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07

U.S. Department of Commerce Initiates Antidumping Duty and Countervailing Duty Investigations of Imports of Vertical Shaft Engines From China - U.S. International Trade Administration

WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross today announced the initiation of new antidumping duty (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) investigations to determine whether vertical shaft engines between 225cc and 999cc and parts thereof (vertical shaft engines) from China are being dumped in the United States, and to determine if producers in China are receiving unfair subsidies.

These AD and CVD investigations were initiated based on petitions filed by the Coalition of American Vertical Engine Producers, whose members are Kohler Co. (Kohler, Wisc.) and Briggs & Stratton Corporation (Wauwatosa, Wisc.).

In the AD investigations, Commerce will determine whether imports of vertical shaft engines from China are being dumped in the U.S. market at less than fair value. The alleged dumping margins range from 324.73 percent to 637.73 percent for China.

In the CVD investigation, Commerce will determine whether Chinese producers of vertical shaft engines are receiving unfair government subsidies.

There are 22 subsidy programs alleged for China, including preferential loans, tax subsidies, export subsidies, various grants, and the provision of aluminum for less than adequate remuneration.

If Commerce makes affirmative findings in these investigations, and if the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) determines that dumped and/or unfairly subsidized U.S. imports of vertical shaft engines from China materially injure, or threaten material injury to, the U.S. industry, Commerce will impose duties on those imports in the amount of dumping and/or unfair subsidization found to exist.

In 2018, imports of vertical shaft engines from China were valued at $53 million.

Click here for a fact sheet on these initiations.

Next Steps:

During Commerce’s investigations into whether vertical shaft engines from China are being dumped and/or unfairly subsidized, the ITC will conduct its own investigations into whether the U.S. industry and its workforce are being injured by such imports. The ITC will make its preliminary determinations on or before March 2. If the ITC preliminarily determines that a reasonable indication of material injury or threat of material injury exists, Commerce’s investigations will continue. Preliminary determinations by Commerce in these cases will then be scheduled for April 9 for the CVD investigation, and June 23 for the AD investigations, but these dates may be extended.

If Commerce preliminarily determines that dumping and/or unfair subsidization is occurring, then it will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection to start collecting cash deposits from all U.S. companies importing vertical shaft engines from China.

Final determinations by Commerce in these cases are scheduled for June 23 for the CVD investigation, and September 8 for the AD investigations, but these dates may be extended. If Commerce finds that products are not being dumped or unfairly subsidized, or the ITC finds that there is no injury to the U.S. industry, the investigations will be terminated, and no duties will be applied.

The strict enforcement of U.S. trade law is a primary focus of the Trump administration. Since the beginning of the current Administration, Commerce has initiated 200 new AD and CVD investigations – a 170 percent increase from the comparable period in the previous administration.

The AD and CVD laws provide American businesses and workers with an internationally accepted mechanism to seek relief from the harmful effects of unfair pricing and unfair subsidization of imports into the United States. Commerce currently maintains 516 antidumping and countervailing duty orders which provide relief to American companies and industries impacted by unfair trade.

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Enforcement and Compliance unit within the International Trade Administration is responsible for vigorously enforcing U.S. trade laws and does so through an impartial, transparent process that abides by international rules and is based on factual evidence provided on the record. 

Foreign companies that price their products in the U.S. market below the cost of production or below prices in their home markets are subject to AD duties. Foreign companies that receive financial assistance from foreign governments that benefits the production of goods from those companies, and is limited to specific enterprises or industries, or is contingent either upon export performance or upon the use of domestic goods over imported goods, are subject to CVD duties. 


Federal Register Notices:

The United States International Trade Commission (USITC) today determined that there is a reasonable indication that a U.S. industry is materially injured by reason of imports of fluid end blocks from Germany, India, and Italy that are allegedly sold in the United States at less than fair value and subsidized by the governments of China, Germany, India, and Italy. 

Chairman David S. Johanson and Commissioners Rhonda K. Schmidtlein, Jason E. Kearns, Randolph J. Stayin, and Amy A. Karpel voted in the affirmative. 

As a result of the Commission’s affirmative determinations, the U.S. Department of Commerce will continue with its antidumping and countervailing duty investigations concerning imports of this product from China, Germany, India, and Italy, with its preliminary countervailing duty determinations due on or about March 13, 2020, and its preliminary antidumping duty determinations due on or about May 27, 2020.

The Commission’s public report Fluid End Blocks from China, Germany, India, and Italy (Inv. Nos. 701-TA-632-635 and 731-TA-1466-1468 (Preliminary), USITC Publication 5017, February 2020) will contain the views of the Commission and information developed during the investigations.

The report will be available after March 12, 2020; when available, it may be accessed on the USITC website at:  httsps://www.usitc.gov/commission_publications_library.


