Thursday, January 10, 2019

U.S., China complete trade meeting No definitive answers, but both sides remain open to discussion

While no full resolution of an ongoing trade conflict was reached, U.S. and Chinese officials said they remain open to discussion after wrapping up a round of trade talks here on Wednesday, according to a report in Furniture Today.

Joint Statement of the Trilateral Meeting of the Trade Ministers of the European Union, Japan and the United States

Mrs. Cecilia Malmström, European Commissioner for Trade, Mr. Hiroshige Seko, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan, and Ambassador Robert E. Lighthizer, United States Trade Representative, met in Washington, D.C. on 9 January 2019 and issued the following statement --

The Ministers advanced discussions on their shared objective to address non market-oriented policies and practices of third countries that lead to severe overcapacity, create unfair competitive conditions for their workers and businesses, hinder the development and use of innovative technologies, and undermine the proper functioning of international trade, including where existing rules are not effective.

They reiterated their concerns, reviewed ongoing work, and agreed to deepen their cooperation in all areas covered by the Ministerial Statements issued in New York and Paris, including nonmarket policies and practices, market-oriented conditions, industrial subsidies and state-owned enterprises, forced technology transfer policies and practices, WTO reform and digital trade and e-commerce.

today's meeting, the Ministers discussed in particular:

concerns with non-market oriented policies and practices, Ministers took stock of the intensification of the exchange of information between them, the identification of additional criteria indicating market-oriented conditions, and confirmed that market-oriented conditions are fundamental to a fair, mutually advantageous global trading system and that their citizens and businesses operate under market-oriented conditions. The Ministers also confirmed their commitment to continue working together to maintain the effectiveness of existing WTO disciplines, including through ongoing WTO disputes.

industrial subsidies, Ministers instructed their staff to finalize trilateral text-based work in this area by spring in order to engage other key WTO Members after that, as appropriate.

the area of forced technology transfers, Ministers confirmed their agreement to cooperate on enforcement, on the development of new rules, on investment review for national security purposes and on export controls and further take stock of this cooperation by spring.

the reform of the WTO, the three partners submitted a joint transparency and notification proposal to the Council for Trade in Goods last November with other co-sponsors, and the Ministers agreed to intensify engagement with other trading partners to advance this proposal. They confirmed their agreement to work towards strengthening the regular committees' activities. They also reiterated their call on advanced WTO Members claiming developing country status to undertake full commitments in ongoing and future WTO negotiations.

The Ministers reaffirmed the importance of cooperating in facilitating digital trade and the growth of the digital economy and to enhance business environments through the promotion of data security. The Ministers confirmed their support for the timely initiation of WTO negotiations on trade-related aspects of electronic commerce that seek to achieve a high standard agreement with the participation of as many WTO members as possible.

Ministers look forward to further cooperation for the G20 Ministerial Meeting on Trade and the Digital Economy under the Japanese G20 Presidency.

Soldier Center tests new Army combat boot prototypes

The U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command Soldier Center at Natick is testing new Army Combat Boot (ACB) prototypes at three different basic training and active duty installations over the next four months. The effort will gather Soldier feedback toward development of improved footwear.... READ MORE.

IS SPIDER SILK THE PERFORMANCE FABRIC OF THE FUTURE?

“Spider silk is a much stronger natural fiber than traditional silkworm silk,” said Jamie Bainbridge, the vice president of product development at Bolt Threads.... READ MORE.

Army and Air Force Jacket Contract Awarded

Federal Prison Industries Inc., Washington, D.C, has been awarded a maximum $27,189,820 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for extreme cold/wet weather jackets. This is an 18-month base contract, with one one-year option period. Locations of performance are Kentucky, Georgia, and Washington, D.C, with a July 8, 2020, performance completion date. Using military services are Army and Air Force. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2019 through 2020 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (SPE1C1-19-D-F019).

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Sustainable performance: Texture-driven fabrics from Breathe by Milliken

The Specialty Interiors business of Milliken & Company launched the new texture-driven Breathe by Milliken home fabrics, including cotton-linen blends and chenilles. Plant-based water-repellent Breathe fabrics are durable, repels everyday stains and cleans easily without PFCs, fire retardants or other such chemicals. Breathe by Milliken fabrics also earned Greenguard Gold certification...READ MORE.

