USITC Makes Determination in Five-Year (Sunset) Review Concerning Foundry Coke from China - U.S. International Trade Commission
The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) today determined that revocation of the existing antidumping duty order on foundry coke from China would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of material injury within a reasonably foreseeable time.
As a result of the Commission’s affirmative determination, the existing order on imports of this product from China will remain in place.
Chairman David S. Johanson and Commissioners Rhonda K. Schmidtlein, Jason E. Kearns, and Amy A. Karpel voted in the affirmative. Commissioner Randolph J. Stayin did not participate.
Today’s action comes under the five-year (sunset) review process required by the Uruguay Round Agreements Act. See the attached page for background on this five-year (sunset) review.
The Commission’s public report Foundry Coke from China (Inv. No. 731-TA-891 (Fourth Review), USITC Publication 5468, October 2023) will contain the views of the Commission and information developed during the review.
The report will be available by November 17, 2023; when available, it may be accessed on the USITC website at: https://www.usitc.gov/commission_publications_library.
The Uruguay Round Agreements Act requires the Department of Commerce to revoke an antidumping or countervailing duty order, or terminate a suspension agreement, after five years unless the Department of Commerce and the USITC determine that revoking the order or terminating the suspension agreement would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of dumping or subsidies (Commerce) and of material injury (USITC) within a reasonably foreseeable time.
The Commission’s institution notice in five-year reviews requests that interested parties file responses with the Commission concerning the likely effects of terminating the suspended investigation under review as well as other information. Generally within 95 days from institution, the Commission will determine whether the responses it has received reflect an adequate or inadequate level of interest in a full review. If responses to the USITC’s notice of institution are adequate, or if other circumstances warrant a full review, the Commission conducts a full review, which includes a public hearing and issuance of questionnaires.
The Commission generally does not hold a hearing or conduct further investigative activities in expedited reviews. Commissioners base their injury determination in expedited reviews on the facts available, including the Commission’s prior injury and review determinations, responses received to its notice of institution, data collected by staff in connection with the review, and information provided by the Department of Commerce.
The five-year (sunset) review concerning Foundry Coke from China (Fourth Review) was instituted on April 3, 2023.
On July 7, 2023, the Commission voted to conduct an expedited review. Chairman David S. Johanson and Commissioners Rhonda K. Schmidtlein, Jason E. Kearns, Randolph J. Stayin, and Amy A. Karpel concluded that the domestic interested party group response was adequate and the respondent interested party group response was inadequate, and voted for an expedited review.
A record of the Commission’s vote to conduct an expedited review is available from the Office of the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436. Requests may be made by telephone by calling 202-205-1802.
Federal Register Notices:
• Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Agreement Suspending the Antidumping Duty Investigation on Fresh Tomatoes From Mexico; Preliminary Results of 2021-2022 Administrative Review
• Notice of Scope Ruling Applications Filed in Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings
• Certain Corrosion Inhibitors From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review, 2020-2022
• Emulsion Styrene-Butadiene Rubber From Mexico: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review, Preliminary Determination of No Shipments, and Notice of Intent To Rescind, in Part; 2021-2022
• Certain Carbon Steel Butt-Weld Pipe Fittings From the People's Republic of China: Final Determination of Covered Merchandise Inquiry
• Certain Casual Footwear and Packaging Thereof; Notice of Correction of a Commission Opinion
• Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Certain Electronic Devices, Including Smartphones, Computers, Tablet Computers, and Components Thereof; Institution of Investigation
• Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Certain New Pneumatic Off-the-Road Tires From India: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2021-2022
• Difluoromethane From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review and Partial Rescission; 2020-2022
• Certain Metal Lockers and Parts Thereof From the People's Republic of China: Notice of Court Decision Not in Harmony With the Final Determination of Antidumping Duty Investigation; Notice of Amended Final Determination
• Welded Line Pipe From the Republic of Korea: Notice of Court Decision Not in Harmony With the Final Results of the Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; Notice of Amended Final Results
• Certain Uncoated Paper From Brazil: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2021-2022
• Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Steel Wire Garment Hangers From Taiwan and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam: Continuation of Antidumping Duty Orders and Countervailing Duty Order
• Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Aluminum Extrusions From China, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, India, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and Vietnam; Institution of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Investigations and Scheduling of Preliminary Phase Investigations
CBP Seizes Unsafe Hair Dryers - U.S. Customs & Border Protection
BUFFALO, N.Y. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the Peace Bridge Port of Entry Cargo Facility seized hair dryers on behalf of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
Yesterday, CBP officers seized hair dryers that CPSC determined did not provide integral immersion protection in compliance with the requirements of Standard for Safety for Household Electric Personal Grooming Appliances. They determined that these items are a substantial product hazard under the Consumer Product Safety Act. A total of 65 hair dryers were seized, with a total manufacturer’s suggested retail price of approximately $19,500.
“Part of our CBP mission includes protecting consumers from both counterfeit goods and goods with safety violations,” said Buffalo Port Director Gaetano Cordone. “Working with federal agency partners like Consumer Product Safety Commission, we are able to keep items like these from reaching the consumer and potentially causing devastating health and safety concerns such as electrocution or fire.”
