Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Army Moisture Wicking T-Shirt Contract Awarded

National Industries for the Blind, Alexandria, Virginia, has been awarded a maximum $8,898,968 modification (P00010) exercising the third one-year option period of a one-year base contract (SPE1C1-19-D-B043) with four one-year option periods for moisture wicking t-shirts. This is an indefinite-delivery contract. Locations of performance are Virginia, North Carolina and Arkansas, with an Oct. 30, 2022, ordering period end date. Using military service is Army. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2022 through 2023 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Apparel and Footwear Industry Calls for Supply Chain Resolutions in Direct Comments to the Department of Transportation

On Ocotber 18, 2021, the American Apparel & Footwear Association submitted comments to the Department of Transportation today in response to a Federal Register notice on the supply chain crisis currently disrupting the country’s economic recovery. Citing skyrocketing container rates, unreasonable practices, and the inability to move containers from ports, AAFA called on the Biden administration to bring all stakeholders together to develop and implement solutions and to aggressively enforce existing rules and regulations regarding unreasonable practices and excessive and unjust fees.

Read more HERE.

Saturday, October 16, 2021

CBP Adjust Fines for Inflation

On Ocotober 18, 2021, U.S. Cuustoms and Border Protection published in the Federal Register (86 FR 57532) Civil Monetary Penalty Adjustments for Inflation

Friday, October 15, 2021

Gird yourself to learn about medical compression textiles

Gird yourself for more than you ever wanted to know about medical compression textiles. But don't feel I'm putting you under pressure, it won't be on a test.

Note to the trade: post-surgery compression garments are not, generally duty-free as medical devices. This is significant, as the correct duty on these articles can be as high as 20% for girdles and 23.5% for corsets, even if they are post-operative garments. NOTE, these import duties can be avoided if you source from a country the U.S. has a free trade agreement with and you satisfy the agreement's yarn forward rule.

Some importers have tried, unsuccessfully, to take advantage of tariff heading 9021, which provides duty-free treatment for:

Orthopedic appliances, including crutches, surgical belts and trusses; splints and other fracture appliances; artificial parts of the body; hearing aids and other appliances which are worn or carried, or implanted in the body, to compensate for a defect or disability.

Specially they have looked to Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the U.S. classification 9021.90.81, which is a "basket" category, which catches anything in 9021 not more specifically provided in that heading.

They were not unreasonable in looking to 9021. Chapter 90 Note 6 states:

For the purposes of heading 9021, the expression 'orthopedic appliances' means appliances for:

(a) Preventing or correcting bodily deformities; or

(b) Supporting or holding parts of the body following an illness, operation or injury.

However, they have not been successful in getting Customs to agree.

For example, a company proposed classification at 9021.90.81 (duty-free) for textile knee and leg braces. Customs rejected that and classified them at 6307.90.9889, with rate of duty of 7%. They also proposed 9021.90.81 for compression gloves, but Customs said the correct classification is 6116.99.4800, with rate of duty of 18.8%. This ruling, N229875 (September 5, 2012) citing ruling HQ966874 (May 17, 2004), which stated:

[S]ubheading 9021.90 did not apply to items which "are nothing like either the hearing aids of the heading text or the listed examples in the Explanatory Notes. First, all of the appliances listed are precision electronic devices that actively compensate for the defect or disability. Second, all of the examples assist or replace the function of a failed organ.…"

In ruling N304769 (July 11, 2021), Customs addressed several post-surgery torso compression garments and classified them under heading 6212, which provides for "brassieres, girdles, corsets, braces, suspenders, garters and similar articles."

Some were classified at 6212.20.00, which provides for girdles, and has a 20% rate of duty. Others were classified at 6212.90.00, which provides for "other," with a rate of duty of 6.6%. The lower or higher duty was depending on whether the garment had the "structural characteristics of a girdle."

The question of what make a girdle a girdle has been the subject of rulings, and even litigation. In ruling H256542 (January 9, 2018) Customs looked to the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System Explanatory Notes (ENs). The ENs constitute the official interpretation of the Harmonized System at the international level. While not legally binding or dispositive, the ENs provide a commentary on the scope of each heading of the HTSUS and are generally indicative of the proper interpretation of these headings. See T.D. 89-80, 54 Fed. Reg. 35127 (August 23, 1989).

The ENs to heading 62.12, provide in pertinent part, that:

The heading includes, inter alia:

* * *

(2) Girdles and panty-girdles.

* * *

(7) Maternity, post pregnancy or similar supporting or corrective belts, not being orthopaedic appliances of heading 90.21.

Customs went on to state:

It is well settled that articles enumerated in heading 6212, HTSUS, each feature the unifying characteristic of providing support for the body or other garment. Victoria’s Secret Direct, LLC v. United States, 769 F.3d 1102, 1108 (Fed. Cir. 2014). This support for the body or other garments, constitutes the paramount function of the exemplars listed eo nominee in heading 6212, HTSUS. Victoria’s Secret at, 1108. The subheadings of heading 6212, HTSUS, focus the scope of the heading into distinct categories while retaining the unifying characteristic and paramount function of the overall heading. The subheadings at issue are contrasted by the least descriptive (subheading 6212.90.00, HTSUS) and the most descriptive terms (subheading 6212.20.00, HTSUS). In particular, subheading 6212.90.00, HTSUS, is a residual provision which provides for garments not otherwise specified elsewhere in heading 6212, HTSUS. On the other hand, subheading 6212.20.00, HTSUS, contemplates merchandise which is classifiable eo nominee as girdles and/or panty-girdles. Accordingly, garments which share the essential unifying characteristic, and paramount function of the overall heading while meeting the description of a girdle or panty-girdle are classifiable ejusdem generis with the articles of subheading 6212.20.00, HTSUS.

While the ENs to heading 6212, HTSUS, do not provide a definition of a girdle, both the Courts and CBP have addressed its meaning. The Ninth Circuit stated that: "[a] girdle may be defined as an undergarment that provides support and holds in the body along the lower torso, specifically, including the waist and hips." Riddell, Inc. v. United States, 906 F. Supp. 2d 1355, 1365 (Fed Cir. 2013); citing, HQ 957469, dated November 7, 1995, CBP defined a girdle as being: "[f]lexible, light-weight shaped corset, made partly or entirely of elastic… [a]n elasticized flexible undergarment worn over the hips and waist.").

CBP Informed Compliance Publication, Classification: Apparel Terminology Under the HTSUS (June 2008) page 15. "Girdles/panty girdles (6212) - are garments normally worn next to the skin, which are designed to mold the lower torso and sometimes legs. They are typically made with two-way stretch fabric or one-way stretch fabric with non-stretchable control panels, with or without garters. Panty girdles are girdles with a closed crotch, and resemble panties."

Similarly, in HQ 959284, dated October 29, 1996, CBP stated that: "A girdle is commonly understood as a garment which provides overall support for the lower torso- this would include the cinching of the waist to enhance the bosom, holding in hips, rear and thighs, holding up stockings (when garters are present) and providing for decency and hygiene when the girdle is also worn in place of panties."

The common factors found among the various definitions offered for girdles and panty-girdles is that these items are undergarments made up of elastic or stretchable fabric which provide body support to the lower torso, hip, waist, and thigh area.

Customs also ruled:

[T]he post-surgical nature of [the garment] does not preclude classification under subheading 6212.20.00, HTSUS. As EN 62.12 explains, post-pregnancy, supportive or corrective belts which are not orthopedic appliances of heading 9021, HTSUS, are classifiable in this heading. For example, in NY N014148 (August 10, 2007), CBP classified a 'post-partum girdle' as a girdle under subheading 6212.20.00, HTSUS. Likewise, in NY N004382 (January 8, 2007), CBP classified a 'maternity support garment' as a girdle under subheading 6212.20.00, HTSUS. By contrast, in HQ 964402 (May 24, 2002)…

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

AAFA Flags Extensive Counterfeit Concerns on Social Media in Notorious Markets Submission

The American Apparel and Footwear Association submitted comments to the Office of the United States Trade Representative recommending platforms and marketplaces – including Facebook and Instagram – for Notorious Market designations.

AAFA cited significant increases in the availability of counterfeit products via social media in its submission for the 2021 Special 301 Out-of-Cycle Review of Notorious Markets. In particular, AAFA highlighted industry concerns with Facebook’s platforms — including not only Facebook but also Instagram and WhatsApp — which are being used by counterfeiters to advertise and sell fake goods. This is the second time AAFA has highlighted Facebook in its submission for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative’s (USTR) Notorious Markets report, and follows increased focus on the role of social media in facilitating the sale of counterfeits online. Earlier this year, AAFA released a report “Dupe Influencers: The Concerning Trend of Promoting Counterfeit Apparel, Footwear, and Accessories on Social Media” with analysis of the alarming behavior that has generated millions of views, likes, and shares of content directly related to the advertisement and sale of counterfeit goods online.

Read more HERE.

CBP Seizes Fake Designer Handbags, Wallets Worth $314K

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport intercepted a shipment manifested as pencil bags but instead were packed with various designer bags totaling a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price of $314,000.

The shipment which originated in Vietnam and was destined for the Dallas area when CBP officers selected it for inspection.

Read more HERE.

Clothing and Textiles Helps Army Get New Female Improved Hot Weather Uniforms to Recruits

Extensive coordination enabled the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support to help the Army field female improved hot weather uniforms to new recruits at training centers across the country.

