Wednesday, March 31, 2021

30 Counterfeit Items Worth Over $21K Seized by CBP Port Huron

On March 2, 2021, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Office of Field Operations at the Blue Water Bridge intercepted and seized a shipment containing 30 counterfeit designer products. The shipment was coming from Canada, and had the items been real, the MSRP for these products would have been over $21,000.

Nationwide in Fiscal Year 2020, CBP seized 26,503 shipments containing goods that violated intellectual property rights. The total estimated value of the seized goods, had they been genuine, was nearly $1.3 billion.

Read more HERE.

Apparel and Footwear from the United Kingdom on USTR List for Potential 25% Tariff

On March 31, 2021, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) published in the Federal Register (86 FR 16829) a request for written comments regarding a potential trade action in connection with the Section 301 investigation of the United Kingdom's Digital Services Tax (DST). USTR also will convene virtual public hearings and accept rebuttal comments in relation to the potential action.

Comments are due by April 30, 2021.

The United Kingdom has adopted a DST that applies a two percent tax on the revenues of certain search engines, social media platforms and online marketplaces. The United Kingdom's DST applies only to companies with digital services revenues exceeding [pound]500 million and United Kingdom digital services revenues exceeding [pound]25 million.

On January 14, 2021, based on information obtained during a investigation and the advice of the Section 301 Committee, the U.S. Trade Representative determined that the United Kingdom's DST is unreasonable or discriminatory and burdens or restricts U.S. commerce, and therefore is actionable under sections 301(b) and 304(a) of the Trade Act (19 U.S.C. 2411(b) and 2414(a))

USTR proposes to impose additional tariffs of up to 25 percent ad valorem on a list of goods from the United Kingdom.

The list published at 86 FR 16829 is quite extensive and contains the following articles of protential interest to clients of Agathon Associates.

Note: All products that are classified in the eight-digit subheadings of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) that are listed in this Annex are covered by the proposed action. The product descriptions that are contained in this Annex are provided for informational purposes only, and are not intended to delimit in any way the scope of the proposed action. Any questions regarding the scope of a particular HTSUS subheading should be referred to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. In the product descriptions, the abbreviation ``nesoi'' means ``not elsewhere specified or included''.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
      HTSUS subheading                   Product description
------------------------------------------------------------------------
6104.43.20.................  Women's or girls' dresses, knitted or
                              crocheted, of synthetic fibers, nesoi.
6201.12.20.................  Men's or boys' overcoats, carcoats, capes,
                              & similar coats of cotton, not knit or
                              crocheted, not containing 15% or more by
                              wt of down, etc.
6201.92.45.................  Men's or boys' anoraks, windbreakers & sim
                              articles nesoi, not knit/crochet, cotton,
                              not cont. 15% or more by wt of down, etc,
                              o/than rec perf outwear.
6202.12.20.................  Women's or girls' overcoats, carcoats, etc,
                              not knitted or crocheted, of cotton, not
                              containing 15% or more by weight of down,
                              etc.
6202.13.40.................  Women's or girls' overcoats, carcoats,
                              capes, cloaks and similar articles, not
                              knitted or crocheted, of man-made fibers,
                              nesoi.
6202.92.90.................  Women's/girls' anoraks, windbreakers &
                              similar articles, nt knit/crochet, cotton,
                              nt cont. 15% or more by wt of down, etc, o/
                              than rec perf outwear.
6204.43.40.................  Women's or girls' dresses, not knitted or
                              crocheted, of synthetic fibers, nesoi.
6204.44.40.................  Women's or girls' dresses, not knitted or
                              crocheted, of artificial fibers, nesoi.
6204.49.10.................  Women's or girls' dresses, not knitted or
                              crocheted, containing 70% or more by
                              weight of silk or silk waste.
6205.20.20.................  Men's or boys' shirts, not knitted or
                              crocheted, of cotton, nesoi.
6215.10.00.................  Ties, bow ties and cravats, not knitted or
                              crocheted, of silk or silk waste.
6403.59.30.................  Footwear w/outer soles and uppers of
                              leather, not covering the ankle, welt,
                              nesoi.
6403.59.90.................  Footwear w/outer soles and uppers of
                              leather, not cov. ankle, n/welt, for
                              persons other than men, youths and boys.
6403.91.30.................  Footwear w/outer soles of rubber/plastics/
                              composition leather & uppers of leather,
                              covering the ankle, welt.
6403.99.60.................  Footwear w/outer soles of rubber/plastics/
                              comp. leather & uppers of leather, n/cov.
                              ankle, n/welt, for men, youths and boys,
                              nesoi.
6404.20.40.................  Footwear w/outer soles of leather/comp.
                              leath., n/o 50% by wt. rub./plast. or rub./
                              plast./text. & 10%+ by wt. rub./plast.,
                              val. o/$2.50/pr.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Wool Yarn Put up for Retail and Certain Brassieres from India on USTR List for Potential 25% Tariff

On March 31, 2021, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) published in the Federal Register (86 FR 16824) a request for written comments regarding a potential trade action in connection with the Section 301 investigation of India's Digital Services Tax (DST). USTR also will convene virtual public hearings and accept rebuttal comments in relation to the potential action.

Comments are due by April 30, 2021.

India has adopted a DST that imposes a two percent tax on revenue generated from a broad range of digital services offered in India, including digital platform services, digital content sales, digital sales of a company’s own goods, data-related services, software-as-a- service, and several other categories of digital services. India’s DST only applies to ‘‘non-resident’’ companies.

On January 14, 2021, based on information obtained during a investigation and the advice of the Section 301 Committee, the U.S. Trade Representative determined that India's DST is unreasonable or discriminatory and burdens or restricts U.S. commerce, and therefore is actionable under sections 301(b) and 304(a) of the Trade Act (19 U.S.C. 2411(b) and 2414(a))

USTR proposes to impose additional tariffs of up to 25 percent ad valorem on a list of goods from India.

The list published at 86 FR 16824 is quite extensive and contains the articles of protential interest to clients of Agathon Associates.

Carpets and Home Textiles from Turkey on USTR List for Potential 25% Tariff

On March 31, 2021, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) published in the Federal Register (86 FR 16822) a request for written comments regarding a potential trade action in connection with the Section 301 investigation of Turkey's Digital Services Tax (DST). USTR also will convene virtual public hearings and accept rebuttal comments in relation to the potential action.

Comments are due by April 30, 2021.

Turkey has adopted a DST that applies to companies that during the previous calendar year, generated [euro]750 million or more in worldwide revenues and TRY 20 million or more in revenues deriving from the provision of digital services in Turkey.

On January 14, 2021, based on information obtained during a investigation and the advice of the Section 301 Committee, the U.S. Trade Representative determined that Turkey's DST is unreasonable or discriminatory and burdens or restricts U.S. commerce, and therefore is actionable under sections 301(b) and 304(a) of the Trade Act (19 U.S.C. 2411(b) and 2414(a))

USTR proposes to impose additional tariffs of up to 25 percent ad valorem on a list of goods from Turkey.

The list published at 86 FR 16822 is quite extensive and contains the following articles of protential interest to clients of Agathon Associates.

