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U.S. Department of Commerce Finds Dumping and Countervailable Subsidization of Imports of Aluminum Wire and Cable from China  - U.S. Department of Commerce

Today (10/23/190, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced the affirmative final determinations in the antidumping duty (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) investigations of imports of aluminum wire and cable from China, finding that exporters from this country have sold aluminum wire and cable at less than fair value in the United States at rates of 58.51 percent to 63.47 percent. In addition, Commerce determined that exporters from China received countervailable subsidies at rates of 33.44 percent to 165.63 percent.

In 2018, imports of aluminum wire and cable from China were valued at an estimated $115 million.

The petitioners are Encore Wire Corporation (McKinney, TX) and Southwire Company, LLC (Carrollton, GA).
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 184 new antidumping and countervailing duty investigations – a 235 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 498 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 December 2, 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 rules 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:

NEW ORLEANS—For the third straight year, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), New Orleans Field Office has partnered with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) for Operation Safety Claus, an anti-counterfeiting law enforcement operation in metro New Orleans. 

“We seize counterfeit items on a regular basis,” said Denise Emmer, Chief of Trade and Training at CBP New Orleans.

In recent weeks, CBP officers have intercepted such items as makeup, contact lenses, hair products, eyelashes, and clothing.  

“They are not only damaging to the U.S. economy, but items including makeup and supplements can harm the consumer,” Emmer said. 

The purpose of the operation, which also includes the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the U.S. Attorney’s Office Eastern District of Louisiana, and the Office of the Louisiana Attorney General, is to target counterfeit goods during the Holiday season. During the Halloween holiday for instance, items like contact lenses, makeup and other cosmetics are of particular interest as they are relatively inexpensive and can contain bacteria, heavy metals, or other toxins that pose a health and safety hazard when not purchased from reputable sources.

“Law enforcement operations such as Operation Safety Claus assist the FDA in meeting its mission of protecting American consumers from illegal and potentially harmful FDA-regulated products.  We are committed to sending a strong and clear message to importers of counterfeit products that if they place the public at risk, we’re ready and they will be caught,” said FDA Miami Acting Special Agent in Charge Chad Menster. “Through this impressive operation, we’ll work with our federal partners to maximize our ability to help ensure fraudulent and potentially dangerous products do not reach American consumers.” 

HSI New Orleans Deputy Special Agent in Charge Gilbert S. Trill explained that selling and purchasing counterfeit items is an intellectual property crime, often used to fund international and transnational criminal organizations. These crimes can also have an adverse effect on the United States, in terms of reduced innovation, repressed job markets, and reduced quality. Additionally, it puts the public at risk with little recourse. 

“You’re not going to be able to sue an illegal activity or transnational criminal organization,” he said.

On a typical day in 2018, U.S. Customs and Border Protection alone seized $3.7 million worth of products with Intellectual Property Rights violations, with the IPR industry topping $ billion nationally. Many of these products are shipped through mail facilities throughout the country. 

“The discovery and interception of counterfeit merchandise that pose safety hazards to our citizens is an illustration of how CBP works every single day to keep dangerous goods from the commerce of the United States,” said Mark S. Choina, Assistant Port Director, Trade, Port of New Orleans.

The New Orleans office of HSI covers Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi, while the New Orleans CBP office covers Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, and Tennessee. For more information on IPR, visit https://www.cbp.gov/trade/priority-issues/ipr.


Office of Textile & Apparel: Announcement - OTEXA

After winning a $7.5 billion arbitration award in its World Trade Organization dispute with the EU over illegal subsidies to Airbus, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative announced that the United States will impose additional duties on certain products from certain EU member States, effective October 18, 2019. See the Federal Register Notice (84 FR 55998) for more information and the list of products that will be subject to additional duties, which includes a 25-percent additional duty on certain apparel and home textile products from the United Kingdom. 


U.S. Department of Commerce Continues Suspended Antidumping Investigation of Fresh Tomatoes from Mexico and Issues Final Affirmative Determination of Dumping - U.S. Department of Commerce

Today (10/21/19), at the request of U.S. tomato producers and as required by the statute, the Department of Commerce continued the antidumping duty investigation of fresh tomatoes from Mexico. Simultaneously, Commerce issued a final affirmative determination of dumping. However, the recently negotiated suspension agreement remains in force pending the outcome of an investigation by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC). No antidumping duties will be imposed as a result of today’s action.

