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USTR Revises List of EU Goods Subject to Large Aircraft Sec. 301 Retaliatory Tariffs - Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz, Silverman & Klestadt LLP

On August 12, 2020, the United States Trade Representative (“USTR”) issued the modified list (Annex 2, section 2) of European Union (“E.U.”) goods subject to Sec. 301 retaliatory tariffs in connection with the World Trade Organization (“WTO”) case against E.U. large aircraft subsidies. While approximately 24,000 comments were filed in response to the USTR’s request for comment regarding changes to the list, only minor changes were implemented. The USTR removed certain products from Greece and the United Kingdom and added an equivalent amount of trade from France and Germany, as summarized below:

  • All references to 9903.89.52 replaced with 9903.89.55.
  • Removes certain Greek cheeses (0406.90.99). Cheeses classified in this HTS from the remaining applicable countries will be classified in 9903.89.55.
  • Removes United Kingdom sweet biscuits (1905.31.00).
  • Adds a number of subheadings covering fruit jams and purees (2007.99.05- lingonberry and raspberry jams; 2007.99.10- strawberry jams; 2007.99.15- current and other berry jams; 2007.99.20- apricot jams; 2007.99.25- cherry jams; 2007.99.35- peach jams; 2007.99.60- strawberry pastes and purees, being cooked preparations).

$7.5 billion in imports continue to be subject to these countermeasures and the Sec. 301 tariff rates remain the same at 15% for aircraft and 25% for all other products (which continue to include cheeses, fruits, olive oils, tools, wines, liquors, etc.). The changes take effect on September 1, 2020. The United States and E.U. will continue negotiations in an effort to reach a resolution in this matter.

The current list of products subject to the Sec. 301 tariffs is listed in Annex I and effective through August 31, 2020.

We are available to discuss options to respond to and mitigate the effects of these developments, including classification and origin reviews, valuation strategies, etc. Should you have any questions regarding the applicability of the Sec. 301 tariffs or require additional information, please do not hesitate to contact our office.

In the News 

 Federal Register Notices:


 CBP Collects $575,000 from Pure Circle U.S.A. for Stevia Imports Made with Forced Labor - U.S.  Customs &  Border Protection 

WASHINGTON — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has collected $575,000 in penalties following the closure of a civil enforcement action against the importer Pure Circle U.S.A., Inc. This action is the first penalty that CBP has issued for imports made with forced labor since the passage of the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act in 2015, and demonstrates another enforcement tool in CBP’s ongoing effort to prevent goods made with forced labor from entering the United States.

The action against Pure Circle stems from an investigation into stevia produced in China by Inner Mongolia Hengzheng Group Baoanzhao Agricultural and Trade LLC (“Baoanzhao”) that CBP initiated after receiving an allegation from a Non-Governmental Organization. That investigation led CBP to issue a Withhold Release Order (WRO) in May 2016.  The WRO remains in effect.

During the subsequent investigation into Pure Circle’s importations of stevia from Baoanzhao, CBP obtained evidence establishing that Pure Circle U.S.A., Inc. had imported at least twenty shipments of stevia powder and derivatives produced from stevia leaves that were processed in China with prison labor in violation of U.S. law, and issued a penalty against the importer. 

Pursuant to 19 U.S.C. 1307, goods produced in whole or in part with forced labor are prohibited from entering the United States.  Shipments suspected of being produced with forced labor will be detained by CBP and excluded if CBP determines that forced labor was used in the production of the goods.  The merchandise at issue in this case had already entered the United States when CBP discovered that forced labor had been used in its production.

 “As part of its trade enforcement responsibilities, CBP will hold companies accountable for importing goods produced with forced labor,” said Brenda Smith, Executive Assistant Commissioner of CBP’s Office of Trade. “Companies have a responsibility to proactively monitor their supply chains to mitigate the risk of importing goods into the United States that were produced with forced labor.”

Under the Tariff Act of 1930, CBP has the authority to issue civil penalties  against importers for entering, introducing, or attempting to enter or introduce any merchandise into the commerce of the United States contrary to law.  In pursuing this civil enforcement action against Pure Circle, CBP’s Office of Trade worked closely with the CBP Office of Field Operations at the New York Field Office, the Pharmaceuticals, Health and Chemicals Center of Excellence and Expertise, and the Office of Chief Counsel, as well as Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Department of Justice.

