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CBP Announces Launch of Green Trade Strategy - U.S. Customs & Border Protection
WASHINGTON — Today (6/30/22), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced the launch of the Green Trade Strategy, a framework to incentivize green trade, strengthen CBP’s environmental enforcement posture, accelerate green innovation, and improve climate resilience and resource efficiency.
The Strategy establishes a proactive model to combat the negative impacts of climate change on the agency’s trade mission while strengthening existing enforcement activities against environmental trade crimes including illegal logging; wildlife trafficking; illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing; and illegal mining. It also defines goals for environmentally sustainable trade policies, programs, and infrastructure within the agency.
“Climate change and its impacts on the global movement of people and goods pose new challenges to U.S. national and economic security and introduce new considerations into CBP’s trade facilitation and enforcement mission,” said CBP Commissioner Chris Magnus. “CBP’s Green Trade Strategy offers a forward-looking framework to help the agency prepare for climate-related challenges, while seizing opportunities to grow the green economy and foster American innovation.”
The Green Trade Strategy aligns with broader Department of Homeland Security efforts and supports a whole-of-government approach to mitigating risk and seizing opportunities associated with climate change and environmental stewardship within the trade space.
“The Green Trade Strategy not only addresses the significant challenges climate change poses to the trade mission, it also highlights the many opportunities that will accompany a more resilient and efficient customs environment—all while spurring the innovation of cutting-edge green solutions made here in America,” said AnnMarie Highsmith, Executive Assistant Commissioner of CBP’s Office of Trade. “By launching the Green Trade Strategy, we’re one step closer to making that future a reality.”
Recent studies indicate that global supply chains may account for as much as 80 percent of the world’s total carbon emissions. In addition, environmental crime represents between $85 billion and $265 billion in criminal revenue each year and is often linked to money laundering and the funding of transnational criminal organizations. CBP is well positioned to help develop and enforce a cleaner, more sustainable international trading environment through the agency’s influence on global supply chain practices and enforcement of laws against environmental crimes, which have devastating economic and environmental effects on local and international communities.
The Strategy presents four strategic goals to guide CBP’s trade-related environmental activities:
• Incentivize Green Trade – provide facilitation benefits and other incentives to promote environmentally-friendly trade practices and supply chains
• Strengthen Environmental Enforcement Posture – enforce against environmental bad actors to drive meaningful changes in trade practices
• Accelerate Green Innovation – promote and invest in the deployment of innovative, sustainable trade practices by government and private industry
Improve Climate Resilience and Resource Efficiency – decrease the greenhouse gas emissions associated with CBP operations and strengthen the resilience and sustainability of trade infrastructure and assets.
CBP already enforces several environmental trade laws and practices to help combat environmental degradation, protect endangered species, and ensure American consumers and industry have access to sustainable products. With the Green Trade Strategy, the agency is looking to set an example for customs authorities around the world to develop higher, greener standards for global trade while creating an opportunity for government, industry, and the public to unify efforts in the creation of a more sustainable future. CBP will collaborate with stakeholders across the international trade environment in a manner that matches the urgency of climate change and the threat it poses to the global economy and to the planet.
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Censorship-Related Measures in China Cause Significant Annual Revenue Losses for Certain U.S. Industries - International Trade Commission
Foreign censorship and related measures led to significant foregone revenues for U.S. businesses annually and restricted the opportunity of U.S. businesses to provide services to hundreds of millions of users in China, according to a new report by the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC or Commission).
The investigation, Foreign Censorship, Part 2: Trade and Economic Effects on U.S. Businesses, was requested by the Senate Committee on Finance (Committee) in a letter received on April 8, 2021. This report is the second of two reports on foreign censorship requested by the Committee.
