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Petitions for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties on Certain Prestressed Concrete Steel Wire Strand from Argentina, Colombia, Egypt, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, Taiwan, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine and United Arab Emirates - Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz, Silverman & Klestadt LLP

I.  Type of Action: Antidumping Duty (“AD”): Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Serbia, Thailand, Turkey, and Vietnam; Countervailing Duty (“CVD”): China

II.  Product:  The products covered by these petitions are all types of youth and adult mattresses. The term “mattress” denotes an assembly of materials that at a minimum includes a “core,” which provides the main support system of the mattress, and may consist of innersprings, foam, other resilient filling, or a combination of these materials. Mattresses may also contain (1) “upholstery,” the material between the core and the top panel of the ticking on a single-sided mattress, or between the core and the top and bottom panel of the ticking on a double-sided mattress; and/or (2) “ticking,” the outermost layer of fabric or other material (e.g., vinyl) that encloses the core and any upholstery, also known as a cover.

The scope of these petitions is restricted to only “adult mattresses” and “youth mattresses.” “Adult mattresses” are frequently described as “twin,” “extra-long twin,” “full,” “queen,” “king,” or “California king” mattresses. “Youth mattresses” are typically described as “crib,” “toddler,” or “youth” mattresses. All adult and youth mattresses are included regardless of size or size description.

The scope encompasses all types of “innerspring mattresses,” “non-innerspring mattresses,” and “hybrid mattresses.” “Innerspring mattresses” contain innersprings, a series of metal springs joined together in sizes that correspond to the dimensions of mattresses. Mattresses that contain innersprings are referred to as “innerspring mattresses” or “hybrid mattresses.” “Hybrid mattresses” contain two or more support systems as the core, such as layers of both memory foam and innerspring units.

“Non-innerspring mattresses” are those that do not contain any innerspring units. They are generally produced from foams (e.g., polyurethane, memory (viscoelastic), latex foam, gel-infused viscoelastic (gel foam), thermobonded polyester, polyethylene) or other resilient filling.

Mattresses covered by the scope of these petitions may be imported independently, as part of furniture or furniture mechanisms (e.g., convertible sofa bed mattresses, sofa bed mattresses imported with sofa bed mechanisms, corner group mattresses, day-bed mattresses, roll-away bed mattresses, high risers, trundle bed mattresses, crib mattresses), or as part of a set in combination with a “mattress foundation.” “Mattress foundations” are any base or support for a mattress. Mattress foundations are commonly referred to as “foundations,” “boxsprings,” “platforms,” and/or “bases.” Bases can be static, foldable, or adjustable. Only the mattress is covered by the scope if imported as part of furniture, with furniture mechanisms, or as part of a set, in combination with a mattress foundation.

Excluded from the scope of these petitions are “futon” mattresses. A “futon” is a bi-fold frame made of wood, metal, or plastic material, or any combination thereof, that functions as both seating furniture (such as a couch, love seat, or sofa) and a bed. A “futon mattress” is a tufted mattress, where the top covering is secured to the bottom with thread that goes completely through the mattress from the top through to the bottom, and it does not contain innersprings or foam. A futon mattress is both the bed and seating surface for the futon.

Also excluded from the scope are airbeds (including inflatable mattresses) and waterbeds, which consist of air- or liquid-filled bladders as the core or main support system of the mattress.

Further, also excluded from the scope of these petitions are any products covered by the existing antidumping duty orders on uncovered innerspring units from China or Vietnam. See Uncovered Innerspring Units from the People’s Republic of China: Notice of Antidumping Duty Order, 74 Fed. Reg. 7661 (Feb. 19, 2009); Uncovered Innerspring Units from the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, 73 Fed. Reg. 75391 (Dec. 11, 2008).

Additionally, also excluded from the scope of these petitions are “mattress toppers.” A “mattress topper” is a removable bedding accessory that supplements a mattress by providing an additional layer that is placed on top of a mattress. Excluded mattress toppers have a height of four inches or less.

III.  HTS classifications:  The products subject to these petitions are currently properly classifiable under HTSUS subheadings 9404.21.0010, 9404.21.0013, 9404.29.1005, 9404.29.1013, 9404.29.9085, and 9404.29.9087. Products subject to these petitions may also enter under HTSUS subheadings: 9404.21.0095, 9404.29.1095, 9404.29.9095, 9401.40.0000, and 9401.90.5081.

