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CIT Invalidates Expedited CVC Review of Softwood Lumber from Canada - Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz, Silverman & Klestadt LLP

The U.S. Court of International Trade (“CIT”) on August 18, 2021, invalidated the 2019 U.S. Department of Commerce (“DOC”) expedited countervailing duty (“CVD”) review of softwood lumber from Canada in Committee Overseeing Action for Lumber International Trade Investigations or Negotiations v. United States. In result, DOC is scheduled to publish notice in the Federal Register in late August 2021 invalidating that expedited CVD review. This publication would change the CVD cash deposit rates for the following sets of Canadian softwood lumber producers who were not individually examined in the CVD investigation.

Companies that DOC excluded from the CVD order through the expedited review would again become subject, requiring importers to prospectively pay 14.19% CVD cash deposits:
Les Produits Forestiers D&G Ltee;
Marcel Lauzon Inc.;
North American Forest Products Ltd.;
Roland Boulanger & Cie Ltée; and
Scierie Alexandre Lemay & Fils Inc.
Companies that obtained lower CVD cash deposit rates through the expedited review would have those lowered rates invalidated, requiring importers to prospectively pay higher CVD cash deposits:
Mobilier Rustique (Beauce) Inc. (increased from 1.99% to 14.19%);
Fontaine Inc. (increased from 1.26% to 14.19%); and
Produits Matra Inc. and Sechoirs de Beauce Inc. (increased from 5.8% to 7.42%).
The CIT expressly declined to provide retroactive relief, meaning that softwood lumber from these companies that has already entered the United States is unaffected by the ruling.

Importers sourcing from these sets of Canadian softwood lumber companies should expect to soon start paying CVD cash deposits or increased CVD cash deposits, respectively, unless the CIT decides to “stay” cash deposit collection pending further appeal – a possibility mentioned in the ruling. The ultimate CVD liability for softwood lumber from these companies is not expected to be resolved soon, as this ruling will likely be appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The question of law presented is whether DOC has the statutory authority to conduct expedited CVD reviews pursuant to its 1997 regulation. If affirmed on appeal, Canada could bring challenge before the World Trade Organization – which requires its members to allow for expedited CVD reviews.

If you have any questions, please contact one of our attorneys.

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Federal Register Notices:

Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Utility Scale Wind Towers From Spain: Antidumping Duty Order
Standard Steel Welded Wire Mesh From Mexico: Antidumping Duty Order; Correction
Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Circular Welded Carbon Steel Standard Pipe and Tube Products From Turkey: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review and Preliminary Determination of No Shipments; 2019-2020
Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value: Pentafluoroethane (R-125) From the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Affirmative Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, Preliminary Affirmative Determination of Critical Circumstances, in Part, Postponement of Final Determination, and Extension of Provisional Measures
Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Wooden Cabinets and Vanities and Components Thereof From the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Recission of Antidumping Duty New Shipper Review; 2020
Carbon and Certain Alloy Steel Wire Rod From Mexico: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review, and Final Determination of No Shipments; 2018-2019
Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value: Organic Soybean Meal From India: Postponement of Preliminary Determination in the Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigation
Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Ironing Tables and Certain Parts Thereof From China
Certain Light-Based Physiological Measurement Devices and Components Thereof Institution of Investigation
Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of the Expedited Five-Year Sunset Review of the Countervailing Duty Order
Certain Magnesia Carbon Bricks From Mexico and the People's Republic of China: Continuation of Antidumping Duty Orders and Countervailing Duty Order
Silicon Metal From Malaysia: Antidumping Duty Order
Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Cells, Whether or Not Assembled Into Modules, From the People's Republic of China: Notice of Court Decision Not in Harmony With Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; Notice of Amended Final Results
Determination of Sales At Less Than Fair Value: Metal Lockers From China
Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Certain Audio Players and Controllers, Components Thereof, and Products Containing Same; Notice of Request for Submissions on the Public Interest
Seamless Carbon and Alloy Steel Standard, Line, and Pressure Pipe From Korea, Russia, and Ukraine

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FTC to Ramp Up Law Enforcement Against Illegal Repair Restrictions - Federal Trade Commission

Commission unanimously adopts policy statement aimed at restoring Right to Repair for small businesses, workers, consumers, and government entities

The Federal Trade Commission today unanimously voted to ramp up law enforcement against repair restrictions that prevent small businesses, workers, consumers, and even government entities from fixing their own products. The policy statement adopted today is aimed at manufacturers’ practices that make it extremely difficult for purchasers to repair their products or shop around for other service providers to do it for them. By enforcing against restrictions that violate antitrust or consumer protection laws, the Commission is taking important steps to restore the right to repair.

