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Petitions Filed Requesting the Imposition of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties on Certain Paper Plates from the People’s Republic of China, Thailand, and Vietnam - Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz, Silverman & Klestadt LLP
On January 25, 2024, American Paper Plate Coalition (“APPC”) filed a petition for the imposition of antidumping and countervailing duties on Certain Paper Plates from the People’s Republic of China, Thailand, and Vietnam. The APPC is comprised of six producers of paper plates: AJM Packaging Corporation, Aspen Products, Inc., Dart Container Corporation, Hoffmaster Group, Inc., Huhtamaki Americas, Inc., and Unique Industries, Inc. The petition alleges dumping margins of 142.45% to 168.45% (China), 36.97% to 42.89% (Thailand), and 255.46% to 278.56% (Vietnam). The petition identifies certain foreign producers/exporters and U.S. importers of the investigated product.
The merchandise subject to this investigation is certain paper plates. Paper plates subject to this investigation may be uncolored, white, colored, or printed. Printed paper plates subject to this investigation may have any type of surface finish, and may be printed by any means with images, text and/or colors on one or both surfaces. Colored paper plates subject to this investigation may be colored by any method, including but not limited to printing, beater-dyeing, and dip-dyeing. Paper plates subject to this investigation may be produced from paper of any type, may have any caliper or basis weight, may have any shape or size, may have one or more than one section, may be embossed, may have foil or other substances adhered to their surface, and/or may be uncoated or coated with any type of coating. The petition provides additional detailed scope description and specific product exclusions.
The projected date of International Trade Commission’s Preliminary Conference is February 15, 2024. The earliest theoretical date for retroactive suspension of liquidation for AD is April 4, 2024; CVD is February 14, 2024.
Please feel free to contact one of our attorneys for further information, including a complete scope description, complete projected schedule for the AD/CVD investigation; the volume and value of imports; list of alleged subsidy programs; and list of identified foreign exporters and U.S. importers.
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Federal Register Notices:
• Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Notice of Scope Ruling Applications Filed in Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Proceedings
• Passenger Vehicle and Light Truck Tires From Thailand: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2021-2022
• Polyethylene Terephthalate Film, Sheet, and Strip From India: Final Results of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review; 2021
• Phosphate Fertilizers From the Russian Federation: Notice of Court Decision Not in Harmony With the Final Determination of Countervailing Duty Investigation; Notice of Amended Final Determination and Amended Countervailing Duty Order
• Sales at Less Than Fair Value; Determinations, Investigations, etc.: Certain Paper Shopping Bags From Malaysia: Postponement of Final Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value Investigation
• Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Orders on Certain Collated Steel Staples From the People's Republic of China: Final Affirmative Determinations of Circumvention With Respect to the Kingdom of Thailand and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam
• Certain Graphics Systems, Components Thereof, and Digital Televisions Containing the Same; Notice of Final Determination Finding a Violation of Section 337; Issuance of a Limited Exclusion Order and Cease and Desist Orders; Termination of Investigation
• Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Certain Carbon and Alloy Steel Cut-to-Length Plate From Italy: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2022-2023
• Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Paper Plates From China, Thailand, and Vietnam; Institution of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Investigations and Scheduling of Preliminary Phase Investigations
• Forged Steel Fittings From China, Italy, and Taiwan
• Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Initiation of Five-Year (Sunset) Reviews
• Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding, or Suspended Investigation; Advance Notification of Sunset Review
• Certain Corrosion-Resistant Steel Products From the Republic of Korea: Final Results and Partial Rescission of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review; 2021
• Certain Steel Nails From Taiwan: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review, Final Determination of No Shipments, and Final Determination of No Reviewable Sales; 2021-2022
• Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Plastic Decorative Ribbon From China; Institution of Five-Year Reviews
• Large Diameter Welded Pipe From Canada, China, Greece, India, South Korea, and Turkey; Institution of Five-Year Reviews
• Certain Power Converter Modules and Computing Systems Containing the Same; Notice of Commission Decision Not To Review an Initial Determination Granting an Unopposed Motion To Amend the Complaint and Notice of Investigation
• Sodium Hexametaphosphate From China; Institution of a Five-Year Review
• Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Cells and Modules From China; Institution of Five-Year Reviews
• Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Stilbenic Optical Brightening Agents From Taiwan: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2022
• Xanthan Gum From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of the Expedited Second Sunset Review of the Antidumping Duty Order
• Certain Steel Nails From the Republic of Korea: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2021-2022
• Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding, or Suspended Investigation; Opportunity To Request Administrative Review and Join Annual Inquiry Service List
• Sodium Gluconate, Gluconic Acid, and Derivative Products From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of Expedited First Sunset Review of the Antidumping Duty Order
• Prestressed Concrete Steel Wire Strand From Thailand: Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2022