As requested, the USITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency, reported on the impacts to U.S. businesses of foreign censorship in the key markets of China, Russia, Turkey, Vietnam, India, and Indonesia through the application of case studies and a survey. Findings from the report include:
• Based on the survey results, businesses providing media and digital services are those most likely to be affected by censorship-related measures in China. Almost a quarter of U.S. media and digital service providers in China that were able to enter the Chinese market, representing more than half of the 2020 global revenue of all U.S. media and digital service providers active in China, experienced censorship-related measures. A significantly higher share of large businesses experienced censorship-related measures in China than small and medium-sized businesses. For U.S. media and digital service providers that experienced censorship:
o Almost three-quarters were concerned about negative impacts on their operations in China, including their ability to provide products and services in China. Most also noted that censorship-related measures in China have become more challenging to manage in the past few years.
o Almost 40 percent indicated that they had to self-censor to provide their products or services in China.
o Over 40 percent experienced increased costs of doing business in China and/or lost revenue in China as a result of censorship-related measures.
• Based on the case studies, the Commission estimates that the largest impacts associated with censorship-related measures are the forgone revenues from market access denial to businesses that provide social media platforms, over-the-top communications services, and internet search services, as well as audiovisual content.
Foreign Censorship, Part 2: Trade and Economic Effects on U.S. Businesses (Investigation No. 332-586, USITC Publication 5334, July 2022) is available on the USITC’s website at:
https://www.usitc.gov/publications/332/pub5334.pdf. The first report, Foreign Censorship, Part 1: Policies and Practices Affecting U.S. Businesses (Investigation No. 332-585, USITC Publication 5244, December 2021), is available on the USITC’s website at: https://www.usitc.gov/publications/332/pub5244.pdf.
USITC general factfinding investigations, such as this one, cover matters related to tariffs or trade and are generally conducted under section 332(g) of the Tariff Act of 1930 at the request of the U.S. Trade Representative, the House Committee on Ways and Means, or the Senate Committee on Finance. The resulting report conveys the Commission’s objective findings and independent analyses on the subjects investigated. The Commission makes no recommendations on policy or other matters in its general factfinding reports. Upon completion of each investigation, the USITC submits its findings and analyses to the requester. General factfinding investigation reports are subsequently released to the public, unless they are classified by the requester for national security reasons.
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Federal Register Notices:
• Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Helical Spring Lock Washers From China and Taiwan; Termination of Five-Year Reviews
• Notice of a Commission Determination Not to Review an Initial Determination Granting Return of Bond; Termination of Bond Return Proceeding; Certain Light-Emitting Diode Products, Fixtures, and Components Thereof
• Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Agreement Suspending the Countervailing Duty Investigation on Sugar From Mexico: Final Results of the 2020 Administrative Review
• Agreement Suspending the Antidumping Duty Investigation on Sugar From Mexico: Final Results of the 2019-2020 Administrative Review
• Aluminum Extrusions From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Changed Circumstances Reviews, and Revocation, in Part, of the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Orders
• Monosodium Glutamate From the Republic of Indonesia: Notice of Initiation and Preliminary Results of Changed Circumstances Review
• Stainless Steel Sheet and Strip From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Expedited Sunset Review of the Antidumping Duty Order
• Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Certain Electronic Devices Having Wireless Communication Capabilities and Components Thereof; Notice of a Commission Determination Not To Review an Initial Determination Terminating the Investigation as to Blu Products, Inc.; Termination of the Investigation
• Certain Televisions, Remote Controls, and Components Thereof Notice of Request for Submissions on the Public Interest
• Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Monosodium Glutamate From the Republic of Indonesia: Notice of Initiation and Preliminary Results of Changed Circumstances Review
• Chlorinated Isocyanurates From the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2020-2021
• Certain Cut-to-Length Carbon-Quality Steel Plate Products From the Republic of Korea: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2020-2021
• Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Cells, Whether or Not Assembled Into Modules, From the People's Republic of China: Final Results and Partial Rescission of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review; 2019
• Glycine From India: Preliminary Results and Rescission, in Part, of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review; 2020
• Finished Carbon Steel Flanges From Spain: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2020-2021
• 1,1,1,2-Tetrafluoroethane (R-134a) From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of the First Expedited Sunset Review of the Antidumping Duty Order