IV.  Date of Filing: March 31, 2020

V.  Petitioners: Brooklyn Bedding, Corsicana Mattress Company, Elite Comfort Solutions, FXI, Inc., Innocor, Inc., Kolcraft Enterprises, Inc., Leggett & Platt, Incorporated, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, and United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union, AFL-CIO (“USW”)

VI.  Foreign Producers/Exporters:  Please contact our office for a list filed with the petition.   

VII.  US Importers named:  Please contact our office for a list filed with the petition.

VIII.  Alleged Dumping Margins (No CVD Rate Listed):

Cambodia: 708.10%
Indonesia: 706.28%
Malaysia: 47.97%
Serbia: 191.09%
Thailand: 773.49%
Turkey: 620.07%
Vietnam: 1008.28%

IX.  Comments

A.  Projected date of ITC Preliminary Conference: April 21, 2020.

B.  The earliest theoretical date for retroactive suspension of liquidation for the AD is June 10, 2020; CVD is April 20, 2020.

Please contact our office for a complete projected schedule for the AD/CVD investigations.

C.  Volume and Value of Imports:  Please contact our office for a summary of the data filed with the petition.

D.  List of Alleged Subsidy Programs: Please contact our office for a list of alleged subsidy programs.

If you have questions regarding how this investigation may impact future imports of scope merchandise or whether a particular product is within the scope of the investigation, please contact one of our attorneys.


Federal Register Notices:

WASHINGTON — President Trump signed an Executive Order on April 18 to provide additional economic support for U.S. businesses, including critical supply chains for U.S. manufacturers, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The order gives the Administration the flexibility to allow for a 90-day deferment period on certain payments for importers who have faced a significant financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic response.

Pursuant to this authority, the Treasury Department and U.S. Customs and Border Protection today are issuing a joint Temporary Final Rule.

This payment flexibility will be available only for importers with a significant financial hardship and will apply to payments for goods imported in March and April. Imports subject to duties associated with antidumping and countervailing duties (AD/CVD), and Section 201, 232 and 301 Trade Remedies are not included in this relief effort.

CBP has been working closely with the trade community throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. This order helps address many of the growing concerns raised by importers and manufacturers, by giving the Administration the flexibility to reduce the financial burden of the pandemic on American businesses affected by changes in the current supply chain. Additional details on implementation are forthcoming.


USITC Votes to Continue Investigation Concerning Ulta-High Molecular Weight Polyethylene from Korea - U.S. International Trade Commission

The United States International Trade Commission (USITC) today determined that there is a reasonable indication that a U.S. industry is materially injured by reason of imports of ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene from Korea that are allegedly sold in the United States at less than fair value. 

Chairman David S. Johanson and Commissioners Rhonda K. Schmidtlein, Jason E. Kearns, Randolph J. Stayin, and Amy A. Karpel voted in the affirmative.

As a result of the Commission’s affirmative determination, the U.S. Department of Commerce will continue with its antidumping duty investigation concerning imports of this product from Korea, with its preliminary antidumping duty determination due on or about August 11, 2020.

The Commission’s public report Ultra-High Molecular Weight Polyethylene from Korea (Inv. No. 731-TA-1474 (Preliminary), USITC Publication 5048, April 2020) will contain the views of the Commission and information developed during the investigation.

The report will be available after May 18, 2020; when available, it may be accessed on the USITC website at:  https://www.usitc.gov/commission_publications_library.

=========================================================

UNITED STATES INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION
Washington, DC 20436

FACTUAL HIGHLIGHTS

Ultra-High Molecular Weight Polyethylene from Korea
Investigation No. 731-TA-1474 (Preliminary) 

Product Description:  Ultra-High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE) is an extremely high viscosity, substantially linear polyethylene, typically in the form of a granule or powder. It is defined by its melt mass-flow rate of <0.1 g/10 min, measured at 190°C and 21.6 kg load, and includes blends but excludes medical-grade UHMWPE. UHMWPE has the highest impact strength of the polyethylenes and is used to create fibers that are used in demanding, high strength applications such as ballistic and slash-proof armor, as well as snowboards, skis, cut-resistant gloves, bow strings, climbing equipment, fishing line, spear lines for spear-guns, high performance sails, suspension lines on sport parachutes and paragliders, rigging in yachting, tow lines for boating, kites, and kite lines for kite sports.  UHMWPE can be used in a variety of industries, including construction, agriculture, material handling, transportation, textile, pulp and paper, wastewater treatment, food and beverage, mining, marine applications, porous plastics, oil and gas, high performance fibers, and battery separators.

