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Statement by President Joe Biden on Tentative Railway Labor Agreement - The White House
The tentative agreement reached tonight is an important win for our economy and the American people. It is a win for tens of thousands of rail workers who worked tirelessly through the pandemic to ensure that America’s families and communities got deliveries of what have kept us going during these difficult years. These rail workers will get better pay, improved working conditions, and peace of mind around their health care costs: all hard-earned. The agreement is also a victory for railway companies who will be able to retain and recruit more workers for an industry that will continue to be part of the backbone of the American economy for decades to come.
I thank the unions and rail companies for negotiating in good faith and reaching a tentative agreement that will keep our critical rail system working and avoid disruption of our economy.
I am grateful for the hard work that Secretaries Walsh, Buttigieg, and Vilsack, and NEC Director Deese put into reaching this tentative agreement. I especially want to thank Secretary Walsh for his tireless, around-the-clock efforts that delivered a win for the hard working people of the US rail industry: as a result, we will keep Americans on the job in all the industries in this country that are touched by this vital industry.
For the American people, the hard work done to reach this tentative agreement means that our economy can avert the significant damage any shutdown would have brought. With unemployment still near record lows and signs of progress in lowering costs, tonight’s agreement allows us to continue to fight for long term economic growth that finally works for working families.
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Federal Register Notices:
• Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: 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 and Notice of Amended Final Results of Countervailing Duty Review, 2019; Corrections
• Certain Cold-Drawn Mechanical Tubing of Carbon and Alloy Steel From India: Final Results of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review; 2020
• Circular Welded Carbon Steel Pipes and Tubes From Thailand: Notice of Court Decision Not in Harmony With Final Scope Ruling and Notice of Amended Final Scope Ruling Pursuant to Court Decision
• Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value: Sodium Nitrite From the Russian Federation: Final Affirmative Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value
• Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Chlorinated Isocyanurates From China and Spain; Revised Schedule for Full Five-Year Reviews
• Certain Silicon Photovoltaic Cells and Modules with Nanostructures, and Products Containing the Same; Notice of Request for Submissions on the Public Interest
• Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Large Power Transformers From the Republic of Korea: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review, 2020-2021
• Certain Pasta From Italy: Amended Rescission of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review, in Part; 2020-2021
• Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Certain Pillows and Seat Cushions, Components Thereof, and Packaging Thereof; Notice of Institution of Investigation
• Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Wooden Bedroom Furniture From the People's Republic of China: Continuation of Antidumping Duty Order
• Circular Welded Carbon Steel Pipes and Tubes From Thailand: Notice of Court Decision Not in Harmony With the Final Results of Antidumping Administrative Review; Notice of Amended Final Results of Antidumping Administrative Review; 2016-2017
• Narrow Woven Ribbons With Woven Selvedge From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review; 2020
• Glycine From the People's Republic of China: Continuation of the Antidumping Duty Order
• Circular Welded Carbon Steel Pipes and Tubes From Thailand: Notice of Court Decision Not in Harmony With the Final Results of Antidumping Administrative Review; Notice of Amended Final Results of Antidumping Administrative Review; 2017-2018
• Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Stainless Steel Sheet and Strip From China; Scheduling of Expedited Five-Year Reviews
• Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Certain Electrical Connectors and Cages, Components Thereof, and Products Containing the Same; Notice of a Commission Final Determination Finding a Violation of Section 337; Issuance of a Limited Exclusion Order and Cease and Desist Orders; Termination of the Investigation
• Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Stainless Steel Sheet and Strip From the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Scope Ruling and Preliminary Affirmative Determination of Circumvention for Exports From the Socialist Republic of Vietnam
• Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Certain Fitness Devices, Streaming Components Thereof, and Systems Containing Same; Notice of Request for Submissions on the Public Interest
• Certain Power Inverters and Converters, Vehicles Containing the Same, and Components Thereof; Notice of Request for Submissions on the Public Interest
• Certain Audio Players and Components Thereof (II); Notice of Institution of Investigation
• Certain Audio Players and Components Thereof (I); Notice of Institution of Investigation
• Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Chlorinated Isocyanurates From China and Spain; Hearing Update for the Subject Reviews
• Certain Plant-Derived Recombinant Human Serum Albumins (“rHSA”) and Products Containing Same; Notice of the Commission's Final Determination Finding a Violation of Section 337; Issuance of a Limited Exclusion Order and Cease and Desist Orders; Termination of the Investigation
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Chile Importations from Mexico Heating Up at the Columbus Port of Entry - U.S. Customs & Border Protection
COLUMBUS, N.M. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists assigned to the Columbus port of entry are busier than ever processing dozens of chile imports from Mexico on a daily basis. CBP’s operation “Hot Chile” is now underway to address the traffic. The workload is expected to peak shortly.