• Certain Cold-Drawn Mechanical Tubing of Carbon and Alloy Steel From India: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2020-2021
• Aluminum Extrusions From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of the Expedited Second Sunset Review of the Countervailing Duty Order
• Phosphor Copper From the Republic of Korea: Final Results of the First Expedited Sunset Review of the Antidumping Duty Order
• Stainless Steel Sheet and Strip From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Expedited First Sunset Review of the Countervailing Duty Order
• Glycine From India: Preliminary Results and Rescission, in Part, of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2020-2021
• Aluminum Extrusions From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of the Expedited Second Sunset Review of the Antidumping Duty Order
• Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Certain Portable Battery Jump Starters and Components Thereof; Notice of Commission Determination Not To Review a Final Initial Determination of Violation of Section 337 With Respect to Two Trademarks, and To Review and, on Review, Affirm a Finding of Violation With Respect to a Patent; Schedule for Filing Written Submissions on Remedy, the Public Interest, and Bonding
• Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Refillable Stainless Steel Kegs From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of the Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2019-2020
• Certain Quartz Surface Products From India: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review and Partial Rescission of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2019-2021
• Glycine From Japan: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2020-2021
• Certain Cold-Drawn Mechanical Tubing of Carbon and Alloy Steel From Italy: Preliminary Results of the Administrative Review of the Antidumping Duty Order and Preliminary Determination of No Shipments; 2020-2021
• Tapered Roller Bearings and Parts Thereof, Finished and Unfinished, From the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Results and Partial Rescission of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2020-2021
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Defending Against Impersonator Scams - Federal Trade Commission
American servicemembers sacrifice so much to honorably defend the nation. But dishonorable scammers make it their mission to con servicemembers out of their hard-earned money and benefits by pretending to be trusted companies and government agencies. During Military Consumer Month — and all year round — we’re empowering servicemembers, veterans, and their families to spot and avoid impersonator scams.
Scammers come up with all sorts of stories to convince you to send money or share your information. They might call or send you a text or email, pretending they’re tech support from Microsoft or Apple. They’ll tell you to put money on a gift card or spend cryptocurrency to protect yourself from a security breach. Don’t. It’s a scam.
Scammers also pretend to be government agencies like the IRS or Social Security Administration. They’ll claim that something bad will happen if you don’t pay or give them your personal information. Or they might say you’ll miss out on some government benefit. Either way, that’s a scam.
Here’s how to spot the fakers:
• Know that nobody legit will ever contact you out of the blue, demanding money or information. Hang up. It’s a scam.
• Don’t trust caller ID. Scammers know how to fake caller ID so it looks like a real phone number. Even if it has a real name, don’t trust it.
• Never pay anyone who demands payment by wire transfer, gift card, or cryptocurrency. Only scammers tell you to pay that way. Hang up if it’s a call. If it’s an email, text, or message on social media, don’t click any links.
You might spot these frauds — but someone you know might need extra backup. Please share this info with your friends, family, and fellow servicemembers and veterans. And report scams to the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.
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Air France and KLM Airlines to Pay $3.9 Million to Settle False Claims Act Allegations for Falsely Reporting Delivery Times of U.S. Mail Carried Internationally - Department of Justice
The Justice Department announced today that Air France and KLM Airlines (AF/KLM) have agreed to pay $3.9 million to resolve their alleged liability under the False Claims Act for falsely reporting information about the transfer of U.S. mail to foreign posts or other intended recipients under contracts with the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). AF/KLM are international air carriers with headquarters in Paris and Amsterdam, respectively.
“The Department of Justice is committed to ensuring that government contractors provide the services for which they are paid,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brian M. Boynton, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. “When contractors knowingly fail to meet their obligations, we will pursue appropriate remedies to redress the violations and deter future ones.”
USPS contracted with AF/KLM to take possession of receptacles of U.S. mail at six locations in the United States or at various Department of Defense and State Department locations abroad, and then deliver that mail to numerous international and domestic destinations. To obtain payment under the contracts, AF/KLM was required to submit electronic scans of the mail receptacles to USPS reporting the time the mail was delivered at the identified destinations. The contracts specified penalties for mail that was delivered late or to the wrong location. The settlement resolves allegations that scans submitted by AF/KLM falsely reported the time and fact that they transferred possession of the mail.