Note: All products that are classified in the eight-digit subheadings of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) that are listed in this Annex are covered by the proposed action. The product descriptions that are contained in this Annex are provided for informational purposes only, and are not intended to delimit in any way the scope of the proposed action. Any questions regarding the scope of a particular HTSUS subheading should be referred to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. In the product descriptions, the abbreviation ``nesoi'' means ``not elsewhere specified or included''.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
      HTSUS subheading                   Product description
------------------------------------------------------------------------
5701.10.16.................  Carpets & other textile floor coverings,
                              hand-knotted or hand-inserted, w/ov 50% by
                              weight of the pile of fine animal hair,
                              nesoi.
5701.10.40.................  Carpets and other textile floor coverings,
                              of wool or fine animal hair, hand-hooked
                              (tufts were inserted and knotted by hand
                              or hand tool).
5701.10.90.................  Carpets and other textile floor coverings,
                              of wool or fine animal hair, not hand-
                              hooked, not hand knotted during weaving.
5701.90.10.................  Carpet and other textile floor covering,
                              knotted, of text. materials (not wool/
                              hair) nesoi, pile inserted & knotted
                              during weaving or knitting.
5702.10.90.................  Kelem, Schumacks, Karamanie and similar
                              hand-woven rugs, other than certified hand-
                              loomed and folklore products.
5702.31.10.................  Wilton, velvet and like floor coverings of
                              pile construction, woven, not tufted or
                              flocked, not made up, of wool or fine
                              animal hair.
5702.31.20.................  Carpets and other textile floor coverings
                              of pile construction, woven, not tufted or
                              flocked, not made up, of wool/fine animal
                              hair, nesoi.
5702.42.10.................  Wilton, velvet and like floor coverings of
                              pile construction, woven, not tufted or
                              flocked, made up, of man-made textile
                              materials.
5702.49.10.................  Carpets not other textile floor coverings
                              of pile construction, woven, not tufted or
                              flocked, made up, of cotton.
5702.92.10.................  Hand-loomed carpet & other textile floor
                              coverings, not of pile construction,
                              woven, made up, of man-made textile
                              materials, nesoi.
5702.92.90.................  Carpet & other textile floor coverings, not
                              of pile construction, woven, made up, of
                              man-made textile materials, nesoi.
5702.99.05.................  Hand-loomed carpets and other textile floor
                              coverings, not of pile construction,
                              woven, made up, of cotton.
5702.99.15.................  Carpets and other textile floor coverings,
                              not of pile construction, woven, made up,
                              of cotton, nesoi.
5703.20.20.................  Carpets and other textile floor coverings,
                              tufted, whether or not made up, of nylon
                              or other polyamides, nesoi.
5703.30.80.................  Carpets & other textile floor coverings,
                              tufted, whether or not made up, of man-
                              made textile materials (not nylon/other
                              polyamides), nesoi.
5703.90.00.................  Carpets and other textile floor coverings,
                              tufted, whether or not made up, of other
                              textile materials nesoi.
6302.22.20.................  Bed linen, not knitted or crocheted,
                              printed, of manmade fibers, nesoi.
6302.32.20.................  Bed linen, not knitted or crocheted, not
                              printed, of manmade fibers, nesoi.
6303.91.00.................  Curtains (including drapes), interior
                              blinds and valances of cotton, not knitted
                              or crocheted.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Travel Goods, Apparel of Wool, Cashmere, or Other Fibers, and Footwear from Italy on USTR List for Potential 25% Tariff

On March 31, 2021, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) published in the Federal Register (86 FR 16819) a request for written comments regarding a potential trade action in connection with the Section 301 investigation of Italy's Digital Services Tax (DST). USTR also will convene virtual public hearings and accept rebuttal comments in relation to the potential action.

Comments are due by April 30, 2021.

Italy has adopted a DST that applies to companies that during the previous calendar year, generated [euro]750 million or more in worldwide revenues and [euro]5.5 million or more in revenues deriving from the provision of digital services in Italy.

On January 14, 2021, based on information obtained during a investigation and the advice of the Section 301 Committee, the U.S. Trade Representative determined that Italy's DST is unreasonable or discriminatory and burdens or restricts U.S. commerce, and therefore is actionable under sections 301(b) and 304(a) of the Trade Act (19 U.S.C. 2411(b) and 2414(a))

USTR proposes to impose additional tariffs of up to 25 percent ad valorem on a list of goods from Italy.

The list published at 86 FR 16819 is quite extensive and contains the following articles of protential interest to clients of Agathon Associates.

Note: All products that are classified in the eight-digit subheadings of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) that are listed in this Annex are covered by the proposed action. The product descriptions that are contained in this Annex are provided for informational purposes only, and are not intended to delimit in any way the scope of the proposed action. Any questions regarding the scope of a particular HTSUS subheading should be referred to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. In the product descriptions, the abbreviation ``nesoi'' means ``not elsewhere specified or included''.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
      HTSUS subheading                   Product description
------------------------------------------------------------------------
4202.29.10.................  Handbags w. or w/o shld. strap or w/o
                              handle of mat. (o/t leather, shtng. of
                              plas., tex. mat., vul. fib. or paperbd.),
                              paper cov., of plas.
4202.29.50.................  Handbags w. or w/o shld. strap or w/o
                              handle of mat. (o/t leather, shtng. of
                              plas., tex. mat., vul. fib. or paperbd.),
                              pap.cov.,of mat. nesoi.
4202.29.90.................  Handbags with or without shoulder straps or
                              without handle, with outer surface of
                              vulcanized fiber or of paperboard, not
                              covered with paper.
4202.31.30.................  Articles of a kind normally carried in the
                              pocket or handbag, with outer surface of
                              reptile leather.
4203.29.30.................  Men's gloves, mittens and mitts of leather
                              or composition leather, nesoi, seamed.
4203.29.40.................  Gloves, mittens and mitts of leather or
                              composition leather, nesoi, not lined, for
                              persons other than men.
4203.29.50.................  Gloves, mittens and mitts of leather or
                              composition leather, nesoi, lined, for
                              persons other than men.
6103.10.10.................  Men's or boys' suits, knitted or crocheted,
                              of wool or fine animal hair.
6103.31.00.................  Men's or boys' suit-type jackets and
                              blazers, knitted or crocheted, of wool or
                              fine animal hair.
6103.32.00.................  Men's or boys' suit-type jackets and
                              blazers, knitted or crocheted, of cotton.
6103.33.20.................  Men's or boys' suit-type jackets and
                              blazers, knitted or crocheted, of
                              synthetic fibers, nesoi.
6103.39.80.................  Men's or boys' suit-type jackets and
                              blazers, of textile mats, (except wool,
                              cotton, or mmf), cont less than 70% by wt
                              of silk, knitted/croc.
6104.31.00.................  Women's or girls' suit-type jackets and
                              blazers, knitted or crocheted, of wool or
                              fine animal hair.
6104.32.00.................  Women's or girls' suit-type jackets and
                              blazers, knitted or crocheted, of cotton.
6104.33.20.................  Women's or girls' suit-type jackets and
                              blazers, knitted or crocheted, of
                              synthetic fibers, nesoi.
6110.30.10.................  Sweaters, pullovers, sweatshirts and
                              similar articles, knitted or crocheted, of
                              man-made fibers, cont. 25% or more by
                              weight of leather.
6117.80.20.................  Ties, bow ties and cravats, containing 70%
                              or more by weight of silk or silk waste,
                              knitted or crocheted.
6117.80.87.................  Ties, bow ties and cravats, containing
                              under 70% by weight of silk or silk waste,
                              knitted or crocheted.
6117.80.95.................  Made up clothing accessories (excl shawl,
                              scarve, and like, tie, cravat, headband,
                              ponytail holder and like), cont < 70% wt
                              of silk, k/c.
6203.19.10.................  Men's or boys' suits, not knitted or
                              crocheted, of cotton.
6203.31.90.................  Men's or boys' suit-type jackets and
                              blazers, of wool or fine animal hair, not
                              knitted or crocheted.
6203.32.10.................  Men's or boys' suit-type jackets and
                              blazers, not knitted or crocheted, of
                              cotton, containing 36 percent or more of
                              flax fibers.
6203.32.20.................  Men's or boys' suit-type jackets and
                              blazers, not knitted or crocheted, of
                              cotton, under 36% by weight of flax.
6203.33.10.................  Men's or boys' suit-type jackets and
                              blazers, not knitted or crocheted, of
                              synthetic fibers, cont. 36% or more of
                              wool or fine animal hair.
6203.33.20.................  Men's or boys' suit-type jackets and
                              blazers, not knitted or crocheted, of
                              synthetic fibers, under 36% by weight of
                              wool.
6203.39.10.................  Men's or boys' suit-type jackets and
                              blazers, of artificial fibers, containing
                              36% or more by weight of wool or fine
                              animal hair, not k/c.
6203.39.20.................  Men's or boys' suit-type jackets and
                              blazers, not knitted or crocheted, of
                              artificial fibers, under 36% by weight of
                              wool.
6203.39.50.................  Men's or boys' suit-type jackets and
                              blazers, of textile materials (except
                              wool, cotton or mmf), cont 70% or more by
                              weight of silk, not k/c.
6203.39.90.................  Men's or boys' suit-type jackets and
                              blazers, of text materials (except wool,
                              cotton or mmf), containing under 70% by
                              weight of silk, not k/c.
6204.31.10.................  Women's or girls' suit-type jackets &
                              blazers, of wool or fine animal hair, not
                              knitted or crocheted, cont. 30% or more of
                              silk/silk waste.
6204.31.20.................  Women's or girls' suit-type jackets and
                              blazers, of wool or fine animal hair, not
                              knitted or crocheted, under 30% by weight
                              of silk.
6204.32.20.................  Women's or girls' suit-type jackets and
                              blazers, of cotton, not knitted or
                              crocheted, under 36% flax.
6204.33.10.................  Women's or girls' suit-type jackets and
                              blazers, not knitted or crocheted, of
                              synthetic fibers, cont. 30% or more of
                              silk/silk waste.
6204.33.40.................  Women's or girls' suit-type jackets &
                              blazers, not knitted or crocheted, of
                              synthetic fibers, cont. 36% or more of
                              wool or fine animal hair.
6204.33.50.................  Women's or girls' suit-type jackets and
                              blazers, not knitted or crocheted, of
                              synthetic fibers, nesoi.
6204.39.20.................  Women's or girls' suit-type jackets &
                              blazers, not knitted or crocheted, of
                              artificial fibers, cont. 36% or more of
                              wool or fine animal hair.
6204.39.30.................  Women's or girls' suit-type jackets and
                              blazers, not knitted or crocheted, of
                              artificial fibers, under 36% by weight of
                              wool.
6204.39.60.................  Women's or girls' suit-type jackets and
                              blazers, not knitted/crocheted, of textile
                              materials nesoi, cont. 70% + of silk or
                              silk waste.
6204.39.80.................  Women's or girls' suit-type jackets and
                              blazers, not knitted or crocheted, of
                              textile materials nesoi.
6211.39.03.................  Rec perf outwear, men's or boys' track
                              suits or other garments nesoi, not knitted
                              or crocheted, of wool or fine animal hair.
6211.39.30.................  Men's or boys' track suits or other
                              garments nesoi, not knitted or crocheted,
                              of wool or fine animal hair, o/than rec
                              perf outwear.
6215.10.00.................  Ties, bow ties and cravats, not knitted or
                              crocheted, of silk or silk waste.
6215.20.00.................  Ties, bow ties and cravats, not knitted or
                              crocheted, of man-made fibers.
6215.90.00.................  Ties, bow ties and cravats, not knitted or
                              crocheted, of textile materials nesoi.
6403.59.60.................  Footwear w/outer soles and uppers of
                              leather, not cov. ankle, n/welt, for men,
                              youths and boys.
6403.91.60.................  Footwear w/outer soles of rubber/plastics/
                              composition leather & uppers of leather,
                              covering the ankle, n/welt, for men,
                              youths and boys.
6403.91.90.................  Footwear w/outer soles of rubber/plastics/
                              comp. leather & uppers of leather, cov.
                              ankle, n/welt, for persons other than men/
                              youths/boys.
6404.20.40.................  Footwear w/outer soles of leather/comp.
                              leath., n/o 50% by wt. rub./plast. or rub./
                              plast./text. & 10%+ by wt. rub./plast.,
                              val. o/$2.50/pr.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Textiles from Austria on USTR List for Potential 25% Tariff

