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CBP Honors 11 Heroes at Annual Valor Memorial and Wreath Laying Ceremony - U.S. Customs & Border Protection
Uniformed personnel stood at attention May 16 as agents and officers escorted the families and loved ones of each of CBP’s fallen heroes honored this year at the CBP Valor Memorial and Wreath Laying Ceremony in the Woodrow Wilson Plaza outside CBP headquarters in Washington, D.C.
CBP honored 11 employees – seven from recent years and four from the agency’s earliest years – lost in the line of duty and added their names to the Valor Memorial. CBP gathers annually during National Police Week to honor the now 369 agents and officers of CBP and its legacy agencies who died in previous years while protecting the U.S. and its citizens.
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, DHS Senior Official Performing the Duties of Deputy Secretary Kristie Canegallo, and CBP Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Commissioner Troy A. Miller addressed attendees during the ceremony.
“‘Never forget’ is more than a mantra for us,” Miller said. “It’s a sacred promise. That’s why we’re always working to collect new information about line of duty deaths — as research uncovers details we thought were lost to history. Sometimes this leads to individual cases being recategorized as line of duty deaths.”
Miller added that CBP’s Valor Memorial Ceremony also recognizes the families, friends, and colleagues who mourn them and that it should also serve as a reminder of their lives of service and a reminder of the service the approximately 60,000 CBP employees continue to display.
CBP honored the following employees lost in the line of duty.
CBP Officer Edgard Garcia
CBP Officer Mario C. Di Chiara
Deputy Director, Air Operations Scott D. Ritchey
Supervisory CBP Officer Jacqueline Montanaro
Aviation Enforcement Agent Esteban G. Peña
Agriculture Specialist Anna M. Burakowski
Border Patrol Agent Freddy Ortiz
This year, CBP honored four individuals whose deaths were recently recognized as in the line of duty. They are:
U.S. Customs Inspector Peleg Palmer
U.S. Customs Officer Kuntz Stahlberger
U.S. Customs Officer Patrick Black
USBP Patrol Inspector Orin Hush
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USTR Issues Request for Comments on Proposed Modifications and Machinery Exclusion Process Further to its China 301 Four-Year Review - Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz, Silverman & Klestadt LLP
In a notice to be published in the Federal Register, the office of the U.S. Trade Representative (“USTR”) has issued its request for comments on proposed modifications to the China 301 tariffs and the associated exclusion process for certain machinery. This proposal is being issued further to the USTR’s report on its Four Year review of the China 301 program and the direction of the White House (further information here). Notably, the notice is silent as to the fate of the existing exclusions scheduled to expire on May 31, 2024.
Comments on the USTR proposal may be submitted via an electronic portal from May 29, 2024 through June 28, 2024.
The proposed actions fall into three categories.
1, Adding or Increasing Section 301 Rates of Duty.
Consistent with the direction of the President, the China 301 rates of duty would increase for the following categories of items in 2024 (effective August 1), 2025 (effective January 1) or 2026 (effective January 1), depending upon the item:
Battery parts (non-lithium-ion batteries) Increase rate to 25% in 2024
Electric vehicles Increase rate to 100% in 2024
Facemasks Increase rate to 25% in 2024
Lithium-ion electrical vehicle batteries Increase rate to 25% in 2024
Lithium-ion non-electrical vehicle batteries Increase rate to 25% in 2026
Increase rate to 25% in 2026 Increase rate to 25% in 2026
Natural graphite Increase rate to 25% in 2026
Other critical minerals Increase rate to 25% in 2024
Permanent magnets Increase rate to 25% in 2026
Semiconductors Increase rate to 50% in 2025
Ship to shore cranes Increase rate to 25% in 2024
Solar cells (whether or not assembled into modules) Increase rate to 50% in 2024
Steel and aluminum products Increase rate to 25% in 2024
Syringes and needles Increase rate to 50% in 2024
The specific impacted tariff provisions (382 HTSUS subheadings and 5 statistical reporting numbers) are identified in Annex A to the , beginning on page 11.
2. Identifying Tariff Subheadings Covering Particular Machinery Used In Domestic Manufacturing for Which China 301 Temporary Exclusions May Be Requested.
A process by which interested persons may request temporary China 301 tariff exclusions for certain machinery (of Chapters 84 and 85, HTSUS) used in domestic manufacturing is being established. The potentially eligible tariff provisions are identified in Annex B to the Notice, beginning on page 37. Procedures for requesting exclusions under this process will be published in a separate notice. Exclusions granted through this process will be effective through May 31, 2025.