FDA Announces Key Actions to Advance Development of Novel Coronavirus Medical Countermeasures - Food & Drug Administration

(Silver Spring, MD) – Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced critical actions to advance development of novel coronavirus medical countermeasures.

As with any emerging public health threat, the FDA will collaborate with interagency partners, product developers, international partners and global regulators to expedite the development and availability of medical products needed to diagnose, treat, mitigate and prevent such outbreaks.

“We have a vital mission to protect and promote public health and the FDA is closely collaborating with our domestic and international public health partners to mitigate the impact of the novel coronavirus that emerged in Wuhan, China,” said FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn, M.D. “We are actively leveraging the vast breadth of the FDA’s expertise and have begun employing the full range of our public health authorities to facilitate the development and availability of investigational medical products to help address this urgent public health situation.”

As part of FDA’s ongoing commitment to prepare and respond to infectious disease outbreaks, the agency is sharing updates on processes in place to help developers understand the pathways, including Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), that may be available to more rapidly advance and make medical countermeasures available for this virus, including diagnostic tests.

The FDA is also issuing key information for the public to help support the timely development of medical products to respond to the current outbreak. In order to support efficient medical product development for novel coronavirus medical countermeasures, today the FDA is launching a landing page that provides key information for the public, including product developers, on the FDA’s efforts in response to this outbreak. 

“We are committed to keeping the American people informed as we prepare and respond to emerging public health threats, including the novel coronavirus,” said FDA Deputy Commissioner of Policy, Legislation and International Affairs Anna Abram. “The agency is committed to ensuring safe and effective medical countermeasures are available as quickly as possible to protect public health.”

Being able to quickly and accurately diagnose patients infected with the novel coronavirus is an essential step in helping patients identify the need for care and mitigate the spread of the virus to additional individuals. Currently, there are no commercially available products that are authorized to detect novel coronavirus; however, the FDA is actively working to facilitate the development and availability of diagnostics that can detect this virus. The agency is working with public health partners to advance and share the reference materials necessary to facilitate diagnostic development.

The FDA is also requesting that diagnostic test sponsors interested in potential EUA for tests to detect 2019-nCoV contact CDRH-EUA-Templates@fda.hhs.gov for further information and templates.

Sponsors wishing to develop therapeutics for 2019-nCoV are encouraged to submit information and questions via the FDA’s Pre-IND Consultation program.

The FDA is an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, protects the public health by assuring the safety, effectiveness, and security of human and veterinary drugs, vaccines and other biological products for human use, and medical devices. The agency also is responsible for the safety and security of our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, dietary supplements, products that give off electronic radiation, and for regulating tobacco products.


CBP Processed $2.7 Trillion of Imports, 410 Million Travelers in FY 2019 - U.S. Customs & Border Protection

Agency reduced processing times, enhanced security

WASHINGTON — U.S. Customs and Border Protection released its annual Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 trade and travel report today. According to the report, CBP personnel processed $2.7 trillion of imports and 410 million travelers in FY 2019.

The “Trade and Travel Fiscal Year 2019 Report” describes CBP’s essential role in promoting economic growth and ensuring that the United States maintains its place as the world’s top destination for tourism and business travel. CBP leveraged innovative technologies and programs to further streamline lawful trade and travel while enhancing security.

“CBP continues to make lawful trade and travel more efficient and convenient while protecting the American people and our domestic industries” said Acting CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan. “We could not accomplish this critical mission without the 31,000 dedicated CBP officers, specialists and mission support staff who work hard every day to make our nation safer and more prosperous.”

In FY 2019, CBP further reduced import processing times by modernizing the Automated Commercial Environment, an electronic import-export system, and by expanding the use of non-intrusive inspection technology (NII). The use of NII generates up to $17.5 billion in economic benefits for the trade community and up to $1 billion in government cost savings every year.

CBP simultaneously took decisive action to safeguard America’s domestic industries against unfair competition and to protect American consumers from counterfeit and unsafe imports. In FY 2019, CBP:

Collected $80.7 billion in duties, taxes, and other fees. That figure included $71.9 billion in duties, a 73 percent annual increase;

Began enforcing 33 new anti-dumping/countervailing duty orders while recovering more than $121 million in duties owed, a nearly 86% annual increase;

Initiated 36 Enforce and Protect Act investigations into allegations of large-scale, highly-coordinated duty evasion schemes; and

Launched an innovative e-commerce data pilot with industry partners to secure low-value shipments bound for the United States.

CBP is also responsible for identifying and containing emerging and rapidly-evolving biological threats to American agriculture and consumers. CBP agriculture specialists intercepted more than 56,000 harmful pests and more than 1.75 million prohibited plant materials, meats and animal byproducts during import and traveler inspections last year.