Statement on the United States Trade Delegation’s Meetings in Beijing

On January 7-9, an official delegation from the United States led by Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Jeffrey Gerrish held meetings in Beijing with Chinese officials to discuss ways to achieve fairness, reciprocity, and balance in trade relations between our two countries. The officials also discussed the need for any agreement to provide for complete implementation subject to ongoing verification and effective enforcement. The meetings were held as part of the agreement reached by President Donald J. Trump and President Xi Jinping in Buenos Aires to engage in 90 days of negotiations with a view to achieving needed structural changes in China with respect to forced technology transfer, intellectual property protection, non-tariff barriers, cyber intrusions and cyber theft of trade secrets for commercial purposes, services, and agriculture. The talks also focused on China’s pledge to purchase a substantial amount of agricultural, energy, manufactured goods, and other products and services from the United States. The United States officials conveyed President Trump’s commitment to addressing our persistent trade deficit and to resolving structural issues in order to improve trade between our countries.

The delegation will now report back to receive guidance on the next steps.

New Dress Blues in 2019? Not Just Yet, Air Force Says

Aside from the new combat uniform, the U.S. Air Force may not get any additional uniforms this year, as other priorities have materialized for the service... READ MORE at military.com.

Cashmere And Camel Hair Institute Announces New Staff To Support Global Mission

The Cashmere and Camel Hair Manufacturers Institute (CCMI), the organization for the world’s leading processors of luxury animal hair fiber, announces Fabio Garzena as President READ MORE in Textile World.

Army and Air Force Cap Contract Awarded

Southeastern Kentucky Rehabilitation Industries Inc., Corbin, Kentucky, has been awarded a maximum $7,229,250 modification (P00016) exercising the fourth one-year option of a one-year base contract (SPE1C1-15-D-N006) with four one-year option periods for various types of caps. This is a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. Location of performance is Kentucky, with a Jan. 9, 2020, performance completion date. Using military services are Army and Air Force. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2019 through 2020 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Army Boot Contract Awarded

McRae Industries Inc., Mt. Gilead, North Carolina, has been awarded a maximum $9,934,688 modification (P00014) exercising the fourth one-year option period of one-year base contract (SPE1C1-15-D-1023) with four one-year option periods for hot-weather flame resistant combat boots. This is a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. Location of performance is North Carolina, with a Jan. 8, 2020, performance completion date. Using customer is Army. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2019 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Federal Business Opportunities through January 9, 2019

Recently posted federal business opportunities

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Title:             Marine Corps Steel Toed Boots
Sol. #:            WOOD1STENBDECL0011
Agency:            Department of the Army
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Title:             Boiler Suits
Sol. #:            SPMYM319Q3011
Agency:            Defense Logistics Agency
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Title:             ACU TOP SMALL
Sol. #:            POLKDPTMBAC0042
Agency:            Department of the Army
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Title:             ACU TOP LARGE
Sol. #:            POLKDPTMBAC0004001
Agency:            Department of the Army
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Title:             ACU TOP MEDIUM
Sol. #:            POLKDPTMBAC00041
Agency:            Department of the Army
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Title:             ACU PANTS SMALL
Sol. #:            POLKDPTMBAC0003001
Agency:            Department of the Army
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Title:             ACU SHIRT EXTRA LARGE
Sol. #:            POLKDPTMBAC0003101
Agency:            Department of the Army
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Title:             ACU PANTS LARGE
Sol. #:            POLKDPTMBAC00027
Agency:            Department of the Army
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Title:             ACU PANTS MEDIUM
Sol. #:            POLKDPTMBAC00028
Agency:            Department of the Army
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Title:             PKB Aircrew Flight Equipment
Sol. #:            FA461319Q1001
Agency:            Department of the Air Force
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Title:             ACU PANTS extra large
Sol. #:            POLKDPTMBAC00025
Agency:            Department of the Army
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Title:             Black Wind Breaker
Sol. #:            W911SD-19-R-0027
Agency:            Department of the Army
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Title:             Leather Sword Belt & Frog
Sol. #:            W911SD-19-R-0041
Agency:            Department of the Army
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Title:             Military Uniforms
Sol. #:            BENNING5THRTBNWM0005
Agency:            Department of the Army
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Title:             PCD Personal Protective System Version 1
Sol. #:            PCDKWD20181219A
Agency:            Department of the Army
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Title:             Disposable Latex Gloves
Sol. #:            47QSWB-19-Q-1704
Agency:            General Services Administration
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Title:             INSIGNIA,GRADE,ENLI
Sol. #:            SPE1C119T0792
Agency:            Defense Logistics Agency
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Title:             Ballistic Combat Shirt RFI
Sol. #:            Ballistic_Combat_Shirt_RFI
Agency:            Department of the Army
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Title:             PARACHUTE SYSTEMS
Sol. #:            N00244-19-T-0005
Agency:            Department of the Navy
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Title:             FLAG,SIGNAL
Sol. #:            SPE1C119T0777
Agency:            Defense Logistics Agency
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Title:             Marine Corps Steel Toed Boots
Sol. #:            WOOD1STENBDECL0011
Agency:            Department of the Army
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Title:             Winter Clothing Sports and Mountain outer intermediate
Sol. #:            W912LN-19-Q-0005
Agency:            Department of the Army
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Title:             Extreme Cold Weather Fuel Handler Glove
Sol. #:            W911QY-18-FHG
Agency:            Department of the Army
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Title:             Cold Weather Glove System (CWGS)
Sol. #:            W911QY-18-CWGS
Agency:            Department of the Army
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Title:             Laminated Cloth
Sol. #:            SPMYM119Q0011
Agency:            Defense Logistics Agency
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Title:             Boots, Cold Weather, Safety Toe, Coyote Brown
Sol. #:            W912J2-19-Q-6013
Agency:            Department of the Army
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Title:             Tents and Clam Shells
Sol. #:            W91QVP-19-Q-6500
Agency:            Department of the Army
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Title:             BADGE,QUALIFICATION
Sol. #:            SPE1C119T0340
Agency:            Defense Logistics Agency
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Title:             BADGE CLASP
Sol. #:            SPE1C119T0762
Agency:            Defense Logistics Agency
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Title:             Leather Sword Belt & Frog
Sol. #:            W911SD-19-R-0041
Agency:            Department of the Army
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Title:             Gray Blue Flannel
Sol. #:            W911SD-19-R-0013
Agency:            Department of the Army
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Title:             CLEAR POLY MATERIAL FOR SHOWER CURTAINS
Sol. #:            CT2258-19
Agency:            Department of Justice
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Title:             PCD Kit - Coyote
Sol. #:            PCDKWD20181113B
Agency:            Department of the Army
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Title:             FULL DRESS HATS WITH POM POM
Sol. #:            W911SD-19-Q-0001
Agency:            Department of the Army
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Title:             INL CARSI TIGRES Holsters
Sol. #:            191NLE19N0015
Agency:            Department of State
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Title:             TENT
Sol. #:            SPE1C119T0752
Agency:            Defense Logistics Agency
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Clients of Agathon Associates and subscribers to Agathon Associates' Trade Advisor Service can find links to the full solicitations at www.agathonassociates.com/textile-pri/berry/fbo.htm. You will need to enter your username and password. If you do not know your username and password email David Trumbull at david@agathonassociates.com.

