INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS AND TRADE

Country of Origin

Australia:      

New country of origin label standards for food products will become mandatory in 2016 according to the provisions enacted by the government (32 ITR 1320; 7/23/15). 

Countervailing Duties

U.S.:        

PET resin  from China and India receive countervailable government subsidies according to a preliminary determination of the Commerce Department (32 ITR 1420; 8/13/15).

Dumping

Canada:        

The Canadian International Trade Tribunal (CITT) determined that dumped and subsidized Chinese solar energy equipment exported from China poses a threat of injury to Canadian producers (32 ITR 1243; 7/9/15).  

China:

According to the ruling of Ministry of Commerce, anti-dumping duties averaging 41.7% are to be imposed on imports of optical fiber pre-forms manufactured by U.S. and Japanese companies (32 ITR 1510; 8/27/15).

U.S.:

Several U.S. firms allege that imports of heavy walled rectangular welded carbon steel pipes and tubes from Korea, Mexico and Turkey are dumped in the U.S. market (80 Fed. Reg. 44,383; 32 ITR 1345; 7/30/15). 

The International Trade Commission (ITC) issued a final ruling on injury to U.S. industry following the Commerce Department findings that tire imports from China were being dumped in the U.S. ranging from margins of 14.35% to 87.99% together with a determination of final countervailable subsidy rates ranging from 20.73% to 100.77% (32 ITR 1267; 7/16/15).  

Duties

Turkey:          

The government plans to impose protective safeguard duties on imported small electronic devices such as tablet computers and cell phones to be effective in August 2015 (32 ITR 1250; 7/9/15).  

Imports

Russia:

The Ministry of Industry and Trade proposes to limit the purchase of foreign medical goods for government procurement outside of Russia to be only from sellers in Belarus, Armenia or Kazakhstan (32 ITR 1415; 8/13/15).

Trade Policies

China:

Companies seeking to sell goods in the free trade zone of Shanghai will benefit from the new rules which take effect August 1, 2015 to reduce by 80% the time necessary to move a product from port to store shelves when routed through the zone (32 ITR 1197; 7/2/15).  

INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS AND INVESTMENT

Customs

U.S.:            

The U.S. and U.K. border agencies expanded their partnership to combat illegal vehicle trafficking through the use of the Container Security Initiative program of the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency (32 ITR 1193; 7/2/15).  

Information Technology

WTO:          

The World Trade Organization (WTO) completed a trade deal eliminating tariffs on 201 information technology products which agreement is expected to contribute as much as $190 billion dollars to global gross domestic product while supporting support over 60,000 U.S. jobs (32 ITR 1332; 7/30/15). 

Trade

Canada:        

Israel and Canada have finalized the new trade agreement that is broader and more modern than the U.S.-Israel Free Trade Agreement and is pending submission and approval to the parliaments of the two countries (32 ITR 1341; 7/30/15).  

South Korea:

The Republic of Korea ratified the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) mandating improvement in its customs procedures, release and clearance of goods and expedited handling practices (32 ITR 1380; 8/6/15).

Government Procurement

New Zealand:

Businesses will be able to bid on a non-discriminatory basis on government contracts in the U.S. as a result of its accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) (32 ITR 1411; 8/13/15).

LEGISLATIVE DEVELOPMENTS

Data Websites

Russia:           

The Ministry of Communications clarified its law effective September 2015 which will require data operators to store all personal data of citizens of the Russian Federation in databases located inside Russia (32 ITR 1416; 8/13/15).

Export Controls

U.S.:  

The U.S. State Department proposes to revise Category XII of the U.S. Munitions List (USML) adding several technologies to the list that are used by domestic companies which are already being sold by competing manufacturers in foreign markets drawing objections from a wide range of U.S. industry sectors including the automotive industry and university research programs focusing on space and meteorological uses of the subject commodities (32 ITR 1287; 7/16/15). 

The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) proposed a rule to streamline export documentation for the preparation of Destination Control Statements (DCS) used in the export of goods regulated under the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and the International Traffic and Arms Regulations (ITAR) (32 ITR 1383; 8/16/15).

Information Technology

Switzerland:           

The government approved new rules and restrictive information technology procurement policies to curb foreign spying on Swiss communications networks (32 ITR 1232; 7/9/15).  

