Friday, July 1, 2022

Children’s Nightgowns Recalled Due to Violation of Federal Flammability Standards and Burn Hazard; Imported by iMOONZZZ; Sold Exclusively at Amazon.com

Description: This recall involves two styles of iMOONZZZ-branded 95% cotton and 5% spandex children’s nightgowns, sold individually or as a set of three. The flower print nightgowns were sold in blue, pink and white and in sizes 3-4T, 5-6 Years, 6-7 Years, 7-8 Years, 8-9 Years, and 10-12 Years. One style has fluttered sleeved shoulders and a color trim neckline with a ribbon at the center front. The other style has short, puffed sleeves with lettuce edge trimming and a double laced collar with a bow affixed to the left side. “Made in China,” the size, the fiber content and the washing instructions are printed on a sewn-in, side-seam label.

Remedy: Consumers should immediately take the recalled nightgowns away from children and contact iMOONZZZ for a full refund. Consumers who purchased the nightgowns will be asked to destroy the garments by cutting them in half and send the recalling firm a photo of the destroyed garment. Upon receipt of the photo, consumers will be issued a full refund of the purchase price.

Incidents/Injuries: None reported

Sold At: Online at www.amazon.com from June 2019 through May 2022 for between $13 and $39, depending on the style and if sold individually or as a set.

Importer(s): iMOONZZZ, of China

Manufactured In: China

Recall number: 22-178

More information and photos HERE.

Children’s Sleepwear Recalled Due to Violation of Federal Flammability Standards and Burn Hazard; Imported by Kids Tales; Sold Exclusively at Amazon.com

Description: This recall involves Kids Tales-branded children’s 95% cotton and 5% elastane pajamas. They were sold in various print designs and colors, and individually or as a set of two. The single-piece, short-sleeved, footless pajamas were sold in five sizes 66 (3-6 Months), 73 (6-12 Months), 80 (12-18 Months), 90 (18-24 Months), and 100 (2-3T) and in various prints. “Kids Tales,” “Made in China” and the size are printed on the pajama’s neck label.

Remedy: Consumers should immediately take the recalled sleepwear away from children and contact Kids Tales for a full refund. Consumers who purchased the pajamas will be asked to destroy the garments by cutting them in half and send the recalling firm a photo of the destroyed garment. Upon receipt of the photo, consumers will be issued a full refund of the purchase price.

Incidents/Injuries: None reported

Sold At: Online at www.amazon.com from November 2021 through April 2022 for between $13 and $33, depending on the style and if sold individually or as a set.

Importer(s): Kids Tales, of China

Manufactured In: China

Recall number: 22-177

More information and photos HERE.

Hong Kong 25 Years After Handover

Hong Kong 25 Years After Handover

A statement from Antony J. Blinken, U.S. Secretary of State

On July 1, we mark the 25th anniversary of the handover of Hong Kong to the People’s Republic of China. This date was envisioned as the halfway point of 50 years of promised autonomy under the “One Country, Two Systems” framework. Yet it is now evident that Hong Kong and Beijing authorities no longer view democratic participation, fundamental freedoms, and an independent media as part of this vision.

In 2019, millions of Hong Kongers joined public protests to oppose controversial extradition legislation. Beijing’s response – the National Security Law – set the stage for an erosion of autonomy and dismantling of the rights and freedoms of Hong Kong residents over the last two years. Authorities have jailed the opposition, with many imprisoned for more than a year. Hong Kong’s leaders have raided independent media organizations, shuttered museums and removed public works of art, weakened democratic institutions, delayed elections, prevented vigils, disqualified sitting lawmakers, and instituted loyalty oaths. Government officials have spread disinformation that grassroots protests were the work of foreign actors. They have done all of this in an effort to deprive Hong Kongers of what they have been promised.

We stand in solidarity with people in Hong Kong and reinforce their calls for their promised freedoms to be reinstated.