On March 31, 2021, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) published in the Federal Register (86 FR 16816) a request for written comments regarding a potential trade action in connection with the Section 301 investigation of Austria's Digital Services Tax (DST). USTR also will convene virtual public hearings and accept rebuttal comments in relation to the potential action.

Comments are due by April 30, 2021.

Austria has adopted a DST that imposes a 5% tax on gross revenues from digital advertising services provided in Austria. The DST applies only to companies with annual global revenues of [euro]750 million or more, and annual revenues from digital advertising services in Austria of [euro]25 million or more.

On January 14, 2021, based on information obtained during a investigation and the advice of the Section 301 Committee, the U.S. Trade Representative determined that Austria's DST is unreasonable or discriminatory and burdens or restricts U.S. commerce, and therefore is actionable under sections 301(b) and 304(a) of the Trade Act (19 U.S.C. 2411(b) and 2414(a))

USTR proposes to impose additional tariffs of up to 25 percent ad valorem on a list of goods from Austria.

The list published at 86 FR 16816 is quite extensive and contains the following articles of protential interest to clients of Agathon Associates.

Note: All products that are classified in the eight-digit subheadings of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) that are listed in this Annex are covered by the proposed action. The product descriptions that are contained in this Annex are provided for informational purposes only, and are not intended to delimit in any way the scope of the proposed action. Any questions regarding the scope of a particular HTSUS subheading should be referred to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. In the product descriptions, the abbreviation ``nesoi'' means ``not elsewhere specified or included''.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
      HTSUS subheading                   Product description
------------------------------------------------------------------------
5209.12.00.................  Unbleached 3- or 4-thread twill fabrics of
                              cotton, including cross twill, 85 percent
                              or more cotton by weight, weighing more
                              than 200 g/m2.
5402.49.91.................  Other yarns, monofil; multifil, untwisted
                              or twisted > or = to 5, not exceeding 50
                              turns per meter of other synthetic, not
                              for retail sale.
5404.19.10.................  Racket strings of synthetic monofilament of
                              67 decitex or more and of which no cross-
                              sectional dimension exceeds 1 mm.
5404.19.80.................  Synthetic monofilament (exc.
                              polypropylene), of 67 decitex or more and
                              with no cross-sectional dimension > 1 mm,
                              nesoi.
5603.94.10.................  Nonwoven floor covering underlays (not of
                              man-made filaments), weighing >150 g/
                              square m, whether or not impreg, coated,
                              cov or laminated.
5603.94.90.................  Nonwovens nesoi (not of man-made
                              filaments), weighing >150 g/square m,
                              whether or not impregnated, coated,
                              covered but not laminated.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Travel Goods, Footwear, and Hats from Spain on USTR List for Potential 25% Tariff

On March 31, 2021, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) published in the Federal Register (86 FR 16813) a request for written comments regarding a potential trade action in connection with the Section 301 investigation of Spain's Digital Services Tax (DST). USTR also will convene virtual public hearings and accept rebuttal comments in relation to the potential action.

Comments are due by April 30, 2021.

Spain has adopted a DST that applies a three percent tax on certain digital services revenues related to online advertising services, online intermediary services, and data transmission services. Companies with worldwide revenues of [euro]750 million or more and [euro] million in certain digital services revenues are subject to the DST.

Based on information obtained during an investigation, USTR prepared a comprehensive report on Spain's DST (Spain DST Report). The Spain DST Report is posted on the USTR website at https://ustr.gov/issue-areas/enforcement/section-301-investigations/section-301-digital-services-taxes. The report includes a full description of Spain's DST, and supports findings that Spain's DST is unreasonable and discriminatory and burdens or restricts U.S commerce.

USTR proposes to impose additional tariffs of up to 25 percent ad valorem on a list of goods from Spain.

The list published at 86 FR 16813 is quite extensive and contains the following articles of protential interest to clients of Agathon Associates.

