervailable subsidies at rates from 37.91 to 142.37 percent.

In 2017, imports of steel propane cylinders from China and Thailand were valued at an estimated $89.8 million and $14.1 million, respectively.
The petitioners are Worthington Industries (Columbus, OH) and Manchester Tank & Equipment Co. (Franklin, TN).

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 168 new antidumping and countervailing duty investigations – this is a 211 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 484 antidumping and countervailing duty orders which provide relief to American companies and industries impacted by unfair trade.

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) is currently scheduled to make its final injury determinations on or about August 1, 2019. 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 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.

Federal Register Notices:

News Release - Sec. 337 Inv. -- LED Products, Systems, and Components Thereof (II) [6/20/2019]
News Release - Sec. 337 Inv. -- LED Products, Systems, and Components Thereof (I) [6/20/2019]
News Release: Sec. 337 Inv. -- Touch-Controlled Mobile Devices, Computers [6/19/2019]
News Release: General Factfinding Inv. -- U.S. Trade and Investment with Sub-Saharan Africa [6/14/2019]
Commission Vote -- Non-Malleable Cast Iron Pipe Fittings from China [6/13/2019]
Commission Vote -- Vertical Metal File Cabinets from China [6/13/2019]
News Release: Sec. 337 Inv. -- Food Processing Equipment [6/12/2019]
Commission Vote -- Quartz Surface Products from China [6/11/2019]

Mink Eyelashes – What You Need to Know - Fish & Wildlife Service

Background:  Online purchases of mink eyelashes are trending now and are popular with independent stylists, salons, and wholesalers.  These eyelashes are made not only with mink, but also other wildlife species including fox, rabbit and sable.  There are a few things to know about mink or other wildlife used in eyelashes before undertaking this commercial activity.

  • The mink or other wildlife species used to make the eyelashes typically originate from a foreign country, and thus are considered imports.
  • Imports of mink or other wildlife used in eyelashes are considered wildlife (even if the animals are farmed, captive bred, or ranched) and are regulated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service)
  • Importing mink or other wildlife used in eyelashes used in a business venture is considered a commercial activity and requires an Import/Export License from the Service prior to the first shipment arriving in the U.S.
  • Import/Export Licenses cost $100 and are valid for one year from the date of issuance.  Licenses can be applied for online
  • Each shipment of mink or other wildlife eyelashes, commercial or noncommercial, imported is required to enter the U.S. through a Service designated port, unless otherwise authorized by the Service
  • Shipments of mink or other wildlife imported to be used in a business venture must be declared to the Service and all accompanying documentation including any necessary permits must be submitted. • Each commercial shipment of mink or other wildlife imported requires the importer to pay user fees; $93 per shipment minimum.

If you have any questions, you can contact the closest Wildlife Inspection Office. 

Action:  Importers bringing in shipments of mink or other wildlife used in eyelashes into the U.S. without a valid Import/Export License and/or not declared are subject to enforcement action by the Service, including seizure of goods and possible monetary penalties. 

Long Beach Cargo Down in May - Port of Long Beach

Same month last year reached record for Port

Port of Long Beach cargo volumes in May fell compared to a year ago, when a historic high was set for the month.

A variety of factors are combining to impact international trade, according to Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero.

“One year into the trade war, escalating tariffs have pushed retailers to order goods early, warehouses are brimming with inventory as a result, and in response, ocean carriers are managing their vessels to deal with reduced demand,” Cordero said. “We are hopeful Washington and Beijing can resolve their differences before we see long-term changes to the supply chain that impact jobs in both nations.”

A total of 573,623 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) moved through the Port in May, 16.6% down compared to the same month in 2018. Imports decreased 19.5% to 290,568 TEUs. Exports declined 15.3% to 120,577 TEUs, while empty containers sent overseas dipped 11.7% to 162,479 TEUs.

Calendar year to date, the Port has handled more than 3 million containers, 6% fewer than the same point in 2018.

Port of NY & NJ At Strongest Competitive Position in Decades With Completion of ExpressRail Network, Capstone of Multi-Billion Port Modernization Program - Port of NY/NJ - Breaking Waves

Port of New York and New Jersey poised to overtake the Port of Long Beach as nation’s 2nd busiest port due to completion of Bayonne Bridge project and $1 billion in public-private investment in rail; 75% of all container carrier services make NY/NJ first port of call on East Coast; Improved rail capabilities help PANYNJ advance its five-year strategic goal to handle more than 900,000 intermodal rail lifts a year, the equivalent of 1.5 million fewer truck trips on local highways; Port Authority committed to working with its partners to study further enhancements to freight rail networks throughout the region The Port Authority today bolstered 

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New Federal Standard to Improve Safety of High Chairs Takes Effect - Consumer Product Safety Commission

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) approved a new federal mandatory safety standard to make high chairs safer for both home and restaurant use. The new mandatory standard, which aims to prevent deaths and injuries to infants and toddlers, applies to any infant high chair manufactured or imported on or after June 19, 2019.

What are the new rules?

High chairs must meet requirements for stability and restraint systems, as well as include warning statements printed on high chairs about how to avoid fall hazards.

What the Data Show

In a recent 2-year period, there were an estimated 18,500 high chair-related injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments, according to CPSC’s National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS).

Most of the incidents were due to falls when a child tried to climb into or out of the high chair; when the chair tipped over as a child pushed back, or rocked back and forth while seated in the high chair; or when a component (such as the restraint, tray, or lock) of the high chair failed.

Safety Tips for Using High Chairs

CPSC recommends the following tips for parents and caregivers:

  • Play it safest by ensuring that your high chair’s manufacture date is on or after June 19, 2019. You can find the manufacture date on a label on the high chair.
  • Always use the safety straps and adjust to fit the child snugly.
  • If a high chair includes a tray, do not use the tray to hold the child in the high chair. Instead, use the restraints.
  • Stay near and watch the child during use.
  • Do not let children climb into or stand on the high chair.

Note: This standard does not include booster seats or hook-on high chairs.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $1 trillion annually. CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical or mechanical hazard. CPSC's work to help ensure the safety of consumer products - such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters and household chemicals -– contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 40 years.

Federal law bars any person from selling products subject to a publicly-announced voluntary recall by a manufacturer or a mandatory recall ordered by the Commission.
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