Approximately 1,600 sets of the female IHWCU coats and trousers have been issued at the RTCs, with Fort Benning and Fort Sill receiving sets in mid-August, Fort Leonard Wood in September, and Fort Jackson early October.

Read more HERE.

Mattress Company Will Pay $753,000 and Cease Made in USA Fraud

Resident Home LLC and owner Ran Reske, will pay $753,000 to settle FTC charges that they made false, misleading, or unsupported advertising claims that their imported DreamCloud mattresses were made from 100% USA-made materials.

Resident Home LLC is the parent of Nectar Brand LLC (better known as Nectar Sleep), a company that had previously agreed to a 2018 FTC administrative order resolving allegations that it falsely advertised imported mattresses as “Assembled in USA.” Following the 2018 order, Reske, under penalty of perjury, stated that Resident had never made U.S.-origin claims about its DreamCloud mattress. This proved to be untrue. The proposed order entered into today incorporates the terms of the 2018 order, orders the payment of $753,000, and expands the application of the 2018 order to all the entities under the control of Reske.

Read more HERE.

Friday, October 8, 2021

AAFA Encourages Swift Support for Legislation to Inform and Protect Online Consumers

On October 7, 2021, the American Apparel & Footwear Association issed a statement applauded this week's introduction of the Integrity, Notification, and Fairness in Online Retail Marketplaces (INFORM) Consumers Act, thanking U.S. Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and U.S. Congressman Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) for introducing legislation to protect consumers and small businesses from illicit merchandise found on leading e-commerce platforms.

The INFORM Consumers Act aims to increase online marketplace transparency and accountability to combat the rapidly growing problem of counterfeit and stolen goods sold through these channels. A Senate version was already introduced with bipartisan support from Senators Durbin (D-IL), Cassidy (R-LA), Hirono (D-HI), Grassley (R-IA), Coons (D-DE), Rubio (R-FL), Warnock (D-GA), and Tillis (R-NC).

The INFORM Consumers Act would modernize consumer protection laws and require online marketplaces to collect and verify basic business information from sellers before those entities can sell online. It would also require high-volume sellers to provide contact information to consumers. Removing seller anonymity on these platforms will create basic accountability measures that will help protect consumers from counterfeit goods and make it harder for criminals to profit from selling stolen or counterfeit merchandise.

“Consumers – and trusted brands – need this legislation to effectively slow down the criminal networks targeting unsuspecting customers with the sale of stolen, counterfeit, expired, dangerous, and defective products. Right now, the onus is placed on consumers to avoid knockoffs, but it would be much more effective if e-commerce sites would take on this responsibility,” said AAFA President and CEO Steve Lamar. "American businesses need this legislation to protect their intellectual property, and to allow them to hire more American workers. We look forward to working with House leadership on advancing this legislation into law."

With holiday shopping starting earlier this year due to supply chain slowdowns, AAFA is working to educate all Americans about the risks associated with counterfeits online.

AAFA is a proponent of consumer safety and brand protection, and also supports the SHOP SAFE Act which advanced out of the House Judiciary Committee last week. More information is available at aafaglobal.org/FightFakes and aafaglobal.org/DupeInfluencers.

Agathon Associates Can Assist with China Section 301 Tariff Exclusions

On October 8, 2021, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative published in the Federal Register (86 FR 56345) Request for Comments on the Possible Reinstatement of Certain Exclusions in the Section 301 Investigation of China’s Acts, Policies, and Practices Related to Technology Transfer, Intellectual Property, and Innovation.

Agathon Associates can help you with exclusions for your imported articles subject to the China Section 301 tariffs. During the exclusion process under the Trump Administration the success of Agathon Associates in obtaining exclusions for clients was twice the average rate. The Biden Administration has signaled that exclusions will be "targetted," and while not specifying precisely what targetted means, it is clear that this administration is particularly sensitive to the burden of tariffs on small businesses.

Comments may be filed beginning October 12, through December 1, 2021.

Request for Information and/or Comment Regarding Child Labor and Forced Labor in Certain Foreign Countries.

On October 8, 2021, the U.S. Department of Labor published in the Federal Register (86 FR 56293) Efforts by Certain Foreign Countries To Eliminate the Worst Forms of Child Labor; Child Labor, Forced Labor, and Forced or Indentured Child Labor in the Production of Goods in Foreign Countries; and Business Practices To Reduce the Likelihood of Forced Labor or Child Labor in the Production of Goods.

This notice is a request for information and/or comment on three reports issued by the Bureau of International Labor Affairs (ILAB) regarding child labor and forced labor in certain foreign countries. Relevant information submitted by the public will be used by the Department of Labor (DOL) in preparing its ongoing reporting as required under Congressional mandates and a Presidential directive.

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Monday is Columbus Day in America

Monday, October 11th, is a federal holiday in the United States. National, state, and local government offices will be closed. Observance of the holiday by the private sector varies from region to region.
Prehistoric global migration of mankind left the world with two populations, one in the Old World, the other in the New World, each wholly ignorant of the existence of the other. Monday we celebrate Columbus Day in honor of his historic voyages that opened communication, commerce, and migration between the Old World of Europe and the New World of the Americas. Columbus' voyages of discovery led directly to Spanish settlements in the New World that became, with time, the many Latin-American nations of South, Central and North America and the islands of the Caribbean. The United States, today a sea-to-sea continental nation with citizens and residents whose ancestors lived in every corner of the globe, likewise traces her beginnings to Columbus. As early as 1738 "Columbia" had entered the English tongue as a name for the 13 British colonies in North America that became our original 13 States. Yes, from the birth of our nation it was understood that it all started with Columbus. That's why Columbus matters.

The second Monday in October is also Thanksgiving Day in Canada.

Air Force Boot Contract Awarded

Belleville Shoe Manufacturing Co., Belleville, Illinois, has been awarded a maximum $10,169,411 modification (P00008) exercising the second one-year option period of a one-year base contract (SPE1C1-20-D-1208) with three one-year option periods for men’s and women’s temperate weather boots. This is a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. Locations of performance are Arkansas and Illinois, with an Oct. 10, 2022, ordering period end date. Using military service is Air Force. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2022 through 2023 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Fiber,s Yarns, and Fabrics Considered for China 301 Exclusions

On October 5, 2021, USTR released a list of 549 articles which had been excluded from the China Section 301 tariff action and which had subsequently had that exclusion extended in time. All are now expired. USTR is considering reinstating those exclusions. Twenty-eight of the exclusions under consideration relate fiber, yarn, or fabric.t

USTR will begin taking comments on October 12, 2021, and will take comments until December 1, 2021.

HTSUS Exclusion Product Description
5007.20.0065 Silk fabrics, containing 85 percent or more by weight of silk or of silk waste other than noil silk, the foregoing not printed, not jacquard woven, measuring over 127 cm in width
5007.20.0085 Silk fabrics, containing 85 percent or more by weight of silk or of silk waste other than noil silk, the foregoing not printed, not jacquard woven, measuring 107 cm or more but not over 127 cm in width
5108.10.8000 Yarn of cashmere or camel hair, carded but not combed, not put up for retail sale
5210.11.4040 Woven fabrics of cotton, containing less than 85 percent by weight of cotton, mixed mainly or solely with man-made fibers, weighing not more than 200 g/m², unbleached, plain weave, of number 42 or lower number, sheeting
5210.11.6020 Woven fabrics of cotton, containing less than 85 percent by weight of cotton, mixed mainly or solely with man-made fibers, weighing not more than 200 g/m², Unbleached, plain weave, of number 43 to 68, sheeting
5407.52.2060 Woven dyed fabrics of 100 percent textured polyester filament yarn, measuring 332.7 cm in width, weighing more than 170 g/m²
5407.52.2060 Woven fabric of 100 percent textured polyester filaments, dyed, weighing more than 170 g/m², measuring not more than 310 cm in width
5407.52.2060 Woven fabric of synthetic filament yarn containing 85 percent or more by weight of textured polyester filaments, dyed, measuring 249 cm in width, weighing more than 170 g/m²
5407.61.9930 Woven dupioni fabric wholly of non-textured dyed polyester filaments, weighing not more than 170 g/m², measuring not more than 310 cm in width
5407.61.9930 Woven fabric wholly of polyester, dyed, not flat, containing non-textured polyester filaments, weighing not more than 170 g/m², measuring not over 310 cm in width
5407.61.9935 Woven fabric wholly of polyester, dyed, containing non- textured polyester filaments, weighing more than 170 g/m², measuring not over 310 cm in width
5407.72.0015 Woven fabric containing by weight 47 percent of nylon and 53 percent of polyester, dyed, containing textured filaments, weighing not more than 170 g/m², measuring greater than 274 cm in width
5501.20.0000 Polyester filament tow, measuring more than 50 ktex but not more than 275 ktex
5501.40.0000 Polypropylene fiber tow, measuring more than 50 ktex but not more than 275 ktex
5504.10.0000 Rayon staple fibers, not carded, combed or otherwise processed for spinning
5512.19.0090 Woven dyed fabrics wholly of spun polyester, weighing more than 240 g/m² and measuring not more than 310 cm in width
5514.22.0020 Woven dyed 3-thread twill fabrics containing by weight 65 percent of polyester and 35 percent of cotton staple fibers, not napped, weighing more than 200 g/m² and exceeding 310 cm in width
5603.12.0090 Nonwoven fabrics of man-made fibers, weighing more than 25 g/m² but not more than 70 g/m², with a smooth or embossed texture (not impregnated, coated or covered with material other than or in addition to rubber, plastics, wood pulp or glass fibers), in rolls that are pre-slitted in lengths of not less than 15 cm to not more than 107 cm, for use in the manufacture of personal care wipes
5603.12.0090 Certain nonwovens, whether or not impregnated, coated, covered or laminated, of man-made filaments, Weighing more than 25 g/m2 but not more than 70 g/m
5603.14.9090 Certain nonwovens, whether or not impregnated, coated, covered or laminated, of man-made filaments, Weighing more than 150 g/m2 but not more than 70 g/m
5603.92.0090 Certain other nonwovens, whether or not impregnated, coated, covered or laminated, Weighing more than 25 g/m2 but not more than 70 g/m
5603.93.0090 Certain other nonwovens, whether or not impregnated, coated, covered or laminated, Weighing more than 150 g/m2 but not more than 70 g/m
5603.94.9090 Non-woven fabrics of polyethylene terephthalate (PET), in sheets measuring not more than 160 cm by 250 cm, weighing more than 1,800 g/m² but not more than 3,000 g/m
5701.90.1010 Rugs of hand-knotted pile, of nylon and polypropylene, measuring at least 1.2 m2
5705.00.2030 Rugs of 100 percent polyester or polypropylene, with brass grommets and stainless steel springs, each measuring at least 44 cm by 45 cm but not exceeding 56 cm by 59 cm
5810.92.9080 Woven dyed embroidery fabrics containing by weight 55 percent of polyester and 45 percent of nylon, weighing less than 115 g/m and measuring 289 cm in width
6001.10.2000 Long pile knit fabrics, of acrylic pile on polyester ground, valued not over $16 per m2
6003.40.6000 Knitted or crocheted fabrics of artificial staple fibers derived from bamboo

