INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS AND TRADE

Export Policies

China:

Export tariffs will be removed on numerous rare earth metals and minerals being exported from China after the World Trade Organization (WTO) ruled that the restrictive export policy on these items violated WTO trade rules (32 ITR 832; 4/30/15).  

INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS AND INVESTMENT

Bilateral Trade

India:

The draft Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) would make it difficult for multi-national companies to seek relief on tax disputes (32 ITR 783; 4/23/15).    

Customs

Canada:

The ratification process began in Parliament for the bilateral US-Canada agreement on the preclearance of shipments across the border which will facilitate bilateral trade and travel between the countries (32 ITR 837; 4/30/15).  

LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS

Countervailing Duties

U.S.:

The Court of International Trade (CIT) affirmed the decision that imports of frozen warm water shrimp from China, Ecuador, India, Malaysia, and Vietnam were not subject to countervailing duties.  (Coalition of Gulf Shrimp Indus. v. US, 2015 BL95544, Ct. Int’l Trade No. 13-00386 (Slip Op. 15-29), (4/3/15); (32 ITR 681; 4/9/15).    

Dumping

U.S.:

Imports of Chinese honey will not be a liquidated while a second legal challenge to the anti-dumping duty order on the honey progresses through the CIT (Zhejiang Native Produce & Animal By-Prods. Import & Export Corp. v. U.S., 2015 BL120907, Ct. Int’l Trade No. 02-00064 (Slip Op. 15-39), 4/27/15) (32 ITR 812; 4/30/15). 

ITC voted to advance the case on PET Resin Imports from Canada, China, India and Oman allegedly being dumped in the U.S. and subsidized by China, India and Oman (32 ITR 814; 4/30/15).  

Import Controls

Canada:

The Federal Court of Appeal of Canada ruled that a group of Canadian bee keepers is entitled to a hearing on a lawsuit challenging the prohibition of the federal government against imports of honey bees from the US.  Paradis Honey Ltd. V. Canada, Federal Court of Appeal, No. A-169-14, 4/8/15) (32 ITR 743; 4/16/15).  

Sanctions

U.S.:

Commerzbank AG won approval of a Deferred Prosecution Agreement to defer prosecution for violating U.S. sanctions on doing business with Iran and Sudan in violation of the Bank Secrecy Act designed to prevent the movement of money for doing business with countries subject to sanctions by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the U.S. Department of Treasury (US v. Commerzbank AG, D.D.C. No. 15-CR-00031, 4/3/15); (32 ITR 683; 4/9/15).  

Trade

U.S.:

Medtronic, Inc. agreed to pay $4.4 million to resolve allegations that have violated the False Claims Act (FCA) over the past eight years by falsely stating that some of its products were manufactured in the U.S.  (US ex rel Cox v. Medtronic, Inc., D.Minn. No. 12-CV-2562, 4/2/15) (32 ITR 682; 4/9/15).  

LEGISLATIVE DEVELOPMENTS

Customs

U.S.:           

H.R. 1907 passed by the House Ways and Means Committee would require U.S. CBP to pay back interest collected on dumping and countervailing duties to the crawfish processing industry (32 ITR 809; 4/30/15).

The Senate Finance Committee reported a bill (S. 1015) to reauthorize and reform U.S. customs practices that would make currency manipulation by U.S. trading partners subject to countervailing duties (32 ITR 809; 4/30/15).

Dumping

U.S.:        

Imports of Chinese honey will not be liquidated while a second legal challenge to the anti-dumping duty order on the honey progresses through the Court of International Trade (CIT) (Zhejiang Native Produce & Animal By-Prods. Import & Export Corp. vs. U.S., 2015 BL120907, Ct. Int’l Trade, No. 02-00064 (SLIP OP. 15-39), 4/27/15 (32 ITR 812; 4/30/15).

Dumping/Countervailing Duties

U.S.:            

The Leveling the Playing Field Act would increase a number of factors the ITC would have to use when determining injury to US producers in dumping and countervailing duty investigations  (32 ITR 635; 4/2/15).    

Sanctions

U.S.:           

H.R. 1945 would impose trade sanctions on countries facilitating ivory and rhino horn trafficking under the TUSKER Act (32 ITR 806; 4/30/15).

Textiles

U.S.:

S. 892 would crack down on textile import fraud by authorizing additional enforcement tools for the U.S. CBP (32 ITR 636; 4/2/15).  

Trade

U.S.:

H.R. 1890 would renew Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) for 6 years.  The Senate Companion Bill (S.995) passed the Finance Committee on April 22nd (32 ITR 801; 4/30/2015).

Several bills that would affect current trade and travel restrictions with Cuba were introduced following the announcement of the Administration to normalize relations between the countries (32 ITR 714; 4/16/15).  

EXPORT SANCTIONS AND PROCUREMENT

Export Controls

U.S.:

The Export Administration Regulations (EAR) would be amended to reflect changes in the 2014 Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) under the Commerce Department final rule published April 7, 2015 (80 Fed. Reg. 18,522) (32 ITR 675; 4/9/15).  

Sanctions

U.S.:

PayPal Inc. agreed to pay $7.65 million dollars to settle charges of violating U.S. sanctions for allowing transactional payments to be processed in violation of regulations between 2009 and 2013 for dealing with buyers and sellers from Iran, Cuba and Sudan (32 ITR 638; 4/2/15).  

Travel

U.S.:

Travel to Cuba by tourists of the U.S. remains illegal under the trade embargo unless a license for such tourism is obtained in that there are specified categories which are exempt and others which still require a license (32 ITR 786; 4/23/15).  

INTERNATIONAL DEBT WATCH*

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