CBP agriculture specialist will process between 90 and 100 shipments of chile a day during the busiest part of the import season. During the 2021 chile import season CBP agriculture specialists processed just under 11,000 shipments of chile from Mexico. That volume is expected to increase during the current 2022 import period. The number of imports has increased substantially annually. In 2016 the total number of imports was just over 8,900.
“CBP is addressing this increased workload by assigning additional agriculture specialists to the Columbus port from other locations to assist during this period of heightened activity,” said acting CBP Columbus Port Director Sam Jimenez.
The added attention to the volume of shipments is important. During the 2021 chile import season, the work performed by agriculture specialists resulted in 119 pest interceptions. A review of those pests found that 25 were considered actionable and those shipments were returned to Mexico.
“Chile is a huge crop for farmers in New Mexico so it is important that CBP agriculture specialists identify and stop any dangerous pests from making it into the state and potentially spreading to domestic operations,” said Jimenez.
All arriving shipments are subject to a non-intrusive x-ray scan. Following that a CBP agriculture specialist will perform a physical inspection of the shipment, which includes searching for pests, disease, and contamination such as soil or federal noxious weed seed.
If a pest is found in a shipment CBP will immediately forward digital images to a U.S. Department of Agriculture identifier in El Paso to expedite the process. The USDA officer will make an immediate determination as to whether the shipment can be released or must be returned.
The chile import season begins in late July. The busiest period is September and October. Imports are reduced through November and generally end in mid-December. The Port of Columbus remains in constant contact with importers and stakeholders to best address any fluctuations in traffic and processing.
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USITC Makes Determinations in Five -Year (Sunset) Review Concerning Certain Amorphous Silia Fabric from China - International Trade Commission
All The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) today determined that revoking the existing antidumping and countervailing duty orders on imports of certain amorphous silica fabric from China 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 this product from China will remain in place.
Chairman David S. Johanson and Commissioners Rhonda K. Schmidtlein, Jason E. Kearns, Randolph J. Stayin, 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 Amorphous Silica Fabric from China (Inv. Nos. 701-TA-555 and 731-TA-1310 (First Review), USITC Publication 5368, September 2022) will contain the views of the Commission and information developed during the reviews.
The report will be available by October 7, 2022; when available, it may be accessed on the USITC website at: https://www.usitc.gov/commission_publications_library.
BACKGROUND
The Uruguay Round Agreements Act requires the Department of Commerce to revoke an antidumping or countervailing duty order, or terminate a suspension agreement, after five years unless the Department of Commerce and the USITC determine that revoking the order or terminating the suspension agreement would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of dumping or subsidies (Commerce) and of material injury (USITC) within a reasonably foreseeable time.
The Commission’s institution notice in five-year reviews requests that interested parties file responses with the Commission concerning the likely effects of revoking the order under review as well as other information. Generally within 95 days from institution, the Commission will determine whether the responses it has received reflect an adequate or inadequate level of interest in a full review. If responses to the USITC’s notice of institution are adequate, or if other circumstances warrant a full review, the Commission conducts a full review, which includes a public hearing and issuance of questionnaires.