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Physical Training Uniform Contract Awarded

SND Manufacturing, Dallas, Texas, is awarded an $11,511,004 modification to previously awarded, indefinite-delivery/indefinite quantity contract M67854-21-D-1881 for the purchase of physical training uniforms. The contract ceiling increase resulted from revised product descriptions, patterns and specifications. The total cumulative face value of the contract is now $46,841,204. Work will be performed in Dallas, Texas, with an expected completion date of April 2026. No funds were obligated at time of award. The Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Virginia, is the contracting activity.

Physical Training Uniform Awarded

String King Lacrosse LLC, Gardena, California, was awarded a $14,931,782 modification to previously awarded, indefinite-delivery/indefinite quantity contract M67854-21-D-1882 for the purchase of physical training uniforms. The contract ceiling increase resulted from revised product descriptions, patterns and specifications. The total cumulative face value of the contract is now $38,154,362. Work will be performed in Gardena, California, with an expected completion date of April 2026. No funds were obligated at time of award. The Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Virginia, is the contracting activity. \

House Armed Services Committee Adopts 2023 NDAA Amendment to Ban Chinese Goods from Sale on Military Bases

AMENDMENT TO H.R. 7900 OFFERED BY MR. GREEN OF TENNESSEE At the appropriate place in title VI, insert the following: 1 SEC. 6ll. PROHIBITION ON SALE OF CHINESE GOODS IN 2 COMMISSARY STORES AND MILITARY EX3 CHANGES. 4 The Secretary of Defense shall prohibit the sale, at 5 a commissary store or military exchange, of goods— 6 (1) manufactured in China; 7 (2) assembled in China; or 8 (3) imported into the United States from 9 China. HERE.

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Resident Home Must Pay $753,000 and Cease Made in USA Fraud

The Federal Trade Commission has finalized an order against Resident Home LLC and owner Ran Reske for allegedly making false, misleading, or unsupported advertising claims that their imported DreamCloud mattresses were made from 100% USA-made materials. Resident Home LLC and Reske will pay $753,000.

Read more HERE.

The Children's Place Recalls Baby Boy Rompers Due to Choking Hazard

Description: This recall involves Baby Boy Dino Rompers and Baby Boy Camo Rompers 2-Pack. The Dino Romper is a blue short-sleeve romper made of 100 percent cotton jersey featuring a dinosaur on the left chest and was sold in sizes 0-3M, 3-6M, 6-9M, 9-12M, 12-18M, and 18-24M. The Camo Romper Two Pack was sold in sizes 0-3M, 3-6M, 6-9M, 9-12M, 12-18M, and 18-24M and contained one gray long-sleeve romper made of 100 percent cotton jersey in a camouflage print and one gray short-sleeve romper with black shoulders and sleeves. The Baby Boy Dino style number 3031536 can be found on a sewn-in, side-seam label inside the garment. The Baby Boy Camo Romper 2-Pack style number 3026902 can be found on a sewn-in, side-seam label inside the garment.

Remedy: Consumers should immediately take the recalled rompers away from children and return the rompers to any The Children’s Place store for a full refund. The company will send an email notice to all customers who bought the product on the firm’s website with instructions on how to receive a full refund for the recalled products.

Incidents/Injuries: The firm has received two reports of snaps detaching from the rompers. No injuries have been reported.

Sold At: The Baby Boy Dino Rompers were sold at The Children's Place stores nationwide and online at www.childrensplace.com and Amazon from March 2022 through June 2022 for about $25. The Camo Rompers Two Pack were sold at The Children's Place stores nationwide and online at www.childrensplace.com and Amazon from January 2022 through June 2022 for about $35.

Importer(s): The Children's Place, of Secaucus, New Jersey

Manufactured In: India

Recall number: 22-170

More information and photos HERE.

Richie House Recalls Children’s Robes Due to Violation of Federal Flammability Standards and Burn Hazard; Sold Exclusively at Walmart.com

Description: This recall involves “A Memory In” branded pink children’s robes made of 100% polyester. The long-sleeved bathrobes have two front pockets and two side seam belt loops with a matching belt. They were sold in children’s sizes 5, 6, 8, 10, 12 and 14. “100% Polyester,” “exclusive of trim,” and the fabric product unit number and garment production unit number are printed on the side seam label. The fabric product unit number and garment production unit number included in this recall are FPU NO. AM003 and GPU NO. AM003-1.