USTR to Accept Comments on Reinstating 549 Chiba 301 Exclusions

In prior notices, the U.S. Trade Representative modified the action in the Section 301 investigation of China’s acts, policies, and practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation by excluding certain products from additional duties in multiple tranches. From the various tranches of granted exclusions, the U.S. Trade Representative subsequently extended 549 exclusions. Most of these extensions expired by December 31, 2020. The remainder expired earlier this year. USTR invites specific comments on whether to reinstate particular product exclusions.

DATES: October 12, 2021 at 12:01 a.m. EDT: The public docket on the web portal at https://comments.USTR.gov will open for parties to submit comments on the possible reinstatement of particular exclusions. To be assured of consideration, submit written comments on the public docket by December 1, 2021 at 11:59 PM EST.

USTR will evaluate the possible reinstatement of each exclusion on a case-by- case basis. The focus of the evaluation will be whether, despite the imposition of additional duties beginning in September 2018, the particular product remains available only from China. In addressing this factor, commenters should address specifically:

  • Whether the particular product and/or a comparable product is available from sources in the United States and/or in third countries.
  • Any changes in the global supply chain since September 2018 with respect to the particular product or any other relevant industry developments
  • efforts, if any, the importers or U.S. purchasers have undertaken since September 2018 to source the product from the United States or third countries.
  • Domestic capacity for producing the product in the United States.

In addition, USTR will consider whether or not reinstating the exclusion will impact or result in severe economic harm to the commenter or other U.S. interests, including the impact on small businesses, employment, manufacturing output, and critical supply chains in the United States, as well as the overall impact of the exclusions on the goal of obtaining the elimination of China’s acts, policies, and practices covered in the Section 301 investigation.

Exclusions reinstated pursuant to this review would be retroactive with respect to merchandise entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the opening of the docket on October 12, 2021, for which the entries are not liquidated at the time the claim to apply the reinstated exclusion is made to U.S. Customs and Border Protection in accordance with their procedures.

A facsimile of the form containing the questions to be addressed on the comment docket is available on USTR’s website.

Set out below is a summary of the information to be submitted.

  • vContact information, including the full legal name of the organization making the comment, and whether the commenter is a third party. The previously extended exclusion you are commenting on.
  • Whether the product or products covered by the exclusion are subject to an antidumping or countervailing duty order issued by the U.S. Department of Commerce.
  • Whether you support or oppose reinstating the exclusion and an explanation of your rationale.
  • Whether the commenter meets the size standard for a small business, as established by the Small Business Administration.
  • The number of employees your business employs in the United States.
  • Whether the products covered by the exclusion or comparable products are available from sources in the U.S. or in third countries.
  • The efforts you have undertaken since September 2018 to source the product from the U.S. or third countries.
  • As a domestic producer, your capacity to produce the product in the United States, your production in the United States, your efforts to produce domestically, and any constraints.
  • The value and quantity of the Chinese-origin product covered by the specific exclusion request purchased over the last three years.
  • Whether Chinese suppliers have lowered their prices for products covered by the exclusion following the imposition of duties.
  • The value and quantity of the product covered by the exclusion purchased from domestic and third country sources over the last three years.
  • If applicable, the commenter’s gross revenues for the last three years.
  • Whether the Chinese-origin product of concern is sold as a final product or as an input.
  • Whether or not reinstating the exclusion will result in severe economic harm to the commenter or other U.S. interests.
  • Whether the additional tariffs had an impact on employment at your company.
  • Any additional information in support of or in opposition to reinstating the exclusion.

Commenters also may provide any other information or data that they consider relevant.

Travel Goods, Apparel, and Other Textile Articles Considered for China 301 Exclusions

On October 5, 2021, USTR released a list of 549 articles which had been excluded from the China Section 301 tariff action and which had subsequently had that exclusion extended in time. All are now expired. USTR is considering reinstating those exclusions. Fifty of the exclusions under consideration relate to:

  • Travel goods,
  • Apparel,
  • Sewn products (made-up goods), or
  • Other, mostly household, goods that incorporate textiles.

USTR will begin taking comments on October 12, 2021, and will take comments until December 1, 2021.

