INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS AND TRADE

Countervailing Duties

U.S.:

Cash deposits for countervailing duty rates (CVD) on Tianjin off-road tires from China must be set a 3.93% instead of the 6.85% formerly determined by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) which determination was in violation of the court’s earlier decision (GPX Int’l. Tire Corp. v. U.S., 2015 BL 152621, Ct. Int’l. Trade No. 08-00285 (Slip Op. 15-46), (32 ITR 968; 5/28/15).  

Dumping

U.S.:

The International Trade Commission (ITC) ruled that imports of domestic dry containers from China do not materially injure U.S. industry (32 ITR 968; 5/28/2015).  

Labeling

WTO:

The World Trade Organization (WTO) concluded in an appellate decision that the U.S. Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL) requirements violate global trade rules (32 ITR 924; 5/21/15).

INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS AND INVESTMENT

Financial Service Reports

U.S.:

Beginning October 1, 2015, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced plans to require U.S. financial service providers to respond to the Form BE-180 Benchmark Survey of financial services transactions where such provider had $3 million or more of financial transactions with non-U.S. persons (14 WorldECR, Issue 39, April 2015).  

Investment

U.S.:

The U.S. and Armenia signed a Trade Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) intended to strengthen the commercial relationship between the two countries (32 ITR 909; 5/14/15).

LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS

Export Controls

U.S.:

A 24 month sentence was imposed on a man from Chicago who shipped export controlled products to Pakistan which included a thermal imaging camera that was on a list of goods requiring an export license (U.S. v. Ahmed, 2015 BL 153509, N.D. Ill., No. 1:14-cr-00134, 5/14/15) (32 ITR 943; 5/21/15).  

Export Sanctions Violations

U.S.:

A Taiwanese businessmen who was extradited from Estonia to the United States pleaded guilty to conspiring to interfere with and obstruct enforcement of U.S. regulations for seeking to export weapons of mass destruction (WMD) to North Korea and remains in custody to begin serving two years for breaching U.S. sanctions (10 WorldECR, Issue 39, April 2015).

A naturalized U.S. citizen from Russia has been indicted for attempting to smuggle U.S. electronic components to Russia with numerous counts of smuggling and conspiracy to commit international money laundering in violation of applicable U.S. law (10 WorldECR, Issue 39, April 2015).  

U.S.:

BNP Paribas SA was ordered to pay a $8.97 billion fine to settle a criminal case charging that it had violated U.S. Treasury Department (OFAC) sanctions by processing financial transactions involving Sudan, Iran and Cuba (U.S. v. BNP Paribas SA, S.D.N.Y., No. 14-CR-00460 5/1/15 (32 ITR 862; 5/7/15)).  

Procurement

Canada:

According to the Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT), under free trade commitments the government may apply a national security exception at anytime to exempt a procurement from review without a disclosure in the bid documents (Marcomm Sys. GRP., Inc. v. Department of Public Works, CITT, No. PR-2014-060, 4/22/15 (32 ITR 913; 5/14/15). 

LEGISLATIVE DEVELOPMENTS

Agriculture

U.S.:           

The food and beverage industry will appeal a recent federal court decision that denied its motion to block a Vermont law mandating the labeling of genetically modified food (Grocery Manufacturers Assn. v. Sorrell, D.Vt., No. 5:14-cv-00117, 5/16/15 (32 ITR 891; 5/14/15).

Customs

U.S.:        

The Senate approved a customs enforcement bill (H.R. 644) which includes a provision to sanction countries manipulating currency by making such manipulation subject to countervailing duties (32 ITR 929; 5/21/15).

Export Control

U.S.:            

The State Department and the Commerce Department proposed rules to amend the International Traffic and Arms Regulations (ITAR) and the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to establish revisions on the U.S. Munitions List (USML) and the Export Control Classification Numbers (ECCNs) on the Commerce Control List (CCL) to identify items related to fire control, range finders, optics, electronics and guidance equipment (80 Fed. Reg. 25,821; 80 Fed. Reg. 25,797 (32 ITR 858; 5/7/15).  

Trade

U.S.:           

The Senate supported a measure to renew Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and other trade deals (32 ITR 954; 5/28/15).

EXPORT SANCTIONS AND PROCUREMENT

Cyber Crime

U.S.:

The Administration has signed an Executive Order (EO) authorizing the imposition of sanctions on individuals and entities determined to be responsible for malicious cyber enabled activities that are a threat to national security, foreign policy or the economic health and financial stability of the United States (5 WorldECR, Issue 39, April 2015).  

Export Controls

U.S.:

The U.S. State Department has released a fact sheet describing its policy on the licensing and export of military commercial unmanned aerial systems (UAS) (24 WorldECR, Issue 39, April 2015).

Energy

U.S.:

In a plea agreement contingent upon court approval that requires the company to submit to a three year period of corporate probation, Schlumberger Oilfield Holdings (“SOHL”) will plead guilty to and pay a fine of $232 million for violation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) for willfully facilitating illegal transactions and trade with Iran and the Sudan (4 WorldECR Issue 39, April 2015).

Licensing

U.S.:

The Treasury Department Office of Foreign Assets Control issued specific licenses for passenger ferry service to Cuba (32 ITR 915; 5/14/15).

INTERNATIONAL DEBT WATCH*

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