Section 232 National Security Tariffs on EU Steel and Aluminum Converted to Tariff Rate Quota - Tariffs Eliminated on In-Quota Amounts; Remain on Over Quota Amounts - Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz, Silverman & Klestadt LLP
Pursuant to two Presidential Proclamations, the Section 232 national security tariffs in place with respect to imports of steel and aluminum articles from member countries of the EU (that are melted and poured in the EU in the case of steel) have been eliminated with respect to quantities specified in new tariff rate quotas. Imports of aluminum articles must be accompanied by a certificate of analysis. Imports of EU steel and aluminum articles in excess of the new tariff rate quota quantities remain subject to Section 232 duties.
This action, which is pursuant to an agreement reached with the EU, took effect with respect to goods entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption, on or after January 1, 2022 and will remain in effect with respect to steel through December 31, 2023 (unless modified) (no end date is specified with respect to aluminum – simply that the action “shall continue in effect, unless such actions are expressly reduced, modified, or terminated”). The tariff rate quotas will be monitored and may be revisited as appropriate.
The U.S. also agreed to renew for two calendar years all product exclusions that were granted and utilized to import steel products tariff-free from the EU in Fiscal Year 2021. Steel goods entered under such exclusions will not count towards the tariff rate quota (this is not the case for aluminum goods).
Notably, the recent action also ended the Section 232 duties with respect to EU derivative steel and aluminum products that had previously been subject to such duties. With respect to steel, derivative products included such things as nails, tacks, drawing pins, corrugated nails, staples, bumper stampings of steel, certain accessories of motor vehicles, and body stampings of steel for tractors suitable for agricultural use. With respect to aluminum, derivative products included such things as stranded wire, cables, plaited bands, and slings, whether or not with steel core.
In a related development, the steel proclamation directs the Department of Commerce (“DOC”) to publish notice in the Federal Register, within 45 days (by February 10, 2022), seeking comments on the Section 232 exclusion process. Issues to be addressed include: a) the responsiveness of the exclusion process to market demand; b) enhanced consultation with U.S. firms and labor organizations; and, c) whether the current criteria for determining whether an article is available in a sufficient quality and quantity is appropriate.
A proposed regulation revising the exclusion process as deemed appropriate following consideration of such comments is to follow within 60 days of the close of the comment period. DOC is to then issue a final rule setting forth any changes to the exclusion process within 60 days of the comment period to be set forth in the proposed regulation.
Should you have any questions in connection with the above development or the Section 232 tariffs generally, please reach out to Arthur Bodek or any of our other attorneys.
Petitions for the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties on Barium Chloride from India - Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz, Silverman & Klestadt LLP
I. Type of Action: Antidumping Duty (“AD”): India ; Countervailing Duty (“CVD”): India
II. Product: The merchandise covered by this investigation is barium chloride, a solid chemical compound which has the formula BaCl2 if it is in a powdered anhydrous form or the formula BaCl2–2H2O if it is in a crystalline form.
The anhydrous form is used primarily as an ingredient in heat-treating salts and metal fluxes – that is, molten baths used to harden metal parts which are usually small specialty steel parts such as tools and dies.
The crystalline form is used primarily as an intermediate in the production of molecular catalyst sieves, which in turn are used in oil refinery complexes to separate industrially useful paraxylene molecules from other mixed xylenes. Paraxylene is a raw material used in the production of terephthalic acid, a precursor to polyethylene terephthalate (PET) which is used in the production of clothing and plastic bottles.
Barium chloride in crystalline form also serves as a cleansing agent in the removal of soluble sulfates in certain chemical and water treatment processes, as a cleansing ingredient in lubricating oil additives, and as a raw material in the production of certain chemicals, pigments, and paper coatings. The crystalline form is also used as a base material for production of ink pigments and other barium intermediate products such as barium titanate and barium metaborate. Further, crystalline barium chloride is used in certain environmental applications, including wastewater treatment.
III. HTS classifications: Barium chloride is classified under subheading 2827.39.4500 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States.
IV. Date of Filing: January 12, 2022
V. Petitioners: Chemical Products Corporation
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): India: 235.88%
A. Projected date of ITC Preliminary Conference: February 2, 2022.
B. The earliest theoretical date for retroactive suspension of liquidation for the AD is March 23, 2022; CVD is February 1, 2022. 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.