“At the request of domestic producers, the Department is completing the investigation into imports of Mexican fresh tomatoes,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “Now it is up to the International Trade Commission to determine whether dumped imports harm the American tomato industry – and whether, as a consequence, the suspension agreement will remain in place.”

On September 19, 2019, Commerce and Mexican tomato growers finalized an agreement suspending the Department’s antidumping investigation of fresh tomatoes from Mexico. The agreement contains strong enforcement provisions that completely eliminate the injurious effects of unfairly priced Mexican tomatoes, prevent price suppression and undercutting, and extinguish substantially all dumping. The agreement also removes major uncertainties for the Mexican growers and their workers.

Under the antidumping law, when there is a suspension agreement in place, interested parties may request that Commerce continue the suspended antidumping investigation. The Florida Tomato Exchange, whose members are domestic producers of tomatoes, submitted such a request on October 11. Red Sun Farms, another domestic producer, submitted a similar request on October 15. Under Section 734(g) of the Tariff Act of 1930, the Department is required to continue a suspended investigation after receiving such a request.

As a result of today’s action, the ITC is expected to continue its suspended investigation of whether imports of fresh tomatoes from Mexico injure, or threaten injury, to the domestic tomato industry. The suspension agreement will remain in place, pending the outcome of the ITC’s investigation. Additionally, the Department is instructing Customs and Border Protection to lift suspension of liquidation and to return importers’ cash deposits.

If the ITC’s final determination is affirmative, then the suspension agreement will remain in place. However, if the ITC’s final determination is negative, then Commerce and ITC will terminate their investigations, and the suspension agreement will have no force or effect, allowing tomatoes from Mexico to enter the United States free of antidumping duties.

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 rules and is based on factual evidence provided on the record.


U.S. Department of Commerce Initiates a Circumvention Inquiry into Imports of Rebar from Mexico - U.S. Department of Commerce

Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced the initiation of a circumvention inquiry into imports of steel concrete reinforcing steel bar from Mexico, to determine if imports of rebar that are bent at one or both ends circumvent the existing antidumping duty (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) orders.

U.S. law provides that Commerce may conduct a circumvention inquiry when evidence suggests that merchandise subject to an existing AD/CVD order undergoes a minor alteration, bringing the product outside the scope of that order.

In 2018, imports of rebar from Mexico were valued at an estimated $51 million.

This inquiry was initiated in response to requests from U.S. domestic producers of rebar: Nucor Corporation, Gerdau Ameristeel U.S. Inc., Commercial Metals Company, Cascade Steel Rolling Mills, Inc., Byer Steel Group, Inc., and Steel Dynamics, Inc.

If Commerce preliminarily determines that circumvention is occurring, it will instruct Customs and Border Protection to begin collecting cash deposits on rebar from Mexico that is subject to the inquiry. These duties will be imposed on future imports, and on any unliquidated entries since the date on which Commerce initiated this circumvention inquiry.

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 26 new circumvention inquiries – a 189 percent increase from the number of circumvention initiations made during the comparable period in the previous administration.

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 rules and is based on factual evidence provided on the record.


FTC Report to Congress Details Fraud Reports from Older Consumers - Federal Trade Commission

Consumers 60 and older report losing money to scams less often than younger adults, but when they do lose money, they report higher individual losses

A new report from the Federal Trade Commission shows that adults aged 60 and older are less likely to report losing money to fraud than younger adults, but the amount of money they report losing is on the rise.

The report, Protecting Older Consumers 2018-2019: A Report of the Federal Trade Commission, outlines the FTC’s research, law enforcement, and education efforts aimed at protecting older consumers—a top priority for the agency.

As part of the FTC’s efforts to understand how fraud is affecting older adults, the report includes analysis of FTC consumer complaint data. In 2018, as in 2017, adults aged 60 and older were less likely than younger adults (aged 20 to 59) to report losing money to fraud. Younger adults reported losing money more often, but older consumers reported much higher dollar losses. In fact, people aged 80 and older reported losing the most, with a median individual reported loss of $1,700—a 55 percent increase over the previous year.

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