If you have information about counterfeit merchandise being illegally imported into the U.S., CBP encourages you to submit an E-Allegation. The E-Allegation provides a means for the public to anonymously report to CBP any suspected violations of trade laws or regulations related to the importation of goods into the United States. To report potentially unsafe products, the public can go through CPSC’s online reporting.
Modernization of Cosmetics Regulation Act of 2022 - FDA
FTC Proposes Rule to Ban Junk Fees - Federal Trade Commission
Proposed rule would prohibit hidden and falsely advertised fees
The Federal Trade Commission today announced a new proposed rule to prohibit junk fees, which are hidden and bogus fees that can harm consumers and undercut honest businesses. The FTC has estimated that these fees can cost consumers tens of billions of dollars per year in unexpected costs.
The agency launched a proceeding last year requesting public input on whether a rule would help to eliminate these unfair and deceptive charges. After receiving more than 12,000 comments on how fees affect their personal spending or business, the FTC is seeking a new round of comments on a proposed junk fee rule.
“All too often, Americans are plagued with unexpected and unnecessary fees they can’t escape. These junk fees now cost Americans tens of billions of dollars per year—money that corporations are extracting from working families just because they can,” said FTC Chair Lina M. Khan. “By hiding the total price, these junk fees make it harder for consumers to shop for the best product or service and punish businesses who are honest upfront. The FTC’s proposed rule to ban junk fees will save people money and time, and make our markets more fair and competitive.”
As the public comments made clear, consumers are fed up with hidden fees for everything from booking hotels and resort fees to buying concert tickets online, renting an apartment, and paying utility bills. Many consumers said that sellers often do not advertise the total amount they will have to pay, and disclose fees only after they are well into completing the transaction. They also said that sellers often misrepresent or do not adequately disclose the nature or purpose of certain fees, leaving consumers wondering what they are paying for or if they are getting anything at all for the fee charged.
The proposed rule will save consumers more than 50 million hours per year of wasted time spent searching for the total price in live-ticketing and short-term lodging alone, according to FTC estimates. This time savings is equivalent to more than $10 billion over the next decade.
The Proposed Rule
The proposed rule would ban businesses from running up the bills with hidden and bogus fees, ensure consumers know exactly how much they are paying and what they are getting, and help spur companies to compete on offering the lowest price. Businesses would have to include all mandatory fees when telling consumers a price, making it easier for consumers to comparison shop for the lowest price. The proposed rule would also have enforcement teeth, allowing the FTC to secure refunds for harmed consumers and seek monetary penalties against companies that do not comply with its provisions.
To accomplish this, the proposed rule would ban the following junk fee practices that consistently confuse and trick consumers:
Hidden Fees. Consumers told the FTC that dishonest businesses routinely engage in bait-and-switch pricing tactics that hide mandatory fees and deceive consumers about the price. This is because fees imposed later, but before the purchase is made, significantly increase the total that consumers pay. Accordingly, the proposed rule would prohibit businesses from advertising prices that hide or leave out mandatory fees; and
Bogus Fees. Many consumers also said that they often do not know what fees are for, because dishonest businesses routinely misrepresent or fail to adequately disclose the nature or purpose of the fees. The rule would prohibit sellers from misrepresenting fees and require them to disclose upfront the amount and purpose of the fees and whether they are refundable.
These provisions are aimed at ensuring businesses will no longer be able to lure consumers with artificially low prices that they later inflate with mandatory fees or to deceive consumers about the nature and purpose of fees. In addition, the proposed rule would provide a level playing field for honest businesses by requiring all businesses to quote total prices at the start of the purchasing process and to remove false or misleading information about fees from the marketplace.
Other Federal Agencies’ Actions
Other federal agencies and organizations are joining the FTC to develop and implement rules prohibiting junk fees across multiple U.S. markets and sectors including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the Department of Transportation (DOT).
“Americans are fed up with the junk fees that are creeping across the economy,” said CFPB Director Rohit Chopra. “The FTC’s proposed rule will protect families and honest businesses from race-to-the-bottom abuses that cost us billions of dollars each year. If finalized, the CFPB will enforce the rule against violators in the financial industry and ensure that these firms play fairly.”
“No one likes surprise charges on their bill. Consumers deserve to know exactly what they are paying for when they sign up for communications services. But when it comes to these bills, what you see isn’t always what you get,” said FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel. “Instead, consumers have often been saddled with additional junk fees that may exorbitantly raise the price of their previously agreed-to monthly charges. To combat this, we’re implementing Broadband Consumer Labels, a new tool that will increase price transparency and reduce cost confusion, help consumers compare services, and provide ‘all-in-pricing’ so that every American can understand upfront and without any surprises how much they can expect to be paying for these services.”