• Forged Steel Fluid End Blocks From India: Preliminary Results of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review and Rescission of Administrative Review, in Part; 2022
• Sodium Gluconate, Gluconic Acid, and Derivative Products From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of the Expedited First Sunset Review of the Countervailing Duty Order
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Modernization of Cosmetics Regulation Act of 2022
Beginning July 1st, 2024, FDA will commence enforcement of requirements related to Cosmetic products facility registration and product listings as mandated by the Modernization of Cosmetic regulation act of 2022. Details regarding these requirements as they affect importers and manufacturers are discussed in the link below. Importers should begin preparing now to ensure all manufacturers include in this requirement are FDA registered in compliance with this act.
Clink on Link
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U.S. Department of Commerce Announces Upcoming Entry into Force of the IPEF Supply Chain Agreement - Department Commerce
The U.S. Department of Commerce today announced that the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) Agreement Relating to Supply Chain Resilience, generally referred to as the Supply Chain Agreement, will enter into force on February 24, 2024. This is a critical step in bringing the landmark, first-of-its kind agreement into action and promoting coordination among the IPEF partners on building resilient, efficient, productive, sustainable, transparent, diversified, secure, fair, and inclusive supply chains.
The 14 IPEF partners – the United States, Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam – negotiated the IPEF Supply Chain Agreement to establish a framework for deeper collaboration to prevent, mitigate, and prepare for supply chain disruptions, such as those experienced in recent years from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I am thrilled to see the continued commitment and enthusiasm of the IPEF partners to make concrete progress and deliver tangible outcomes in record time,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “With the IPEF Supply Chain Agreement shortly entering into force, we will now move forward and work collaboratively through this innovative framework with the goal of strengthening our supply chains and preventing potential disruptions before they arise for the collective benefit of our countries’ workers and businesses.”
Since the signing of the IPEF Supply Chain Agreement in November 2023, five IPEF partners – Fiji, India, Japan, Singapore and the United States – have deposited their instruments of ratification, acceptance, or approval, triggering the Agreement’s entry into force provision. With the Agreement’s entry into force on February 24, 2024, the focus in the coming months will turn to various milestones set out in the Agreement related to establishing three supply chain bodies – the Supply Chain Council, Crisis Response Network, and Labor Rights Advisory Board, including:
• Identifying the representatives to the Agreement’s three supply chain bodies by no later than March 25;
• Selecting the Chair of each of the supply chain bodies by no later than April 24;
• Each body adopting the terms of reference by no later than June 23;
• Identifying and notifying partners of each country’s list of critical sectors and key goods for cooperation under the Agreement by no later than 120 days after the date of the entry into force for each country; and
• Developing the guidelines for the facility-specific reporting mechanism on labor rights inconsistencies in IPEF supply chains by no later than August 22.
The IPEF Supply Chain Agreement was negotiated pursuant to the Ministerial Statement on Pillar II (Supply Chains) released during the IPEF Ministerial meeting in September 2022 in Los Angeles, California. Negotiations were substantially concluded in May 2023 after approximately six months of negotiations. The text of the agreement was made public in September 2023. On November 14, 2023, Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and her counterparts formally signed the landmark agreement in San Francisco, California.
Links:
September 2022 Ministerial Statement for Pillar II
IPEF Supply Chain Agreement Text
November 2023 IPEF Ministerial Joint Statement
IPEF Supply Chain Agreement – U.S. Depositary Site
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FTC Action Leads to $2 Million Penalty Against Kubota for False Made in USA Claims - Federal Trade Commission
Penalty is largest ever in Made In USA case
Tractor maker Kubota North America Corporation will pay a $2 million civil penalty as a result of a Federal Trade Commission action against the company for falsely labeling some of its replacement parts as being “Made in USA.”
Under a stipulated court order filed by the Department of Justice on the FTC’s behalf and agreed to by the company, Kubota will be prohibited from making deceptive claims in addition to requiring them to pay the penalty, which is the largest ever in a Made in USA case.
“Today’s settlement includes the largest civil penalty assessed for violating the Made in USA Labeling Rule,” said Samuel Levine, Director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection. “The FTC will continue cracking down on deceptive Made in USA claims that cheat consumers and honest businesses.”
The complaint filed in the case charges that since at least 2021, Kubota has labeled thousands of replacement parts for its tractors and other agricultural equipment as Made In USA, even though they were made entirely overseas. In addition, after the company moved manufacturing for some parts to other countries, it failed to update the products’ labeling to reflect that change, leaving them labeled as “Made in USA,” according to the complaint.
Kubota was previously sued by the FTC in 1999 for falsely claiming that a line of lawn tractors it manufactured was Made in USA, and was subject to an FTC order in that case that expired in 2019.
The stipulated order against Kubota, which the company has agreed to, includes a number of requirements about the claims the company makes:
• Restriction on unqualified claims: Kubota will be prohibited from making unqualified U.S.-origin claims for any product, unless it can show that the product’s final assembly or processing—and all significant processing—takes place in the U.S., and that all or virtually all ingredients or components of the product are made and sourced in the U.S.