OTEXA: Announcements - Office of Textile & Apparel
[01/06/2022] – November 2021 Textile and Apparel Import Report
Federal Register Notices:
• Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Pentafluoroethane (R-125) From the People's Republic of China: Final Affirmative Countervailing Duty Determination
• Welded Line Pipe From the Republic of Korea: Notice of Court Decision Not in Harmony With the Results of Antidumping Administrative Review; Notice of Amended Final Results
• Certain Softwood Lumber Products From Canada: Notice of Amended Final Results of the Countervailing Duty Administrative Review, 2019
• Tapered Roller Bearings and Parts Thereof, Finished and Unfinished, From the People's Republic of China: Final Results and Partial Rescission of Review; 2019-2020
• Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding, or Suspended Investigation; Opportunity To Request Administrative Review and Join Annual Inquiry Service List
• Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding, or Suspended Investigation; Advance Notification of Sunset Review
• Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Certain Uncoated Paper From Brazil: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Changed Circumstances Review
• Certain Aluminum Foil From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review; 2019; Correction
• Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Certain Vacuum Insulated Flasks and Components Thereof; Commission Final Determination of Violation of Section 337; Issuance of a General Exclusion Order; Termination of Investigation
• Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Notice of a Commission Determination Not To Review an Initial Determination Granting HCY's Motion To Intervene; Certain Flocked Swabs, Products Containing Flocked Swabs, and Methods of Using Same
• Certain Audio Players and Controllers, Components Thereof, and Products Containing Same; Notice of a Final Determination Finding a Violation of Section 337; Issuance of a Limited Exclusion Order and a Cease and Desist Order; Termination of Investigation
• Notice of a Commission Determination To Issue Remedial Orders Against the Defaulting Respondents; Termination of the Investigation; Certain LED Landscape Lighting Devices and Components Thereof
• Notices: New Zealand Beef Imports Approved for the Electronic Certification System
• Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Utility Scale Wind Towers From Indonesia: Notice of Court Decision Not in Harmony With the Final Determination of Countervailing Duty Investigation; Notice of Amended Final Determination; Notice of Revocation of Countervailing Duty Order
• Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Certain Knitted Footwear; Institution of Investigation
CPSC - Newsroom News
• CPSC Urgent Warning: Stop Using Waupaca Residential Elevators Due to Fatal Entrapment and Serious Fall Hazards
• CPSC Announces Additional Steps Towards Eliminating Child Entrapment Hazard in Residential Elevators; Three Recalls and One Warning Issued; Consumers Warned to Check Residential Elevators, including at Rental Homes
CBP and GSA Announce Reauthorization of Donation Acceptance Authority - U.S. Customs & Border Protection
WASHINGTON — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the General Services Administration (GSA) announced today the reauthorization of the Donation Acceptance Authority, allowing the agencies to accept donations of real and personal property (including monetary donations) or nonpersonal services from private-sector or government entities to be used for activities of the Office of Field Operations at Ports of Entry (POE).
The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of Fiscal Year 2022 (P.L. 117-81, Section 6410), signed into law on December 27, 2021, expands CBP and GSA’s public-private partnership authority under Section 482 of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, as amended by Section 2 of the Cross-Border Trade Enhancement Act of 2016 (P.L. 114-279) by:
Authorizing CBP and GSA to accept proposals of real property donations from private-sector or government entities through December 31, 2026;
• Permitting personal property donations at leased Land Ports of Entry (LPOE); and
• Permitting donations of real and personal property at a new Federal Government-owned LPOE if, the fair market value of donations with respect to the LPOE total $75 million or less over the preceding five years.
Under CBP’s Donations Acceptance Program (DAP), the agency is broadly able to accept donations for port of entry construction, alterations, maintenance and operations (e.g., new lanes/booths, system upgrades, tools for intellectual property rights enforcement, furniture, equipment and technologies, etc.).
“This public-private partnership mechanism has allowed CBP to explore and implement tangible solutions to trade and travel facilitation and enforcement challenges,” said Pete Flores, Executive Assistant Commissioner for the Office of Field Operations. “Many infrastructures and technological improvements at Ports of Entry are made possible by this means.”
Since inception, the DAP has entered into 43 partnerships, totaling approximately $216 million in planned and realized investments in U.S. POE and important CBP initiatives. Twenty-three of the projects have been fully executed, including recent projects with NIKE, Inc., and at the World Trade Bridge in Laredo, while 20 of the projects are in the planning, design, or execution stage. The majority of proposals approved entail infrastructure and related technology investments in U.S. land ports of entry along the southern border.
“One of the greatest benefits of the DAP is the way it includes an unprecedented level of partnership between the various people and organizations with an interest in improving trade, security, and public health.” said Charlie Hart, GSA’s Southern Border Executive. “We’ve never worked as closely with CBP, with the communities, and with our other Federal and State partners as we have during the development of the donations projects over the past few years.”