In May, the FTC released a report to Congress that concluded that manufacturers use a variety of methods—such as using adhesives that make parts difficult to replace, limiting the availability of parts and tools, or making diagnostic software unavailable—that have made consumer products harder to fix and maintain. The policy statement notes that such restrictions on repairs of devices, equipment, and other products have increased the burden on consumers and businesses. In addition, manufacturers and sellers may be restricting competition for repairs in a number of ways that might violate the law.

“These types of restrictions can significantly raise costs for consumers, stifle innovation, close off business opportunity for independent repair shops, create unnecessary electronic waste, delay timely repairs, and undermine resiliency,” FTC Chair Lina Khan said during an open Commission meeting. “The FTC has a range of tools it can use to root out unlawful repair restrictions, and today’s policy statement would commit us to move forward on this issue with new vigor.”

In the policy statement, the Commission said it would target repair restrictions that violate antitrust laws enforced by the FTC or the FTC Act’s prohibitions on unfair or deceptive acts or practices. The Commission also urged the public to submit complaints of violations of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, which prohibits, among other things, tying a consumer’s product warranty to the use of a specific service provider or product, unless the FTC has issued a waiver.

The Commission voted 5-0 to approve the policy statement during an open Commission meeting live streamed to its website. Chair Lina Khan issued a statement. Commissioner Rohit Chopra issued a separate statement
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Memphis Seizes Hundreds of Counterfeit COVID-19 Vaccination Cards EVERY NIGHT- U.S. Customs & Border Protection

MEMPHIS — U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers (CBPOs) working at the port of Memphis flagged a suspicious shipment coming from Shenzhen, China en route to the central business district of New Orleans. It was described in the manifest as “PAPER CARD, PAPER” and CBPOs already knew what it was. It was the 15th such shipment of the night, though all to different cities. Inside were 51 low quality, counterfeit COVID-19 vaccination cards. The cards have blanks for the recipient’s name and birthdate, the vaccine maker, lot number, and date and place the shot was given, as well as the Center for Disease Control (CDC) logo in the upper right corner. However, there were typos, unfinished words, and some of the Spanish verbiage on the back was misspelled. How else did they know it was counterfeit? It was imported by a non-CDC or medical entity, and this was not the first time they had seen this shipper.

Sometimes the manifests describe the shipments as “Paper Greeting Cards/ Use For-Greeting Card,” sometimes they are “PAPER PAPER CARD,” but they are always from China. Though they may come in packs of 20, 51, 100, there are never any attempts to conceal them in anything. They aren’t hidden in books, nor are they stuffed in the back of framed paintings. The recipients of this ubiquitous contraband are unfortunately all over the United States. This fiscal year to date, Memphis has made 121 seizures totaling 3,017 of these vaccination cards.

The FBI has warned the public that buying, selling, or using a counterfeit COVID-19 vaccination card is a crime. It can be categorized as the unauthorized use of an official government agency seal (such as HHS or CDC) and may be punishable under Title 18 United States Code, Section 1017, and other applicable laws. Violators face a fine and up to five years in prison.

“These vaccinations are free and available everywhere,” said Michael Neipert, Area Port Director of Memphis. “If you do not wish to receive a vaccine, that is your decision. But don’t order a counterfeit, waste my officer’s time, break the law, and misrepresent yourself. CBP Officers at the Area Port of Memphis remain committed to stopping counterfeit smuggling and helping to protect our communities. But just know that when you order a fake vaxx card, you are using my officers time as they also seize fentanyl and methamphetamines.”
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Proposed Modification on One Ruling Letter and Proposed Revocation of Treatment Relating to the Tariff Classification of Certain Polypropylene Fibrillated Yarn - Customs Bulletins

AGENCY: U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security.

ACTION: Notice of proposed modification of one ruling letter, and proposed revocation of treatment relating to the tariff classification of certain polypropylene fibrillated yarn.

SUMMARY: Pursuant to section 625(c), Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. § 1625(c)), as amended by section 623 of title VI (Customs Modernization) of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act (Pub. L. 103–182, 107 Stat. 2057), this notice advises interested parties that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) intends to modify one ruling letter concerning tariff classification of certain polypropylene fibrillated yarn under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS). Similarly, CBP intends to revoke any treatment previously accorded by CBP to substantially identical transactions. Comments on the correctness of the proposed actions are invited.

DATE: Comments must be received on or before September 17, 2021.