HTSUS Exclusion Product Description
4202.12.8130 Messenger bags of polyester, each measuring not more than 50 cm by 38 cm by 11 cm, weighing not more than 2.5 kg
4202.92.0400 Backpacks with hydration system, each measuring not more than 51 cm by 28 cm by 9 cm, weighing not more than 1 kg
4202.92.3120 Backpacks with outer surface of textile materials of man-made fibers, each measuring at least 35 cm but not more than 75 cm in height, at least 19 cm but not more than 34 cm in width, and at least 5 cm but not more than 26 cm in depth
4202.92.3131 Duffel bags of polyester, each measuring not more than 81 cm by 39 cm by 11 cm, weighing not more than 7 kg
4202.92.3131 Duffel bags made predominantly of man-made fibers, each measuring not more than 98 cm by 52 cm by 17 cm, weighing not more than 7 kg, with wheels
4202.92.3131 Stuff sacks with outer surface of textiles of man-made fibers, each measuring 77.5 cm or more but not over 127.7 cm in circumference, cylindrical in shape with a single compartment, a drawstring closure at one end and a strap at the other end of the sack
4205.00.8000 Covers, of leather, designed for use with telecommunication devices
6108.91.0030 Women's knit robes in chief weight of cotton, with hook and loop tab closure
6111.20.6070 Babies' gowns of cotton knitted interlock fabric, each with sleeves, neck opening and elasticized bottom opening
6111.20.6070 Babies' sleep sacks, knitted, of cotton, each with neck opening and two-way zipper
6111.20.6070 Babies' sleep sacks of cotton interlock knitted fabric, sleeveless, each with neck opening and two-way zipper
6111.20.6070 Babies' swaddle sacks of cotton knitted interlock fabric, each with sleeves and mitten cuffs
6111.30.5015 Babies' blanket sleepers of polyester knitted fleece, sleeveless, each with two-way zipper
6116.10.6500 Gloves, containing less than 50 percent by weight of textile fibers, coated with rubber or plastics designed for enhanced grip
6207.91.1000 Men's and boys' cotton terry bathrobes with muslin trim, each beltless but featuring a hook-and-loop tab
6208.91.1010 Women's cotton terry bathrobes with muslin trim, each beltless but featuring a hook-and-loop tab
6208.91.1020 Girls' cotton terry bathrobes with muslin trim, each beltless but featuring a hook-and-loop tab
6208.92.0020 Girls' fleece bathrobes, each beltless but featuring a hook- and-loop tab
6210.10.5010; 6210.10.5090 Nonwoven disposable apparel designed for usein hospitals, clinics, laboratories or contaminated areas
6301.30.0010 Blankets (other than electric blankets) of cotton, woven, each measuring at least 116 cm but not more than 118 cm on an edge
6301.30.0020 Blankets (other than electric blankets) of cotton, other than woven, each measuring at least 116 cm but not more than 118 cm on an edge
6302.10.0020 Dust covers of knitted polyester fabric, designed for bed mattresses and pillows
6302.31.9020 Crib sheets of muslin cotton, fitted with elastic
6302.31.9040 Protective covers of cotton for pillows, not knitted or crocheted, of cotton, not napped or printed, each with full encasement construction and zipper opening
6307.90.6090 Perineal towels
6307.90.6800 Certain surgical drapes
6307.90.9889 prior to July 1, 2020; described in statistical reporting number 6307.90.9845, 6307.90.9850, 6307.90.9870, or 6307.90.9875 effective July 1, 2020 Face masks and particulate facepiece respirators, of textile fabrics
6307.90.9889 prior to July 1, 2020; described in statistical reporting number 6307.90.9845, 6307.90.9850, or 6307.90.9870 effective July 1, 2020 Single-use medical masks of textile material
6307.90.9889 prior to July 1, 2020; described in statistical reporting number 6307.90.9891 effective July 1, 2020 Cold packs consisting of a single-use, instant, endothermic chemical reaction cold pack combined with a textile exterior lining
6307.90.9889 prior to July 1, 2020; described in statistical reporting number 6307.90.9891 effective July 1, 2020 Disposable shoe and boot covers of man-made fiber fabrics
6307.90.9889 prior to July 1, 2020; described in statistical reporting number 6307.90.9891 effective July 1, 2020 Hot packs of textile material, single-use (exothermic chemical reaction)
6307.90.9889 prior to July 1, 2020; described in statistical reporting number 6307.90.9891 effective July 1, 2020 Laparotomy sponges of cotton
6307.90.9889 prior to July 1, 2020; described in statistical reporting number 6307.90.9891 effective July 1, 2020 Single-use blood pressure cuff sleeves of textile materials
6307.90.9889 prior to July 1, 2020; described in statistical reporting number 6307.90.9891 effective July 1, 2020 Single-use stethoscope covers
6307.90.9889 prior to July 1, 2020; described in statistical reporting number 6307.90.9891 effective July 1, 2020 Woven gauze sponges of cotton in square or rectangular sizes
6505.00.8015 Nonwoven disposable headgear without peaks or visors
6506.10.6030 Motorcycle helmets
9401.61.6011 Upholstered seats with wooden frames other than chairs, not of cane, osier, bamboo or similar materials, each measuring at least 144 cm but no more than 214 cm in width, at least 81 cm but no more than 89 cm in height and at least 81 cm but not more than 163 cm in depth
9401.71.0031 Unassembled upholstered chairs with metal frames, other than household chairs, with seats and backs having a shell of plastics or wood and measuring at least 48 cm but not more than 61 cm in width
9401.71.0031 Stackable upholstered metal chairs for religious worship settings, capable of interlocking with each other, each with attached holders and racks
9401.79.0015 Folding chairs with aluminum frames, each comprising a seat of polyester ripstop fabric and polyester netting and an aluminum frame, weighing not more than 600 g
9401.79.0050 Unassembled non-upholstered chairs with metal frames (other than household chairs) with seats and backs having a shell of plastics or wood and measuring at least 48 cm but not more than 61 cm in width
9403.20.0090 Foldable cots with frames of steel and/or aluminum, each with sleeping surface of polyester or nylon fabric, each cot measuring 185 cm or more but not over 230 cm in length, 70 cm or more but not over 105 cm in width and 7 cm or more but not over 58 cm in height
9403.89.6003 Bassinets, composed of polyester fabric with frames of steel tubing and partial solid wood rails, each measuring 86 cm by 51 cm by 86 cm, weighing 12 kg, with adjustable height legs on wheels
9403.90.6005 Baby crib liners, each composed of two pieces of multi- layer warp polyester knit mesh without any padding, one measuring no more than 29 cm by 283 cm and the other measuring no more than 29 cm by 210 cm
9403.90.8041 Bed rails, each of which attaches to the side of a bed to prevent the occupant of the bed from rolling out, with a nylon mesh fabric cover
9404.90.1000 Pillow shells of cotton, each filled with goose or duck down
9404.90.1000 Quilted pillow shells of cotton
9404.90.2000 Quilted pillow shells of man-made fibers
9405.99.4090 Lamp shades of fabric over metal frame

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

USTR Requests Comments on Reinstatement of Targeted Potential Exclusions of Products of China Subject to Section 301 Tariffs

On October 5, 2021, USTR posted a Federal Register notice inviting public comments on whether to reinstate previously extended exclusions, stating: "The exclusions process is a key part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s deliberative, long-term vision for realigning the U.S. – China trade relationship around our priorities and making trade work for American workers and businesses."

Of the more than 2,200 exclusions that were granted, 549 were extended. Most of these exclusions expired by December 31, 2020. As these exclusions were previously found to warrant additional time, USTR will evaluate, on a case-by-case basis, the possible reinstatement of each exclusion.

Read more HERE.

Monday, October 4, 2021

AAFA Welcomes Resolution Between the U.S. and Vietnam

AFA President and CEO Steve Lamar responded to the announcement by the United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai today, that Vietnam has addressed U.S. concerns in the Vietnam Timber Section 301 investigation, saying: “We are pleased to see that U.S. apparel, footwear, and accessories imports from Vietnam will not be subjected to additional tariffs. At a time when we are focusing on getting more vaccines to this key trade partner and unlock snarled supply chains, removal of this tariff threat is welcome indeed. We are also pleased to see Vietnam and the U.S. solidify their work to guard against illegal timber harvesting an important step for Vietnam’s sustainability journey."

Read more HERE.

CBERA Continues To Have a Negligible Effect on U.S. Imports, Producers, and Consumers and a Small but Positive Impact on Beneficiary Countries; Imports Decreased in 2020, Says USITC

The overall effect of the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act (CBERA) on the U.S. economy generally, and U.S. imports, industries, and consumers continues to be negligible, while the effect on beneficiary countries is small but positive, reports the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) in its publication Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act: Impact on U.S. Industries and Consumers and on Beneficiary Countries, Twenty-fifth Report, 2019-20.

The USITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency, recently issued its 25th biennial report monitoring U.S. imports under CBERA. The CBERA program, operative since January 1, 1984, affords preferential tariff treatment to most products of the 17 designated Caribbean countries that received CBERA benefits during the period covered in the report.

The latest USITC report covers the impact of CBERA, as modified by the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act of 2000 (CBTPA), and the HOPE and HELP Acts, on the United States, with particular emphasis on calendar year 2020. CBERA requires the USITC to prepare a biennial report assessing both the actual and the probable future effect of CBERA on the U.S. economy generally, on U.S. imports, industries, and on U.S. consumers. The report also covers the impact of the preference program on the beneficiary countries. The following are highlights from the latest report.

  • The overall effect of CBERA imports on the U.S. economy generally and on U.S. imports, industries, and consumers continued to be negligible in 2020. For U.S. industries in particular, the overall effect of the program on domestic production, employment, and operating profits was also negligible. The USITC identified two U.S. industries -- methanol and T-shirts -- that most likely have faced small negative effects due to competition from CBERA imports.

  • U.S. imports receiving preferential treatment under CBERA totaled $1.7 billion in 2020, a decline of 4.8 percent from $1.8 billion in 2019.
    • The value of U.S. imports under CBERA increased between 2016 and 2018 but decreased in both 2019 and 2020.

    • The change in 2020 was driven primarily by decreasing imports of apparel, which accounted for 43.1 percent of total U.S. imports under CBERA. Apparel, supplied mainly by Haiti, decreased by 25.6 percent from $978 million in 2019 to $728 million in 2020, with cotton T-shirts comprising 41.7 percent of those imports.

    •  
  • Petroleum-related products, accounting for 40.8 percent of imports under CBERA, increased by 25.2 percent in 2020. Petroleum products were supplied by both Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana.

  • Special CBERA provisions for Haiti have had a strong, positive effect on export earnings and job creation in Haiti's apparel sector. Apparel assembly is Haiti's largest manufacturing activity and the country's largest source of manufacturing jobs with a labor force composed mostly of women. CBERA -- enhanced by CBTPA and the HOPE and HELP Acts -- has been an important factor in promoting apparel production in Haiti and apparel exports to the U.S. market.

  • CBERA has encouraged several beneficiary countries to develop niche exports to the United States, including polystyrene from The Bahamas, fruits and fruit juices from Belize, and electronic products from St. Kitts and Nevis.

  • Investment for the near-term production and export of CBERA-eligible products is expected to have negligible impact on U.S. competitive industries as well as on the U.S. economy.

  • Exporting CBERA-eligible goods is a challenge for many CBERA beneficiaries because of supply-side constraints, including inadequate infrastructure and an increasing focus on the export of services. However, under CBERA, exports to the United States of some countries, such as Trinidad and Tobago, have become more diversified, i.e., they began exporting a greater number of products and became less reliant on exports of just a few products. At the same time, there are wide differences in the patterns of diversification among CBERA beneficiaries.

  • The future effect of CBERA on the U.S. economy and domestic industries will likely remain small. CBERA countries generally are, and are likely to remain in the near term, small suppliers to the U.S. market. Most of the effect of CBERA on the U.S. economy occurred shortly after the program’s implementation in 1984, as well as after implementation of each major enhancement to CBERA.

Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act: Impact on U.S. Industries and Consumers and on Beneficiary Countries, Twenty-fifth Report, 2019-20 (Inv. No. 332-227, USITC Publication 5231, September 2021) is available at https://usitc.gov/sites/default/files/publications/332/pub5231.pdf

New Look for FabricLink.com

Online since 1995, FabricLink.com is a consumer resource for learning about textiles, apparel, home furnishings and fabric care. Because of the site’s educational format, Industry businesses have also found the site is particularly effective for promoting innovative textile products.

With over 1,000 pages of educational information, FabricLink provides consumers & students with a wealth of information to learn about the newest textile technologies, the importance of sustainability; and how to be an informed & smart shopper.