In addition to fulfilling its trade mission, CBP continued to facilitate lawful travel while maintaining the highest possible security standards. CBP processed 135.7 million international air travelers in FY 2019, representing a 32.8% increase over the past six years. Over the same period of time, CBP reduced average wait times at the nation’s top 25 international airports by 17.8%.

CBP and its partners also continued to implement biometric facial comparison technology at air, land and sea ports of entry. This technology enables CBP to fulfill Congressional mandates while enhancing security, facilitating lawful travel and protecting the privacy of all travelers.

CBP expanded existing initiatives to meet its goal of developing a travel system that is secure, straightforward, efficient and best-in-class. In FY 2019, CBP:

  • Enrolled more than 1.1 million new members in Trusted Traveler Programs, which expedite the entry of pre-approved, low-risk travelers;
  • Processed more than 21.5 million travelers through Preclearance, a program that enables CBP to deploy personnel overseas to inspect travelers before they board U.S.-bound flights; and
  • Selected 38 new public and private sector partners for the Reimbursable Services Program, a program that enabled CBP to process an additional 2.1 million travelers and 213,000 vehicles.
    U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Cracks Down on the Illegal Mitten Crab Trade - US Fish & Wildlife Service

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wildlife inspectors have prevented the illegal and potentially harmful import into the United States of approximately 15,000 live Chinese mitten crabs as part of the law enforcement operation codenamed Hidden Mitten.

Chinese mitten crabs are one of North America’s most invasive species and pose a serious threat to humans and the environment. In high densities they can cause a number of problems. The crabs may out?compete native species for food and space; undermine flood levees and cause stream bank erosion; clog screens, pumps and water intake structures at fish collection facilities and power plants; and hurt commercial and recreational fishing industries by consuming bait, damaging fishing nets and devouring catch.

The species is also a carrier of Oriental lung fluke, a parasitic disease that can be transferred to humans in raw or undercooked crab meat. Fortunately, the Service works with specialists who test seized species for disease, and the fluke has not yet been found in mitten crabs collected within the United States.

Mitten crabs are considered a culinary delicacy in Asia and are smuggled into the United States in mass quantities in preparation for Chinese New Year and other cultural events. Recent studies estimate that the economic cost of combating invasive species in the United States is approximately $120 billion per year.

With the assistance of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Service wildlife inspectors seized the crabs at U.S. express hubs and major international airports. Smugglers had falsely declared the shipments as t-shirts, jeans, auto part samples, shopping bags, photo albums and other commercial products.

“The U.S. Department of the Interior is committed to protecting our nation’s natural resources for the continued benefit of the American people. Chinese mitten crabs pose a significant threat to humans, the environment and our economy,” said Rob Wallace, Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks at the U.S. Department of the Interior. “I would like to thank the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Office of Law Enforcement and U.S. Customs and Border Protection for their assistance with this operation. Together, we can help protect our nation from invasive species while combating the illegal wildlife trade.”  

“Our agriculture specialists and officers work closely with other federal agencies to protect our natural resources,” said CBP Supervisory Agriculture Specialist Barbara Hassan. “In this case, cooperative efforts with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service prevented the introduction of a highly invasive and destructive species into our ecosystem.”

In the United States, mitten crabs have already spread to several California waterways, the Chesapeake and Delaware bays, and the Hudson River. The crabs were introduced either intentionally to create a future food supply or accidentally through the discharge of contaminated ship ballast water. Once introduced to a new location, the crabs can spread rapidly. Female mitten crabs are capable of producing 100,000 - 1,000,000 eggs per brood and crabs can migrate up to 11 miles per day.

Operation Hidden Mitten was the first international inspection operation initiated by the newly formed U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Wildlife Inspection Interdiction Team. The team consists of seasoned Service law enforcement professionals who are committed to closing international wildlife trafficking pathways, generating intelligence and coordinating national wildlife inspection efforts. 

Under the Lacey Act, it is illegal to import, export, sell, acquire or purchase mitten crabs and other injurious wildlife without a permit. Violations are punishable by up to six months in prison and fines as high as $5,000 for individuals or $10,000 for organizations.

If you suspect someone is illegally importing mitten crabs or any other species, please call the Service’s wildlife trafficking tips line at 1-844-FWS-TIPS (397-8477) or email fws_tips@fws.gov. You might be eligible for a financial reward if your tip helps solve a case.

More information on how to report wildlife crime is available here:
https://www.fws.gov/refuges/lawEnforcement/report-wildlife-crimes.php.

You can help protect native ecosystems from mitten crabs, and other aquatic invaders, by:

Cleaning your boat and all of your gear (including waders and boots) after each use.
Draining all of the water from your boat before leaving the area.
Drying your gear completely (at least 48 hours) after each use.

More information regarding this species is available here:
https://www.fws.gov/lodi/aquatic_invasive_species/chinese%20mitten_crab.htm.

 
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