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FTC Seeking Comments on the Proposed Repeal of the Care Labeling Rule - Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz, Silverman & Klestadt LLP

The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) issued a draft notice seeking public comment on a proposed repeal of the Care Labeling rule for Textile Wearing Apparel and Certain Piece Goods (the “Care Labeling Rule”). The notice is expected to be published in the Federal Register in the near future.

The Care Labeling Rule requires manufacturers and importers of textile wearing apparel and certain piece goods to attach labels to their products disclosing the care needed for the ordinary use of the product. These labels provide instructions for dry cleaning or washing, bleaching, drying or ironing clothing.

The FTC previously sought public comment on the overall costs, benefits, and necessity of the Care Labeling Rule in 2011, as well as proposed amendments to the Rule in 2012.

The Supplementary Notice of Proposed Rulemaking requests comments from the public on a number of questions, including:

·                  The costs and benefits to manufacturers, cleaners, and consumers if the Rule is repealed or retained;

·                  What deceptive or unfair practices exist in the marketplace related to care labeling;

·                  The impact of repeal on the care instructions manufacturers currently provide to consumers; and

·                  Whether manufacturers would bear additional costs to make substantiated and accurate disclosures to consumers in the absence of the Rule.

Written comments must be received on or before 60 days after the notice is published in the Federal Register.

Should you have any questions or would like assistance in preparing comments in response to the proposed repeal of the Care Labeling Rule, please do not hesitate to contact David J. Evan or Christine E. Hintze.


Petitions for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties on Twist Ties from China - Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz, Silverman & Klestadt LLP

I.  Type of Action: Antidumping Duty (“AD”): China; Countervailing Duty (“CVD”): China

II. Product: 

The merchandise covered by these investigations consists of twist ties, which are thin, bendable ties for closing containers, such as bags, bundle items, or identifying objects. A twist tie is comprised of one or more metal wires encased in a covering material, which allows the tie to retain its shape and bind against itself. The metal wire in a twist tie is typically stainless or galvanized steel and typically measures between the gauges of 19 (.0410” diameter) and 31 (.0132”) (American Standard Wire Gauge).  A twist tie usually has a width between .075” and 1” in the cross-machine direction (width of the tie – measurement perpendicular with the wire); a thickness between .015” and .045” over the wire or other metal; and a thickness between .002” and .020” in areas without wire or other metal. Twist ties are commonly available individually in pre-cut lengths (“singles”), wound in large spools to be cut later by machine or hand, or in perforated sheets of spooled or single twist ties that are later slit by machine or by hand (“gangs”).

The covering material of a twist tie may be paper (metallic or plain), plastic, or polyethylene, and can be dyed in a variety of colors with or without printing.  A twist tie may have the same covering material on both sides or one side of paper and one side of plastic. When comprised of two sides of paper, the paper material is bound together with an adhesive or plastic.  A twist tie also may have a tag or label attached to it or a pre-applied adhesive attached to it.

The scope includes ties used for television cable, computer cords, other appliances and household ties, all of which are manufactured by Petitioner. Twist ties without metal wire also are covered in the scope.  An all plastic tie contains a plastic core as well as a plastic covering (the wing) over the core, just like paper and/or plastic in a metal tie. The scope does not include products with wire and plastic material (e.g., pipe cleaners used in craft activities, wire bristle brushes), or plastic “zip” ties.

III.  HTS classifications:

Twist ties are imported into the United States under Harmonized Tariff System of the United States (“HTSUS”) subheadings 8309.90.0000 and 5609.00.3000.  Subject merchandise may also enter under HTSUS subheadings 3906.90.2000, 3920.51.5000, 3923.90.0080, 3926.90.9990, 4811.59.6000, 4821.10.4000, 4821.90.2000, and 4823.90.8600. These HTSUS subheadings are provided for reference only.  The written description of the scope of the investigations is dispositive.

IV.  Date of Filing: June 26, 2020

V.  Petitioners: Bedford Industries, Inc.

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 Margins Listed): China: 67.92%

IX.  Comments:

A.  Projected date of ITC Preliminary Conference: July 17, 2020.

B.  The earliest theoretical date for retroactive suspension of liquidation for the AD is September 4, 2020; CVD is July 16, 2020.  Please contact our office for a complete projected schedule for the AD/CVD investigations.