Status of Proceedings:

1.   Type of investigation:  Preliminary phase antidumping duty investigation.
2.   Petitioner:  Celanese Corporation, TX.
3.   USITC Institution Date:  Wednesday, March 4, 2020.
4.   USITC Conference Date:  Tuesday, March 24, 2020.
5.   USITC Vote Date:  Friday, April 17, 2020.
6.   USITC Views to Commerce:  Monday, April 27, 2020.

U.S. Industry in 2019:

1.   Number of U.S. producers:  2.
2.   Location of producers’ plants:  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 2019:

1.   Subject imports:  1
2.   Nonsubject imports:  1
3.   Leading import sources:  Brazil, Germany, Japan, Korea, and the Netherlands.

_________________________

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


Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: Court Grants FDA’s Request for Extension of Premarket Review Submission Deadline for Certain Tobacco Products Because of Impacts from COVID-19 - Food & Drug Administration

On July 12, 2019, the United States District Court for the District of Maryland ordered the FDA to require manufacturers of e-cigarettes, cigars and other deemed new tobacco products that were on the market as of Aug. 8, 2016 to submit applications for premarket review by May 12, 2020. We have steadily been working toward that deadline, but the coronavirus pandemic has drastically impaired the ability to adhere to this timeline. Solely as a result of the pandemic and these exceptional and unforeseen circumstances, we requested on March 30, and on April 22, 2020 were granted by the court, a 120-day extension of the May 12 deadline.

The court order means applications for premarket review for many e-cigarettes, cigars and other new tobacco products are now required to be filed by Sept. 9, 2020. Consistent with the original court order, for companies that submit timely applications, the agency may continue to exercise enforcement discretion, meaning their products would generally continue to be marketed without being subject to FDA enforcement actions, for up to one year from the deadline (up to Sept. 9, 2021), unless a negative action is taken by the FDA on an application during that time.

Requesting this extension was not an easy decision for the FDA. COVID-19 is impacting all FDA-regulated industries, including tobacco product manufacturers. The agency has received numerous inquiries from the tobacco industry expressing concern they will be unable to complete premarket applications by the original May 12 deadline due to disruptions at all stages of preparation, including preventions or disruptions to in-person laboratory work and clinical studies or necessary foreign travel, or from the shuttering of manufacturing facilities abroad. At this time, the FDA believes the public health is better protected by not having these firms compromise their employees’ health or take actions that would risk spreading COVID-19 to others by trying to meet the previous May 12 deadline. In the more than a dozen requests for an extension that the FDA received, this public health concern was mentioned repeatedly.

Another consideration was that a number of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) personnel have been deployed to work on COVID-19 pandemic issues for the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS), leaving fewer staff to process applications. Many of those deployed are among the staff that had been playing a critical role as CTP prepared for this deadline. In addition, we are expecting more PHS deployments among the staff involved in these preparations, and the length of deployment for many of these PHS officers is likely to be extended.

Ultimately, a Sept. 9 deadline will better serve the public health by allowing manufacturers to prepare for, and the Agency to conduct, the thorough scientific review of these products that is required under law and vital to our mission of protecting Americans while reducing or eliminating physical contact during this critical period. Importantly, this new deadline does not detract from our efforts to prioritize enforcement of certain e-cigarette products currently on the market. Although the FDA’s in-person compliance checks and vape shop inspections are currently on hold due to the pandemic, review of previous inspections continues, and we continue to monitor the online marketplace and will take action as appropriate. Accordingly, the January 2020 enforcement priorities guidance, which independently prioritizes earlier enforcement against certain e-cigarette products that are widely used by youth, remains in effect regardless of whether an application is submitted, although we intend to update it for products for which the Sept. 9 date now applies.

Since the FDA began implementing the January 2020 guidance on Feb. 6, 2020, we have conducted more than 2,300 inspections of brick-and-mortar and online retailers and manufacturers. Physical inspections conducted prior to being halted due to COVID-19 concerns revealed the presence of certain flavored cartridge or pod-based ENDS products subject to current enforcement and warning letters have already been sent to 40 retailers.

The FDA remains acutely aware of the recent surge in youth use of e-cigarettes and the public health imperative that these and other deemed new tobacco products undergo premarket review. We are committed to implementing the enforcement priorities outlined in the January 2020 guidance. Again, we struggled with the decision to request an extension of the May 12 deadline, but this was ultimately the decision that made the most sense for public health during this extraordinary time.