FabricLink’s Fabric University is a popular learning center for students, and there are 14 searchable indexes with descriptions of hundreds of textile products and technologies. Member companies also use easy-to-understand educational presentations to describe products, how they work, and why they are important.

The site has been updated to make it even easier to navigate. Visit FabricLink.com and explore topics, such as:

  • Sustainability – Do Your Part
  • Be a Smart Shopper
  • Halloween Costume Closet – Hundreds of DIY Costumes
  • Fabric University – Learn About the Fabrics in Your Life
  • Textile Dictionaries & Glossaries
  • All Knit Fabrics are Not The Same
  • Take a Guided Tour – the World of Fabrics
  • Fabric Care Center – Spill Something?
  • FLN Annual Top 10 Innovation Awards

Mexico Textile and Apparel Imports Approved for the Electronic Certification System (eCERT)

On September 30, 2021, U.S. Customs and Border Protection published in the Federal Register (86 FR 54225) Mexico Textile and Apparel Imports Approved for the Electronic Certification System (eCERT).

This document announces that the certification requirement for certain imports of textile and apparel goods from the United Mexican States (Mexico) that are eligible for preferential tariff treatment under a tariff preference level (TPL) will be accomplished through the Electronic Certification System (eCERT). Specified quantities of certain textile and apparel imports from Mexico that are eligible for preferential tariff treatment under a TPL must have a valid certificate of eligibility with a corresponding eCERT transmission in order for an importer to claim the preferential duty rate. As the Agreement Between the United States of America, the United Mexican States and Canada (USMCA) requires the use of an electronic system for the transmission of a certificate of eligibility and other documentation related to TPLs for goods imported into the United States, Mexico has coordinated with the United States Government (USG) to implement the eCERT process. Mexico is now ready to participate in this process and transition from the way the USG currently receives certificates of eligibility from Mexico to eCERT. This transition will not change the TPL filing process or requirements applicable to importers of record, who will continue to provide the certificate numbers from Mexico in the same manner as when currently filing entry summaries with U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The format of the certificate of eligibility numbers will remain the same for the corresponding eCERT transmissions.

NCTO Issues Statement in Support of Biden Administration’s New China Trade Policy Framework

On October 4, 2021, The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) President and CEO Kim Glas issued a statement following U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai’s speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, outlining the Biden administration’s China trade policy.

China 301 Tariffs to Stay in Place, Exclusion Process to be Announced

On October 4, 2021, United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai delivered remarks at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) outlining the Biden-Harris Administration’s new approach to the U.S.-China bilateral trade relationship. Read her remarks HERE.

On September 30, 2021, Ambassador Tai told Politico that the Biden administration plans to “build on” existing tariffs on billions of dollars in Chinese imports.

Vietnam Section 301 Tariffs Averted

On October 1, 2021, United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai announced an agreement with the Socialist Republic of Vietnam that addresses U.S. concerns in the Vietnam Timber Section 301 investigation. This is the first 301 investigation to address environmental concerns. The Agreement secures commitments that will help keep illegally harvested or traded timber out of the supply chain and protect the environment and natural resources. Ambassador Tai determined that the Agreement provides a satisfactory resolution of the matter subject to investigation and that no trade action is warranted at this time. Going forward, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) will monitor Vietnam’s implementation of the Agreement.

The Agreement contains multiple commitments by Vietnam on issues related to illegal timber, including commitments to improve its Timber Legality Assurance System; keep confiscated timber (i.e., timber seized for violating domestic or international law) out of the commercial supply chain; verify the legality of domestically harvested timber regardless of export destination; and work with high-risk source countries to improve customs enforcement at the border and law enforcement collaboration.

The USTR investigation was initiated in October 2020 under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974. The full text of the Agreement is available here. The Federal Register notice summarizing the Trade Representative’s determination provides additional background, and is available here.

Huntsville - Redstone Small Business Contracting Conference & Expo, October 27 & 28 2021

Meet with DLA and FBI Buyers, for more information or to register CLICK HERE.

Thursday, September 30, 2021

AGOA TPLs Announced

The Africa Growth and Opportunity Act ("AGOA") provides for duty-free entry of apparel assembled in the AGOA region of fabric formed in the U.S. of yarn formed in the U.S. It also provided for a Tariff Preference Level ("TPL") equal to seven percent of all U.S. apparel imports for apparel assembled in the AGOA region of fabric from the AGOA region. The Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements ("CITA"), in a notice to be published tomorrow, announces the TPL for the period October 1, 2021 through September 30, 2022 will be 2,066,936,295 square meter equivalents ("SME"). There is also a TPL for Lesser Developed Countries ("LDCs") in the AGOA region for apparel assembled in an AGOA LDC of third-country fabric. The TPL is set at 3.5 percent of all U.S. apparel imports. Today CITA announced the TPL for the 12-month period starting October 1, 2021 will be 1,033,468,148 SME.

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Contracts for Rucksacks and Coats Awarded

Propper International Inc., Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico, has been awarded a maximum $135,811,888 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the MOLLE 4000 rucksack set and related components under Lot 2 of solicitation SPE1C1-20-R-0074. This was a competitive acquisition with five responses received. This is a three-year contract with no option periods. Location of performance is Puerto Rico, with a Sept. 30, 2024, ordering period end date. Using military service is Army. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2021 through 2023 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

American Apparel Inc., Selma, Alabama, has been awarded a maximum $31,812,558 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for coats. This was a competitive acquisition with 10 responses received. This is a one-year base contract with four one-year option periods. Location of performance is Alabama, with a Sept. 28, 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 (SPE1C1-21-D-1481).

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Federal Prison Industries Wins Army Trouser Contract

Federal Prison Industries Inc., doing business as UNICOR, Washington, D.C., has been awarded a maximum $7,510,601 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for Layer 5 trousers. This was a competitive acquisition with 18 responses received. This is a one-year base contract with three one-year option periods. Locations of performance are South Carolina, and Washington, D.C., with a Sept. 27, 2022, ordering period end date. Using customer is Army. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2021 through 2022 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (SPE1C1-21-D-F074)

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Leather Oxford Dress Shoe Contract Awarded

Capps Shoe Co., Lynchburg, Virginia, has been awarded a maximum $12,075,750 modification (P00007) exercising the second one-year option period of a one-year base contract (SPE1C1-19-D-1202) with four one-year option periods for leather oxford dress shoes. This is a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. Location of performance is Virginia, with a Sept. 26, 2022, ordering period end date. Using customers are Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard. 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, September 24, 2021

AAFA Sends Letter to USTR Urging Tariff Relief

On September 23, 2021, the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA), wrote to United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai to make an urgent request for relief from the Section 301 tariffs to help thousands of U.S. companies employing millions of Americans survive the shipping crisis.

Read more HERE.

Readout of Ambassador Katherine Tai’s meeting with North Carolina Asian American Leaders

On September 23, 2021, United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai met with a group of Asian American leaders during her trip to North Carolina. Ambassador Tai detailed USTR’s efforts to develop inclusive trade policy that brings shared prosperity and economic growth to all communities. She highlighted the Biden-Harris Administration’s focus on making historic infrastructure investments to grow the economy, boost American competitiveness, and support American innovation. She also expressed her belief that trade should benefit small- and medium-sized businesses, particularly women- and minority-owned businesses.

Ambassador Tai then discussed the Administration’s efforts to work with local leaders and elected officials across the country to address the rise in discrimination and attacks on the AAPI community. Ambassador Tai pledged to work with the group to confront these challenges and identify concrete solutions to eliminate racism and bigotry.

Readout of Ambassador Katherine Tai's Roundtable Discussion with Women Leaders in the Textile Industry

On September 23, 2021, United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai participated in a roundtable discussion with women executives and managers from local textile companies. The roundtable took place after Ambassador Tai toured Milliken’s Magnolia chemical and textile finishing plant.

During the roundtable, Ambassador Tai shared the Biden-Harris Administration’s vision for expanding opportunities for local businesses, including those in the textile industry. The participants shared the experiences and challenges they’ve faced in establishing successful businesses – and how trade policy could help them expand and grow.

Ambassador Tai emphasized the need for greater gender equity and equality, and highlighted the work of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Gender Policy Council. She also discussed how USTR wants to increase direct engagement with local businesses to ensure trade policy promotes inclusive economic growth in communities like Blacksburg.

Thursday, September 23, 2021

U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai visits Milliken & Company and American & Efird in Visit Highlighting U.S. Textile Industry

On September 23, 2021, Milliken & Company and American & Efird (A&E) hosted United States Trade Representative (USTR) Ambassador Katherine Tai in two separate visits to the companies’ state-of-the-art textile manufacturing facilities, marking an unprecedented visit to the heart of the U.S. textile industry in the Carolinas by the nation’s top trade chief.

Read the National Council of Textile Organizations press release HERE.

Air Force Trouser Contract Awarded

Propper International Inc., Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico, has been awarded a maximum $7,514,162 modification (P00013) exercising the second one-year option period of a one-year base contract (SPE1C1-19-D-1198) with four one-year option periods for intermediate weather outer layer, flame resistant trousers. This is a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. Location of performance is Puerto Rico, with a Sept. 26, 2022, ordering period end date. Using military service is 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.

