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.