3. Granting 19 Temporary Exclusions for Certain Solar Manufacturing Equipment.
Finally, the USTR is proposing 19 temporary exclusions for solar manufacturing equipment. The impacted items are identified in Annex C to the Notice, beginning on page 50. These proposed exclusions will be effective upon publication of the notice and through May 31, 2025.
With respect to the proposed additions / increases in China 301 duties on the items indicated above (and in Annex A), interested persons are invited to comment on:
▪ The effectiveness of the proposed modification in obtaining the elimination of or in counteracting China’s acts, policies, and practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation.
▪ The effects of the proposed modification on the U.S. economy, including consumers.
▪The scope of the product description to cover ship-to-shore cranes under subheading 8426.19.00 (Transporter cranes, gantry cranes and bridge cranes).
▪ With respect to facemasks, medical gloves, and syringes and needles, whether the tariff rates should be higher than the proposed rates.
▪With respect to facemasks, whether additional statistical reporting codes under tariff subheading 6307.90.98 should be included.
▪ Whether the tariff subheadings identified for each product and sector adequately cover the products and sectors included in the President’s direction to the USTR.
With respect to the exclusion process, the USTR seeks comments on whether the subheadings listed in Annex B should or should not be eligible for consideration in the machinery exclusion process (as well as whether Annex B omits certain Chapter 84 and 85 subheadings covering machinery used in domestic manufacturing that should be included).
Finally, with respect to the proposed solar manufacturing machinery exclusions in Annex C, the USTR is requesting comments on the scope of each exclusion, including any suggested amendments to the product description.
In order to facilitate preparation of comments prior to the May 29th opening of the comment portal, the USTR intends to post a copy of questions for the docket by May 24, 2024.
Please do not hesitate to contact any of our attorneys for further information on the above proposal or for assistance in drafting comments.
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Federal Register Notices:
• Notice of Rescission of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews; Correction
• Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Cells, Whether or Not Assembled Into Modules, From Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam: Initiation of Countervailing Duty Investigations
• Certain Alkyl Phosphate Esters from the People's Republic of China: Initiation of Countervailing Duty Investigation
• Sales at Less Than Fair Value; Determinations, Investigations, etc.: Certain Alkyl Phosphate Esters From the People's Republic of China: Initiation of Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigation
• Truck and Bus Tires From Thailand: Preliminary Affirmative Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, Preliminary Negative Determination of Critical Circumstances, and Postponement of Final Determination
• Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Cells, Whether or Not Assembled Into Modules, From Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam: Initiation of Less-Than-Fair-Value Investigations
• Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Strontium Chromate From Austria: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2021-2022
• Prestressed Concrete Steel Wire Strand From Thailand: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2022
• Large Diameter Welded Pipe From Canada: Preliminary Results and Rescission, in Part, of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2022-2023
• Polyethylene Terephthalate Film, Sheet, and Strip From India: Final Results of Antidumping Duty Changed Circumstances Review
• Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Citric Acid and Certain Citrate Salts From Belgium, Colombia, and Thailand; Cancellation of Hearing for Full Five-Year Reviews
• Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Large Diameter Welded Pipe From the Republic of Korea: Final Results of the Expedited First Sunset Review of the Countervailing Duty Order
• Large Diameter Welded Pipe From India: Final Results of the Expedited First Sunset Review of the Countervailing Duty Order
• Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Certain Compact Wallets and Components Thereof; Notice of a Commission Determination To Review in Part a Final Initial Determination Finding a Violation of Section 337; Request for Written Submissions on the Issues Under Review and on Remedy, the Public Interest, and Bonding
• Certain Liquid Transfer Devices With an Integral Vial Adapter; Notice of a Commission Determination To Review in Part a Final Initial Determination Finding a Violation of Section 337; Request for Written Submissions on Issues Under Review and on Remedy, the Public Interest, and Bonding
• Disposable Aluminum Containers, Pans, and Trays From China; Institution of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Investigations and Scheduling of Preliminary Phase Investigations
• United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement Automotive Rules of Origin: USMCA Automotive Rules of Origin: Economic Impact and Operation, 2025 Report; Submission of Questionnaire and Information Collection Plan for Office of Management and Budget Review
• Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Aluminum Extrusions From the People's Republic of China, Indonesia, Mexico, and the Republic of Türkiye: Amended Preliminary Countervailing Duty Determinations
• Diffusion-Annealed, Nickel-Plated Flat-Rolled Steel Products From Japan: Preliminary Results and Partial Rescission of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review; 2022-2023
• Certain High Chrome Cast Iron Grinding Media From India: Initiation of Countervailing Duty Investigation
• Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Aluminum Extrusions From China, Colombia, Ecuador, India, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and Vietnam; Scheduling of the Final Phase of Countervailing Duty and Antidumping Duty Investigations
• Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Truck and Bus Tires From China; Scheduling of Expedited Five-Year ReviewsAntidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Certain Paper Shopping Bags From the People's Republic of China: Final Affirmative Countervailing Duty Determination and Final Affirmative Determination of Critical Circumstances
• Certain Paper Shopping Bags From India: Final Affirmative Countervailing Duty Determination and Final Affirmative Critical Circumstances Determination, in Part
• Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Certain High-Strength Aluminum or Aluminum Alloy-Coated Steel, and Automotive Products and Automobiles Containing Same; Notice of Institution of Investigation
• 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic Acid (“2,4-D”) From China and India Determinations
• Epoxy Resins From China, India, South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand; Determinations
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USITC Institutes Section 337 Investigation of Certain High-Strength Aluminum or Aluminum Alloy-Coated Steel, and Automotive Products and Automobiles Containing Same - U.S. International Trade Commission
The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) voted to institute an investigation of certain high-strength aluminum or aluminum alloy-coated steel, and automotive products and automobiles containing same. The products at issue in the investigation are described in the Commission’s notice of investigation.