In the meantime, we strongly encourage applicants who are able to submit their applications to do so as soon as possible. Those that plan on submitting applications for a large number of products are encouraged to contact the Agency as soon as possible to discuss their plans and method of submission. Sharing information about the number and nature of applications being developed will help us to prepare more efficiently for the influx of applications, enabling review of quality applications.

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.


USITC Votes to Continue Investigations Concerning Common Alloy Aluminum Sheet from Bahrain, Brazil, Croatia, Egypt, Germany, Greece, India, Indonesia, Italy, Korea, Oman, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Taiwan and Turkey - U.S. International Trade Commission

The United States International Trade Commission (USITC) today determined that there is a reasonable indication that a U.S. industry is materially injured by reason of imports of common alloy aluminum sheet from Bahrain, Brazil, Croatia, Egypt, Germany, Greece, India, Indonesia, Italy, Korea, Oman, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Taiwan, and Turkey that are allegedly sold in the United States at less than fair value and subsidized by the governments of Bahrain, Brazil, India, and Turkey.

Chairman David S. Johanson and Commissioners Rhonda K. Schmidtlein, Jason E. Kearns, Randolph J. Stayin, and Amy A. Karpel voted in the affirmative.

As a result of the Commission’s affirmative determinations, the U.S. Department of Commerce will continue with its antidumping and countervailing duty investigations concerning imports of this product from Bahrain, Brazil, Croatia, Egypt, Germany, Greece, India, Indonesia, Italy, Korea, Oman, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Taiwan, and Turkey, with its preliminary countervailing duty determinations due on or about June 3, 2020, and its antidumping duty determinations due on or about August 17, 2020.

The Commission’s public report Common Alloy Aluminum Sheet from Bahrain, Brazil, Croatia, Egypt, Germany, Greece, India, Indonesia, Italy, Korea, Oman, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Taiwan, and Turkey (Inv. Nos. 701-TA-639-642 and 731-TA-1475-1492 (Preliminary), USITC Publication 5049, April 2020) will contain the views of the Commission and information developed during the investigations.

The report will be available after May 21, 2020; when available, it may be accessed on the USITC website at:  https://www.usitc.gov/commission_publications_library.

=====================================================

UNITED STATES INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION
Washington, DC 20436

FACTUAL HIGHLIGHTS

Common Alloy Aluminum Sheet from
Bahrain, Brazil, Croatia, Egypt, Germany, Greece, India, Indonesia, Italy,
Korea, Oman, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Taiwan, and Turkey
Investigation Nos. 701-TA-639-642 and 731-TA-1475-1492 (Preliminary)

Product Description:  Common alloy aluminum sheet (CAAS) is a thin flat-rolled aluminum product. It has a thickness of 6.3 mm or less, but greater than 0.2 mm, in coils or cut-to-length, regardless of width. CAAS within the scope of these investigations include both not clad and multi-alloy clad aluminum sheet. Not clad aluminum can be produced from a 1XXX, 3XXX, or 5XXX series alloy, while multi-alloy clad CAAS is produced using a 3XXX series alloy core, to which cladding layers are applied to either one or both sides of the core. CAAS in this instance specifically excludes can stock used in the manufacturing of aluminum beverage cans, lids, and tabs for such cans. CAAS is used in applications such as building and construction, electrical, infrastructure, marine, and transportation, among others.

Status of Proceedings:

  1. Type of investigations:  Preliminary phase antidumping duty and countervailing duty investigations.
  2. Petitioners:  Aleris Rolled Products, Inc.; Arconic, Inc.; Constellium Rolled Products Ravenswood, LLC; JW Aluminum Company; Novelis Corporation; and Texarkana Aluminum, Inc.
  3. USITC Institution Date:  March 9, 2020.
  4. USITC Conference Date:  March 27 – April 2, 2020.
  5. USITC Vote Date:  April 22, 2020.
  6. USITC Notification to Commerce Date:  April 23, 2020.

U.S. Industry in 2019:

  1. Number of U.S. producers:  9 confirmed producers.
  2. Location of producers’ plants:  Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.
  3. Production and related workers:  4,731.
  4. U.S. producers’ U.S. shipments:  $4.1 billion.
  5. Apparent U.S. consumption:  $7.4 billion.
  6. Ratio of subject imports to apparent U.S. consumption:  30.6 percent by value.

U.S. Imports in 2019:

  1. Subject imports:  $2.3 billion.
  2. Nonsubject imports:  $1.1 billion.
Leading import sources:  Canada, Germany, Bahrain, Oman.
 
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