Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Biden’s Nominee for Secretary of State Tony Blinken says ‘Trump was right in taking a tougher approach to China’

“President Trump was right in taking a tougher approach to China. I disagree very much with the way that he went about it in a number of areas, but the basic principle was the right one, and I think that’s actually helpful to our foreign policy,” Blinken told senators at his confirmation hearing. Read more HERE

Keep a Lid on It

A genuine fur felt, made in USA, Steton fedora, from Hatco, a "thank you" for some services from Agathon Associates. I surprised my wife with it so she could make it a birthday present to me. Like a 1940s Film Noir detective, I'll wear it while ferreting out textile fraud.

Federal Prison Industries Awarded Army and Air Force Trouser Contract

Federal Prison Industries Inc., Washington, D.C., has been awarded a maximum $24,708,000 modification (P00011) exercising the first one-year option period of a one-year base contract (SPE1C1-20-D-F056) with four one-year option periods for various types of trousers. This is a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. Locations of performance are Texas, Alabama, Mississippi and Washington, D.C., with a Jan. 20, 2022, ordering period end date. Using military services are Army and Air Force. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2021 through 2022 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Friday, January 15, 2021

CBP at JFK Seizes Counterfeit 3M N95 Masks

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers at John F. Kennedy International Airport assigned to the Cargo Control and Enforcement Division seized over 100,000 Counterfeit 3M N95 masks in two shipments from Hong Kong.

The Import Specialists from CBP’s Apparel Footwear & Textiles Center of Excellence and Expertise determined that both shipments were in fact counterfeit. CBP consulted with 3M who confirmed that the merchandise was not authentic. In total there were 144,000 pieces of counterfeit merchandise seized under 19 USC § 1526(e). If genuine the goods would have had a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $158,400.

Counterfeit N95 masks could end up in healthcare settings such as hospitals, nursing homes, and clinics. Since they are counterfeit, they may not meet the standards of the legitimate manufacturer and may not offer the labeled level of efficacy. Unsuspecting users, including surgeons, nurses and other healthcare professionals, may not be getting the level of protection needed to operate safely while conducting their important duties.

Read more HERE.

USTR Releases Annual Reports on WTO (Non)Compliance of China and Russia

The report finds "China's record of compliance with the terms of its WTO membership has been poor. China has continued to embrace a state-led, non-market and mercantilist approach to the economy and trade, despite WTO members' expectations – and China's own representations – that China would transform its economy and pursue the open, market-oriented policies endorsed by the WTO."

The report finds that "This past year has brought very few, if any, positive developments in terms of Russia’s implementation of a WTO compliant trade regime. On a positive note, consistent with its WTO commitments, Russia has implemented all of its final tariff bindings. However, in most other areas, Russia continues to reject the market-opening goals of the WTO."

USTR Finds Vietnam's Currency Manipulation is Unreasable and Burdenous Restriction on U.S. Commerce, but Declines to Take Action

The U.S. Trade Representative has issued findings in the Section 301 investigation of Vietnam’s acts, policies, and practices related to currency valuation, concluding that Vietnam 's acts, policies, and practices including excessive foreign exchange market interventions and other related actions, taken in their totality, are unreasonable and burden or restrict U.S. commerce. In making these findings, USTR has consulted with the Department of the Treasury as to matters of currency valuation and Vietnam’s exchange rate policy.

USTR is not taking any specific actions in connection with the findings at this time but will continue to evaluate all available options. The Section 301 investigation was initiated in October 2020.

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Resilience, hard work keystones of clothing, textiles team’s support for COVID-19

Steve Merch, director of supplier operations for the clothing and textiles supply chain at Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, leads a team of contracting specialists and technical staff who are procuring textiles-based items ranging from nitrile gloves to face masks for DOD, HHS and FEMA. Merch and his team of contracting specialists and technical staff have worked overtime since March to procure textiles-based items ranging from nitrile gloves to face masks for the Defense Department, Department of Health and Human Services, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. They provided millions of reusable face masks, several versions of disposable coveralls and non-surgical gloves to DOD customers, as well as disposable protective gowns and protective coveralls for FEMA and surgical face masks and isolation gowns to replenish the HHS-managed Strategic National Stockpile. Read more HERE.