The civil penalty against Pure Circle is one of many actions that CBP has taken to address the use of forced labor over the past year.  Since September 2019, CBP has issued eleven WROs to prevent merchandise made with forced labor from entering the United States, including four WROs on products from China.

CBP is committed to identifying and preventing products made by forced labor from entering the United States to maintain a level playing field for U.S. domestic industry. CBP receives allegations of forced labor from a variety of sources, including from the public.  Any person or organization that has reason to believe merchandise imported into the United States was produced with forced labor can report detailed allegations by contacting CBP through the e-Allegations Online Trade Violation Reporting System or by calling 1-800-BE-ALERT. 


 Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) Sheet from Korea and Oman Injuries U.S. Industry, says USITC - U.S. International Trade Commission

The United States International Trade Commission (USITC) today determined that a U.S. industry is materially injured by reason of imports of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) sheet from Korea and Oman that the U.S. Department of Commerce (Commerce) has determined are sold in the United States at less than fair value.

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

As a result of the Commission’s affirmative determinations, Commerce will issue antidumping duty orders on imports of this product from Korea and Oman.

The Commission’s public report Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) Sheet from Korea and Oman (Inv. Nos. 731-TA-1455 and 1457 (Final), USITC Publication 5111, August 2020) will contain the views of the Commission and information developed during the investigations.

The report will be available by September 21, 2020; when available, it may be accessed on the USITC website at: http://pubapps.usitc.gov/applications/publogs/qry_publication_loglist.asp.


 USITC Makes Determinations in Five-Year (Sunset) Reviews Concerning Certain Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Products from China and Taiwan - U.S. International Trade Commission

The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) today determined that revoking the existing antidumping and countervailing duty orders on imports of certain crystalline silicon photovoltaic products from China and Taiwan would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of material injury within a reasonably foreseeable time. 

As a result of the Commission’s affirmative determinations, the existing orders on imports of these products from China and Taiwan will remain in place. 

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

Today’s action comes under the five-year (sunset) review process required by the Uruguay Round Agreements Act.  See the attached page for background on these five-year (sunset) reviews.

The Commission’s public report Certain Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Products from China and Taiwan (Inv. Nos. 701-TA-511 and 731-TA-1246 and 1247 (Review), USITC Publication 5112, August 2020) will contain the views of the Commission and information developed during the reviews.

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


 CBP Issues Detention Order on Seafood Harvested with Forced Labor - U.S. Customs & Border Protection

WASHINGTON — Effective August 18 at all U.S. ports of entry, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will detain seafood harvested by the Da Wang, a Vanuatu-flagged, Taiwan-owned distant water fishing vessel. The Executive Assistant Commissioner of CBP’s Office of Trade (OT) directed the issuance of a Withhold Release Order (WRO) against the seafood harvested by the Da Wang based on information that reasonably indicates the use of forced labor, including physical violence, debt bondage, withholding of wages, and abusive living and working conditions.

“CBP will continue to enforce the U.S. prohibition of imports produced with forced labor. The agency strongly encourages the trade community to closely monitor all parts of their supply chains to ensure fair business and labor practices,” said Brenda Smith, Executive Assistant Commissioner of CBP’s Office of Trade. “We cannot achieve our goal of creating and maintaining an ethical and humane U.S. supply chain without the support of our industry partners, but there will be consequences for those who fail to meet government standards.”

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. This WRO will require detention of seafood harvested by the Da Wang at all U.S. ports of entry. Importers of detained shipments will have an opportunity to export their shipments or submit proof to CBP that the merchandise was not produced with forced labor.

This is the twelfth WRO that CBP has issued since September 2019, and the second against a fishing vessel. All WROs are publically available and listed by country on the CBP’s Forced Labor Withhold Release Orders and Findings page. The Forced Labor Division, established in 2017 within the CBP Office of Trade, leads enforcement of the prohibition on the importation of goods made from forced labor.

CBP is committed to identifying and preventing products made by forced labor from entering the United States to maintain a level playing field for U.S. domestic industry. 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. 
 
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