“The USPS contracts with commercial airlines for the safeguarding and timely delivery of U.S. mail to foreign posts, including the mail sent to our soldiers deployed to foreign operating bases,” said Executive Special Agent in Charge Ken Cleevely of the USPS, Office of Inspector General (OIG). “The OIG supports the Postal Service by aggressively investigating allegations of contractual non-compliance within the mail delivery process, including the falsification of delivery information. Our special agents worked hand-in-hand with the Department of Justice to help ensure a reasonable resolution and we applaud the exceptional work done by the investigative and legal teams.”
The resolution obtained in this matter was the result of a coordinated effort between the Civil Division’s Commercial Litigation Branch, Fraud Section, with substantial assistance from the USPS Office of the Inspector General and the USPS Office of General Counsel. Senior Trial Counsel Don Williamson of the Civil Division’s Commercial Litigation Branch, Fraud Section, represented the government in the civil case.
This is the seventh civil settlement involving air carrier liability for false delivery scans under the USPS ICAIR Contracts, and collectively the United States has recovered more than $84 million as a result of its investigation of such misconduct.
The claims resolved by the settlement are allegations only and there has been no determination of liability.
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Treasury Targets Iranian Oil and Petrochemical Trade Network - Department of Treasury
WASHINGTON — Today (7/6/22), the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned an international network of individuals and entities that has used a web of Gulf-based front companies to facilitate the delivery and sale of hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of Iranian petroleum and petrochemical products from Iranian companies to East Asia.
“While the United States is committed to achieving an agreement with Iran that seeks a mutual return to compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, we will continue to use all our authorities to enforce sanctions on the sale of Iranian petroleum and petrochemicals,” said Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson.
Today’s action is being taken pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13846 and follows OFAC’s June 16, 2022 designations of an international sanctions evasion network supporting Iranian petrochemical sales. Concurrently with Treasury’s designations, the Department of State imposed sanctions on five entities based in Iran, Vietnam, and Singapore and two vessels pursuant to E.O. 13846 in connection with significant transactions for the sale and transport of petroleum products from Iran, on or after November 5, 2018.
IRANIAN OIL SANCTIONS EVADERS
Iran-based Jam Petrochemical Company (JPC) has exported hundreds of thousands of metric tons of petrochemical products, worth hundreds of millions of dollars, to companies throughout East Asia. Many of these products were sold to Iran-based Iran Petrochemical Commercial Company (PCC) for onward shipment to the People’s Republic of China (PRC). JPC has aided PCC in facilitating the use of front bank accounts and companies in order to obfuscate the shipment and sale of Iranian origin petrochemicals. By these means, in mid to late 2021, JPC sold hundreds of thousands of metric tons of petrochemicals worth millions of dollars to PCC with the intent to deliver the goods to the PRC and the Philippines.
PCC was identified pursuant to E.O. 13599 on November 5, 2018, as being wholly owned by the Government of Iran.
Jam Petrochemical Company is being designated pursuant to E.O. 13846 for, on or after November 5, 2018, having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services in support of, Iran Petrochemical Commercial Company (PCC).
Edgar Commercial Solutions FZE has purchased and exported hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of petrochemical products from numerous sanctioned Iranian companies, including Persian Gulf Petrochemical Industry Commercial Company (PGPICC) and Arya Sasol Polymer Company, for onward shipment to the PRC. Edgar Commercial Solutions FZE used Hong Kong-based front company Lustro Industry Limited to disguise its role in the bulk purchase of petrochemical products from PGPICC and JPC. Through Lustro Industry Limited, Edgar Commercial Solutions FZE has remitted millions of dollars to Oligei International Trading Co. Limited, a PGPICC front company, for the purchase of petrochemical products from PGPICC.