The Boppy Company Recalls Over 3 Million Original Newborn Loungers, Boppy Preferred Newborn Loungers and Pottery Barn Kids Boppy Newborn Loungers After 8 Infant Deaths; Suffocation Risk

Name of Product: Boppy Original Newborn Loungers, Boppy Preferred Newborn Loungers and Pottery Barn Kids Boppy Newborn Loungers

Hazard: Infants can suffocate if they roll, move, or are placed on the lounger in a position that obstructs breathing, or roll off the lounger onto an external surface, such as an adult pillow or soft bedding that obstructs breathing.

More information and photos HERE.

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

U.S. Will Pursue New Rules of Global Trade, Says Biden

In his September 21, 2021, remarks before the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, President Biden touched on international trade, saying:

"We will pursue new rules of global trade and economic growth that strive to level the playing field so that it’s not artificially tipped in favor of any one country at the expense of others and every nation has a right and the opportunity to compete fairly.

W"e will strive to ensure that basic labor rights, environmental safeguards, and intellectual property are protected and that the benefits of globalization are shared broadly throughout all our societies."

Over 100 Textile Brands Against Mulesing

Global animal welfare organisation FOUR PAWS has published a list of over 100 international textile brands that have a proactive stance against mulesing of lambs.

Read more HERE.

Complaint Alleges New Balance "Made in USA" Claim is Overstated

On September 20, 2021, the watchdog group TINA.org (Truth in Adverdertising) filed a complaint with the FTC urging the agency to open an investigation into New Balance’s deceptive made in the USA claims and take appropriate enforcement action.

Custom Proposes Change to Tariff Classification of an Unfinished Quilted Pillow Shell.

In Binding Rulihng Letter NY N236267, CBP classified an unfinished quilted pillow shell in heading 9404, HTSUS, specifically in subheading 9404.90.10, HTSUS, which provides for “[m]attress supports; articles of bedding and similar furnishing (for example, mattresses, quilts, eiderdowns, cushions, pouffes and pillows) fitted with springs or stuffed or internally fitted with any material or of cellular rubber or plastics, whether or not covered: Other: Pillows, cushions and similar furnishings: Of cotton.” The rate of duty is 5.3%

CBP has reviewed NY N236267 and has determined the ruling letter to be in error. It is now CBP’s position that the unfinished quilted pillow shell is properly classified, in heading 6307, HTSUS, specifically in subheading 6307.90.89, HTSUS, which provides for “[o]ther made up articles, including dress patterns: Other: Other: Surgical towels; cotton towels of pile or tufted construction; pillow shells, of cotton; shells for quilts, eiderdowns, comforters and similar articles of cotton.” The rate of duty is 7%.

Comments must be received on or before October 22, 2021.

See more information HERE.

AAFA Urges Biden to Take Action Now to End Shipping Crisis

On September 20, 2021, the American Apparel and Footwear Association sent a letter to President Biden from Steve Lamar, President and CEO of the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA), urging President Biden to take action now to bring an end to the shipping crisis, which is an existential threat now only to our industry but to American farmers, American manufacturers, American workers, hardworking American families, and America’s economic recovery.

Read more HERE.

AAFA Formalizes Relationship with Kenya Association of Manufacturers to Promote Economic Growth in the Apparel and Footwear Industry

On September 20, 2021, the American Apparel & Footwear Association signed a memorandum of understanding in cooperation with the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM).

Read more HERE.

Saturday, September 18, 2021

Army and Air Force Fleece Jacket Contract Awarded

Peckham Inc., Lansing, Michigan, has been awarded a maximum $36,219,300 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for fleece cold weather jackets. This is a one-year base contract with three one-year option periods. Location of performance is Michigan, with a Sept. 16, 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 (SPE1C1-21-D-N152).

Friday, September 17, 2021

The U.S. is planning a probe into Beijing’s aid for Chinese companies, with new tariffs possible

Biden Administration officials are considering launching an investigation into Chinese subsidies under Section 301 of the U.S. trade law, which could lead to new tariffs, according to people familiar with their plans.

Read more in this Wall Street Journal report.

Thursday, September 16, 2021

U.S. & Ukrainian Leaders Sign Memorandum of Understanding on Commercial Cooperation

On Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo met with Ukrainian First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Oleksiy Lyubchenko in Washington, DC to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) outlining areas of renewed cooperation on trade.

The MOU also notes U.S. support for Ukrainian efforts to improve its business and investment climate, which could help to increase U.S.-Ukraine commercial ties. The specific measures include intensifying Ukraine’s fight against corruption, increasing the effectiveness and independence of the court system, strengthening intellectual property rights protections, and implementing corporate governance reforms.

Read more HERE.

Registration is Open for the Indo-Pacific Business Forum 2021

The United States government, in partnership with the Government of India, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Confederation of Indian Industry, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the US-ASEAN Business Council, the U.S.-India Business Council, and the U.S.-India Strategic Partnership Forum, is pleased to announce registration is now open for the fourth annual Indo-Pacific Business Forum (IPBF). This year’s IPBF will be a fully virtual event held from October 28-29, 2021, with a schedule that will ensure participants from across the Indo-Pacific can join.

The IPBF advances a vision for an Indo-Pacific region that is free, open, and inclusive. Government and business leaders from the United States, India, and across the Indo-Pacific region will exchange ideas through interactive discussions based on three broad themes: economic recovery and resilience; climate action; and digital innovation. Attendees will also be able to explore regional government and business partnerships and commercial opportunities. The IPBF will showcase high-impact private sector investment and government efforts to support market competition, job growth, and high-standard development for greater prosperity and economic inclusion in the Indo-Pacific. The event will be conducted via a secure online conferencing platform.

For more information or to register CLICK HERE.

AATCC Announces 2022 C2C Student Design Competition

This year’s theme asks students to design a sustainable travel wear line that incorporates recycled materials, sustainable manufacturing, and antibacterial and/or odor-control properties. Entries are due April 5, 2022.

Read more or submit HERE.

CBP Modifies Forced Labor Finding on Top Glove Corporation Bhd.

On September 9, 2021, U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced that it has modified the forced labor Finding on Top Glove Corporation Bhd. Effective immediately, CBP will permit the importation of disposable gloves made at Top Glove facilities in Malaysia.

“CBP modified a Finding after thoroughly reviewing evidence that Top Glove has addressed all indicators of forced labor identified at its Malaysian facilities,” said CBP Acting Commissioner Troy Miller. “Top Glove’s actions in response to the Withhold Release Order, which include issuing more than $30 million in remediation payments to workers and improving labor and living conditions at the company’s facilities, suggest that CBP’s enforcement efforts provide a strong economic incentive for entities to eliminate forced labor from their supply chains.”

Read more HERE.

FTC Opens Rulemaking Petition Process, Promoting Public Participation and Accountability

At an open Commission meeting today, the Federal Trade Commission voted to make significant changes to enhance public participation the agency’s rulemaking, a significant step to increase public participation and accountability around the work of the FTC.

On September 15, 2021, the Federal Trade Commission approved a series of changes to the FTC’s Rules of Practice designed to make it easier for members of the public to petition the agency for new rules or changes to existing rules that are administered by the FTC. The changes are a key part of the work of opening the FTC’s regulatory processes to public input and scrutiny. This is a departure from the previous practice, under which the Commission had no obligation to respond to or otherwise address petitions for agency action.

“Guarding against insularity is a constant challenge for virtually all federal agencies, and ensuring that the FTC is accessible even to those who lack well-heeled counsel or personal connections is essential to our institutional credibility,” said Chair Lina M. Khan. “Congress granted the FTC the power to issue rules, equipping us with a vital tool to protect the public from harmful business practices. Interested members of the public will be able to petition the FTC to invoke its rulemaking and other authorities to advance its mission.” 

The updates to the Rules of Practice make a number of changes designed to clarify the process of submitting petitions to the FTC while also adding more opportunities for public input and accountability in the Commission’s response to the petitions it receives.

Among the changes are:

  • More clarity for those seeking to file petitions related to rulemaking with regard to information that is required with submissions, as well as guidance on the data that can be helpful to the Commission in evaluation petitions.
  • A new requirement that the Commission publish all petitions for rulemaking that it receives in the Federal Register and solicit public comment about those petitions.
  • A new requirement that the Commission provide petitioners with a specific point of contact in the agency, and that the Commission provide a response to petitioners on its decision to either act on or deny the petition.

In addition to formal rulemaking, the new changes will also apply to requests by certain parties for special exemption from FTC rules, as well as petitions related to industry guidance issued by the Commission.

Read more HERE.

Standard for the Flammability of Residential Upholstered Furniture

On September 16, 2021, the Consumer Product Safety Commission published in the Federal Register (86 FR 51639) Standard for the Flammability of Residential Upholstered Furniture; Termination of Rulemaking.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission is withdrawing its proposed rule on flammability standards for residential upholstered furniture that were published March 4, 2008 in the Federal Register. This rulemaking is no longer active because it has been superseded by the COVID–19 Regulatory Relief and Work From Home Safety Act.

On December 27, 2020, the "COVID–19 Regulatory Relief and Work From Home Safety Act," became law. Public Law 116–260. Section 2101(c) of the COVID–19 Act mandated that, 180 days after the date of enactment of the COVID–19 Act, the standard for upholstered furniture set forth by the Bureau of Electronic and Appliance Repair, Home Furnishings and Thermal Insulation of the Department of Consumer Affairs of the State of California in Technical Bulletin (TB) 117–2013 (TB 117–2013), entitled, "Requirements, Test Procedure and Apparatus for Testing the Smolder Resistance of Materials Used in Upholstered Furniture," published June 2013, "shall be considered to be a flammability standard promulgated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission under section 4 of the Flammable Fabrics Act (15 U.S.C. 1193)."

