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09
Camp, Brady Statements on Passage of Countervailing Duty Legislation

Committee of Ways and Means / http://waysandmeans.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=283490

Washington, DC – Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) and Trade Subcommittee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX), issued the following statements today upon passage of H.R. 4105, bipartisan, bicameral legislation in the House of Representatives. This legislation overturns the decision of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in GPX v. United States and preserves the validity of the countervailing duty proceedings against imports from China and Vietnam. The legislation also addresses an adverse World Trade Organization (WTO) finding that there may be “double remedies” in situations where countervailing duties are applied to non-market economy country exports at the same time that antidumping duties calculated using the so-called “surrogate value” methodology are applied to the exports.

Chairman Camp: “Today’s action ensures that U.S. job creators will continue to have the tools they need to fight the distorting influence of unfair subsidies from non-market economies like China. These subsidies distort the free market, violate World Trade Organization rules, and most of all, they cost U.S. jobs. The legislation also brings the United States trade law into compliance with WTO obligations by addressing potential ‘double remedies.’ This legislation is a vote against allowing China to continue its inappropriate and unfair practices. That is illustrated by the broad bipartisan support in the House, its unanimous action in the Senate, and the full support this approach has received from the Administration."

Trade Subcommittee Chairman Brady: “I am pleased that the House passed this important legislation, which preserves our ability to address China’s unfair subsidies. We cannot allow China to pick winners and losers in the marketplace by bankrolling its companies and giving them an unfair advantage against U.S. companies and workers. This legislation provides a WTO-consistent tool to offset these market-distorting subsidies. It also ensures that we do so without violating our own WTO commitments. Given that the Senate has already acted on an identical bill, I hope that it is quickly signed and enacted by the President.”

.A summary of the bill can be found here.


 

CBP Seizes Imitation Perfume

U.S. Customs & Border Protection / www.cbp.gov

.Houston—U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized a shipment of counterfeit perfume with an estimated manufacturer’s suggested retail price(MSRP) more than $344,000.

The officers seized the shipment, which contained more than 5,000 bottles of perfume, after they confirmed the merchandise violated trademark laws Feb. 21.

“CBP officers are actively enforcing trade laws and protecting legitimate business owners and consumers from copyright and trademark infringements,” said Acting Houston Director of Field Operations, Judson W. Murdock II. “When we identify products as counterfeit or confusingly similar, we take the necessary steps to protect the consumer and seize the shipment, preventing criminals from profiting from this type of illegal activity.”

The shipment arrived at the Port of Houston Jan. 24. It was bound for Dallas when officers intercepted it to conduct an examination. During their inspection, they found perfumes labeled as Flirt and Sensuous, which are an Estee Lauder trademark. CBP officers sent pictures and samples of the merchandise to CBP headquarters where coordination with the trademark holder confirmed the merchandise was in fact counterfeit.

CBP seizures of counterfeit perfume/cologne increased in value by 471% to $9.4 million in fiscal year 2011. This marked increase in seizures is attributed to increased partnerships between CBP and right holders as well as coordinated enforcement efforts.

Seized property specialists will take possession of the seized perfumes. CBP could assess fines and penalties to the importer that could equal the amount of the MSRP value.

 


 

'Passport Day in the USA' Provides Special Application Opportunity

U.S. Customs & Border Protection / www.cbp.gov

Traveling out of the country this spring or summer? Now is the time to ensure you have the appropriate travel documents.

On Saturday, March 10, the Department of State is hosting Passport Day in the USA, providing an opportunity to apply for a U.S. passport book or U.S. passport card, with no appointment needed.

All 25 domestic passport agencies and hundreds of non-Department passport application acceptance facilities such as post offices and clerks of court will be open to the public.

The iconic blue passport book must be used for all international travel. There is also an opportunity to apply for the wallet-sized, less expensive passport card, which can be used when you are returning by land and sea to the United States from Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, and the Caribbean. The card can also be used for expedited entry through the new Ready Lanes available at more than 25 land-border crossings across the nation. It cannot be used for international air travel.

Additionally, for travelers who already have a passport book but would like to be able to use the Ready Lane, the Department of State is piloting a new online passport card application for applicants who meet the necessary requirements. The passport card contains high tech, radio frequency identification technology needed to use this expedited travel lane.

For more information on Passport Day in the USA, visit the Passport Day web site. ( Passport Day) For more information on the online passport card pilot, visit the Card Pilot web site. ( Online Application for U.S. Passport Card ) For more information about acceptable travel documents or to find a Ready Lane near you, visit the Get You Home web site. ( Get You Home )

 


 

CBP Officers Discover $585,000 of Cocaine in Container Panels at LA/Long Beach Seaport

Container originated in El Salvador with vessel stops in Guatemala and Mexico

U.S. Customs & Border Protection / www.cbp.gov

Los Angeles— U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers assigned to narcotics enforcement operations at Los Angeles/Long Beach seaport complex discovered and seized 64 pounds of cocaine concealed in the panels of an empty refrigerated container. The estimated street value of the confiscated cocaine is $585,000.