Remedy: Consumers should immediately take the recalled robes away from children and contact Richie House for a full refund. Consumers who purchased the robes will be asked to destroy the garments by cutting them in half and send the recalling firm a photo of the destroyed garment and of the garment’s side seam label. Upon receipt of the photos, consumers will be issued a full refund. Walmart and Richie House are contacting all known purchasers directly.

Incidents/Injuries: None reported

Sold At: Online at www.walmart.com from March 2021 through March 2022 for between $22 and $28.

Importer(s): Richie House, of Irvine, California

Manufactured In: China

Recall number: 22-172

More information and photos HERE.

Navy Uniform Contract Awarded

Silver Oak Leaf Inc.,*** Alpharetta, Georgia, has been awarded a maximum $10,716,250 modification (P00020) exercising the third one-year option period of an 18-month base contract (SPE1C1-19-D-1135) with three one-year option periods for working uniform blouses and trousers. This is a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. Location of performance is Puerto Rico, with a June 22, 2023, ordering period end date. Using military service is Navy. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2022 through 2023 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

***Service-disabled veteran-owned small business

Saturday, June 18, 2022

Forced Labor Enforcement Task Force Launches Enforcement Strategy for the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act

On June 17, 2022, the Forced Labor Enforcement Task Force (FLETF) launched the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) enforcement strategy. The launch of the enforcement strategy precedes the June 21, 2022 date on which the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will begin to enforce the UFLPA’s rebuttable presumption which prohibits, pursuant to Section 307 of the Tariff Act of 1930, the importation of any goods, wares, articles, and merchandise mined, produced, or manufactured wholly or in part in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China, or produced by certain entities.

The FLETF, chaired by Department of Homeland Security, leads efforts to monitor the enforcement of the prohibition on importing goods made wholly or in part with forced labor into the United States. The FLETF comprises seven member agencies, including the Office of the United States Trade Representative and the Departments of Labor, State, Treasury, Justice, and Commerce.

Friday, June 17, 2022

Navy Wool Cloth Contract Awarded

Burlington Industries LLC, Greensboro, North Carolina, has been awarded a maximum $10,803,000 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity letter contract for wool cloth. This was a sole-source acquisition using justification 10 U.S. Code 2304 (c)(1), as stated in Federal Acquisition Regulation 6.302-1. This is a one-year contract with no option periods. The ordering period end date is June 16, 2023. Using military service is Navy. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2022 through 2023 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (SPE1C1-22-D-1560).

Children’s Sleepwear Recalled Due to Violation of Federal Flammability Standards and Burn Hazard; Imported by Loulou Lollipop

Description: This recall involves Loulou Lollipop children’s pajamas made of 66% Tencel lyocell, 28% organic cotton and 6% spandex. The one-piece, long-sleeved pajamas were sold in 19 prints: Avocado, Bluebell, Butterfly, Canyon Rainbow, Flower Vine, Grey Mudcloth, Morning Dew, Moon, Nomad, Peace Dove, Planets, Painterly Seahorses, Rainbow Dye, Shell Floral, Sepia Rose, Sepia Rose Floral, Seashells, Sun, And Umbra. The tight-fitting sleepwear was sold in two children’s sizes 12-18M and 18-24M. “Loulou Lollipop,” size and purchase number are printed at the neck. The purchase numbers included in this recall are SS22-GR-APP-001 and AW2021-APP001.

Remedy: Consumers should immediately take the recalled sleepwear away from children and contact Loulou Lollipop for a full refund. Consumers who purchased the sleepwear will be asked to destroy the garments by cutting them in half and sending the firm a photo of the destroyed product, including the neck label. Upon receipt of the photos, consumers will be issued a full refund or a store gift card. The firm is contacting all known purchasers directly.

Incidents/Injuries: None reported

Sold At: Online at www.louloulollipop.com and at various children’s boutiques nationwide from November 2021 through May 2022 for between $29 to $38.

Importer(s): Loulou Lollipop, of Canada

Manufactured In: China

Recall number: 22-165

More informationa and photos HERE.