C.  Volume and Value of Imports: Not Provided in Public 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.


Petitions for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties on Standard Steel Welded Wire Mesh from Mexico - Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz, Silverman & Klestadt LLP

I.  Type of Action: Antidumping Duty (“AD”):  Mexico ; Countervailing Duty (“CVD”): Mexico

II. Product: The merchandise covered by this Petition is standard steel welded wire mesh, which may also be referred to as welded wire fabric, welded wire cloth, or welded wire reinforcement. Wire mesh is a metal wire screen made from low carbon steel wire rods that are drawn or rolled to a uniform size and formed into a sheet or roll of uniformly-sized grids that are welded at the intersections of the parallel and perpendicular wires. Standard steel wire mesh is defined by the styles identified in the requested scope. See infra section I.E.S. Specifically excluded from the scope of the Petition is wire mesh produced from steel wire that has been galvanized or coated with an epoxy coating either before or after welding.

Please contact our office for the full scope language.

III.  HTS classifications: Wire mesh is classified under HTSUS statistical reporting numbers 7314.20.0000 and 7314.39.0000.

IV.  Date of Filing: June 30, 2020

V.  Petitioners: Insteel Industries Inc. Mid-South Wire Company, National Wire LLC, Oklahoma Steel & Wire Co., and Wire Mesh Corp.

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 Margins Listed):  55.90-160.74%

IX.  Comments:

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

B.  The earliest theoretical date for retroactive suspension of liquidation for the AD is September 8, 2020; CVD is July 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:

NEWARK, NJ —U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the Port of New York/Newark detained a shipment of products/accessories suspected to be made with human hair today that originated in Xinjiang, China, indicating potential human right abuses of forced child labor and imprisonment. The products were part of shipment of almost 13 tons of hair products worth over $800,000 dollars.

CBP detained the shipment in accordance with a Withhold Release Order (WRO) on hair products manufactured by Lop County Meixin Hair Product Co. Ltd.  On June 17, CBP instructed ports of entry nationwide to detain all such products based on information that reasonably indicated that they are manufactured with the use of prison labor. The manufacturing process may include additional situations of forced labor, including, but not limited to, excessive overtime, withholding of wages, and the restriction of movement. The WRO provides the importer of record the opportunity to export the shipment or to demonstrate that the merchandise was not produced with forced labor.

“It is absolutely essential that American importers ensure that the integrity of their supply chain meets the humane and ethical standards expected by the American government and by American consumers,” said Brenda Smith, Executive Assistant Commissioner of the CBP Office of Trade. “The production of these goods constitutes a very serious human rights violation, and the detention order is intended to send a clear and direct message to all entities seeking to do business with the United States that illicit and inhumane practices will not be tolerated in U.S. supply chains.” 

Federal statute 19 U.S.C. 1307 prohibits the importation of merchandise mined, manufactured, or produced, wholly or in part, by forced labor, including convict labor, forced child labor, and indentured labor. The current detention underlines the importance and effectiveness of WRO implementation in ensuring that the goods entering U.S. commerce meet the requirements set forth by this statute.

The importation of goods produced with forced labor threatens the reliability of the U.S. supply chain and introduces unfair competition into the global market, which can negatively affect the competitiveness and integrity of American businesses. It is the responsibility of all U.S. importers to confirm their supply chains are free of forced labor in order to ensure the origin and quality of goods consumed by the American public align with the laws and principles established by the United States Government and to protect the American economy.

All WROs are publically available and listed by country on CBP’s Forced Labor Withhold Release Orders and Findings webpage. The Forced Labor Division (FLD), established in 2017 within CBP’s Office of Trade, leads the enforcement of the prohibition on the importation of goods made from forced labor.

CBP Office of Field Operations (OFO) and the ports of entry throughout the country represent the agency’s front line in intercepting illicit trade.  Within CBP, the Office of Trade conducts investigations into allegations of forced labor and if substantiated, directs the associated enforcement actions. Every day CBP interdicts shipments containing goods that are unlawfully produced using forced labor or that violate laws related to safety or intellectual property rights.

CBP receives allegations of forced labor from a variety of sources, including from the general public. Any person or organization that has reason to believe merchandise produced with the use of forced labor is being, or likely to be, imported into the U.S. can report detailed allegations by contacting CBP through the e-Allegations Online Trade Violation Reporting System or by calling 1-800-BE-ALERT.

Please visit the CBP DVIDS page for imagery related to this announcement.


Fourth of July Celebrations May Look a Little Different this Year, but CPSC Reminds Consumers: Safety Still Rules - CPSC

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This year’s July 4th holiday may look different from most, with many people celebrating from home due to social distancing restrictions still in place to help stop the spread of COVID-19. All too often, however, Independence Day backyard celebrations can end up with a trip to the hospital for fireworks-related injuries. 