On March 1, at approximately 10 am during a routine enforcement operation CBP officers targeted a container parked at one of the terminals. A CBP K-9 enforcement team responded and screened the inside of the container.

CBP narcotics detection dogs alerted to the front panel of the container. Once the panel was removed, CBP officers identified 20 “bricks” wrapped in plastic. One of the bricks was cut, and a white powdery substance was discovered and tested positive for cocaine.

“U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers are on the frontline of defense against terrorism and smuggling of harmful substances into the country. This discovery is one more example of their keen instincs and constant vigilance in protecting our citizens,” said Todd C. Owen, CBP director of Field Operations in Los Angeles.

The container originated in El Salvador with vessel stops in Guatemala and Mexico, and was returned to the terminal after delivering a shipment of cantaloupes to a distributor in California.

In fiscal year 2011, U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized nearly five million pounds of narcotics, a 20 percent increase from fiscal year 2010.

 


 

Cybersecurity

Department of Homeland Securty / www.dhs.gov

The growing number of attacks on our cyber networks has become, in President Obama's words, "one of the most serious economic and national security threats our nation faces." The Department of Homeland Security plays an important role in countering these threats. We're building one of the best teams anywhere to keep our federal civilian networks secure, and secure the cyberspace and critical infrastructure on which we all depend. That means working across the federal government, partnering with the private sector, and empowering the general public to create a safe, secure, and resilient cyber environment, and promote cybersecurity knowledge and innovation.

To see extensive information on Cybersecurity, visit: http://www.dhs.gov/files/cybersecurity.shtm

 

 


 

New Federal Interagency Enforcement Center Opens as Part of the President's Export Control Reform Initiative

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) / www.ice.gov

WASHINGTON — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) today announced the opening of a multi-agency center established to coordinate and enhance federal export enforcement efforts.

In November 2010, President Obama issued Executive Order 13558 mandating the departments with export control authority to coordinate their efforts to protect and enforce U.S. export control laws and share intelligence across relevant departments and agencies. The Export Enforcement Coordination Center, or E2C2, serves as the primary center for this effort and will protect the nation's most sensitive technology through coordination and collaboration among the U.S. government export enforcement agencies that are authorized to conduct criminal investigations related to possible violations.

The center will be administered by a director from ICE's Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), with deputy directors from the Department of Justice and the Department of Commerce.

"Both our national security and our economic security are dependent on our ability to maintain a vibrant trade system as we safely and efficiently move people and goods across our borders," said ICE Director John Morton. "Export enforcement is a vital tool to prevent criminals and terrorists from obtaining our most sensitive weapons and technologies. The Export Enforcement Coordination Center is designed to further our ability to do so, with robust interagency cooperation and intelligence sharing."

Participating departments and organizations include the departments of Homeland Security, Justice, Commerce, State, Treasury, Defense, Energy, and the Director of National Intelligence, with representation from agencies including the FBI, the Department of Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Defense Criminal Investigative Service, National Nuclear Security Administration, Defense Security Service and numerous other law enforcement and licensing components.

To request more information about the E2C2, please contact E2C2 representatives at E2C2-outreach@ice.dhs.gov.

Read more about E2C2 at http://www.ice.gov/export-enforcement-coordination-center/

 


 

$82 Million Cocaine Bust

CBP P-3s detect northbound vessel

U.S. Customs & Border Protection / www.cbp.gov

Washington — On February 27, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Air and Marine (OAM) P-3 operating out of National Air Security Operations Center-Jacksonville, detected a go-fast vessel carrying 1,100 pounds of cocaine valued at more than $82 million.

The 35’ twin-engine vessel was spotted speeding north off the coast of Panama and appeared to be loaded with numerous packages when the Florida-based CBP P-3 began tracking the vessel. Local foreign law enforcement assets were called in to board the vessel and after inspection, several dozen bales of cocaine were recovered.

During FY 2011, the CBP P-3 fleet continued its anti-smuggling success by seizing or disrupting more than 148 thousand pounds of cocaine valued at more than $11.1 billion; 20.6 pounds seized for every flight hour, valued at $1.5 million for every hour flown.

CBP OAM P-3s have been an integral part of the successful counter-narcotic missions operating in coordination with the Joint Interagency Task Force – South (JIATFS). The P-3s patrol in a 42-million square-mile area of the Western Caribbean and Eastern Pacific in search of drugs that are in transit towards U.S. shores. The P-3s’ distinctive detection capabilities allow highly-trained crews to identify emerging threats well beyond the land borders of the U.S. By providing surveillance of known air, land, and maritime smuggling routes in an area that is twice the size on the Continental U.S., the P-3s detect and monitor illegal air, land, and maritime smuggling activities before they reach the shores.

 
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