DoD Defense Contract Finance Study

On June 17, 2022, the U.S. Department of Defense published in the Federal Register (87 FR 36472) [Docket Number DARS–2022–0012] Department of Defense Contract Finance Study.

The DoD Contract Finance Study is the first comprehensive contract finance study since publication of the Defense Financial and Investment Review in June 1985. DoD is committed to transparency and is interested in obtaining the perspective of companies of all sizes as well as individuals on a number of relevant topics to contribute to this important study.

Comments may be submitted at https://www.regulations.gov/ (Search for "Docket Number DARS-2022-0012"). Comments are due by July 18, 2022.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) Final Report, GAO–19–406, "CONTRACT FINANCING: DoD Should Comprehensively Assess How Its Policies Affect the Defense Industries," dated June 27, 2019, recommended a comprehensive assessment of the effect that DoD's contract financing and profit policies have on the defense industry. DoD concurred with this recommendation. The study is comprised of two phases with multiple parts and participants. The first phase includes data collection, research, and analysis. The second phase may include policy recommendations.

DoD is particularly interested in comments and information with regard to contract finance policies as they affect all levels of the defense sector. Note that for the purpose of understanding financial health over time, the DoD Contract Finance Study is not covering impacts of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Therefore, unless specifically asked, responses should exclude the period after the presidential declaration of a national emergency concerning the COVID 19 pandemic (March 13, 2020). DoD is seeking input from all business sizes, as identified below, on the following topics:

1. Financial Health

a. What is your view of the financial health of the Defense Industrial Base? Has it improved over the last decade or two? Please provide your reasons and a description of any financial metrics that you think are relevant to answering these questions.

b. How does the Defense Sector compare to relevant commercial sectors when it comes to financial health? Please explain.

c. How important is cash flow and why? In the context of publicly traded companies, how do cash flow-related metrics influence executive compensation?

2. Financing

a. For companies who perform work on DoD contracts as either a prime contractor or subcontractor, what, if any, obstacles have you encountered in obtaining financing? Please explain and also identify whether you are a large or small business.

b. For companies who perform work both for DoD and in the commercial sector, what is your view on how financing compares between DoD and your commercial customers? Please explain. What about delivery terms? For example, DoD's terms to prime contractors are 30 days. How does this compare to commercial terms?

3. Prime Contractors (Regardless of Size Status) on Defense Contracts

a. What is your size status (see Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) part 19) in the context of your defense work?

b. What percentage of your suppliers receive contract financing (payments prior to delivery) from your firm?

c. Is the answer different for large business suppliers than for small business suppliers? Does one group receive financing more often than the other?

d. What are your criteria for determining which suppliers receive financing?

e. How do your lower-tier suppliers know they are performing under a Government prime contract?

f. If you have been or are receiving a higher progress payment rate due to the COVID-19 pandemic, have you accelerated payments to your suppliers since the COVID-19 pandemic? If so, by how much time have you accelerated payments to your suppliers? Please be specific. Did you provide financing (predelivery payments) to suppliers that were not receiving financing prior to the COVID-19 pandemic?

g. If you did not receive a higher progress payment rate due to the COVID-19 pandemic, e.g., you do not receive progress payments on your defense contract, did you accelerate payments to your suppliers since the COVID-19 pandemic? If so, by how much time have you accelerated payments to your suppliers? Please be specific and address the extent to which you have accelerated payments. Did you provide financing (predelivery payments) to suppliers that were not receiving financing prior to the COVID-19 pandemic?

4. Subcontractors or Suppliers (Regardless of Size Status) Under a Defense Contract

a. When you are performing as a subcontractor or supplier under a defense prime contract, how do you know that the ultimate customer is the Federal Government?

b. Do you know the prime contract number (between the prime and the Government)? If so, how? Do you know who the Federal Government contracting officer is, or how to contact them? Would you be willing to contact the contracting officer if you were experiencing issues getting paid?

c. Have financing payments or payments upon delivery from your customer (contractor) been accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic? What are your normal terms and how much time have payments been accelerated? Did you receive financing (predelivery payments) from your prime or higher-tier contractor that you did not receive prior to the COVID-19 pandemic?

d. Are there any conditions (e.g., changes in terms) associated with receiving payments from your prime or higher-tier contractor in a more expedited manner?

