New York - Miami - Los Angeles Tuesday, February 7, 2023
C-TPAT
  You are here:  Newsletter
 
Newsletters Minimize
 

04
USTR Posts Questions for Public Comments on China 301 Review - Comment Portal Opens on November 15, 2022 - Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz, Silverman & Klestadt LLP
As part of its review of the future of the China 301 tariffs, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (“USTR”) is soliciting public comments as to the effectiveness of these tariffs (or other actions that could be taken) and the corresponding effects on the U.S. economy. In a prior action, the USTR sought input from the domestic industry as to whether the 301 action should remain in effect.
In connection with this stage of its review, the USTR will be opening a public comment docket on November 15, 2022 to allow interested persons to comment on any aspect of the proceeding, including:
• The effectiveness of the 301 tariff actions in obtaining the elimination of (or in counteracting) China’s acts, policies, and practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation.
• Other actions or modifications that would be more effective.
• The effects on:
o the U.S. economy, including U.S. consumers.
o domestic manufacturing (including in terms of capital investments, domestic capacity and production levels, industry concentrations, and profits).
o U.S. technology (e.g., in terms of U.S. technological leadership and development).
o U.S. workers, including with respect to employment and wages.
o U.S. small businesses.
o U.S. supply chain resilience.
o U.S. critical supply chains.
Whether the 301 actions have resulted in higher additional duties on inputs used for U.S. manufacturing as compared to the additional duties on downstream products incorporating those inputs.
In order to facilitate preparation of comments prior to the November 15th opening of the web portal, the USTR has posted a preview copy of the questions for this docket here. Questions solicit economy-wide comments; sector-specific comments; and comments on particular tariff provisions.
Please do not hesitate to contact any of our attorneys with questions you may have on the China 301 tariffs or if we can be of assistance in preparing comments on behalf of your company in connection with this review.
________________________________________________________________________________
Federal Register Notices:
• Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: 1,1,1,2-Tetrafluoroethane From the People's Republic of China: Continuation of Antidumping Duty Order
• Welded ASTM A-312 Stainless Steel Pipe From the Republic of Korea and Taiwan: Final Results of Expedited Fifth Sunset Reviews of the Antidumping Duty Orders
• Stainless Steel Flanges From India: Final Results of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review; 2020
• Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Certain Hot-Rolled Steel Flat Products From the Republic of Korea: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2020-2021
• Phosphor Copper From the Republic of Korea: Continuation of Antidumping Duty Order
• Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding, or Suspended Investigation; Advance Notification of Sunset Review
• Welded Carbon Steel Standard Pipes and Tubes From India: Notice of Court Decision Not in Harmony With the Final Results of Antidumping Administrative Review; Notice of Amended Final Results
• Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding, or Suspended Investigation; Opportunity To Request Administrative Review and Join Annual Inquiry Service List
• Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Stainless Steel Butt-Weld Pipe Fittings From Italy, Malaysia, and the Philippines; Institution of Five-Year Reviews
• Pure Magnesium From China; Scheduling of a Full Five-Year Review.
• High Pressure Steel Cylinders From China; Institution of Five-Year Reviews
• Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Certain Video Security Equipment and Systems, Related Software, Components Thereof, and Products Containing Same; Notice of Request for Submissions on the Public Interest
• Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Furfuryl Alcohol From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Expedited Fifth Sunset Review of Antidumping Duty Order
• Aluminum Extrusions From the People's Republic of China: Continuation of Antidumping Duty Order and Countervailing Duty Order
• Certain Hot-Rolled Steel Flat Products From Japan: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review: 2020-2021
• Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Certain Audio Players and Controllers, Components Thereof, and Products Containing the Same; Notice of Commission Determination Not To Review an Initial Determination Terminating the Modification Proceeding Based on Withdrawal of the Petition; Termination of Modification Proceeding
• Certain Semiconductors and Devices and Products Containing the Same, Including Printed Circuit Boards, Automotive Parts, and Automobiles; Corrected Notice of Institution; Institution of Investigation Pursuant to 19 U.S.C. 1337
• Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Sodium Nitrite From the Russian Federation: Antidumping Duty Order
• Dioctyl Terephthalate From the Republic of Korea: Final Results of the Expedited First Sunset Review of the Antidumping Duty Order
• Large Diameter Welded Pipe From the Republic of Korea: Final Results of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review; 2020
• Determination of Sales at Less-Than-Fair Value: Certain Preserved Mushrooms From Spain: Preliminary Affirmative Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, Postponement of Final Determination, and Extension of Provisional Measures