Note: All products that are classified in the eight-digit subheadings of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) that are listed in this Annex are covered by the proposed action. The product descriptions that are contained in this Annex are provided for informational purposes only, and are not intended to delimit in any way the scope of the proposed action. Any questions regarding the scope of a particular HTSUS subheading should be referred to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. In the product descriptions, the abbreviation ``nesoi'' means ``not elsewhere specified or included''.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
      HTSUS subheading                   Product description
------------------------------------------------------------------------
4202.21.90.................  Handbags, with or without shoulder strap or
                              without handle, with outer surface of
                              leather, composition or patent leather,
                              nesoi, over $20 ea.
4202.22.15.................  Handbags, with or without shoulder straps
                              or without handle, with outer surface of
                              sheeting of plastics.
4203.30.00.................  Belts and bandoliers with or without
                              buckles, of leather or of composition
                              leather.
6402.99.31.................  Footwear w/outer soles & uppers of rubber
                              or plastics, nesoi, n/cov. ankle, w/ext.
                              surf. of uppers o/90% rubber or plastics,
                              nesoi.
6403.51.30.................  Footwear w/outer soles and uppers of
                              leather, nesoi, covering the ankle, welt.
6403.51.60.................  Footwear w/outer soles and uppers of
                              leather, nesoi, covering the ankle, n/
                              welt, for men, youths and boys.
6403.51.90.................  Footwear w/outer soles and uppers of
                              leather, nesoi, covering the ankle, n/
                              welt, for persons other than men, youths
                              and boys.
6403.59.15.................  Turn or turned footwear w/outer soles and
                              uppers of leather, not covering the ankle.
6403.59.30.................  Footwear w/outer soles and uppers of
                              leather, not covering the ankle, welt,
                              nesoi.
6403.59.60.................  Footwear w/outer soles and uppers of
                              leather, not cov. ankle, n/welt, for men,
                              youths and boys.
6403.59.90.................  Footwear w/outer soles and uppers of
                              leather, not cov. ankle, n/welt, for
                              persons other than men, youths and boys.
6403.91.90.................  Footwear w/outer soles of rubber/plastics/
                              comp. leather & uppers of leather, cov.
                              ankle, n/welt, for persons other than men/
                              youths/boys.
6403.99.60.................  Footwear w/outer soles of rubber/plastics/
                              comp. leather & uppers of leather, n/cov.
                              ankle, n/welt, for men, youths and boys,
                              nesoi.
6403.99.90.................  Footwear w/outer soles of rubber/plastics/
                              comp. leather & uppers of leather, n/cov.
                              ankle, for women/child./infants, val. over
                              $2.50/pair.
6404.19.39.................  Footwear w/outer sole rub./plast. & upp.
                              textile, nesoi, w/open toes/heels or slip-
                              on, >10% by wt. rub./plast. not subj note
                              5 ch 64.
6404.20.40.................  Footwear w/outer soles of leather/comp.
                              leath., n/o 50% by wt. rub./plast. or rub./
                              plast./text. & 10%+ by wt. rub./plast.,
                              val. o/$2.50/pr.
6404.20.60.................  Footwear w/outer soles of leather/comp.
                              leather & uppers of textile, nesoi.
6405.90.90.................  Footwear, nesoi, w/outer soles and uppers o/
                              than leather or comp. leather, not
                              disposable.
6504.00.60.................  Hats and headgear, plaited or assembled
                              from strips of veg. fibers or unspun
                              fibrous veg. materials and/or paper yarn,
                              not sewed.
6505.00.04.................  Hats and headgear of fur felt made from hat
                              forms and hat bodies of 6501.
6505.00.08.................  Hats and headgear made from hat forms and
                              hat bodies of 6501, except of fur felt.
6505.00.15.................  Hats and headgear, of cotton and/or flax,
                              knitted.
6505.00.30.................  Hats and headgear, of wool, knitted or
                              crocheted or made up from knitted or
                              crocheted fabric.
6505.00.60.................  Hats and headgear, of man-made fibers,
                              knitted or crocheted or made up from
                              knitted or crocheted fabrics, not in part
                              of braid.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Face Cover Contract Awarded

String King Lacrosse LLC, Gardena, California, has been awarded a maximum $22,111,247 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract under solicitation SPE1C1-21-R-0040 for Lot 3 multi-ply face covers. This was a competitive acquisition with 36 offers received. This is a one-year base contract with no option periods. Location of performance is California, with a March 29, 2022, ordering period end date. Using customer is Department of Health and Human Services. 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-1463).

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Notice of Finding That Certain Disposable Gloves Produced in Malaysia With the Use of Convict, Forced or Indentured Labor Are Being, or Are Likely To Be, Imported Into the United States

On March 29, 2021, U.S. Customs and Border Protection published in the Federal Register (86 FR 16380) notice thatcertain disposable gloves, have been mined, produced, or manufactured in Malaysia by Top Glove Corporation Bhd with the use of convict, forced or indentured labor, and are being, or are likely to be, imported into the United States.

Friday, March 26, 2021

Army Boot Contract Awarded

McRae Industries Inc., Mt. Gilead, North Carolina, has been awarded a maximum $15,319,020 modification (P00009) exercising the third one-year option period of a one-year base contract (SPE1C1-18-D-1034) with four one-year option periods for temperate-weather coyote boots. This is a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. Location of performance is North Carolina, with a March 29, 2022, ordering period end date. Using military service 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.

Army and Air Force Parka Contract Awarded

Tennier Industries Inc., Delray Beach, Florida, has been awarded a $14,884,350 modification (P00007) exercising the second one-year option period of a one-year base contract (SPE1C1-19-D-1155) with two one-year option periods for parkas. This is a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. Locations of performance are Florida and Alabama, with an April 7, 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.

Contracts Awarded for Multi-Ply Face Covers

Parkdale Advanced Materials Inc., Gastonia, North Carolina (SPE1C1-21-D-1457, $20,504,164); and HC Contracting Inc., New York, New York (SPE1C1-21-D-1460, $20,504,164), have each been awarded a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract under solicitation SPE1C1-21-R-0040 for LOT 1 and LOT 2 multi-ply face covers. These were competitive acquisitions with 32 offers received. These are one-year base contracts with no option periods. Locations of performance are New York, Georgia and North Carolina, with a March 25, 2022, ordering period end date. Using customer is Department of Health and Human Services. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2021 through 2022 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Section 301 Tariffs on China: Analysis and Guidance

Section 301 Tariffs on China: Analysis and Guidance

 

prepared

 

March 23, 2021

 

by

 

David Trumbull, Agathon Associates

Glenn Page, Foreign Trade Zone Solutions LLC

 

The U.S. Section 301 tariffs on China have been a burden on many U.S. business since implemented by the Trump administration in 2018.  As a new administration settles in  Washington, the tariffs do not appear to be going away anytime soon. The good news is there are tariff mitigation strategies that can be employed to avoid or reduce the tariffs altogether.

 

China's history on employing unfair trade practices is well-established. Early in the Trump administration, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative,(USTR) conducted an investigation concerning these unfair trade allegations by China under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974.  As a result of that investigation, it was discovered that China routinely engages in unfair trade acts and policies, utilizes cyber practices to steal U.S. intellectual property, and imposes grossly unfair innovation and technology transfer mandates upon U.S businesses operating in China.  To address those findings, the United States imposed tariffs on products from China. Many classes of merchandise were made subject to 25% Section 301 tariff. As of now, it appears the President Biden has no near-term plans to eliminate or modify the tariffs.

 

If your company imports from China and is incurring the 25% tariff, on top of the general rate of duty, you know, first-hand, that this tariff action, however well-intended and needed, is imposing considerable collateral damage on U.S. businesses. You probably have questions such as--

 

Will President Biden eliminate or modify the tariffs?