The Commission generally does not hold a hearing or conduct further investigative activities in expedited reviews. Commissioners base their injury determination in expedited reviews on the facts available, including the Commission’s prior injury and review determinations, responses received to its notice of institution, data collected by staff in connection with the review, and information provided by the Department of Commerce.
The five-year (sunset) review concerning Certain Amorphous Silica Fabric from China was instituted on February 1, 2022.
On May 9, 2022, the Commission voted to conduct expedited reviews. Chairman David S. Johanson and Commissioners Rhonda K. Schmidtlein, Jason E. Kearns, Randolph J. Stayin, and Amy A. Karpel concluded that the domestic group response was adequate and the respondent group responses were inadequate and voted for expedited reviews.
A record of the Commission’s vote to conduct expedited reviews is available from the Office of the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436. Requests may be made by telephone by calling 202-205-1802.
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Neal Opening Statement at Hearing on the Future on U.S.-Taiwan Trade - Ways and Means Committee
Congress has been given the exclusive authority to regulate foreign commerce by the U.S. Constitution. This constitutional power is unique and only held by the legislative branch.
It is this Committee, as the chief trade policy authors in the House, that has led on these issues for centuries. And when considering what’s to come, that responsibility begins here, with us.
Turning to the topic before us, this hearing symbolizes our interest in a deeper trade relationship with Taiwan. There’s strong bipartisan support in Congress – in both the House and the Senate – for deepening ties. Formalizing these efforts to build more durable ties will have benefits for both the United States and Taiwan.
The people of Taiwan have built a robust and thriving democracy. In fact, Taiwan is a beacon of democracy in Asia. Recently, they’ve faced incredible pressure from their authoritarian neighbor, China. In the face of this aggression, along with Russia’s unprovoked war in Ukraine, this committee stands with the people of Taiwan. As my colleagues and I recently said on the floor of the House when we passed legislation to address Russia’s aggression, we unequivocally stand with our democratic partners.
Now, it’s time to extend the same support to Taiwan. One way to do so is by enhancing our economic engagement.
Taiwan’s vibrant democracy and its high-level of development allows us to aim high. As we will hear today, there are labor challenges but also opportunities to address those concerns, set new standards, and build on the incredible success of USMCA. We start this process with our eyes wide open.
Increased trade activity must also be paired with increases in worker and environmental protections while holding both corporations and governments accountable.
Regardless of the geopolitical and geostrategic imperative, any final agreement with Taiwan will ultimately be judged by this standard.
The path forward is bright, and I’m confident an agreement can be reached. I believe that the United States is ready to step up to the plate to deliver for Taiwan, the American people, and democracies across the world.
This hearing is a key aspect of U.S. engagement. As I mentioned at the top, U.S. trade policy starts with the Ways and Means Committee. I believe that this bipartisan hearing will start to build a public record on the future of U.S.-Taiwan trade that will lead to a deeper economic relationship with one of our most important partners.
With that, I will recognize the Ranking Member, Mr. Brady, for an opening statement.
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Sanctioning Iranians for Malicious Cyber Acts - U.S. Department of State
The United States is sanctioning ten individuals and two entities, all affiliated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, for their roles in conducting malicious cyber acts, including ransomware activity. These designations are part of a joint action with the Department of Justice, the Department of the Treasury, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, USCYBERCOM, the National Security Agency, and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.
Ransomware incidents have disrupted critical services and businesses globally. Ransomware actors and other cybercriminals target businesses and critical infrastructure and threaten the physical security and economy of the United States and other nations. The United States is taking actions today to combat and deter ransomware threats.