Sanctions

U.S.:           

The Department of Treasury issued additional regulations to implement congressional and presidential sanctions against the Venezuelan officials named in the Executive Orders (32 ITR 1287; 7/16/15).  

Trade

U.S.:          

The President signed two pieces of legislation allowing movement on its trade agenda to finalize the Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade Agreement securing “fast track” trade promotion authority through this legislation (32 ITR 1178; 7/2/15).  

Trade Policies

China:

The National People’s Congress (NPC) adopted wide-ranging national security laws that would increase control over data networks (32 ITR 1235; 7/9/15).  

LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS

Dumping

U.S.:           

According to the CIT, certain imports of Oil Country Tubular Goods (OCTG) produced in China and finished in Indonesia were improperly found to be subject to anti-dumping and countervailing duties (Bell Supply Co. v. U.S., 2015 BL 226, 295, Ct. Int’l Trade (CIT), No. 14-00066 (Slip. Op. 15-73), 7/9/15; 32 ITR 1308; 7/23/15). 

CIT ordered the Surety American Home Assurance Company (AHAC) to pay the federal government $7.27 million in unpaid anti-dumping duties and interest on unpaid amounts due on imports of preserved mushrooms and crawfish tail meat from China (U.S. v. Am Home Assurance Co., 2015 BL266775, Ct. Int’l Trade No. 09-00403 (Slip Op. 15-88), 8/19/15 (32 ITR 1497; 82715).

The CIT determined that the dumping margin of 25.76% was not unduly punitive against the Vietnamese producer of frozen warm water shrimp being imported into the U.S. (Viet I-Mei Frozen Foods Co. v. U.S., 2015 BL 243926 Ct. Int’l Trade  No. 14-00092, 7/30/15) (32 ITR 1389; 8/6/15).

Exports

U.S.:           

Three Florida residents were charged with conspiring to defraud the Export/Import Bank of the U.S. by nearly $2 million (U.S. v. Sanchez-Badia, S.D. Fla. No. 15-20545; 32 ITR 1304; 7/23/15). 

The founder of Midar Corp., was found guilty of falsifying documents to export beef to Malaysia and Indonesia by using false statements and documentation in export certificates and committing wire fraud in falsely representing that his food products were slaughtered and prepared in accordance with Islamic religious standards (U.S. v. Aossey N.B. Iowa, No. 14-CR-116, 7/13/15; 32 ITR 1306; 7/23/15).  

Imports

U.S.:        

U.S. patent owners can use the ITC to stop importation of “articles” at the border even if those individual products, before combination or assembly, do not infringe any patents but infringement occurs after the goods are used in a particular way once they are inside the U.S. borders (Suprema, Inc. v. Int’l Trade Comm’n, 2015 BL 255554, Fed. Cir. No. 2012-1170, 8/10/15) (32 ITR 1408; 8/13/15).

Tariff Classification

Canada:            

The CITT will review an appeal by Air Canada Inc. of the refusal of its Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to grant duty free status to certain airline related goods imported from the U.S.  (Air Canada, Inc. v. President of the Canada Border Services Agency, CITT, No. App-2014-018) (32 ITR 1206; 7/2/15).  

Trade

U.S.:

NeptunLight, Inc. will not be allowed to block the importation of compact fluorescent reflector lamps from China under a claim that these products infringe its patent according to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (Bobel v. Int’l Trade Comm’n, 2015 BL 224069, Fed. Cir., No. 2014-1701, 7/14/15) 32 ITR 1307; 7/23/15).  

EXPORTS

Policy

Canada:        

The loss in value of the Canadian dollar compared to the U.S. dollar has played a major role in maintaining a Canadian confidence about future prospects of Canadian exports (32 ITR 1205; 7/2/15).  

Brazil:          

The country will launch a three year national export plan to stimulate its economy and address issues on trade barriers (32 ITR 1207; 7/2/15).  

Sanctions

U.S.:           

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) released a report July 15, 2015 explaining the laws granting the President and Congress power to list or tighten sanctions on Iran (32 ITR 1302; 7/23/15).  

INTERNATIONAL DEBT WATCH*

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