 

It appears that the Biden Administration agrees that the investigation under the previous Administration has established China's bad behavior and has justified the Section 301 tariff action. In the President's Trade Policy Agenda, released March 1, 2021, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative stated: "The Biden Administration is committed to using all available tools to take on the range of China’s unfair trade practices that continue to harm U.S. workers and businesses." Following her February 25, 2021, Senate hearing confirmation hearing Biden nominee for United States Trade Representative, Katherine Tai, stated the Biden Administration's commitment to "work with Congress to ensure that those tariffs are appropriately responsive to China's practices and consider the impact on U.S. businesses, workers and consumers."[1] Clearly, these are not the words on an Administration that plans to repudiate the China tariffs. However, it also appears to leave open the question of possible re-opening of the exclusion process, which allows for businesses to request from the USTR a waiver or removal of certain articles of merchandise that have been identified and targeted by the USTR for higher tariffs.  This can be accomplished by application to the USTR with a persuasive line of reasoning why certain items should be excluded from the Section 301.   

 

 

So far, the Biden Administration sole action relating to the China tariff was a notice on March 5, 2021[2], of the U.S. Trade Representative's determination to extend certain product exclusions on medical-care and/or COVID response products through September 30, 2021. Even in this action the Biden Administration was continuing the policy of the Trump Administration which on December 23, 2020[3], extended through those exclusions, set to expire December 31, 2020, through March 31, 2021.

 

 

Can I get the products I import off the list for tariffs?

 

At this time, there is no mechanism for removing classes of articles from the tariff action or excluding specific articles. The USTR received a total of 52,746 exclusion requests, of these, 6,804 (13%) were granted and 45,942 (87%) were denied.[4] The exclusion process was criticized by many for lack of transparency. Senator John Cornyn (Rep., Texas) asked USTR nominee Katherine Tai whether she would "consider reinstating the process for product exclusions and those that had previously received such exclusions?" Her reply was--

 

China's track record of using unfair practices to acquire U.S. technology, to the detriment of U.S. innovators and workers, is well-established. In the last administration, USTR conducted an investigation against unfair trade practices in China under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 and found that China engages in unfair trade acts policies and practices related to intellectual property, innovation and technology transfer. To address those findings, the United States imposed tariffs on products from China. If confirmed, I will work with Congress to ensure that those tariffs are appropriately responsive to China’s practices and consider the impact on U.S. businesses, workers and consumers.

 

 


Is there any other way I can get out from under this financial burden?

 

There are some strategies for mitigating Section 301 China tariffs. Please note that in the examples given below all reference to specific companies and their plans are based solely on public information; no business confidential information has been used in compiling these examples.

 

 

 

1.         Verify that the merchandise you import is subject to the tariff.

 

The Section 301 tariffs are applied based on the eight-digit classification of the merchandise in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States ("HTSUS"). The first thing we do for a client facing a Section 301 tariff is to determine whether they have been using the correct classification. we have helped clients avoid the tariff by establishing the correct classification. In a case where they have already paid the tariff due to misclassification it is often possible to get refund from Customs.

 

2.         Move a critical part out of China.

 

Getting out of China completely may not be an option. Investments and partnerships have been made. Re-creating factories and the rest of the supply chain in other country can be expensive and may take months or years. The good news is that it may not be necessary to get completely out of China to get out from under the China tariffs.

 

Determining the country of origin of merchandise is complex. The U.S. customs regulations make an important distinction between merchandise made in a particular country and merchandise merely assembled in a particular country. When components from two or more countries are assembled in one country, the country of assembly is not necessarily the country of origin. Rather, Customs may look to all the components that make up the finished article and determine what is the single component that defines what the article is. The origin of that one component may be the origin of the finished article, even if the last assembly operation was in China and used Chinese components.

 

An Example

 

On September 24, 2020, U.S. Customs and Border Protection determined the country of origin of Yamaha Motor Corporation, USA motorized bicycles assembled in China from components made in China, Japan, and Taiwan. The frame was made in Taiwan. CBP has consistently found that the essence of a bicycle is its frame. Therefore, CBP ruled that the country of origin of the Yamaha motorized bicycles was Taiwan, not subject to the China Section 301 tariff of 25% on motorized bicycles of classification 8711.60.0090, even though the bicycles were assembled in China and had substantial Chinese-origin content.[5]

 

3.         Get out of China

 

Some manufacturing does not require a large investment in plant and equipment and can be more easily relocated. For example, to produce hats and other head coverings of textile materials all you need is some sewing machines to assemble hats from cut fabric and machines to knit hats.

 

In 2018, prior to the Section 301 tariffs, China dominated U.S. imports of hats, accounting for 75% of all U.S. imports of hats. There were just six other nations that had at least one percent of the share, and the rest of the world, collectively, accounted for just two percent.

 

With the 25% Section 301 tariff in place in 2019, China dropped to 67%, Vietnam and Bangladesh each had significant growth, there were nine nations, in addition to China, that each had at least one percent of the trade, and the rest of the world grew to a collective three percent.

The year 2020 brought the pandemic and overall reduced demand for hats. The biggest loser was China, with dropped to 59% of all shipments. Trade further diversified, with 11 individual nations each accounting for at least one percent of trade, and the rest of the world, collectively, accounting for four percent.

 

Not only did the tariff on China diversify the import supply chain, but it also resulted in some hat production returning the U.S.

 

4.         File for an exclusion

 

As noted above, there is no exclusion process now. The former process, which is closed, was criticized for lack of transparency. It also resulted in an 87% denial rate. We filed requests relating to nine articles, three of which (33%) were approved. Should an opportunity for filing exclusions open, we shall be happy to discuss your potential petition.

 

5.         Establish a Foreign-Trade Zone ("FTZ")

 

An FTZ is a federally-designated physical location within the United States (including U.S. territories) which for Customs purposes, and Customs purposes only, is considered to be outside the Customs Territory of the U.S. When merchandise enters an FTZ no import duty is collection. Duty because due when the merchandise leaves the FTZ to enter the commerce of the U.S. That means that merchandise entered into an FTZ and subsequently re-exported (whether or not advanced in condition, never enters the Customs Territory of the U.S. and, therefore, is never subject to U.S. import duty[6].

 

An Example

 

On October 24, 2018, Panasonic Eco Solutions Solar New York America (PESSNY) submitted an application to the FTZ Board in Washington, D.C. for its facility in Buffalo, New York, where they manufacture crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells, using imported silicon wafers and silver paste. These two materials to be used in the production of the solar cells are classifiable under 8-digit HTSUS subheadings included in the Federal Register Notice of September 21, 2018 published by the U.S. Trade Representative, which set a 25% tariff, in addition to regular tariffs, on these articles from China.

 

On April 2, 2019, PESSNY received approval from the FTZ Board. Now they can enter silicon wafers and silver paste into the FTZ and pay no import duty. When they subsequently export, they never pay the duty.

 

Financial details of PESSNY's savings are confidential, but the 2019 Annual Report of the Foreign-Trade Zones Board to the Congress of the United States provides a range.

 

In 2019 PESSNY received into the FTZ $25 to $50 million of merchandise, of which $10 to $25 million was subsequently exported, and not subject to the 25% tariff on Chinese goods. Recall that they got FTZ approval after the first quarter of 2019; full-year savings may be even higher.

 

PESSNY also avoids duty on foreign-status components which become scrap/waste in the FTZ.

 

An initial analysis of your businesses’ import patterns is offered free of charge.  This preliminary assessment will allow us to determine the best strategy to utilize if it’s established your business can benefit from any of the above mentioned opportunities. Contact Glenn at glenn@foreigntradezonesolutions.com or David david@agathonassociates.com or by calling David at 617-285-6004 or Glenn at 603-957-8247.



[2] See 86 FR 13785, March 10, 2021.

[3] See 85 FR 85831, December 29, 2020.

[5] See in Binding Ruling Letter HQ H312767

[6] Note, there are restrictions regarding merchandise that has been advanced in condition and subsequently re-exported to Canada or Mexico.