• Certain Preserved Mushrooms From the Netherlands: Preliminary Affirmative Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, Postponement of Final Determination, and Extension of Provisional Measures
• White Grape Juice Concentrate From Argentina: Preliminary Affirmative Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, Postponement of Final Determination, and Extension of Provisional Measures
• Certain Preserved Mushrooms From Poland: Preliminary Affirmative Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, Postponement of Final Determination, and Extension of Provisional Measures
• Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Sodium Nitrite From Russia
• Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Stainless Steel Flanges From India: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review, Preliminary No Shipment Determination, and Partial Rescission; 2020-2021
• Certain Hot-Rolled Steel Flat Products From the Republic of Korea: Preliminary Results and Partial Rescission of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review, 2020
• Prestressed Concrete Steel Wire Strand From the Republic of Turkey: Preliminary Results of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review
• Stainless Steel Sheet and Strip From the People's Republic of China: Continuation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Orders
• Strontium Chromate From France: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2020-2021
• Certain Hot-Rolled Steel Flat Products From the Republic of Turkey: Preliminary Results and Partial Rescission of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2020-2021
________________________________________________________________________________
It’s Time to Change Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Batteries as Daylight Saving Time Ends - Consumer Product Safety Commission
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Daylight Saving Time ends on Sunday, November 6, 2021, and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) wants consumers to “fall” into the habit of changing the batteries in their smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms when you turn your clocks back one hour.
Many electronic devices and appliances will adjust automatically to the time change. However, many smoke and CO alarms need a few moments of your time to ensure they are working properly.
As we move into the holiday season and people spend more time at home, furnaces, fireplaces and other fuel-burning appliances are used more, making working smoke and CO alarms all the more important.
A new CPSCreport estimates there were about 346,800 residential fires in 2019. The fires resulted in about 2,490 deaths, 11,760 injuries and $7.38 billion in property damage.
Over the past 50 years, since the enactment of the Consumer Product Safety Act in 1972, CPSC has helped keep the public safe. From 1980 to 2019, CPSC reports a 67 percent decline in residential fires per household, a 66 percent decline in fire deaths per household and a 60 percent decline in fire injuries per household.
Carbon monoxide is called the invisible killer because you cannot see or smell it. Carbon monoxide poisoning can come from portable generators, home heating systems and other CO-producing appliances. The majority of CO deaths occur in the colder months of the year, between November and February.
More than 400 people die every year from CO poisoning, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Use the gained hour this Daylight Saving Time to protect your family:
• Test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms monthly to make sure they are working. CPSC recommends installing smoke alarms on every level of the home, inside each bedroom and outside sleeping areas. CO alarms should be installed on each level of the home and outside sleeping areas.
• Change the batteries: Batteries should be replaced in alarms at least once each year, unless the alarms have sealed 10-year batteries. Replace the smoke alarm if it is more than 10 years old.
• Make a fire escape plan: Make sure there are two ways out from each room and a clear path to outside from each exit. Once out, stay out of the house.
• Close bedroom doors: During a fire, closed bedroom doors can slow the spread and allow extra moments to get to safety.
________________________________________________________________________________
Veterans: Filing for benefits is free - Federal Trade Commission
Veterans Day is almost here and it’s a fitting time to honor veterans for their service. It’s also a good reminder that scammers may be targeting you as a veteran. Of course, many of the scams that impact civilians hit veterans as well. But scammers also try to get in your good graces by emphasizing — maybe even stretching the truth about — their time in service. They hope to gain your trust so you won’t stop and ask questions about their pitches.
Some dishonest businesses set their sights on the monetary benefits veterans get for their service, especially with the passing of the PACT Act, which expands VA benefits and health care for veterans exposed to burn pits and other toxic substances.
According to the Veterans Benefits Administration of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), some companies advertise on TV and social media, offering assistance with filing claims — particularly for presumptive conditions or for toxic exposures — in return for a fee or a guaranteed percentage of your benefits. But you don’t need to pay to file a claim. VA can assist you — or help you identify a VA-recognized organization or VA-accredited individual to help you with your claim. Submit your application securely online via VA.gov or in person at a VA Regional Office. There is no cost for the forms and no fee to apply. VA will never charge you to apply for the benefits.
Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs) and representatives are available to assist in filing claims. To help guard against fraud and scams, validate the credentials of anyone offering to help you with a VA claim by using the Office of General Counsel’s Accreditation Search tool or by contacting your local representative or VA Regional Office.
As we lead up to Veterans Day, watch this space for more posts about other deceptive practices targeting veterans: small business scams, charity scams, and bank impersonator scams. If you run into one of these scams, or if you suspect that someone is not telling you the whole truth about applying for VA benefits, the FTC wants to know. Report it to us at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.
________________________________________________________________________________
CBP Officers in Louisville Intercept Counterfeit Jewelry Worth $2.5 Million - U.S. Customs & Border Protection
LOUISVILLE, Ky — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers that inspect packages at the Louisville Port of Entry see a variety of illegal items arriving and departing the U.S. Recently, however, CBP officers seized one package concealing bracelets, necklaces, and earrings would total over $2.5 million had the merchandise been genuine.
On October 26, officers inspected a shipment arriving from Hong Kong that was manifested as necklaces and was heading to a corporation in New York. Upon examination, officers found 403 Chanel branded necklaces, 128 Van Cleef and Arpels design necklaces, 52 Cartier Love bracelets, 379 Van Cleef and Arpels design bracelets, 154 Van Cleef and Arpels design pairs of earrings, 560 Cartier style pair of earrings, and 398 Chanel branded pairs of earrings. These 2,074 pieces of jewelry had a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $2.51 million, had they been genuine.
“CBP is responsible for enforcing nearly 500 U.S. trade laws and regulations on behalf of 49 other federal agencies. CBP officers play a critical role in the nation’s efforts to protect the American consumer, the U.S economy, and U.S. jobs,” said LaFonda D. Sutton-Burke, Director, Field Operations-Chicago Field Office. “This is yet another dramatic example of how dedicated CBP officers are to the CBP mission.”
The rapid growth of e-commerce enables consumers to search for and easily purchase millions of products through online vendors, but this easy access gives counterfeit and pirated goods more ways to enter the U.S. economy. U.S. consumers spend more than $100 billion every year on intellectual property rights (IPR) infringing goods, falling victim to approximately 20% of the counterfeits that are illegally sold worldwide. CBP has established an educational initiative to raise consumer awareness about the consequences and dangers that can be associated with the purchase of counterfeit and pirated goods in the Truth Behind Counterfeits campaign.
“Intellectual property theft threatens America’s economic vitality and funds criminal activities and organized crime,” said Thomas Mahn, Port Director-Louisville. “Our officers are dedicated to protecting private industry and consumers by removing these kinds of shipments from our commerce.”
CBP routinely conducts inspection operations on arriving and departing international flights and intercepts narcotics, weapons, currency, prohibited agriculture products, counterfeit goods, and other illicit items at our nation’s 328 international ports of entry and has authority to enforce trademarks and copyrights at the border if they are recorded through the e-Recordation program.
On a typical day in 2021, CBP officers seized $9 million worth of products with Intellectual Property Rights violations. Learn more about what CBP did during "A Typical Day" in 2021.
CBP's border security mission is led at ports of entry by CBP officers from the Office of Field Operations. Please visit CBP Ports of Entry to learn more about how CBP’s Office of Field Operations secures our nation’s borders. Learn more about CBP at www.CBP.gov.
________________________________________________________________________________
FTC Action Against Vonage Results in $100 Million to Customers Trapped by Illegal Dark Patterns and Junk Fees When Trying to Cancel Service - Federal Trade Commission
Vonage will be required to provide a simple way to cancel
The Federal Trade Commission has stopped internet phone service provider Vonage from imposing junk fees and creating obstacles to those who try to cancel their service. The FTC alleges that the company used dark patterns to make it difficult for consumers to cancel and often continued to illegally charge them even after they spoke to an agent directly and requested cancellation. Under the proposed court order, Vonage will be required to pay $100 million in refunds to consumers harmed by the company’s actions, make its cancellation process simple and transparent, and stop charging consumers without their consent.
“Today the FTC delivers on our commitment to protect consumers from illegal dark pattern tactics by companies that prevent consumers from cancelling their services,” said Samuel Levine, Director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection. “This record-breaking settlement should remind companies that they must make cancellation easy or face serious legal consequences.”
