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USITC Releases Shifts in U.S. Merchandise Trade 2019 - US International Trade Commission

Shifts in U.S. Merchandise Trade 2019 (2019 Trade Shifts) is now available on the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) internet site.

The USITC, an independent, nonpartisan factfinding federal agency, produces its web-based comprehensive review of changes in U.S. trade patterns annually.

2019 Trade Shifts includes new interactive features, such as tables and graphics that allow users to view and refine, as they choose, the official government data presented. The report highlights changes in U.S. exports and imports by sector and select trading partners in terms of absolute value changes, relative percent changes, and changes in rank.

Highlights from the 2019 Trade Shifts report include:

In 2019, U.S. total exports and general imports both decreased though both were still above 2017 levels. Since U.S. imports fell more than U.S. exports, the overall merchandise trade deficit narrowed slightly.

U.S. total exports in two-thirds of merchandise sectors decreased from 2018 to 2019. The largest decreases in U.S. total exports were seen in the minerals and metals sector. The largest decrease in U.S. general imports by both absolute and percent change occurred in energy-related products.

Mexico, Canada, and China continued to be the main U.S. trading partners in 2019, consistent with past reports. China continued to be the top source of U.S. imports and remained the third largest destination market for U.S. exports. The largest destination markets for U.S. exports, however, were Canada and Mexico. Combined, U.S. exports to these two countries accounted for one-third of all U.S. exports of merchandise in 2019.  

Shifts in U.S. Merchandise Trade 2019 can be accessed at

Federal Register Notices:

CBP Officers Intercept 16,620 Counterfeit AirPod Wireless Earphones and Lightning Cables

LOS ANGELES — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers assigned to the LA/Long Beach seaport, in coordination with Electronics Center of Excellence and Expertise (Electronics Center) import specialists, seized 16,620 counterfeit wireless earphones and charging cables that violated Apple’s AirPod and Lightning protected trademarks.

The seized items included 2,400 pairs of counterfeit wireless earphones and 14,220 counterfeit charging cables. If genuine, the seized merchandise would have had an estimated manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $651,780.

CBP import specialists assigned to the Electronics Center confirmed that the goods were in violation of Apple’s AirPod and Lightning registered trademarks. CBP officers discovered the counterfeit products while conducting an enforcement exam on two shipments containing a total of 185 boxes that arrived from China on July 2 and July 15.

“Counterfeit products have a negative impact on the U.S. economy, as each time a consumer buys a counterfeit good, a legitimate company loses revenue,” said Carlos C. Martel, CBP Director of Field Operations in Los Angeles. “This translates to lost profits and U.S. jobs over time.”

Available on illegitimate websites and sold in underground outlets, counterfeit commodities multiply the illegal profits of smugglers and traffickers. Consumers are tricked into believing they are buying an original product at a significant discount.

“Counterfeit electrical goods are not put through the same vigorous safety checks as legitimate items and are often very dangerous,” said Donald R. Kusser, CBP Area Port Director of the LA/Long Beach seaport. “Consumers need to be extremely cautious when they buy electronics from non-legitimate sources.”

Nationwide in fiscal year (FY) 2019, CBP seized 27,599 shipments containing goods that violated intellectual property rights (IPR). The total estimated MSRP of the seized goods, had they been genuine, increased to nearly $1.5 billion from nearly $1.4 billion in FY 2018. 

Watches and jewelry topped the list for number of total seizures with 4,242 representing 15 percent of all seizures.  Watches and jewelry remained at the top of the list of products seized by total MSRP value with seizures valued at over $687 million, representing 44 percent of the total MSRP value of seizures.  Wearing apparel and accessories placed second by MSRP value with seizures estimated to be valued at more than $226 million.

Fiscal year 2019 Intellectual Property Rights Statistics

If you have any suspicion of or information regarding suspected fraud or illegal trade activity, please report the trade violation to the e-Allegations Online Trade Violation Reporting System or by calling 1-800-BE-ALERT. 

The enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights is a CBP Priority Trade Issue. Priority Trade Issues represent high-risk areas that can cause significant revenue loss, harm the U.S. economy, or threaten the health and safety of the American people. They drive the risk-informed investment of CBP resources as well as enforcement and facilitation efforts, including special enforcement operations, outreach, and regulatory initiatives.

U.S. Department of Commerce Preliminary Finds Dumping of Certain Corrosion Inhibitors from China - U.S. International Trade Administration / Department of Commerce

WASHINGTON – Today (9/3/20), the U.S. Department of Commerce announced an affirmative preliminary determination in the antidumping duty (AD) investigation of imports of certain corrosion inhibitors from China.

Commerce preliminarily determined that exporters from China have dumped certain corrosion inhibitors in the United States at margins ranging from 122.11 to 260.92 percent. 

As a result of today’s decision, Commerce will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection to collect cash deposits from importers of certain corrosion inhibitors from China based on the preliminary rates noted above. 