Department of Defense Textile and Clothing Contracts Awarded

East Texas Lighthouse for the Blind, doing business as Horizon Industries, Tyler, Texas, has been awarded a maximum $18,000,000 fixed-price with economic-price-adjustment for fibrous cords. This is a one-year base contract with four one-year option periods. Location of performance is Texas, with a March 24, 2022, ordering period end date. Using military service 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 (SPE8EG-21-D-0132).

Peckham Vocational Industries, Lansing, Michigan, has been awarded a maximum $10,868,946 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for mid-weight drawers. This is a one-year base contract with two one-year option periods. Location of performance is Michigan, with a March 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 (SPE1C1-21-D-N143).

Monday, March 22, 2021

Navy Fleece Liner Contract Awarded

BestWork Industries for the Blind Inc., Cherry Hill, New Jersey, has been awarded a maximum $7,813,750 modification (P00009) exercising the second one-year option period of a one-year base contract (SPE1C1-19-D-B058) with two one-year option periods for various types of fleece liners. This is a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. Location of performance is New Jersey, with a March 22, 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.

Foreign Ministers’ joint statement on Xinjiang

On March 22, 2021, the Foreign Ministers of Canada and the United Kingdom, and the United States Secretary of State issued this statement:

"[We] are united in our deep and ongoing concern regarding China’s human rights violations and abuses in Xinjiang. The evidence, including from the Chinese Government’s own documents, satellite imagery, and eyewitness testimony is overwhelming. China’s extensive program of repression includes severe restrictions on religious freedoms, the use of forced labour, mass detention in internment camps, forced sterilisations, and the concerted destruction of Uyghur heritage.

“Today, we have taken coordinated action on measures, in parallel to measures by the European Union, that send a clear message about the human rights violations and abuses in Xinjiang. We are united in calling for China to end its repressive practices against Uyghur Muslims and members of other ethnic and religious minority groups in Xinjiang, and to release those arbitrarily detained.

“We underline the importance of transparency and accountability and call on China to grant the international community, including independent investigators from the United Nations, journalists, and foreign diplomats, unhindered access to Xinjiang.

“We will continue to stand together to shine a spotlight on China’s human rights violations. We stand united and call for justice for those suffering in Xinjiang.”

AAFA Sends 2021 Trade Priorities to USTR

On March 18, 2021, the American Apparel and Footwear Association sent a letter to the U.S. Trade Representative listing the pressing trade matters for the industry.

Friday, March 19, 2021

Registration is Open for Univ. of Rhode Island Spring Splash: Virtually Yours

A Virtual Student Fashion Event

It's the event of year! The University of Rhode Island Department of Textiles, Fashion Merchandising, and Design ("TMD") cordially invites you to Spring Splash: Virtually Yours on Sunday, April 25 at 5:00pm.

Traditionally a runway show debuting one-of-a-kind apparel designed by talented TMD students, this year you will be treated to an unforgettable virtual show with expanded content. This will include a behind-the-scenes look at the department, the historic textiles collection, and garments designed and made by the students.

The event is open to all and free to attend. Register and you will receive a link to join the week prior.

Cotton, Inhofe, Scott Introduce Bill to End China’s Permanent Normal Trade Status

On March 18, 2021, Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), Jim Inhofe (R-Oklahoma), and Rick Scott (R-Florida) introduced the China Trade Relations Act to strip China of its Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) status and return to the pre-2001 system. If passed, the legislation would require China to obtain Most Favored Nation (MFN) status through annual presidential approval, per the requirements of the Jackson-Vanik Amendment. The bill would also expand the Jackson-Vanik Amendment to include human rights and trade abuses as disqualifying factors for MFN status. Companion legislation was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Representative Chris Smith (R-New Jersey).

“For twenty years, China has held permanent most-favored-nation status, which has supercharged the loss of American manufacturing jobs. It’s time to protect American jobs and hold the Chinese Communist Party accountable for their forced labor camps and egregious human rights violations,” said Cotton.

I said it 20 years ago and I will say it again: we cannot allow the pursuit of trade to blind us to certain realities about the ruling Communist regime in China. China repeatedly threatens the United States and Taiwan. With an increasingly hostile military modernization effort, and the stealing of U.S. nuclear secrets and other critical technologies, China has made numerous attempts to corrupt the U.S. political system. Not to mention, they have violated far too many international agreements and are known globally for their brutal repression of dissidents and disregard for human rights. To continue to ignore these actions as if they can be separated from what we do in our trading relationship is dangerously misguided. Ending China’s permanent preferential trade relationship will send a strong message to the Chinese Communist Party and will support American workers,” said Inhofe.

“The Obama/Biden appeasement of Communist China did nothing but bolster General Secretary Xi’s power and kill American jobs. I have fought every day since being elected to the Senate to promote human rights and make sure Communist China faces consequences for its aggression. I am proud to join my colleagues to continue this important work of protecting Americans from the threat of Communist China and its unfair trade practices, and holding General Secretary Xi accountable for his horrific human rights abuses,” said Scott.

Background

  • The Senate voted to give China permanent most-favored-nation status on September 19, 2000. This vote paved the way for China’s accession to the World Trade Organization.
  • Granting China this trade status contributed to the “China Trade Shock” that destroyed 2 million American jobs after 2001. It also led to a surge of business investment in China that made the CCP stronger and more dangerous.

The China Trade Relations Act

  • The China Trade Relations Act would revoke China’s permanent most-favored-nation status and return to the pre-2001 status quo, whereby China’s MFN status must be renewed each year by presidential decision. Congress could override the president’s extension of MFN by passing a joint resolution of disapproval.
  • The bill also would expand the list of human-rights and trade abuses under the Jackson-Vanik Amendment that would disqualify China for MFN status, absent a presidential waiver. The abuses that would make China ineligible for MFN status, absent a presidential waiver, are as follows:
    • Uses or provides for the use of slave labor;
    • Operates ‘vocational training and education centers’ or other concentration camps where people are held against their will;
    • Performs or otherwise orders forced abortion or sterilization procedures;
    • Harvests the organs of prisoners without their consent;
    • Hinders the free exercise of religion;
    • Intimidates or harasses nationals of the People’s Republic of China living outside the People’s Republic of China; or
    • Engages in systematic economic espionage against the United States, including theft of the intellectual property of United States persons.

Katherine C. Tai Sworn in as USTR Ambassador

ON March 18, 2021, Vice President Kamala Harris administered the oath of office to Katherine C. Tai and swore her in as the 19th United States Trade Representative. Ambassador Tai is the first Asian American, and first woman of color confirmed to serve in the role. Tai previously served at USTR from 2007-2014, most recently as Chief Counsel for China Trade Enforcement.

KATHERINE C. TAI SWORN IN AS USTR AMBASSADOR

Trade Policy Update: USMCA Drawback Deployment Update

Effective March 17, 2021, the trade community can begin filing USMCA Drawback Claims in ACE.

As a reminder, claimants with Accelerated Payment (AP) privileges will not be able to obtain AP on USMCA Drawback claims until all of the applicable regulations are implemented (however, claims filed under NAFTA and same condition drawback will remain eligible for AP).

Claimants should submit their USMCA Drawback claims without the AP indicator in ACE, even if they are approved for AP. If the claimant transmits a USMCA Drawback claim through ACE containing the AP indicator, prior to the effective date of the USMCA regulations, the claim will be accepted but AP will be removed from the claim and this informational message will be returned: “I587-NO AP UNTIL USMCA REGS EFFECTIVE.” Please note a future CSMS message will announce when applicable regulations are implemented and AP eligible claims can be resubmitted with the AP indicator for USMCA Drawback.

As USMCA Drawback claims are accepted in ACE, all USMCA Drawback claims processing will be on hold pending the implementation of the USMCA Drawback regulations.

Please note that the Drawback Error Dictionary will be updated to reflect the new error message (I587). A CSMS will be sent when the update is published.