Concurrently with these designations, the Department of State’s Rewards for Justice program, which is administered by the Diplomatic Security Service, is highlighting three individuals under its reward offer for information on foreign malicious cyber activity against U.S. critical infrastructure. Under this reward offer, the Department is offering up to $10 million for information leading to the identification or location of any person who, while acting at the direction or under the control of a foreign government, participates in malicious cyber activities against U.S. critical infrastructure in violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.
Today’s actions demonstrate our commitment to disrupting ransomware infrastructure and actors. The United States will not tolerate malicious cyber activities victimizing the backbone of the U.S. economy and critical infrastructure.
For more information on today’s actions, please see the Department of the Treasury’s press release and RFJ announcement.
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What Companies - and Platforms - Can do to Help Stop Fake Post-for-Pay Reviews - Federal Trade Commission
Most people now rely on online reviews of products and services to help decide what to buy or where to buy it, and many companies rely on reviews to attract customers. People should be able to trust that these reviews reflect the honest opinions of actual customers. But several FTC cases, including a pending complaint against Roomster, show that some companies abuse that trust by posting fake or deceptive reviews. Such reviews are used to tout a company’s own products or slam those of an honest competitor.
It’s way too easy for companies to do that on their own or by hiring a shady breed of business in the business of posting phony reviews for pay. Just how brazen is the commercial traffic in phony reviews? Companies looking to buy fake five-star recommendations don’t have to look far because many of those post-for-pay review generators advertise openly on social media sites and show up in search results. Platforms that connect buyers and sellers and that feature reviews are well aware of this problem, as are the platforms on which reviews are bought and sold. Some of them do more than others to filter out suspicious reviews and to root out, label, suspend, or delist companies that use them. But a quick search today on any big search engine or many social media sites shows how easy it is to buy reviews and how much more platforms could do to protect consumers and honest businesses from this deceptive practice.
The FTC will continue to use the FTC Act’s prohibition on deceptive practices to sue companies and post-for-pay businesses that deceive consumers with phony reviews on company websites and on platforms. But platforms are in the best position to fix the review ecosystem – and they have the tools to do it. Among many other things, they can hire more people, improve detection technology, share information appropriately on bad actors and fraud patterns, be more transparent with the public, and provide more access to outside researchers. They can also consider modifying elements of their design and infrastructure that may be contributing to the problem or at least making it harder to solve. What many of these platforms seem to lack now is the will and incentive to take these measures. (A separate confounding factor: a federal law, the Communications Decency Act, makes it very difficult for law enforcement agencies like the FTC to hold online services accountable for the proliferation of bogus reviews prepared by others on their sites.)
To complement any proactive measures that platforms undertake in this area, platforms should also have easily accessible, effective, and meaningful ways for individuals and honest businesses to report suspicious reviews. Unfortunately, these reporting mechanisms can sometimes be hard to find or ineffective, and some platforms are unresponsive to such reports. Nonetheless it’s still a good idea for people to report specific problems – whether you suspect fake positive or fake negative reviews – because at least unresponsive platforms can’t later say they didn’t know about it.
To help people figure out how and where to report suspicious reviews on a given site, we’ve put together some current information for a few major platforms. If you’ve tried to report such problems to a platform and didn’t get a real answer, please let us know about it at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.
The FTC also has two messages for companies. First, don’t gin up phony reviews on your own or through a post-for-pay operator. That deceptive conduct violates the FTC Act. Second, if your company has been falsely slammed by a competitor impersonating a customer or has been approached by a post-for-pay outfit, we want to hear about your experience at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.
Improving the health of the online review ecosystem has long been important to the FTC. Beyond our continuing law enforcement actions, last year we issued a Notice of Penalty Offenses to hundreds of advertisers, letting them know that deceptive reviews and endorsements can lead to financial penalties. We’re also working on updating our Endorsement Guides to deal with the fake review problem. At www.ftc.gov/reviews, we have specific guidance on reviews for platforms, marketers, and influencers. We also have advice for consumers on how to use reviews and watch out for fakes.
 
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