PGPICC was designated pursuant to E.O. 13382 on July 7, 2019, for being owned or controlled by Persian Gulf Petrochemical Industry Company (PGPIC). PGPIC was itself designated pursuant to E.O. 13382 that same day for having provided financial support to Khatam al-Anbiya, the engineering conglomerate of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
Edgar Commercial Solutions FZE, Lustro Industry Limited, and Oligei International Trading Co., Limited are being designated pursuant to E.O. 13846 for, on or after November 5, 2018, having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services in support of, PGPICC.
Treasury-designated Triliance Petrochemical Co. Ltd. (Triliance) has used its UAE-based front company Ali Almutawa Petroleum and Petrochemical Trading L.L.C (Ali Almutawa) to send and receive tens of millions of dollars’ worth of payments related to the sale and purchase of Iranian petroleum products, including gasoline and naphtha.
One of Ali Almutawa’s customers is UAE-based Petrokick LLC, which has purchased tens of millions of dollars’ worth of Iranian petroleum products from the company. Petrokick LLC has also purchased millions of dollars’ worth of oil products from Behran Oil for onward shipment to the UAE. Petrokick LLC has sold hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of Iranian oil products shipped to the UAE.
Triliance was designated pursuant to E.O. 13846 on January 23, 2020, for, on or after November 5, 2018, having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services in support of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC).
Behran Oil was designated pursuant to E.O. 13876 for being owned or controlled by, directly or indirectly, Bonyad Mostazafan, a business empire owned by the Supreme Leader and designated pursuant to E.O. 13876.
Ali Almutawa Petroleum and Petrochemical Trading L.L.C is being designated for, on or after November 5, 2018, having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services in support of, Triliance. Petrokick LLC is being designated for, on or after November 5, 2018, having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services in support of, Behran Oil.
CRUDE OIL AND PETROCHEMICAL EXPORTERS
Since 2019, UAE-based Iranian nationals Morteza Rajabieslami (Rajabieslami) and Mahdieh Sanchuli (Sanchuli) have partnered to export Iranian crude oil and petrochemical products on behalf of Switzerland-based Naftiran Intertrade Company (NICO), the marketing arm of NIOC, through companies and vessels under their control. Rajabieslami owns an extensive network of companies engaged in refining, energy trading, shipping, and bunkering, which have facilitated the shipment of thousands of metric tons of fuel oil worth millions of dollars from Iran. These companies have been involved in contracts valued in the tens of millions of dollars related to the sale of petroleum products from NICO.
Sanchuli, an experienced petroleum sales facilitator who has served as a representative of UAE-based companies Petrogat FZE and Emerald Global FZE, has purchased from NICO shipments of crude oil worth tens of millions of dollars. Sanchuli has paid NICO tens of millions of dollars on behalf of Petrogat FZE to facilitate multiple shipments of oil from Iran to East Asia for the benefit of NICO.
NICO was identified pursuant to E.O. 13599 on November 26, 2008, for being owned or controlled by the Government of Iran.
Morteza Rajabieslami, Mahdieh Sanchuli, Petrogat FZE, and Emerald Global FZE are being designated pursuant to E.O. 13846 for, on or after November 5, 2018, having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services in support of, NICO.
SANCTIONS IMPLICATIONS
As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of these targets that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons must be blocked and reported to OFAC. In addition, any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by one or more blocked persons are also blocked. OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all dealings by U.S. persons or within the United States (including transactions transiting the United States) that involve any property or interests in property of blocked or designated persons.
In addition, persons that engage in certain transactions with the individuals and entities designated today may themselves be exposed to sanctions or subject to an enforcement action. Furthermore, unless an exception applies, any foreign financial institution that knowingly facilitates a significant transaction for any of the individuals or entities designated today could be subject to U.S. sanctions.
The power and integrity of OFAC sanctions derive not only from its ability to designate and add persons to the list of Special Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons (“SDN List”), but also from its willingness to remove persons from the SDN List consistent with the law. The ultimate goal of sanctions is not to punish, but to bring about a positive change in behavior. For information concerning the process for seeking removal from an OFAC list, including the SDN List, please refer to OFAC’s Frequently Asked Question 897. For detailed information on the process to submit a request for removal from an OFAC sanctions list.
For identifying information on the individuals and entities designated today
 
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