For any questions regarding this deployment, please contact the following:

Policy questions: Drawback: OTDRAWBACK@cbp.dhs.gov

Technical questions: Entry Summary and Revenue: ESAR@cbp.dhs.gov

Drawback Policy Website: https://www.cbp.gov/trade/programs-administration/entry-summary/drawback-overview.

NCC Welcomes Tai Confirmation

The National Cotton Council welcomed the March 17 unanimous Senate confirmation of Katherine Tai as U.S. Trade Representative, calling it "a step that can protect U.S. cotton’s success in the global marketplace."

Read more HERE.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Andrew Lock and Other CPSC Staff Participating in a Teleconference with the California Bureau of Home Goods and Services to Discuss Upholstered Furniture Flammability

On March 25, 2021, Andrew Lock, Consumer Product Safety Commission Directorate for Laboratory Sciences, and other staff, will call into the California Bureau of Household Goods and Services (BHGS) advisory council meeting to listen to discussions related to BHGS operations regarding upholstered furniture flammability regulation, starting at 12:00pm EST (9:00 a.m. PST) until it ends. For more information contact Andre Lock (preferred: alock@cpsc.gov or 301-987-2209).

Army, Air Force and Marine Corps Shoe Contract Awarded

Capps Shoe Co., Lynchburg, Virginia, has been awarded a maximum $15,705,000 modification (P00004) exercising the first one-year option period of a one-year base contract (SPE1C1-20-D-1246) with two one-year option periods for men’s poromeric shoes. This is a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. Location of performance is Virginia, with a March 16, 2021, ordering period end date. Using military services are Army, 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.

Minister Ng congratulates Katherine Tai on her confirmation as United States Trade Representative

On March 17, 2021, the Honourable Mary Ng, Canadian Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, issued the following statement:

“I would like to congratulate Katherine Tai on her historic confirmation as the new United States trade representative. Ambassador Tai has extensive experience and deep knowledge of matters of international trade.

“The United States is Canada’s closest friend and ally and our most important trade partner. Our deeply integrated supply chains strengthen North American security and competitiveness and support jobs, workers, and industry on both sides of the border.

“I look forward to working with Ambassador Tai on key trade issues, including the implementation of the new NAFTA, our shared commitment to further advance labour issues and climate priorities, our work to strengthen the multilateral rules-based trade system and modernize the WTO, and our pursuit of an inclusive trade agenda.

“As Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Joe Biden recently announced in the Roadmap for a Renewed U.S.-Canada Partnership, we will also work closely together to develop a strategy to enhance Canada-United States supply chain security and to reinforce our deeply interconnected and mutually beneficial economic relationship.

“Our 2 countries continue to work together to keep our supply chains open and resilient in our collaborative efforts to fight the global COVID-19 pandemic and build back better with a sustainable and inclusive economic recovery that strengthens the middle class.”

Quick facts

  • Canada and the United States benefit from a trillion-dollar trade and investment relationship that supports millions of middle-class jobs on both sides of the border.
  • Canada is the United States’ largest customer and buys more goods from the United States than do China, Japan and the United Kingdom combined.
  • Canada is the number one international customer for more than 32 states.
  • In 2019, approximately 77% of Canada’s exports to the United States were goods used in the production of other goods.

Operation Stop the Flow Yields More than $500K of Counterfeits Seized by Kansas City CBP Officers

From February 15 to March 15 officers inspected 952 shipments and made 25 seizures. While some of the shipments were medical items such as adulterated medications and animal vaccines, officers also seized 469 counterfeit professional sports jerseys and 163 counterfeit designer handbags, sunglasses, counterfeit electronics, and controlled substances. The shipments were arriving from China, Laos, South Korea, United Arab Emirates, and other locations. The shipments were destined for businesses and residential addresses across the U.S. If the items were real, they would have had a MSRP of $504,000.

Read more HERE.

Monday, March 15, 2021

In 4 Days CBP Officers Seize Counterfeit Items Worth Over $290K

Since Friday, March 5, U.S. Customs and Border Protections officers at the port of St. Louis have seized a plethora of counterfeit items: six designer handbags, 21 designer outfits, 148 championship rings and 286 $100 bills. If the items were real, they would have been worth over $293,000.

Read more HERE.

Dr. Martin Bide & Clare King join Michael Woody to talk about the collaboration between university & industry.

The next Rhode Island Textile Innovation Network Executive Insights webinar is scheduled for March 31st, 2021 from 12:00PM – 12:30PM EST.

Michael Woody, CEO of Trans-Tex LLC and Chairman of the Rhode Island Textile Innovation Network (RITIN) talks with guests Dr. Martin Bide, Professor, Department of Textiles, Fashion Merchandising and Design in the College of Business at the University of Rhode Island, and Clare King, President of Propel, LLC.

After earning a PhD and working in the UK dyestuff industry, Martin joined the US academic world, first at UMass Dartmouth and then, in 1991, URI, where he teaches courses in textile science-related subjects. He has maintained the URI textile lab and consulted on a range of projects with local industry. His research, chiefly in biomedical materials and sustainability has led to more than 100 papers, book chapters and patents. Martin is a past president of the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists (AATCC) and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Clare King, President of Propel LLC, has hired graduates of the TMD program and worked jointly with TMD on some of Propel's innovative projects. In 2020, Propel LLC was awarded the Industrial Fabrics Foundation Innovation Award, presented yearly to a company that weaves tomorrow's ideas into the fabrics of today, for their US Navy-funded smart shirt. Clare generously donated the $5,000 prize to support the teaching and research of Textile Science in the Department of Textiles, Fashion Merchandising and Design in the University of Rhode Island's College of Business to honor Dr. Bide's retirement.

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G7 Foreign Ministers’ Statement on Hong Kong Electoral Reform

On March 12, 2021, the G7 Foreign Ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States of America and the High Representative of the European Union, united in expressing grave concerns at the Chinese authorities’ decision fundamentally to erode democratic elements of the electoral system in Hong Kong and released the following statement:

"Such a decision strongly indicates that the authorities in mainland China are determined to eliminate dissenting voices and opinions in Hong Kong.

"The package of changes approved by the National People’s Congress, combined with mass arrests of pro-democracy activists and politicians, undermines Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy under the “One Country, Two Systems” principle. The package will also stifle political pluralism, contrary to the aim of moving towards universal suffrage as set out in the Basic Law. Furthermore, the changes will reduce freedom of speech, which is a right guaranteed in the Sino-British Joint Declaration.

"The people of Hong Kong should be trusted to cast their votes in the best interests of Hong Kong. Discussion of differing views, not silencing of them, is the way to secure the stability and prosperity of Hong Kong.

"We call on China to act in accordance with the Sino-British Joint Declaration and its other legal obligations and respect fundamental rights and freedoms in Hong Kong, as provided for in the Basic Law. We also call on China and the Hong Kong authorities to restore confidence in Hong Kong’s political institutions and end the unwarranted oppression of those who promote democratic values and the defence of rights and freedoms."

Thursday, March 11, 2021

USTR Seeks Comments on Origin Marking Requirement (Hong Kong, China)

On March 11, 2021, the Office of the United States Trade Representative published in the Federal Register (86 FR 13960) WTO Dispute Settlement Proceeding Regarding United States--Origin Marking Requirement (Hong Kong, China).

On October 30, 2020, Hong Kong, China, requested consultations with the United States concerning certain measures affecting marks of origin with respect to imported goods produced in Hong Kong, China. You can find the consultation request at www.wto.org in a document designated as WT/DS597/1. The United States and Hong Kong, China, held consultations on November 24, 2020. On January 14, 2021, Hong Kong, China, made its request to the WTO to establish a WTO dispute settlement panel. On February 22, 2021, the WTO established a dispute settlement panel to examine Hong Kong, China's complaint.