Navy, Army and Air Force Clothing Contract Awarded

M&M Manufacturing, Lajas, Puerto Rico, has been awarded a maximum $9,218,125 modification (P00021) exercising the second one-year option period of an 18-month base contract (SPE1C1-19-D-1145) with three one-year option periods for various types of blouses and coats. This is a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. Location of performance is Puerto Rico, with a Sept. 19, 2022, ordering period end date. Using military services are Navy, Army and Air Force. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2021 through 2022 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Request for Comments To Compile the National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers

On September 10 2021, the Office of the United States Trade Representative published in the Federal Register (86 FR 51436) Request for Comments To Compile the National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

National Industries for the Blind Awarded Combat Shirt Contract

The National Industries for the Blind, Alexandria, Virginia, has been awarded a maximum $15,131,686 modification (P00011) exercising the first one-year option period of a one-year base contract (SPE1C1-20-D-B090) with two one-year option periods for unisex and female advanced combat shirts. This is a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. Locations of performance are Virginia, Texas, North Carolina and New York, with a Sept. 15, 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 agency is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Thursday, September 9, 2021

CBP Will Require Continuing Education for Customs Brokers

In a Federal Register Notice scheduled to be published September 10, 2021, U.S. Customs and Border Protection proposes required Continuing Education for Licensed Customs Brokers

The continuing education requirment had be discussed for some time and formally presented to the trade in December 2020. At that time Agathon Associates submitted comments which appear to have been taken into consideration in the proposed rule,

AAFA Supports Caribbean Basin Trade Preferences, Calls for Greater Flexibity in Rules of Origin

The American Apparel and Footwear Association has submitted comments to USTR in support of Caribbean Basin preference programs "as a way to grow and augment U.S. textile, apparel, and footwear jobs, while also supporting economic growth in the region." The organizations adds that, "Meaningful growth of these industries is possible but requires that the apparel rules of origin be more flexible than they are in their current iteration."

Air Force Anti-gravity Suit Contract Awarded

Vinyl Technology, Monrovia, California, has been awarded a maximum $11,510,340 modification (P00014) exercising the second one-year option period of a one-year base contract (SPE1C1-19-D-1188) with three one-year option periods for advanced technology anti-gravity suits. This is a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. Location of performance is California, with a Sept. 16, 2022, ordering period end date. Using military service is 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, September 3, 2021

Top Consumer Shopping Trends After COVIDEco-friendly and Made in America are Top of Mind

In the CGS 2021 State of the U.S. eCommerce Consumer Survey, 1,000 U.S.consumers were surveyed to gather insights and identify trends from their shopping habits. New data reveals that consumers are gravitating toward local shopping and American-made goods, but most are still going to online marketplaces.

See the study results HERE.

Thursday, September 2, 2021

Foreign-Trade Zone 38—Spartanburg County, South Carolina; Application for Production Authority; Teijin Carbon Fibers, Inc.; (Polyacrylonitrile-based Carbon Fiber); Extension of Rebuttal Comment Period

On July 19, 2021, the Foreign Trade Zone Board published in the Federal Register (86 FR 48982) Foreign-Trade Zone 38—Spartanburg County, South Carolina; Application for Production Authority; Teijin Carbon Fibers, Inc.; (Polyacrylonitrile-based Carbon Fiber); Extension of Rebuttal Comment Period

The current rebuttal comment period pertaining to the amended application for production authority within Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 38 on behalf of Teijin Carbon Fibers, Inc., is being extended to September 10, 2021, based on a request from the applicant. The original closing of the rebuttal period had been set for September 2, 2021

This controversial FTZ application has been under consideration since 2019, as Agathon Associates previously reported.

Monday is Labor Day in the USA

Monday, September 6th, is Labor Day in the United States. National, state, and local government offices will be closed, as will most non-retail business.

In a normal year Labor Day marks end of summer. This summer was a scorcher in Boston, with two days of record high temperatures and four official heat waves (three or more consecutive days of 90 degrees or higher). I think of the men I saw, as I took an air-conditioned Uber to the swimming pool during those 90-degree plus days in July, hand-tamping hot asphalt paving under the scorching sun. As my fingers move across the keyboard now the overhead light reflects off my freshly manicured nails and the cuff links in my soft, clean, white shirt. As I think of my relative comfort I remember that I enjoy ease because other men and women are out in the summer heat and sun and winter cold doing dirty backbreaking work. And that is why we set aside the first Monday in September as Labor Day.

Of course, Labor Day honors all workers, not only those who do manual labor. But it is good to remind ourselves from time to time of the necessity of manual labor. Ordinary Americans today enjoy necessities of life, security, and even luxuries, the envy of princes in an earlier age. The bright, hardworking, and daring men and women of Wall Street and other financial markets create new and innovative ways to maximize wealth and give us the most prosperous society the world has known, and one in which wealth, is distributed more widely than ever before. In sum, our financial markets —- at least when left alone —- do a bully job of managing wealth. But they do not create wealth. Ultimately you have to make it (manufacturing), mine it (digging or drilling), or grow it (agriculture). Someone has to build houses for the economic indicators to register an increase in housing starts. Some has to drill if we are to have the oil to fuel our economy. Someone has to hoe and weed to keep Whole Foods (whole-paycheck we call it my house) stocked with the organic fruit and vegetables we love to consume.

Politicians in Washington will talk much this Labor Day weekend about the dignity of the workingmen and women of America, but the policies they enact tell a different tale. You do not respect the dignity of the workingman or woman by destroying his job.

Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps Tent Contract Awarded

Camel Manufacturing, Pioneer, Tennessee, has been awarded a maximum $8,677,665 firm-fixed-priced, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for military standard tents and components. This was a competitive acquisition with two responses received. This is a one-year base contract with four one-year option periods. Location of performance is Tennessee, with an Aug. 30, 2026, ordering period end date. Using military services are Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2021 through 2022 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (SPE1C1-21-D-1486).

Resolving Trade Barriers

A message brought to you by the Office of Textiles and Apparel (OTEXA) at the International Trade Administration. OTEXA is dedicated to increasing the international competitiveness of the U.S. textiles, apparel, footwear, and travel goods industries.

A trade barrier can be broadly defined as a foreign government policy, practice, or procedure that unfairly or unnecessarily restricts U.S. exports. The following are some common foreign government-imposed trade barriers that U.S. companies encounter abroad:

  • High or unfairly applied tariffs

  • Classification and customs barriers at the border

  • Burdensome certificate of origin or import licensing requirements

  • Unfair standards, testing, labeling, or certification requirements

  • Intellectual property rights protection problems

  • Discriminatory competition laws or unfair competition from state-owned enterprises

The Office of Trade Agreements Negotiation and Compliance (TANC) at the International Trade Administration (ITA) works to break down barriers to trade abroad and monitors and helps promote foreign government compliance with trade agreement obligations. By leveraging relevant trade agreements, ITA engages foreign governments to remove or mitigate barriers to trade as quickly as possible.

If you think you may be experiencing a trade barrier, report your issues as soon as possible.

Report a Trade Barrier Today 

 

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Notice of proposed revocation of eight ruling letters, pro- posed modification of four ruling letters, and proposed revocation of treatment relating to the tariff classification of flocked paper sets.

In Binding Rulng Letters NY K83080, NY K83204, NY K86534, NY L83248, NY I83703, NY J80696, NY L81409, NY N038315, and NY N217077, CBP classified flocked paper sets in heading 4823, HTSUS, specifically in subheading 4823.90.67, HTSUS, which provides for “Other paper, paperboard, cellulose wadding and webs of cellulose fibers, cut to size or shape; other articles of paper pulp, paper, paperboard, cellulose wadding or webs of cellulose fibers: Other: Other: Other: Of coated paper or paperboard: Other”.

In NY N099452, CBP classified the subject merchandise in subheading 4823.90.86, HTSUS, which provides for “Other paper, paperboard, cellulose wadding and webs of cellulose fibers, cut to size or shape; other articles of paper pulp, paper, paperboard, cellulose wadding or webs of cellulose fibers: Other: Other: Other: Other: Other”.

In NY G82351, CBP classified the subject merchandise in subheading 4911.91.40, HTSUS, which provides for “Other printed matter, including printed pictures and photographs: Other: Pictures, designs and photographs: Other: Other”.

Lastly, in HQ 950774, CBP classified the subject merchandise in subheading 9608.20.00, HTSUS, which provides for “Ball point pens; felt tipped and other porous-tipped pens and markers; fountain pens, stylograph pens and other pens; duplicating styli; propelling or sliding pencils (for example, mechanical pencils); pen-holders, pencil-holders and similar holders; parts (including caps and clips) of the foregoing articles, other than those of heading 9609: Felt tipped and other porous-tipped pens and markers”.

CBP has reviewed the afore-mentioned rulings and has determined the ruling letters to be in error. It is now CBP’s position that flocked paper sets are properly classified, in heading 4811, HTSUS, specifically in subheading 4811.90.90, HTSUS, which provides for “Paper, paperboard, cellulose wadding and webs of cellulose fibers, coated, impregnated, covered, surface-colored, surface-decorated or printed, in rolls or rectangular (including square) sheets, of any size, other than goods of the kind described in heading 4803, 4809 or 4810: Other paper, paperboard, cellulose wadding and webs of cellulose fibers: Other". CBP's reasoning is that the kits are “goods put up in sets for retail sale” whose essential character is imparted by the flocked paper.