New Jersey-based Vonage, a subsidiary of Ericsson, provides internet-based telephone services (commonly known as Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP) to consumers and small business. According to the FTC’s complaint, the company bills their customers for these services on an automatic basis every month, either by charging a credit or debit card or withdrawing money from a customer’s bank account directly. Consumer accounts ranged from $5 to around $50 each month, while business accounts could cost up to thousands of dollars each month. In many cases, the company signs customers up using “negative option” plans that begin with a free trial, but require the customer to take action to avoid being charged.
The FTC’s complaint alleges that while Vonage has provided numerous ways to easily sign up for their plans, it has made the cancellation process markedly more difficult, leaving consumers and businesses on the hook for services they no longer want. Vonage’s practices, the complaint alleges, harmed consumers in numerous ways, specifically by:
• Eliminating cancellation options: Despite allowing its customers to sign up for services online, over the phone, and through other venues, the complaint alleges that starting in 2017, Vonage made the decision to force customers to cancel only by speaking to a live “retention agent” on the phone. The complaint notes that this practice runs counter to Vonage’s own advice to its clients not to “frustrate customers by requiring them to contact you for support that should be available on a self-service basis” and that “[i]t should be just as easy to return your product as it is to buy it.”

• Making cancellation process difficult: In addition to forcing customers into one cancellation method, it made that method difficult. The company created significant cancellation hurdles, including by making it difficult to find the phone number on the company website, not consistently transferring customers to that number from the normal customer service number, offering reduced hours the line was available and failing to provide promised callbacks. The complaint cites one internal Vonage email saying customers were “sent in a circle when they want to downgrade or remove the service.”

• Surprising customers with expensive junk fees when they tried to cancel: In many cases, customers who are able to access the cancellation line are told they will have to pay an unexpected early termination fee that was not clearly disclosed when they signed up for Vonage service. In some cases, these fees were in the hundreds of dollars.

• Continuing to charge customers even after they canceled: Customers who managed to speak to an agent and request cancellation often found that their accounts continued to be charged. Even when they contacted Vonage to complain, they received only partial refunds of the money they were charged without authorization.
Enforcement Action
As a result of the FTC’s action, Vonage has agreed to a proposed court order that would require it to:
• Stop unauthorized charges: Vonage will be required to have consumers’ express, informed consent to charge them.
• Simplify cancellation: Vonage will be required to put in place a simple cancellation process that is easy to find, easy to use, and will be available through the same method the consumer used to enroll (e.g., website, email address, or other application).
• Stop using dark patterns: The order prohibits Vonage from using dark patterns to frustrate consumers’ cancellation efforts.
• Be upfront with consumers about subscription plans: The order requires Vonage to be upfront with customers about the terms of any negative option subscription plans, including any action that must be taken to avoid being charged and timeline in which that action is required.
• Pay $100 million to be used for refunds: Vonage would be required to turn over $100 million to the FTC to be used to provide refunds to consumers.
The Commission vote authorizing the staff to file the complaint and proposed stipulated final order was 4-0. The FTC filed the complaint and proposed order in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.
________________________________________________________________________________
FTC Approves Final Order against Electrowarmth Products, LLC and its Owner, Barring Them from Deceptive Made in USA Labeling Claims - Federal Trade Commission
Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has finalized a consent order against Electrowarmth Products, LLC and its owner, Daniel W. Grindle, barring them from deceptively claiming the heated fabric mattress pads they sell for truck bunks are made in the USA.
The final order prohibits Grindle and Electrowarmth from making any country-of-origin claim about a product or service unless the claim is not misleading and they have a reasonable basis that substantiates their claim. It also requires the respondents to make certain disclosures about the country of origin of any product subject to the Textile Fiber Products Identification Act, and to provide compliance reports. The order also imposes a suspended $815,809 monetary judgment.
Based in Ohio, Grindle and Electrowarmth sell mattress pads of varying sizes, with wires and thermostats that provide heat. According to the FTC’s complaint, before 2019, Electrowarmth used U.S.-made textiles for mattress pads intended for use in truck bunks. But in a cost-cutting move, they decided to move production to China and stop using U.S.-made textiles, while continuing to market their heated trunk bunk mattress pads as “Made in USA,” “Made in the USA since 1939,” and “made-in-America products.”
The Commission vote approving final order and letters to the commenters of record was 4-0.
 
  Copyright © 1997-2021 C-Air Privacy Statement | Terms Of Use