5. Small Businesses Performing on Defense Contracts

a. If you are a small business performing as a prime contractor, what is your experience regarding receipt of timely payments from DoD?

b. If you are a small business performing as a supplier or subcontractor, are you aware of whether the clause at Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) 252.232-7017, Accelerating Payments to Small Business Subcontractors--Prohibition on Fees and Consideration, is in the prime's contract? Is the substance of this clause in your subcontract?

c. What are your normal payment terms (e.g., amount of time) for financing and for delivery?

d. Are you receiving accelerated payments from your prime contractor? By how many days are payments being accelerated?

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Navy Hat Contract Awarded

ORC Industries Inc., La Crosse, Wisconsin, has been awarded a maximum $13,303,496 modification (P00003) exercising the first one-year option period of a one-year base contract (SPE1C1-21-D-N154) with four one-year option periods for service dixie hats. This is a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. The ordering period end date is June 27, 2023. Using military service is Navy. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2022 through 2023 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Federal Prison Industries Awarded Flame Resistant Coveralls Contract

Federal Prison Industries Inc.,** Washington, D.C., has been awarded a maximum $18,079,200 modification (P00013) exercising the third one-year option period of a one-year base contract (SPE1C1-19-D-F027) with four one-year option periods for utility, improved flame resistant coveralls. This is a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. Locations of performance are Georgia, Arizona and Mississippi, with a June 20, 2023, ordering period end date. Using military service is Navy. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2022 through 2023 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

** Mandatory source

AAFA Urges Congress to Allow Digital Labeling for Clothes

On June 9, 2022, the American Apparel and Footwear Association urged Congress to approve legislation to direct the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to allow for mandated labeling information on clothes to be delivered to consumers through digital labels using different technologies, including but not limited to QR codes. Such legislation would modernize outdated federal regulations to the benefit of consumers.

Domestic Sources Sought for Reflective Fabric

REFLECTIVE FABRIC Nylon, Polyester and Lycra meet the following specifications:

REFLECTIVE NYLON 100% Polyamide fibers with reflective microspheres (25 washes) reflective microspheres coating with PU plastic adhesive

REFLECTIVE POLYESTER 100% Polyester fibers with reflective microspheres (25 washes) reflective microspheres coating with PU plastic adhesive

REFLECTIVE LYCRA 92% Polyester fibers 8% lycra with reflective microspheres (25 washes)

Screen Printing with reflective microspheres

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

CBP’s Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act Importer Guidance Available

The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) was signed into law by President Biden on December 23, 2021.

It establishes a rebuttable presumption that the importation of any goods, wares, articles, and merchandise mined, produced, or manufactured wholly or in part in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China, or produced by certain entities on the Forced Labor Enforcement Task Force (FLETF) Entity List, is prohibited by Section 307 of the Tariff Act of 1930 and that such goods, wares, articles, and merchandise are not entitled to entry to the United States. The presumption applies unless the Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) determines that the importer of record has fully complied with the FLETF-issued importer guidance, responded to all inquiries, and determines by clear and convincing evidence, that the goods, wares, articles, or merchandise were not produced using forced labor.

CBP has released importer guidance to assist the trade community in preparing for the implementation of the UFLPA rebuttable presumption that goes into effect on June 21, 2022. Please be aware that this CBP guidance document is intended to provide operational guidance to trade stakeholders and complements the UFLPA strategy guidance. Importer must comply with the importer guidance within UFLPA strategy. UFLPA, Section 3(b).

Be sure to frequently check CBP’s UFLPA webpage for the latest information on the UFLPA

Monday, June 20, 2022, is Juneteenth National Independence Day in America

Last year, President Biden signed into law the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act, creating a federal holiday to commemorate Juneteenth. This is the first federal holiday approved since Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 1983. This year, because the holiday falls on Sunday, it will be observed on Monday, June 20. Government offices will be closed. Retail businesses, for the most part, will be open, just as they stay open for several of the federal holidays. As for non-retail business, the holiday is still too new to know who will and will not observe it.