The investigation is based on a complaint filed by ArcelorMittal of Luxembourg on April 17, 2024, and supplemented on April 24 and May 1, 2024. The complaint alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the United States and sale of certain high-strength aluminum or aluminum alloy-coated steel, and automotive products and automobiles containing same that infringe patents asserted by the complainant. The complainant requests that the USITC issue a limited exclusion order and cease and desist orders.
The USITC has identified the following respondents in this investigation:
VinFast Auto Ltd. of Hai Phong City, Vietnam,
VinFast Auto, LLC of Los Angeles, CA,
VinFast USA Distribution, LLC of Los Angeles, CA,
Vingroup USA, LLC of Los Angeles, CA, and
VinFast Trading and Production JSC, of Hai Phong City, Vietnam.
By instituting this investigation (337-TA- 1402), the USITC has not yet made any decision on the merits of the case. The USITC’s Chief Administrative Law Judge will assign the case to one of the USITC’s administrative law judges (ALJ), who will schedule and hold an evidentiary hearing. The ALJ will make an initial determination as to whether there is a violation of section 337; that initial determination is subject to review by the Commission.
The USITC will make a final determination in the investigation at the earliest practicable time. Within 45 days after institution of the investigation, the USITC will set a target date for completing the investigation. USITC remedial orders in section 337 cases are effective when issued and become final 60 days after issuance unless disapproved for policy reasons by the U.S. Trade Representative within that 60-day period.
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Contraband Turtle Skulls, Crocodile Skins, Kangaroo Meat, Exotic Butterflies Seized by CBP and FWS at LAX - U.S. Customs & Border Protection
Arriving in Air Mail Packages the seized items violated U.S. Fish and Wildlife and Endangered Species Regulations
LOS ANGELES — Since the beginning of 2024 fiscal year (October 1, 2023) to date, U.S. Customs and Border Protection CBP officers and agriculture specialists assigned to the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) International Mail Facility (IMF) in coordination with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) officials detained 4,227 animal and plant products for violating wildlife laws and regulations and international endangered species conventions.
Among the detained products, crocodile skulls, jerky, belts, wallets, taxidermy baby crocodiles, turtle skulls, skins, kangaroo meat, tails, ears, elephant toenails, exotic butterflies, peacock feathers, seashells, coral, sea cucumbers, shark cartilages, sand sea lion oil gel caps.
The seized products arrived in individual packages via air mail from Singapore, Vietnam, Australia, China, Thailand, U.K., Mexico, and Peru. The contraband packages were heading to addresses all over the United States.
“CBP agriculture specialists are the frontline in the fight against the global trafficking of protected wildlife and plant species,” said Cheryl M. Davies, CBP Director of Field Operations in Los Angeles. “Every single day, they bring their natural sciences knowledge, expertise and unique skills to identify, intercept and seized suspected shipments.”
“The USFWS Office of Law Enforcement’s Wildlife Inspection Program meticulously inspects shipments of known and suspected wildlife to facilitate its legal trade and interdict illegal shipments of wildlife before they enter or leave the country,” said Edward Grace, Assistant Director of the USFWS Office of Law Enforcement. “Their diligent work safeguards protected species of wildlife and upholds laws and regulations protecting against the unlawful exploitation of nature’s valuable resources.”
The USFWS Office of Law Enforcement regulates all international movement of wildlife in, out and through the United States in order to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.