See
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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: FDA Authorizes Additional Vaccine Dose for Certain Immunocompromised Individuals - Food & Drug Administration

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration amended the emergency use authorizations (EUAs) for both the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine and the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine to allow for the use of an additional dose in certain immunocompromised individuals, specifically, solid organ transplant recipients or those who are diagnosed with conditions that are considered to have an equivalent level of immunocompromise. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices is scheduled to meet Friday to discuss further clinical recommendations regarding immunocompromised individuals. Today’s action does not apply to people who are not immunocompromised.

“The country has entered yet another wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the FDA is especially cognizant that immunocompromised people are particularly at risk for severe disease. After a thorough review of the available data, the FDA determined that this small, vulnerable group may benefit from a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna Vaccines,” said Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock, M.D. “Today’s action allows doctors to boost immunity in certain immunocompromised individuals who need extra protection from COVID-19. As we’ve previously stated, other individuals who are fully vaccinated are adequately protected and do not need an additional dose of COVID-19 vaccine at this time. The FDA is actively engaged in a science-based, rigorous process with our federal partners to consider whether an additional dose may be needed in the future.”

People who are immunocompromised in a manner similar to those who have undergone solid organ transplantation have a reduced ability to fight infections and other diseases, and they are especially vulnerable to infections, including COVID-19. The FDA evaluated information on the use of a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna Vaccines in these individuals and determined that the administration of third vaccine doses may increase protection in this population. These patients should be counseled to maintain physical precautions to help prevent COVID-19. In addition, close contacts of immunocompromised persons should get vaccinated, as appropriate for their health status, to provide increased protection to their loved ones.

It is recommended that immunocompromised individuals discuss monoclonal antibody treatment options with their health care provider should they contract or be exposed to COVID-19. The FDA has authorized monoclonal antibody treatments for emergency use during this public health emergency for adults and pediatric patients (ages 12 and older weighing at least 40 kilograms or about 88 pounds) with positive results of direct SARS-CoV-2 viral testing, and who are at high risk for progressing to severe COVID-19 and/or hospitalization. One authorized product includes use for preventative (prophylaxis) treatment after being exposed to SARS-CoV-2; however, this product is not a substitute for vaccination.

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine is currently authorized for emergency use in individuals ages 12 and older, and the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine is authorized for emergency use in individuals ages 18 and older. Both vaccines are administered as a series of two shots: the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine is administered three weeks apart, and the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine is administered one month apart. The authorizations for these vaccines have been amended to allow for an additional, or third, dose to be administered at least 28 days following the two-dose regimen of the same vaccine to individuals 18 years of age or older (ages 12 or older for Pfizer-BioNTech) who have undergone solid organ transplantation, or who are diagnosed with conditions that are considered to have an equivalent level of immunocompromise.

The EUA amendments for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine and the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine were issued to Pfizer Inc. and ModernaTX Inc., respectively.
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Arizona Task Force Seizes Over $10 Million in Counterfeit Designer-Brand Apparel - ICE

NOGALES, Ariz. — In a joint effort, Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on Aug. 6, seized nearly $10.5 million in counterfeit apparel.

HSI Nogales Task Force officers seized 6,628 pieces of attire, with an MSRP value of $10,483,082.

In April, the Nogales Trade Enforcement Coordination Center (TECC) initiated an operation targeting trade exports from China, Panama and Vietnam. Three months later, an in-bond shipment from China was referred for inspection at the Mariposa Port of Entry in Nogales, Arizona. The inspection resulted in the discovery of apparel bearing protected trademarks from Chanel, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Dior and Disney. Many of the products appeared to be poor quality with inconsistencies and stitching irregularities, so the merchandise was detained pending authentication and valuation from the trademark holders.

“This significant seizure is attributable to the dedicated work of our law enforcement professionals who worked together and interdicted a large quantity of counterfeit goods at the border,” said Scott Brown, special agent in charge, for HSI Phoenix. “Together with our Nogales Trade Enforcement Coordination Center law enforcement partners, HSI will continue to engage in an unrelenting pursuit of individuals who attempt to profit from the illegal trafficking of counterfeit products.”

Nogales TECC seized the following articles of apparel following confirmation by the trademark holders that the merchandise bearing their trademark is counterfeit:

Chanel - 1,496 dresses and 1,152 blouses (MSRP $8,484,032)
Gucci - 1,080 blouses (MSRP $702,000)
Louis Vuitton - 634 blouses (MSRP $507,200)
Burberry - 1,080 shirts (MSRP $421,200)
Dior - 600 shirts (MSRP $354,000)
Disney - 586 shirts (MSRP $14,650)
The items have been placed into evidence in furtherance of a continued investigation.

HSI is a directorate of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel and finance move.

HSI’s workforce of over 10,400 employees consists of more than 7,100 special agents assigned to 220 cities throughout the United States, and 80 overseas locations in 53 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.
 
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