“I believe that every renter should know the true cost of finding and staying in their home and not be hit with hidden costs and junk fees. Earlier this year, we called for reform in the housing industry to increase transparency for renters across the country, reflecting the Biden-Harris administration and the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s commitment,” said HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge. “HUD continues to release research and data highlighting state, local, and private sector policies to encourage fairness and equity in the rental market.”
“Junk fees mean that working families have to pay higher prices for the things they need, which is why President Biden is taking decisive action to eliminate them,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “At DOT, we have secured commitments from major U.S. airlines to provide free rebooking, meals, and hotels when they are responsible for stranding passengers. We’re working to stop airlines from forcing parents to pay to sit next to their kids, and requiring them to disclose hidden fees for things like extra bags. And we’ve helped secure billions of dollars in refunds for passengers whose flights are cancelled.”
The Commission vote approving publication of the notice of proposed rulemaking was 3-0. Once the notice has been published in the Federal Register, consumers can submit comments electronically for 60 days. Consumers also may submit comments in writing by following the instructions in the “Supplementary Information” section of the Federal Register notice.
FTC Data Shows Consumers Report Losing $2.7 Billion to Social Media Scams Since 2021 - Federal Trade Commission
New data spotlight shows that in 2023 online shopping scams are the most commonly reported social media scam, but consumers reported losing more money to investment scams
New data from the Federal Trade Commission shows that scams originating on social media have accounted for $2.7 billion in reported losses since 2021, more than any other contact method.
In a new data spotlight, the FTC also takes a deep dive into social media scam trends in the first half of 2023. Reports during the first half of the year show that the most frequently reported scams on social media are related to online shopping, with 44 percent of reports pointing to fraud related to buying or selling products online. Most of these reports come from people who never received the items they ordered after responding to an ad on Facebook or Instagram.
While online shopping scams are the most commonly reported scam on social media, the spotlight notes that scams using social media to promote bogus investment schemes account for larger overall losses, accounting for 53 percent of all the money reported lost to scams on social media in the first half of the year. Cryptocurrency played a significant role in the investment scams consumers reported; more than half of the reports showed that consumers paid the scammers using cryptocurrency.
After investment scams, the spotlight noted that romance scams accounted for the second-most reported scam losses on social media.
The FTC recommends that consumers take steps to limit who can see their posts or contact them on social media, and to reach out directly by phone if someone claiming to be a friend or relative messages on social media asking for money. A full list of tips for consumers is included in the spotlight.
CBP, DHS return stolen historical artifacts to Ukraine - U.S. Customs & Border Protection
WASHINGTON - U.S. Customs and Border Protection, through the Department of Homeland Security, returned 10 stolen artifacts to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during a repatriation ceremony Sept. 21 at the Embassy of Ukraine in Washington, D.C.
“These artifacts, which embody the unique history of Ukraine and the centuries-old resolve of its people, will reside at home where they belong,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “It is my sincere hope that now, these enduring pieces of history also will forever tell the story of the bond between Ukraine and the United States of America.”
The artifacts included three 17th – 18th century European iron axes with hammer backs, three 17th – 18th century European pickaxes, two Scythian Akinakes iron swords dating from the fifth – sixth century B.C., a European socketed iron spear head, and a European iron axe dating back to the 17th – 18th centuries. The items were seized in September 2022 by CBP officers at the John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) International Mail Facility with the help of the New York Field Office of CBP’s Fines, Penalties, and Forfeiture Unit, and were identified as Ukrainian cultural property, based on information from CBP’s National Targeting Center, Antiquities Unit.
“We were deeply proud to return these relics to the people of Ukraine on behalf of the American people,” said Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Commissioner Troy A. Miller. “The men and women of CBP work diligently to prevent illicit goods, including priceless artifacts that have been stolen or looted, from crossing our borders. We will continue to work with our colleagues to ensure each antiquity we find makes it back to its rightful home.”
The ceremony took place during President Zelenskyy’s visit to the United States for the United Nations General Assembly. CBP’s Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Commissioner Troy A. Miller, Acting Executive Commissioner of Field Operations Diane Sabatino, and Director of Field Operations in the New York Field Office, Frank Russo attended the ceremony. Also in attendance were Ukraine’s Ambassador to the United States Oksana Markarova, and several senior officials of Ukraine’s government. The Department of Homeland Security enforces cultural property import restrictions agreed to in bilateral agreements with 25 countries, as well as import restrictions for four countries with emergency actions or emergency protections. These bilateral agreements, emergency actions, and emergency protections protect cultural property by restricting U.S. imports of certain categories of archeological and ethnological material, reducing the incentive for looting at heritage sites. Read more about these bilateral agreements on the import of cultural property.
Since the beginning of Fiscal Year 2023 to now, CBP at JFK has recorded 17 seizures of cultural property with a domestic value exceeding $745,000. Cultural property is often described as priceless due to its age, rarity, and identification with national heritage. CBP officers screen international travelers and cargo and search for illicit narcotics, unreported currency, weapons, counterfeit consumer goods, prohibited agriculture, and other illicit products that could potentially harm the American public, U.S. businesses, and our nation’s safety and economic vitality.