“Many Americans will not get to see the grand, professional fireworks displays this 4th of July given the cancellations of public celebrations and stay-at-home orders across the country. As an alternative, people are purchasing their own fireworks in an effort to recreate that tradition at home,” said CPSC Commissioner Dana Baiocco. “The need for safety awareness regarding fireworks is greater than ever,” she said, “and anyone who plans to use consumer fireworks this year should review and follow CPSC’s simple safety tips to prevent injuries and incidents.”

As part of this year’s virtual fireworks safety initiatives, CPSC is working with Adam Savage, best known as the former co-host and producer of the Discovery Channel television hit “MythBusters.” Adam is a science communicator, special effects designer, educator, television personality, author, and explosives expert (Adam is an honorary lifetime member of the International Association of Bomb technicians and investigators). Adam will share his extensive experience on fireworks safety. 

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) wants consumers to know the risks of handling fireworks at home, and how to prevent serious injuries and deaths. 

Tips to Celebrate Safely

  • Never allow young children to play with, or ignite, fireworks, including sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit—hot enough to melt some metals.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy, in case of fire or other mishap.
  • Light fireworks one at a time, then move away quickly. 
  • Never try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Soak them with water and throw them away.
  • Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Move to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
  • Never point or throw fireworks (including sparklers) at anyone.
  • After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding the device to prevent a trash fire.
  • Make sure fireworks are legal in your area, and only purchase fireworks that are labeled for consumer (not professional) use.

For more fireworks safety tips visit www.cpsc.gov/fireworks.
 
The Data on Injuries and Deaths

Today, CPSC announced that about 10,000 injuries and 12 fireworks-related deaths were reported for 2019.

There were an estimated 10,000 fireworks-related, emergency department-treated injuries in 2019, with 73 percent occurring during the month surrounding the Fourth of July (June 21-July 21). During that period, sparklers were the number one cause of injuries, accounting for an estimated 900 injuries; 66 percent of the injuries were to males. Similar to 2018’s data, nearly half of the estimated injuries were to individuals younger than 20 years of age. In fact, half of reported sparkler injuries involved children younger than 5.

At least 12 people died from fireworks-related incidents in 2019. Several deaths occurred when victims held and ignited fireworks. In one of the reported cases in 2019, a 21-year-old male was critically injured when lighting mortar-type fireworks on the rooftop of an apartment complex. The firework ignited and exploded while the victim was holding it over his head. The victim was taken to the hospital, where he died five days later.

CPSC has reports of 126 fireworks-related deaths between 2004 and 2019.

Video News Release (VNR)

Adam Savage Fireworks Safety Public Service Announcement

Download the video: https://spaces.hightail.com/receive/SBLz62eiyK


OTEXA:  Announcements - Office of Textile and Apparel

06/29/2020 – The U.S. Trade Representative invites public comments with respect to the maintenance and imposition of additional duties on the specific products of EU member States (and the UK) in connection with its review of the Section 301 investigation involving the enforcement of U.S. WTO rights in the Large Civil Aircraft dispute. Comments are requested by July 26, 2020. See Federal Register notice here.


Treasury Targets Major Iranian Metals Companies and Foreign Subsidiaries and Sales Agents - U.S. Department of Treasury

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) took action against four steel, aluminum, and iron companies operating within Iran’s metals sector, including one subsidiary of Mobarakeh Steel Company — Iran’s largest steel manufacturer. Treasury is also designating one Germany-based and three United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based sales agents for being owned or controlled by Mobarakeh Steel Company. Mobarakeh Steel Company was designated in 2018 pursuant to counterterrorism authorities for providing support to Iran’s Mehr Eqtesad Iranian Investment Company, an entity designated for being owned or controlled by the IRGC-affiliated Bonyad Taavon Basij. Mobarakeh Steel Company was also designated in 2020 for operating in Iran’s steel sector, and was sanctioned by the seven member nations of the Terrorist Financing Targeting Center in October 2019 for being part of Iran’s terror support network. Together, these sales agents generated tens of millions of dollars annually from the foreign sale of Mobarakeh Steel Company products, providing significant contributions to the billions of dollars generated overall by Iran’s steel, aluminum, copper, and iron sectors.

“The Iranian regime continues to use profits from metals manufacturers and foreign sales agents to fund destabilizing behavior around the world,” said Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin. “The United States remains committed to isolating key sectors of the Iranian economy until the revenues from such sectors are refocused toward the welfare of the Iranian people.”

Today’s actions are being taken pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13871, which imposes sanctions with respect to the iron, steel, aluminum, and copper sectors of Iran.

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