“Illegal wildlife trafficking is one of the most profitable natural resource crimes,” said Andrew H. Douglas, CBP Port Director of Los Angeles International Airport. “It encompasses the harvesting and selling of wildlife, and wildlife products, to be used as medicine, fashion, food, or pets sold to consumers.”
Tips for Travelers
You’ll find many wildlife and plant products for sale around the world. As an international traveler, you can support conservation worldwide by asking questions and learning the facts before you buy any wildlife or plant product.
Just because you find an item for sale does not mean it is legal to import. Some of these products may be made from illegally taken animals or plants and may not be exported or imported. Others may require permits before you can bring them home to the United States. By making informed choices, you can avoid losing your souvenir or paying a fine.
Most countries protect their native animals and plants under national laws and through the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Signed by more than 180 nations including the United States, this treaty supports sustainable trade in wildlife and plants while protecting species at risk.
In addition to international agreements, U.S. laws provide even stronger protections for such animals as marine mammals, elephants, spotted cats, sea turtles, and wild birds. If the country you are visiting bans the sale or export of a species, you cannot legally import it here.
What You Need to Know
Before you go shopping overseas, make sure that the country you’re visiting allows the export of its native species or other wildlife that you buy or acquire there. Many nations now prohibit or require permits for trade in wildlife and plants.
Remember that resource protection laws and treaties not only cover live animals and plants, but also mounted specimens, foods, parts, and products made from or decorated with fur, hide, skin, feathers, scales, shell, antlers, horns, teeth, claws, or bones.
The legality of a wildlife or plant souvenir may depend on both the species involved and the country where you bought it. Examples include products made from pangolin (an Asian anteater); caiman and crocodilian leathers; and mounted butterflies, moths, and insects.
If you are importing a bird or any other live animal, wildlife food products, or live plants, contact U.S. agriculture officials before you return to the United States. U.S. laws and regulations generally prohibit the importation of bushmeat, regardless of the species involved.
If you have questions about wildlife purchases before you travel, check with a Service wildlife inspection office. When overseas, contact local resource protection agencies and /or the country’s CITES Management Authority. For permit information, visit the Service’s permits website.
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FMCSA Continues Nationwide Crackdown on Fraudulent Household Goods Movers and Brokers - U.S. Department of Transportation
Ahead of busy summer moving season, agency conducts enforcement sweep and provides consumer resources
WASHINGTON — Today, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced the launch of Operation Protect Your Move, the agency’s nationwide crackdown on scam interstate household goods (HHG) movers and brokers. This enforcement initiative will address complaints about HHG moving company and broker compliance with federal safety and consumer protection regulations and statutes.
“Americans deserve a fair deal when they move into a new home—and we’re cracking down on moving companies that hold people’s possessions hostage,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “This initiative will build on last year’s progress holding scammers accountable and is another example of the measures the Biden administration is taking to better protect consumers.”
“We take our consumer protection role seriously and aim to help educate and protect those who may be moving their household goods from one state to another,” said FMCSA Acting Deputy Administrator Sue Lawless. “We are committed to this work, and we are putting forth even more resources to make a greater impact, including increasing the number of HHG investigators on staff and establishing additional partnerships with state attorneys general offices.”
FMCSA conducted a similar, moving company-focused operation in the spring of 2023 as well as three HHG broker-focused operations in Nevada, New York/New Jersey, and Florida later in the year. The 2023 operations resulted in the discovery of more than 1000 violations of FMCSA regulations and focused on addressing consumer complaints. The agency took enforcement actions, where appropriate, by issuing Letters of Probable Violation or by revoking moving companies’ FMCSA operating authority. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a civil penalty enforcement case resulting from the 2023 operation. That case is pending in federal court in California. And, where appropriate, FMCSA will continue to refer criminal violations to DOJ for prosecution. This year’s operation will target movers and brokers across the country with the highest numbers of consumer complaints.
Ahead of the busy summer moving season, FMCSA is also launching the agency’s Protect Your Move education campaign to raise consumer awareness of household goods moving scams as the moving season kicks into high gear.
FMCSA encourages consumers to research and plan before moving across state lines by using the agency’s free online resources, including:
• A handy moving checklist for before and during the move
• The Consumer Rights and Responsibilities pamphlet
• A “how to…” guide known as Spot the Red Flags of Moving Fraud
• Tips for a successful move
If you have experienced moving fraud and wish to file a complaint against a moving company or broker, the FMCSA National Consumer Complaint Database remains available.
To learn more about FMCSA’s efforts to stop household goods moving fraud and find helpful resources, visit ProtectYourMove.gov.
 
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