Hong Kong, China's panel request appears to concern measures that goods produced in Hong Kong, China, be marked to indicate that their origin is in "China" rather than "Hong Kong". These measures include Executive Order 13936 on Hong Kong Normalization, which suspends the application of Section 201(a) of the United States-Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992 (22 U.S.C. 5721(a)) to Section 304 of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1304), among other statutes; Section 304 of the Tariff Act of 1930; Part 134, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 134); Section 201(a) of the United States-Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992; and Country of Origin Marking of Products of Hong Kong, 85 FR 48551 (August 11, 2020). Hong Kong, China alleges that these measures are inconsistent with Articles I:1, IX:1, X:3(a) of the WTO General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994; Articles 2(c), (d), and (e) of the WTO Agreement on Rules of Origin; and Article 2.1 of the WTO Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade.

USTR invites written comments concerning the issues raised in this dispute.

Although USTR will accept any comments during the course of the dispute settlement proceedings, you should submit your comment on or before April 12, 2021 to be assured of timely consideration by USTR.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Army Dress Coat Contract Awarded

Hardwick Tactical Corp., Cleveland, Tennessee, has been awarded a maximum $7,738,200 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery contract for women’s uniform dress coats. This was a competitive acquisition with two responses received. This is a one-year contract with four one-year option periods. Location of performance is Tennessee, with a March 9, 2022, ordering period end date. Using military service 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-1450)

Proposed Modification of Two Ruling Letters and Proposed Revocation of Treatment Relating to the Tariff Classification of Cotton Core-Spun Yarns

In Binding Ruling NY N304396, CBP classified cotton core-spun yarn in heading 5606, HTSUS, specifically in subheading 5606.00.00, HTSUS, which provides for "[g]imped yarn, and strip and the like of heading 5404 or 5405, gimped (other than those of heading 5605 and gimped horsehair yarn); chenille yarn (including flock chenille yarn); loop wale yarn.” CBP has reviewed NY N304396 and has determined the ruling letter to be in error. It is now CBP’s position that cotton core-spun yarn is properly classified in heading 5205, HTSUS, specifically in subheading 5205.12.10, HTSUS, which provides for "[c]otton yarn (other than sewing thread), containing 85 percent or more by weight of cotton, not put up for retail sale: Single yarn, of uncombed fibers: Exceeding 14 nm but not exceeding 43 nm: Unbleached, not mercerized."

In Binding Ruling In NY N304440, CBP classified cotton core-spun yarn in heading 5606, HTSUS, specifically in subheading 5606.00.00, HTSUS, which provides for "[g]imped yarn, and strip and the like of heading 5404 or 5405, gimped (other than those of heading 5605 and gimped horsehair yarn); chenille yarn (including flock chenille yarn); loop waleyarn." CBP has reviewed NY N304440 and has determined the ruling letter to be in error. It is now CBP's position that cotton core-spun yarn is properly classified in heading 5206, HTSUS, specifically in subheading 5206.32.00, HTSUS, which provides for "[c]otton yarn (other than sewing thread), containing less than 85 percent by weight of cotton, not put up for retail sale: Multiple (folded) or cabled yarn, of uncombed fibers: Exceeding 14 nm but not exceeding 43 nm per single yarn."

CBP is proposing to modify [beginning on page 39] NY N304396 and NY N304440 and to revoke or modify any other ruling not specifically identified to reflect the analysis contained in the proposed Headquarters Ruling Letter H311461. Additionally, CBP is proposing to revoke any treatment previously accorded by CBP to substantially identical transactions. Before taking this action, consideration will be given to any written comments timely received.

In proposing these revocations, CBP states:

"CBP has held that gimped yarns and core-spun yarns are different and should be classified in different headings. See NY 866313, dated August 28, 1991 (stating the core spun yarns are not considered to be gimped yarns). Pursuant to EN to 56.06, a gimped yarn consists of a yarn, around which is wrapped spirally another yarn or filament or strip. It is distinguished from a twisted yarn in that the core yarn does not twist with the yarn that is wrapped around it; the surrounding yarn could be unwrapped and the core yarn would remain intact.

"Core-spun yarns are often confused with gimped yarns. They differ in that they consist of a core (usually a monofilament or multifilament yarn), around which fibers (not yarns) are wrapped. A common example is a spandex filament core with a wrapping of cotton fibers. Since it is sometimes difficult for the unaided eye to distinguish fibers wrapped around a core from yarn wrapped around a core, it may be necessary to request laboratory analysis to identify such yarns. Core-spun yarns are not classified as gimped yarns but rather as basic yarns in the appropriate provisions in chapters 50–55 (depending on chief weight, generally). See CBP’s Informed Compliance Publication (“ICP”), What Every Member of the Trade Community Should Know About: Classification of Fibers and Yarns under the HTSUS, dated September 2011. The Dictionary of Fiber & Textile Technology also describes core-spun yarn as 'a yarn made by twisting fibers around a filament or a previously spun yarn, thus concealing the core.' See Dictionary of Fiber & Textile Technology, 44 (1999)."

Comments must be received on or before April 9, 2021.

ITC Revisits Issue of Thread Count of Bed Sheets

On March 24, 2017, the United States International Trade Commission published in the Federal Register (82 FR 1506), notice the Commission has issued a general exclusion order barring entry of certain woven textile fabrics and products containing same.

The Commission instituted this investigation on December 18, 2015, based on complaint filed by AAVN, Inc. of Richardson, Texas ("AAVN"). The complaint alleged violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1337), in the importation into the United States, the sale for importation, or the sale within the United States after importation of certain woven textile fabrics and products containing same, by reason of false advertising.

AAVN accused Pradip of false advertising, specifically alleging that Pradip misrepresented the thread count of sheets manufactured in India, imported into the United Sates, and sold in United States department stores.

The Commission determined that the appropriate remedy in this investigation was a general exclusion order prohibiting the entry of certain woven textile fabrics and products containing same that are falsely advertised through a misrepresentation of thread count.

On March 10, 2021, the United States International Trade Commission published in the Federal Register (85 FR 13731) Certain Woven Textile Fabrics and Products Containing Same; Commission Decision Instituting a Rescission Proceeding and Granting a Petition for Rescission of a General Exclusion Order and Seizure and Forfeiture Orders; Termination of Rescission Proceeding.

On February 3, 2021, AAVN filed a petition to rescind the GEO and SFOs. AAVN contends that it disagrees with the testing protocol used by Customs and Border Protection to determine whether imported articles falsely advertise their thread counts. In particular, AAVN contends that the methodology is too strict as compared to alleged testing conducted by independent testing laboratories. AAVN further contends that the "exclusion of goods, including from AAVN's licensees and customers, even after qualified independent testing labs have confirmed the accuracy of those authorized products' thread counts, harms AAVN's business and its standing with reputable importers." AAVN recognizes that the GEO was originally issued to redress substantial injury to AAVN, but states that "AAVN is ultimately in the best position to evaluate injury to itself," and that rescission of the Commission remedial orders (the GEO and the SFOs issued pursuant to it) "would be less injurious to [AAVN] than continued enforcement of the GEO."

Having reviewed the petition, the opposition thereto, and the record of the investigation, the Commission determined that the petition complies with Commission Rule 210.76, 19 CFR 210.76. The Commission has determined to institute a rescission proceeding and to grant the petition. AAVN's petition alleges that the exclusion of articles pursuant to the GEO exacerbates rather than redresses any injury it faces from imports. Thus, the conditions that led to the issuance of the GEO no longer exist, and the Commission has determined to rescind the GEO. Because an SFO requires a predicate exclusion order, there is no basis to continue enforcement of SFOs after rescission of the underlying GEO. Accordingly, all SFOs in this investigation are likewise rescinded. The rescissions are effective as of the date of the Order issued herewith.

The rescission proceeding is terminated. The GEO and all SFOs are rescinded.

The Commission vote for this determination took place on March 4, 2021.