INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS AND TRADE

Customs

U.S.:

CBP is accepting applications from importers to participate in three new Centers of Excellence and Expertise for industry specific import processing, counseling, and support (30 ITR 598; 4/25/13).

INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS AND INVESTMENTS

Dumping

China:

New anti-dumping investigations were initiated in 2012 that focused on imported silicon used in solar panels targeting the countries of the United States, European Union and South Korea (30 ITR 556; 4/18/13).

LEGISLATIVE DEVELOPMENTS

Exports

China:

Enterprises that export goods and services from China that seek refunds or exemptions from the export tax must follow the new rules set forth in the March 20, 2013 Announcement No. 12 (30 ITR 618; 4/25/13).

Export Control

U.S.:

The Departments of Commerce and State issued final rules on the migration of numerous items including aircraft and gas turbine engines from the U.S. Munitions List (USML) to the Commerce Control List (CCL) and revised the State Department rule for classified articles, technical data and defense services not otherwise enumerated (Category XVIII) and Articles, Technical Data, and Defense Services not otherwise enumerated (XXI) (78 Fed. Reg. 22,659; 22,740) (30 ITR 549; 4/18/13).

The Commerce Department Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) published an interim final rule to amend the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to insure biosensor items subject to the EAR are appropriate for an export license (30 ITR 483; 4/4/13).

Intellectual Property

U.S.:

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is seeking public comments on proposed changes to rules of practice to implement the international patent law treaty (78 Fed. Reg. 21,788; 30 ITR 558; 4/18/13).

Customs

U.S.:

S.662 (The Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2013) was introduced to reauthorize Customs and Border Protection enforcement to address evasion of dumping and countervailing duty orders (30 ITR 538; 4/11/13).

Trade

U.S.:

The office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) is seeking comments whether Ecuador is meeting the eligibility criteria under the Andean Trade Preference Act (78 Fed. Reg. 21,002) (30 ITR 536; 4/11/13).

The International Trade Commission (ITC) is seeking comments on a new investigation into the proposed modifications of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) on its rules of origin (Investigation No. TA-103-027) (30 ITR 491; 4/4/13).

Immigration

U.S.:

The Border Security Economy Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act (S.744) was introduced as a comprehensive Congressional effort to overhaul immigration law regarding various subjects such as border security, establishment of a legalization and legal immigration program through a new status classification known as the Registered Provisional Immigrant (RPI) status, create new classes of eligibility for non-immigrant status (merit based visa), address backlog queues for family members awaiting admission to the United States based on immigrant visa quotas, improvement in the employment verification system to validate employment of lawfully present and legally authorized workers in the United States, address modification to temporary non-immigrant visas in the H1B category and the W Visa program for lower skilled workers to support various economic sectors, provide new job opportunities and benefits for temporary workers engaged in agricultural occupations and create a new non-immigrant entrepreneur (“X” visa) and an immigrant INVEST visa classification (“EB-6”) for foreign national recipients of venture capital (http://www.govtrack.us/).

Dumping

U.S.:

CIT upheld the Commerce Department determination that tires imported from China by a tire and wheel distributor do not fall within a scope exclusion to anti-dumping and countervailing duty orders covering certain pneumatic off-the-road tires from the People’s Republic of China (OTR Wheel Engineering Inc. v. U.S., CIT, No. 11-00166 (Slip Op. 13-39), 3/22/13; 30 ITR 492; 4/4/13.

LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS

Customs

U.S.:

The Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is extending the Air Cargo Advance Screening (ACAS) pilot program for six months for participants to submit a subset of data elements at the earliest point practicable prior to loading of cargo on aircraft destined to or transiting through the United States to assist in targeting high risk air cargo (78 Fed. Reg. 23,946; 30 ITR 596; 4/25/13).

Bribery

U.S.:

The Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced a non-prosecution agreement with Ralph Lauren Corp. related to alleged bribes paid by employees through its Argentinean subsidiary to resolve allegations that it paid officials to skirt importation requirements (30 ITR 596; 4/25/13).

Dumping

U.S.:

The U.S. Court of International Trade (CIT) upheld the determination of the Commerce Department authorizing the application of total “Adverse Facts Available” (AFA) to an India based manufacturer of stainless steel which company allegedly withheld necessary information for the determination (Mukand Ltd. v. U.S., Ct. Int’l Trade No. 11-00401) (Slip Op. 13-41) 3/25/13; 30 ITR 605; 4/25/13).

CIT enjoined the government from liquidating the Chinese exporters entries of diamond saw blades subject to an anti-dumping order pending a determination by Commerce Department whether the exports are entitled to a separate rate status (Advance Technology & Materials Co. v. U.S., CIT, No. 09-00511) Slip. Op. 13-42), 3/28/13; 30 ITR 488; 4/4/13).

Countervailing Duties

U.S.:

CIT found the Commerce Department adequately corroborated the adverse facts available on a 54.68% rate applied to plaintiff Essar Steel Ltd. in a subsidy case on carbon steel flat products from India (Essar Steel Ltd. v. U.S., CIT, No. 09-00197) (Slip Op. 13-48); 4/1/13; 30 ITR 606; 4/25/13).

NAFTA

U.S.:

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia denied two petitions challenging the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration adoption of a pilot program allowing Mexico domicile trucking companies to operate in the U.S. if they meet U.S. federal safety standards (International Brotherhood of Teamsters v. DOT, DC CIR., No. 11-1444; 4/19/13; 30 ITR 619; 4/25/13).

Imports

U.S.:

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld the CBP decision on the tariff classification as “plywood” for certain imported engineered wood flooring as subject to an 8% ad valorem duty (Kahrs International Inc. v. U.S., Fed. CIT, No. 2012-1034, 4/3/13; 30 ITR 524; 4/11/13).

INTERNATIONAL DEBT WATCH

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Sources: Deacons, Feb., 2013; The Government Contractor (GC); Thomson Reuters Publishers; Federal Contracts Report, Bloomberg BNA, Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. (FCR); International Trade Reporter (ITR), International Trade Reporter Decisions (ITRD), TMIJ-Tax Management International Journal; IL – International Lawyer, SMU School of Law; FT – Financial Times; TE – The Economist Magazine; WSJ – Wall Street Journal; ILN/ABA-International Law News, American Bar Association; LB-Lehman Brown China Business Insights International Accountants; and Lehman, Lee & Xu; China Patents in the News, January 2012; WorldECR; http://www.worldecr.com/; London, England