Public-private partnerships are a key component of CBP’s Resource Optimization Strategy and allow CBP to provide new or expanded services and infrastructure at domestic ports of entry. For more information, visit www.cbp.gov/DAP.
ITC Institutes Section 337 Investigation of Certain Knitted Footwear - International Trade Commission
The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain knitted footwear. The products at issue in the investigation are described in the Commission’s notice of investigation.
The investigation is based on a complaint filed by Nike, Inc., of Beaverton, OR, on December 8, 2021. The complaint alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the United States and sale of certain knitted footwear that infringe patents asserted by the complainant. The complainant requests that the USITC issue a limited exclusion order and cease and desist orders.
The USITC has identified the following as the respondents this investigation:
adidas AG, of Herzogenaurach, Germany;
adidas North America, Inc., of Portland, OR; and
adidas America, Inc., of Portland, OR.
By instituting this investigation (337-TA-1289), the USITC has not yet made any decision on the merits of the case. The USITC’s Chief Administrative Law Judge will assign the case to one of the USITC’s administrative law judges (ALJ), who will schedule and hold an evidentiary hearing. The ALJ will make an initial determination as to whether there is a violation of section 337; that initial determination is subject to review by the Commission.
The USITC will make a final determination in the investigation at the earliest practicable time. Within 45 days after institution of the investigation, the USITC will set a target date for completing the investigation. USITC remedial orders in section 337 cases are effective when issued and become final 60 days after issuance unless disapproved for policy reasons by the U.S. Trade Representative within that 60-day period.
Three Amazon Marketplace Sellers Plead Guilty to Price Fixing DVDs and Blu-Ray Discs in Ongoing Investigation - Department of Justice
A New Jersey man and two New York men pleaded guilty yesterday to fixing the prices of DVDs and Blu-Ray Discs sold on the Amazon Marketplace.
According to court documents filed in Knoxville, Tennessee, Morris Sutton, Emmanuel Hourizadeh and Raymond Nouvahian were charged with conspiring with others to fix prices of DVDs and Blu-Ray Discs sold through the Amazon Marketplace. The price-fixing conspiracy each engaged in was ongoing from at least as early as November 2017 and continued until at least Oct. 29, 2019. Sutton, Hourizadeh and Nouvahian are the second, third and fourth individuals to be charged and to plead guilty in the ongoing investigation.
“As American consumers increasingly turn to e-commerce, it is critically important to deter, detect and prosecute crimes that prevent fair and open competition in online marketplaces,” said Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division. “These charges demonstrate the Antitrust Division’s continued commitment to prosecuting anticompetitive conduct wherever it may occur.”
According to a one-count information charging Sutton, and another one-count information charging Hourizadeh and Nouvahian, each of the charged individuals and his co-conspirators agreed to raise and maintain the prices of DVDs and Blu-Ray Discs sold in their Amazon Marketplace storefronts. The Amazon Marketplace is an e-commerce platform that enables third-party vendors to sell new or used products alongside Amazon’s own offerings. The Amazon Marketplace is owned and operated by Amazon.com Inc.
“Price-fixing schemes chip away at the benefits afforded to us by a fair market system,” said Assistant Director in Charge Michael J. Driscoll of the FBI’s New York Field Office. “Artificially inflating prices to avoid giving consumers a choice, for the sole purpose of benefitting those involved in the fraudulent scheme, is a violation of federal law. These guilty pleas should serve as a warning to other like-minded criminals.”
“We are gratified to have contributed to this investigation and applaud the exceptional work by the investigative team for both protecting the individual consumer and the deterrence of activities in violation of the Sherman Act,” said Special Agent in Charge Ken Cleevely of the U.S. Postal Service, Office of Inspector General (USPS OIG). “Along with our law enforcement partners, the USPS OIG will continue to aggressively investigate those who would engage in this type of harmful conduct.”
A criminal violation of the Sherman Act carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $1 million criminal fine for individuals. The maximum fine may be increased to twice the gain derived from the crime or twice the loss suffered by the victims of the crime, if either of those amounts is greater than the statutory maximum fine. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
The Antitrust Division’s Chicago Office is prosecuting the case, which was investigated with the assistance of the FBI’s New York Field Office and USPS OIG’s Contract Fraud Investigations Division.
Anyone with information concerning price fixing or other anticompetitive conduct related to the sale of DVDs, Blu-Ray Discs, or other products sold through Amazon Marketplace should contact the Antitrust Division’s Chicago Office at 312-984-7200, Antitrust Division’s Citizen Complaint Center at 888-647-3258 or www.justice.gov/atr/contact/newcase.html, or FBI’s New York Field Office at 212-384-1000.