The petitioner is Wincom, Inc. (Blue Ash, Ohio).

In 2019, imports of certain corrosion inhibitors from China were valued at an estimated $16.3 million.

Commerce is scheduled to announce its final determination on or about January 20, 2021. 

If Commerce’s final determination is affirmative, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) will be scheduled to make its final injury determination on or about March 5, 2021. If Commerce makes an affirmative final determination of dumping and the ITC makes an affirmative final injury determination, Commerce will issue an AD order. If Commerce makes a negative final determination of dumping or the ITC makes a negative final determination of injury, the investigation will be terminated and no orders will be issued. 

Read the fact sheet on today’s decision.

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 286 new AD and countervailing duty (CVD) investigations – a 267 percent increase from the comparable period in the previous administration.

The antidumping duty law provides American businesses and workers with an internationally accepted mechanism to seek relief from the harmful effects of unfair pricing of imports into the United States. Commerce currently maintains 538 AD and CVD orders which provide relief to American companies and industries impacted by unfair trade.

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. 

Commerce’s Enforcement and Compliance unit within the International Trade Administration is responsible for vigorously enforcing U.S. trade laws and does so through an impartial, transparent process that abides by international rules and is based solely on facts submitted to the public record.

Fraud Alert: Scammers Claiming to be with DOJ, Preying on Elderly - Department of Justice

The Office of Justice Programs’ Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) has received multiple reports that individuals claiming to represent the Department of Justice are calling members of the public as part of an imposter scam. The department strongly encourages the public to remain vigilant and not to provide personal information during these calls, which appear to target the elderly.

Reports to the National Elder Fraud Hotline indicate these scammers falsely represent themselves as Department of Justice investigators or employees and attempt to obtain personal information from the call recipient, or they leave a voicemail with a return phone number. The return phone number directs users to a recorded menu that matches the recorded menu for the department’s main phone number. Eventually, the user reaches an “operator” who steers the user to someone claiming to be an investigator. That “investigator” then attempts to gain the user’s personal information.

“Phone scams are an ugly and pervasive act of victimization. The scams being reported to our National Elder Fraud Hotline are especially heinous because they show the perpetrators are preying upon one of the most vulnerable segments of our society – the elderly,” said OVC Director Jessica Hart. “As if this were not despicable enough, the scammers do so posing as employees of the Justice Department, usurping public trust in the agency that serves as a bastion of fairness and lawfulness while these scams exploit the elderly for financial gain. The first step to identifying these criminals is to have their crimes reported.”

Those who receive these calls are encouraged not to provide personal information and to report these scams to the FTC via their website or by calling 877–FTC–HELP (877-382-4357). Fraud can also be reported to the FBI for law enforcement action at

The National Elder Fraud Hotline is a resource created by OVC for people to report fraud against anyone age 60 or older. Reporting certain financial losses due to fraud as soon as possible, and within the first 2–3 days, can increase the likelihood of recovering losses. The hotline is open seven days a week. For more information about the hotline, please visit

Endangered Primate Remains Found in Cincinnati Shipment - U.S. Customs & Border Protection

CINCINNATI — In early April, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agriculture specialists in Cincinnati were inspecting several large bags of dried chili peppers imported from Thailand when they noticed something strange about the contents of the shipment.

Taking a closer look, the specialists found multiple prohibited wildlife products, including numerous dried frogs and insects and the remains of an endangered primate. The shipment was addressed to someone in Buffalo, New York. In a separate Thailand shipment, specialists found more than 22 pounds of turtle bones.

“Our agriculture specialists work to protect our U.S. crops and food supply each and every day,” said Cincinnati Supervisory Agriculture Specialist Barbara Hassan. “Often, we encounter shipments like these, which are of interest not only to CBP but to other federal agencies as well. Our specialists are trained to identify products of concern for more than 40 regulatory agencies, and they excel at pinpointing shipments that are worthy of a closer look.”

The shipment was referred to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) Office of Law Enforcement, where scientists presumptively identified the primate as an endangered lorisid that is protected under CITES Appendix I. The turtle bones were identified as soft-shelled turtles that were potentially CITES listed as well.

"U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service inspectors, along with Customs and Border Protection, continue to produce excellent results by impacting the illegal wildlife trade,” said Supervisory Wildlife Inspector Denise Larison. “Wildlife trafficking remains a significant threat to thousands of plant and animal species around globe. Thanks to this great partnership, we were once again able to prevent the unlawful importation of protected species and disrupt the illegal market for these precious animals."

CBP agriculture specialists inspect plant and animal products imported into the United States to prevent the transmission of foreign pests and diseases to American agriculture commodities.

CBP conducts operations at ports of entry throughout the United States, and regularly screens arriving international passengers and cargo for narcotics, weapons, and other restricted or prohibited products. CBP strives to serve as the premier law enforcement agency enhancing the Nation’s safety, security, and prosperity through collaboration, innovation, and integration.
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