On June 19, 1865, federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas to take control of the state and ensure that all enslaved people be freed. This, however, was two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect January, 1863. This day, the oldest known celebration commemorating the end of slavery in the United States, has become a day for African Americans to celebrate not only their freedom, but their history, culture and achievements.

"On Juneteenth, we recommit ourselves to the work of equity, equality, and justice. And, we celebrate the centuries of struggle, courage, and hope that have brought us to this time of progress and possibility. That work has been led throughout our history by abolitionists and educators, civil rights advocates and lawyers, courageous activists and trade unionists, public officials, and everyday Americans who have helped make real the ideals of our founding documents for all."

-- A Proclamation on Juneteenth Day of Observance, 2021, President Joseph Biden, June 18, 2021.

"Juneteenth reminds us of both the unimaginable injustice of slavery and the incomparable joy that must have attended emancipation. It is both a remembrance of a blight on our history and a celebration of our Nation’s unsurpassed ability to triumph over darkness…. This Juneteenth, we commit, as one Nation, to live true to our highest ideals and to build always toward a freer, stronger country that values the dignity and boundless potential of all Americans."

-- Presidential Message on Juneteenth, 2020, President Donald J. Trump

The original of the Emancipation Proclamation of January 1, 1863, is in the National Archives in Washington, D.C. The final proclamation was first printed in January 1863, as a two-page broadsheet with the printed signatures of Lincoln and Secretary of State William H. Seward. Later, a limited edition of forty-eight copies was printed. They were signed in pen by Lincoln, Seward, and Lincoln's secretary, John G. Nicolay, the copies were donated to raise money for the group that later became the Red Cross. About twenty known copies of the document have survived in public and private hands. Number 32 of this 48-copy edition is at the Boston Athenaeum on Beacon Street. I had the great pleasure of viewing it at a January 20, 2009, Athenaeum event to watch the Inauguration of President Barack Obama.

Modernization of the Customs Broker Regulations (19 CFR 111) Proposed Changes

On June 8, 2022, U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced the publication of the Notices of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRMs) for the long-awaited update to 19 CFR 111. The NPRM for the Modernization of the Customs Broker Regulations (85 FR 34836) and the NPRM for the Elimination of the Customs Broker District Permit Fee (85 FR 34549) were published on June 5, 2020. The comment period for both NPRMs ended on August 4, 2020.

Modernization of the Customs Broker Regulations (19 CFR 111) Proposed Changes 

Some of the proposed changes are listed below: 

 Establish one national permit for each broker

  • Eliminate the district permit and transition to a single permit framework (national permit) that operates at the national level within the customs territory of the United States
  • Eliminate the need for brokers to request permit waivers and maintain district offices

 Broker Fee Changes and Electronic Payment

  • Increase the license application fee for individual and organization license applications to better align application fees to CBP's processing expenses
  • Expand payment options for brokers to include electronic fee payment

 Broker Reporting and Electronic Data Interface (ACE)

  • Enhance the ACE broker portal and streamline broker reporting

 Customs Business within the U.S. Customs Territory and Knowledgeable Point of Contact

  • Require that customs business be conducted within the customs territory of the United States
  • Require that brokers designate a knowledgeable point of contact to be available to CBP during and outside of normal operating hours to respond to customs business issues

 Broker/Client Relationship

  • Require brokers to obtain a customs power of attorney directly from the importer of record/drawback claimant, not via a freight forwarder
  • Report to CBP when brokers terminate representation of a client as a result of determining that the client is attempting to defraud or otherwise commit any criminal act against the U.S. Government
  • Require brokers to advise the client on the proper corrective actions required and retain a record of broker communication with the client in cases of noncompliance, error or omission

 Responsible Supervision and Control  Requirements

  • Require brokers to submit a supervision plan with a national permit application to detail how the entity intends to exercise Responsible Supervision and Control
  • Update and add factors related to Responsible Supervision and Control to reflect the transition to a national permit framework
  • Require brokers to employ a sufficient number of licensed brokers to ensure Responsible Supervision and Control over their customs business

 Cyber Security and Records Requirements

  • Require brokers to maintain records, including electronic records, within U.S. customs territory
  • Require brokers to notify CBP when there has been a breach of electronic or physical broker records and provide the compromised importer of record numbers

Sources Sought for Cotton Fleece Fabric

A company is interested in sourcing certain cotton fleece fabric in the DR-CAFTA region in the quantities and as specified below.

