INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS AND TRADE
The Commerce Department determined that Vietnam is providing countervailable subsidies to producers of certain steel nails similar to the subsidies found by earlier countervailing duty determinations on import of steel nails from South Korea, Malaysia, Oman and Taiwan (31 ITR 1922; 10/30/2014).
The European Union Parliament backed a temporary duty-free access for Ukrainian imports as part of an overall plan to delay the EU-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement opposed by Russia (31 ITR 1929; 10/30/2014).
Canada filed a trade dispute with the WTO against Chinese antidumping duties levied on imports of cellulose pulp (31 ITR 1882; 10/23/2014).
The announcement of the preliminary results of an antidumping duty investigation into imports of certain passenger vehicle and light truck (PDLT) tires from China will be delayed (31 ITR 1941; 10/16/2014).
The World Trade Organization (WTO) determined that the revised U.S. Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL) rules continue to violate WTO international trade obligations leaving U.S. meat producers vulnerable to retaliatory sanctions from Canada and Mexico under NAFTA (31 ITR 1873; 10/23/2014).
INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS AND INVESTMENTS
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) entered an agreement with the State Intellectual Property Office of China (SIPO) that allows the two agencies to exchange electronic patent application priority documents directly (31 ITR 1896; 10/23/2014).
The Court of International Trade (CIT) ruled that an importer does not have to put up bonds totaling more than $10 million to get its entries of fresh garlic from China released from U.S. Customs (Kwo Lee, Inc. v. U.S., 2014 BL 301879, Ct. Int'l Trade No. 14-00212; Slip. Op. 14-121, 10/16/14) (31 ITR 1925; 10/30/2014).
The Parliament passed a new law limiting foreign investors to a 20% ownership stake in media outlets (35 WorldECR 10/2014, p. 7).
A criminal case against Chen and Apego, Inc. will continue under charges from the U.S. Department of Justice that the company imported stationery under a conspiracy to circumvent antidumping duties assessed against Chinese paper imports into the U.S. (U.S. v. Chen, 2014 BL 288028, N.D. Ga., No. 1:12-cr-00350, 10/15/2014) (31 ITR 1886; 10/23/2014).
Export Sanctions and Controls
A Chinese American scientist was sentenced to 15 months in prison after pleading guilty to felony charges regarding a scheme to export dual-use technology products to China. (U.S. v. Huang, D. Md., No. 8-07-CR-00131) (31 ITR 1884; 10/23/2014).
The U.S. Department of Commerce will place foreign policy controls on exports of certain read-out integrated circuits and related items under an interim final rule published October 14, 2014 (79 Fed. Reg. 61,571) which amended the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) affecting licensing requirements for read-out integrated circuits, related software and technology; radar for helicopter autonomous landing systems; seismic intrusion detection systems, related software and technology and technology required for the production or development of specified infrared upconversion devices (31 ITR 1833; 10/14/2014).
Taiwanese businessman Hsien Tai Tsai, was arrested in Tallinn, Estonia in May, 2013 and extradited to the U.S. where he has pleaded guilty to criminal charges in a conspiracy to illegally export specialized machinery to North Korea which could have been used to fabricate weapons of mass destruction (U.S. v. Hsien Tai Tsai, N.D. Ill., No. 1:12-CR-829; 10/10/2014) (31 ITR 1853; 10/16/2014).
Bilal Ahmed pleaded guilty to violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act during his tenure as President and owner of Trexim Corp. after it shipped export controlled products and equipment to Pakistan including carbon fiber products restricted under the Export Administration Act and regulations (EAR) for reasons of nuclear non-proliferation and anti-terrorism controls (U.S. v. Ahmed, N.D. Ill., No. 1:14-CR-00134, 10/2/2014) (31 ITR 1803; 10/9/2014).
The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) maintains the Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) List which specifies persons and organizations for whom the rendering of financial services is prohibited under U.S. law including the terrorist organization known as Hamas which was recently identified as a party receiving financial services in violation of the U.S. Anti-Terrorism Act engaged by Arab Bank in a civil case in Brooklyn, New York September 2014 the results of which imputed civil liability to the bank for its alleged role in financial transactions with alleged members and affiliates of the designated terrorist organization (35 WorldECR 2014, p. 32).
The multinational pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly& Company has challenged the invalidation of patents by the Canadian Courts of Patents on the grounds that certain prescription drugs have not met the promise of "utility" and constitutes illegal expropriation under the basic patent rights reserved to the parties and their constituencies under the North American Free Trade Agreement (Eli Lilly Co. v. Canada, ICSID, No. UNCT/14/2, Memorial filed 9/29/2014) (31 ITR 1901; 10/23/2014).
The International Trade Commission (ITC) launched a second investigation into the trade and investment policies of India which appear to discriminate against U.S. businesses unfairly (31 ITR 1934; 10/30/2014).
EXPORTS SANCTIONS AND PROCUREMENT
The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) of the U.S. Department of Commerce which administers sanctions for EAR violations assessed a penalty against the Wind River Company, a subsidiary of Intel, to settle charges it sold encryption software products to foreign government customers and organizations identified on its Entity List without the required export license. The voluntary disclosure of nearly $3 million dollars of sales to various end users and governments in China, Hong Kong, Russia, Israel, South Africa and South Korea was the basis for this first known instance of such charges for encryption-related commodities and software (35 WorldECR 10/2014, p. 4).
The BIS announced that Area S.p.A. has agreed to pay a $100,000 civil penalty for knowingly selling U.S. origin network monitoring equipment to the Syrian Telecommunications Establishment without the required U.S. government authorization having procured the equipment from a company located in San Mateo, California (35 WorldECR 2014, p. 7).
INTERNATIONAL GDP WATCH*
Click here to view the table.