Two Los Angeles Fashion District executives and their import-export company sentenced in scheme to launder money for drug cartels

Morad “Ben” Neman and Hersel Neman – the owners and top executives of Pacific Eurotex Corp., an import-export textile company based in the Los Angeles Fashion District – each received federal prison sentences today for their roles in a “Black Market Peso Exchange” scheme to launder money for international drug cartels.

The investigation into Pacific Eurotex was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and IRS Criminal Investigation.

Morad “Ben” Neman, 58, of Westwood, the chief executive officer of Pacific Eurotex, was sentenced to two years in federal prison, to be followed by six months of home confinement. In addition to the prison term, Neman is jointly liable with the company to forfeit $3,178,230 million to the government.

Morad Neman pleaded guilty to conspiring to structure monetary transactions with a domestic financial institution, conspiring to defraud the United States by obstructing the lawful functions of the Internal Revenue Service, subscribing to and filing a false 2013 tax return that understated income he received from Pacific Eurotex, and aiding and assisting in the filing of another false 2013 tax return. When he pleaded guilty in December 2017, Morad Neman admitted to structuring frequent deposits of the cash in amounts less than $10,000 to avoid a bank reporting requirement that would have triggered the attention of law enforcement.

Hersel Neman, 59 of Beverly Hills, the chief financial officer of Pacific Eurotex, was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison, to be followed by six months of home confinement. He pleaded guilty to conspiring to launder money, conspiring to defraud the United States by obstructing the lawful functions of the IRS, and subscribing to and filing a false tax return. Hersel Neman is liable to forfeit approximately $370,000.

Pacific Eurotex itself was sentenced to three years of probation and was ordered to pay a fine of $400,000 for its conviction on charges of conspiring to launder money and conspiring to structure monetary transactions with a domestic financial institution.

Hersel Neman and Pacific Eurotex pleaded guilty in December 2017 to using the company to launder large amounts of cash that they deliberately ignored were drug trafficking proceeds. Both defendants admitted in court papers that they did not report to federal officials the receipt of the bulk cash.

The Neman brothers and their company were sentenced by U.S. District Judge John A. Kronstadt, who will issue a final order related to criminal fines for the three defendants.

This case was the result of an investigation into Fashion District businesses using “Black Market Peso Exchange” schemes to launder narcotics proceeds for international drug cartels. The Nemans were arrested in September 2014 on the same day that approximately 1,000 law enforcement officials executed dozens of search warrants in the Fashion District and seized more than $100 million in laundered drug money.