Comments must be received on or before September 24, 2021.

Read more in Customs Bulletin (VOL. 55, NO. 33), August 25, 2021, beginning on Page 16.

CBP Foils Attempts to Smuggle Over $53 Million Worth of Fake Designer Products

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers assigned to the Los Angeles/Long Beach Seaport in coordination with import specialists from the Consumer Products and Mass Merchandising (CPMM) and Apparel, Footwear and Textiles (AFT) Centers of Excellence and Expertise seized 39,243 counterfeit designer products arriving in two containerized cargo shipments from China.

More information and photos HERE.

USITC Institutes Section 337 Investigation of Certain Flocked Swabs, Products Containing Flocked Swabs, and Methods of Using Same

USITC Institutes Section 337 Investigation of Certain Flocked Swabs, Products Containing Flocked Swabs, and Methods of Using Same

The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain flocked swabs, products containing flocked swabs, and methods of using 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 Copan Italia S.p.A of Brescia, Italy, and Copan Industries, Inc., of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, on July 9, 2021.  Supplements to the complaint were filed on August 16, 2021; August 19, 2021; and August 23, 2021.  The complaint, as supplemented, alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the United States and sale of certain flocked swabs, products containing flocked swabs, and methods of using same that infringe patents asserted by the complainants.  The complainants request that the USITC issue a general exclusion order, or in the alternative a limited exclusion order, and cease and desist orders. 

The USITC has identified the following as respondents in this investigation:

Han Chang Medic of Chungnam, Republic of Korea;
Wuxi NEST Biotechnology Co., Ltd. of Wuxi, Jiangsu, China;
NEST Scientific Inc. of Rahway, NJ;
NEST Scientific USA of Rahway, NJ;
Miraclean Technology Co., Ltd., of Shenzhen, Guangdong, China;
Vectornate Korea Ltd. of Jangseong, Jeonnam, Republic of Korea;
Innovative Product Brands, Inc., of Highland, CA;
Thomas Scientific, Inc., of Swedesboro, NJ;
Thomas Scientific, LLC, of Swedesboro, NJ;
Stellar Scientific, LLC, of Owings Mills, MD;
Cardinal Health, Inc., of Dublin, OH;
Ksl Biomedical, Inc., of Williamsville, NY;
Ksl Diagnostics, Inc., of Williamsville, NY;
Jiangsu Changfeng Medical Industry Co., Ltd., of Yangzhou, Jiangsu, China;<
No Borders Dental Resources, Inc., dba MediDent Supplies, of Queen Creek, AZ;<
BioTeke Corporation (Wuxi) Co., Ltd., of Wuxi, Jiangsu, China;
Fosun Pharma USA Inc. of Princeton, NJ;<
Hunan Runmei Gene Technology Co., Ltd., of Changsha, Hunan, China;
VWR International, LLC, of Radnor, PA; and
Slmp, LLC, dba StratLab Medical Products of McKinney, TX.

By instituting this investigation (337-TA-1279), 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.

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.

2021 Review of Notorious Markets for Counterfeiting and Piracy: Comment Request.

On August 30, 2021, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative published in the Federal Register (86 FR 48464) [Docket Number USTR–2021–0013] 2021 Review of Notorious Markets for Counterfeiting and Piracy: Comment Request.

SUMMARY: The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) requests comments that identify online and physical markets to be considered for inclusion in the 2021 Review of Notorious Markets for Counterfeiting and Piracy (Notorious Markets List). The Notorious Markets List identifies examples of online and physical markets that reportedly engage in and facilitate substantial copyright piracy or trademark counterfeiting. The issue focus for the 2021 Notorious Markets List will examine the adverse impact of counterfeiting on workers involved with the manufacture of counterfeit goods.

DATES: October 11, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. ET: Deadline for submission of written comments.

October 25, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. ET: Deadline for submission of rebuttal comments and other information USTR should consider during the review.

Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement: Maximizing the Use of American-Made Goods (DFARS Case 2019–D045)

On August 30, 2021, the Defense Acquisition Regulations System published in the Federal Register (86 FR 48370) Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement: Maximizing the Use of American-Made Goods (DFARS Case 2019–D045)

DoD is proposing to amend the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) to implement an Executive order regarding maximizing the use of American-made goods, products, and materials. The amendments related to recent Presidential Executive Orders strengthening the Buy American Act. The Berry Amendment which governs textile and clothing acquistions is unchnaged.

Request for Comments on Certain Products Exclusions Related to COVID–19: China’s Acts, Policies, and Practices Related to Technology Transfer, Intellectual Property, and Innovation

On August 27, 2021, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative published in the Federal Register (86 FR 48280) Request for Comments on Certain Products Exclusions Related to COVID–19: China’s Acts, Policies, and Practices Related to Technology Transfer, Intellectual Property, and Innovation.

On December 29, 2020, USTR announced the extension of 80 product exclusions on medical-care and/or COVID response products; further modifications, in the form of 19 product exclusions, to remove Section 301 duties from additional medical-care and/or COVID response products; and that USTR might consider further extensions and/or modifications as appropriate. See 85 FR 85831 (the December 29 notice).

That notice included a few textile, apparel, and headgear articles:

5210.11.4040 and 5210.11.6020, relating to certain woven fabric of cotton,

5504.10.0000, relating to rayon staple fiber,

5603.12.0090, 5603.14.9090, and 5603.92.0090, relating to certain nonwoven fabrics,

6210.10.5010 and 6210.10.5090, relating to certain disposable, one-use apparel articles for medical use, and

6505.00.8010 relating to certain disposable, nonwoven hats.

On March 10, 2021, USTR announced the extension of these 99 exclusions to September 30, 2021; and that USTR might consider further extensions and/or modifications as appropriate. See 86 FR 13785.

Army and Air Force Cold Weather Jacket Contract Awarded

M&M Manufacturing LLC, Lajas, Puerto Rico, has been awarded a maximum $17,017,866 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the soft shell, cold weather jacket. This was a competitive acquisition with four offers received. This is a one-year base contract with three one-year option periods. Location of performance is Puerto Rico, with an Aug. 26, 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 (SPE1C1-21-D-1490).

Saturday, August 21, 2021

Air Force Trousere Contract Awarded

Bremen-Bowdon Investments Co., Bowdon, Georgia, has been awarded a maximum $8,289,052 modification (P00017) exercising the fourth one-year option period of a one-year base contract (SPE1C1-17-D-1085) with four one-year option periods for men’s trousers. This is a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. Location of performance is Georgia, with an Aug. 23, 2022, performance completion date. Using military service is 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.

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Army, Air Force, and Navy Clothing Contracts Awarded

Aurora Industries LLC, Orocovis, Puerto Rico, has been awarded a maximum $18,505,878 modification (P00009) exercising the first one-year option period of a one-year base contract (SPE1C1-20-D-1283) with four one-year option periods for various types of coats. This is a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. Location of performance is Puerto Rico, with an Aug. 23, 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.

Silver Oak Leaf Inc., Alpharetta, Georgia, has been awarded a maximum $10,716,250 modification (P00014) exercising the second one-year option period of an 18-month base contract (SPE1C1-19-D-1135) with three one-year option periods for working uniform blouses and trousers. This is a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. Locations of performance are Puerto Rico and Georgia, with an Aug. 24, 2022, ordering period end date. Using military service is Navy. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2021 through 2022 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

CPSC Staff to Attend Upholstered Furniture Flammability Meetings

On August 26, 2021, Andrew Lock, Consumer Products Safety Commission Laboratory Sciences, and other staff will be attending the California Bureau of Household Goods and Services Advisory Committee Meeting to listen to the discussion of labeling requirements for upholstered furniture flammability. The meeting will be held August 26, 2021 at 1:00 p.m. EST. For more information contact Andrew Lock (preferred:alock@cpsc.gov or 301-987-2099)

From September 1-2, 2021, Andrew Lock, Consumer Product Safety Commission Laboratory Sciences, and other staff will be participating in the American Home Furnishings Associations regulatory summit to discuss upholstered furniture flammability. The meeting will be held September 1-2, 2021. For more information contact Andrew Lock (preferred:alock@cpsc.gov or 301-987-2099).

DLA Troop Support legal staff plays key role in acquisitions for COVID-19 supplies

Defence Logistics Agency Legal teams have provided custom support in pre- and post-award processes to three DLA Troop Support supply chains – clothing and textiles, construction and equipment, and medical – that provided items like personal protective equipment, antigen test kits, disposable coveralls and gowns, and other lifesaving supplies. Chief Counsel Michael Wilson's legal teams ensure multi-million dollar contract awards comply with laws and regulations such as the Trade Agreements Act and Berry Amendment. The Trade Agreements Act, for example, requires requisitions for certain dollar amounts and product types to be open to worldwide TAA partners. In the case of COVID-19, however, White House and Defense Department officials wanted to bolster the U.S. industrial base. Attorneys helped DLA submit a waiver request to the Office of the Secretary of Defense to allow DLA to provide better opportunities for U.S. companies to compete for COVID-19 contracts.

Read more HERE.