• Requirement for qualified claims: Kubota is required to include in any qualified Made in USA claims a clear and conspicuous disclosure about the extent to which the product contains foreign parts, ingredients or components, or processing.

• Requirement for assembly claims: Kubota must also ensure, when claiming a product is assembled in the U.S., that it is last substantially transformed in the U.S., its principal assembly takes place in the U.S., and U.S. assembly operations are substantial.

• Civil Penalty: The order includes a civil penalty of $2 million, which must be paid to the U.S. Treasury.
The FTC is committed to ensuring that “Made in USA” claims are truthful. The FTC’s Enforcement Policy Statement on U.S. Origin Claims provides guidance on making non-deceptive “Made in USA” claims. In addition, the FTC’s Made in USA Labeling Rule went into effect on Aug. 13, 2021. Companies that violate the Rule from that date forward may be subject to civil penalties.
The Commission vote to authorize the staff to refer the complaint to the DOJ and to approve the stipulated consent decree was 3-0. The DOJ filed the complaint and stipulated consent decree on behalf of the Commission in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas.
NOTE: The Commission authorizes the filing of a complaint when it has “reason to believe” that the named defendants are violating or are about to violate the law and it appears to the Commission that a proceeding is in the public interest. Consent decrees have the force of law when approved and signed by the District Court judge.
The lead staff attorney on this matter was Julia Solomon Ensor in the Bureau of Consumer Protection.
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USTR Releases 2023 Review of Notorious Markets for Counterfeiting and Piracy - U.S. Trade Representative
WASHINGTON – The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) today released the findings of its 2023 Review of Notorious Markets for Counterfeiting and Piracy (the Notorious Markets List). The Notorious Markets List highlights online and physical markets that reportedly engage in or facilitate substantial trademark counterfeiting or copyright piracy.

“The trade in counterfeit and pirated goods harms workers, consumers, and small businesses, and ultimately hurts the U.S. economy,” said Ambassador Katherine Tai. “This year’s Notorious Markets List is significant because it underscores the potential dangers of counterfeit goods and why robust enforcement to combat trade in these goods is important to growing our economy from the middle out and the bottom up.”

As a part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s worker-centered trade policy, this year’s Notorious Markets List’s issue focus section examines the potential health and safety risks posed by counterfeit goods. The section describes how counterfeit goods are often made of lower-quality materials and are manufactured outside of regulatory oversight or product safety controls, leading to substandard, ineffective, and often dangerous products. The section also identifies a need for more effective criminal and border enforcement against the production, import, export, and distribution of counterfeit goods.

The 2023 Notorious Markets List also identifies 39 online markets and 33 physical markets that are reported to engage in or facilitate substantial trademark counterfeiting or copyright piracy. This includes continuing to identify the China-based e-commerce and social commerce markets Taobao, WeChat, DHGate, and Pinduoduo, as well as the cloud storage service Baidu Wangpan. Other listed markets include seven physical markets in China known for the manufacture, distribution, and sale of counterfeit goods.

Background

USTR first identified notorious markets in the Special 301 Report in 2006. Since February 2011, USTR has published annually the Notorious Markets List separately from the Special 301 Report, to increase public awareness and help market operators and governments prioritize intellectual property enforcement efforts that protect U.S. workers and businesses.

The Notorious Markets List does not constitute an exhaustive list of all markets reported to deal in or facilitate commercial-scale copyright piracy or trademark counterfeiting, nor does it reflect findings of legal violations or the U.S. Government’s analysis of the general intellectual property protection and enforcement climate in the country concerned. Such analysis is contained in the annual Special 301 Report issued at the end of April each year.