The Black Market Peso Exchange is one of the largest mechanisms which international drug cartels obtain the proceeds of illicit drug sales in the United States, according to court documents. This type of scheme allows drug traffickers who have their proceeds in U.S. currency to convert it to a different currency, such as Mexican pesos, via the sale of goods shipped across international borders.

In a typical Black Market Peso Exchange scheme, drug cartels sell their cash proceeds to a money broker who finds businesses in a foreign country that purchase goods from U.S. companies and who need dollars to pay for these goods. The money broker then arranges for delivery of the illegally-obtained dollars to U.S.-based vendors such as Pacific Eurotex. These dollars are then used to pay for the goods purchased by the foreign businesses. Once the goods are shipped to and sold by the foreign business, the money – now in the local, non-U.S. currency – is turned over to the money broker, who then pays the drug cartel in the foreign country’s local currency.

Pacific Eurotex received, laundered and structured approximately $370,000 in bulk cash delivered on four separate occasions over 2½ months in 2013 by an undercover agent posing as a money courier, according to court documents. The company laundered this money after being specifically advised by HSI special agents that bulk cash payments were frequently derived from illegal activity and that it was required to report cash transactions involving more than $10,000 in currency.

The defendants admitted in court documents that they instructed other people to deposit the cash into the personal Wells Fargo bank account of Hersel Neman’s wife. In total, 384 deposits totaling nearly $3.18 million were divided into increments of less than $10,000 to prevent Wells Fargo from filing a currency transaction report with the U.S. Treasury Department, according to court documents.

In September 2018, Mehran Khalili, 50, of Beverly Hills, who is a brother-in-law of Hersel Neman, was found guilty by a federal judge of one count of conspiracy to structure financial transactions to avoid detection by law enforcement. He faces a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison when he is sentenced by Judge Kronstadt on January 31.

Another defendant in the case, Alma Villalobos, 56, of Arleta, pleaded guilty in March 2018 to one felony count of conspiracy to cause Pacific Eurotex to fail to file reports of currency transactions over $10,000 in a non-financial trade or business. She also faces a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in prison at her sentencing hearing, which is scheduled for January 24.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Julie J. Shemitz, Jamie A. Lang and Puneet V. Kakkar of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Federal Business Opportunities through January 2, 2019

Recently posted federal business opportunities

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Title:             TENT,TEMPER AIR SUPPOR
Sol. #:            SPE1C119T0739
Agency:            Defense Logistics Agency
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Title:             TEMPER TYPE XLI, AIR S
Sol. #:            SPE1C119T0740
Agency:            Defense Logistics Agency
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Title:             TENT,Air Supported TEM
Sol. #:            SPE1C119T0738
Agency:            Defense Logistics Agency
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Title:             Firefighter Flash Hood (Request for Information (RFI))
Sol. #:            SPE1C1-19-R-X007FirefighterFlashHood
Agency:            Defense Logistics Agency
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Title:             Firefighter Flash Hood (Request for Information (RFI))
Sol. #:            SPE1C1-19-R-X007
Agency:            Defense Logistics Agency
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Title:             Firefighter Flash Hood
Sol. #:            SPE1C1-19-R-X007
Agency:            Defense Logistics Agency
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Title:             FRT Coveralls 8415-01-286-6334
Sol. #:            SPE1C119R0028
Agency:            Defense Logistics Agency
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Title:             PKB Aircrew Flight Equipment
Sol. #:            FA461319Q1001
Agency:            Department of the Air Force
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Title:             PARACHUTE SYSTEMS
Sol. #:            N00244-19-T-0005
Agency:            Department of the Navy
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Title:             INSIGNIA,SHOULDER S
Sol. #:            SPE1C119T0567
Agency:            Defense Logistics Agency
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Title:             Cloth, India White
Sol. #:            W911SD-19-R-0032
Agency:            Department of the Army
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Title:             Winter Clothing Sports and Mountain outer intermediate
Sol. #:            W912LN-19-Q-0005
Agency:            Department of the Army
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Title:             TENT
Sol. #:            SPE1C119T0732
Agency:            Defense Logistics Agency
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Title:             TEMPER TYPE XLVIII-STA
Sol. #:            SPE1C119T0724
Agency:            Defense Logistics Agency
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Clients of Agathon Associates and subscribers to Agathon Associates' Trade Advisor Service can find links to the full solicitations at www.agathonassociates.com/textile-pri/berry/fbo.htm. You will need to enter your username and password. If you do not know your username and password email David Trumbull at david@agathonassociates.com.