USTR initiated the 2023 Notorious Markets List Review on August 24, 2023, through publication in the Federal Register of a request for public comments. The request for comments and the public’s responses are online at www.regulations.gov, Docket number USTR-2023-0009.

The complete 2023 Notorious Markets List can be found here.
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Supplemental Business Advisory Highlighting Continued Risks and Considerations for Businesses and Individuals with Exposure to Entities Responsible for Undermining Democratic Processes, Facilitating Corruption, and Committing Human Rights and Labor Rights Abuses in Burma (Myanmar) - U.S. Department of State
Summary
On February 1, 2021, Burma’s military overthrew the country’s democratically elected civilian government and established a military-controlled State Administration Council. The military’s actions constitute a rejection of the will of Burma’s people, as expressed in their November 2020 elections. In response to widespread resistance to this military coup, the military of Burma has committed human rights and labor rights abuses and engaged in other repressive and antidemocratic actions, including violently suppressing peaceful protests, unjustly detaining many leaders of the democratically elected government, outlawing the National League for Democracy political party, disbanding labor unions, and conducting aerial attacks harming civilians.
The military coup and the military’s subsequent violence against people in Burma have fundamentally damaged the economic and business environment in Burma, reversing the gains achieved since the country held parliamentary elections in 2011. Since the military coup, Burma’s business environment has become more opaque, allowing the military to draw upon multiple revenue sources to support its military operations without civilian oversight or accountability.
Given significant additional developments in Burma since the previous advisory was issued in January 2022, the U.S. Departments of State, the Treasury, Commerce, Homeland Security, Labor and the U.S. Trade Representative are publishing this Supplemental Advisory to highlight additional sectors and activities of concern in the country, as well as actions taken under various federal authorities and multilateral authorities to address destabilizing conduct involving the military regime or private entities located in or operating in Burma. This supplemental information builds on and adds to the previous advisory, and is intended to inform individuals, businesses, financial institutions, and other persons, including investors, consultants, non-governmental organizations, and due diligence service providers (hereafter “businesses and individuals”) of the continued risks and considerations for businesses and individuals with exposure to entities responsible for undermining democratic processes, facilitating corruption, and committing human rights and labor rights abuses in Burma.
The additional sectors and activities of concern within Burma highlighted in this Supplemental Advisory are:
• Sectors of concern:
o Rare earth elements;
o Base metals and gold;
o Timber; and
o Aviation services, components, and fuel.

• Activities of concern:
o Potential diversion to military end uses and end users;
o Financial and related services to state-owned banks; and
o Ongoing abuses of Burmese workers’ internationally recognized labor rights.
The economic sectors listed above generate revenue for the military, often operating under state monopolies or monopoly-like concessions, and/or are linked with corruption and human rights or labor rights abuses. As described in further detail below, businesses and individuals should be wary of reputational, economic, and legal risks associated with conducting business and utilizing supply chains involving these sectors and activities because of their links to Burma’s military.
Conducting business in Burma may also be complicated by ongoing deficiencies in Burma’s anti-money laundering and counter financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) framework. This Supplemental Advisory also focuses specific attention on labor rights abuses and the risk of diversion of computer chips and other export-controlled products from Burma/Myanmar to military end users in the PRC and Russia.
Note on Additional Actions Taken by the U.S. Government and International Organizations since January 2022
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CBP Seizes $700K Worth of Counterfeit Luxury Jewelry in One Consignment Sent to Puerto Rico - U.S. Customs & Border Protection
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers and Import Specialists seized 116 pieces of counterfeit luxury jewelry contained in a single consignment originating from China for infringing intellectual property rights. If the items were genuine, the combined Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of the shipment would be $701,600.
“What an importer thought would be Christmas presents could represent a health risk because of the subpar quality of fake jewels,” stated Efrain Rivas, Assistant Director of Field Operations for Trade at the San Juan Field Office.
In the 2023 federal fiscal year, the San Juan Field Office executed 1,313 Seizures with a combined MSRP of nearly $21 million.
CBP has the authority to detain, seize, forfeit, and ultimately destroy merchandise seeking entry into the United States if it bears an infringing trademark or copyright that has been registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office or the U.S. Copyright Office, and has subsequently been recorded with CBP.
When shopping online consumers need to beware of counterfeit goods. Fake goods can lead to real dangers, which are not always obvious to consumers. CBP established an educational initiative to raise consumer awareness about the consequences and dangers associated with purchasing counterfeit and pirated goods online or in stores. More information about that initiative is available at www.cbp.gov/fakegoodsrealdangers.
 
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