FABRIC TYPECotton Fleece
FIBER CONTENT77-83% cotton, 17-23% polyester
FACE YARN100% combed cotton ring spun, 41/1 to 48/1 metric (24/1 to 28/1)
TIE YARN183 to 188 / 48 filament metric filament polyester ( 49 to 51 / 48 filament denier)
FLEECE YARNSingle ply staple 67 to 73 percent cotton and 27 to 33 percent polyester staple, 23.7/1 to 20.5/1 metric number (14/1 to 18/1)
MACHINE GAUGE20 to 21
FABRIC WEIGHT257 to 294 grams per square meter (7.6 to 8.7 ounces per square yard)
QUANTITY required3,500,000 kg per year
HTSUS subheading6001.21
REMARKSVertical and horizontal shrinkage must be less than 5% Torque may not exceed 4% All fabrics must have a Class 1 flammability rating For optimum fabric integrity and stitch definition, this fabric must be knit on machines with number of yarn feeds in a multiple of 3.

NOTE: The yarn size designations describe a range of yarn specifications for yarn before knitting, dyeing and finishing of the fabric. They are intended as specifications to be followed by the mill in sourcing yarn used to produce the fabric. Dyeing, finishing and knitting can alter the characteristic of the yarn as it appears in the finished fabric. This specification therefore includes yarn sizes provided that the variation occurs after processing of the greige yarn and production of the fabric. The specifications for the fabric apply to the fabric itself prior to cutting and sewing of the finished garment. Such processing may alter the measurements.

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Army and Air Force Trouser Contract Awarded

Pentaq Manufacturing Corp.,** Sabana Grande, Puerto Rico, has been awarded a maximum $21,366,113 modification (P00020) exercising the second one-year option period of a one-year base contract (SPE1C1-20-D-1258) with four one-year option periods for various types of trousers. This is a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. The ordering period end date is June 16, 2023. Using military services are Army and 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.

**Small-disadvantaged business in historically underutilized business zones.

Friday, June 10, 2022

Military Uniform Cold Weather Undergarments Contract Awarded

Peckham Vocational Industries Inc.,*** Lansing, Michigan, has been awarded a maximum $13,357,500 firm-fixed‐price, indefinite‐delivery/indefinite‐quantity contract for military uniform cold weather undergarments. This is a one‐year base contract with four one‐year option periods. The ordering period end date is June 9, 2023. Using military services are Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2022 through 2023 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (SPE1C1‐22‐D‐N163).

***Mandatory source

The Commercial Customs Operations Advisory Committee (COAC) will hold its quarterly meeting on Wednesday, June 29, 2022

The COAC will meet on Wednesday, June 29, 2022, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. EDT.

The COAC will hear from the current subcommittees on the topics listed below:

1. The Intelligent Enforcement Subcommittee will provide updates on the work completed and topics discussed for its working groups. The Antidumping/Countervailing Duty (AD/CVD) Working Group will provide updates regarding its work and discussions on importer compliance with AD/CVD requirements. The Intellectual Property Rights Process Modernization Working Group will provide updates regarding development of an electronic notice of detention and enhanced procedures for manipulation of shipments, in addition to other practical proposals for enhancing communication concerning intellectual property rights issues between the trade, the rights holders, and CBP. The Bond Working Group's updates will include the status of proposed revisions to Directive 3510-004, ``Monetary Guidelines for Setting Bond Amounts,'' and the testing of electronic delivery of CBP Form 5955a Notice of Penalty or Liquidated Damages Incurred and Demand for Payment. The Forced Labor Working Group will submit recommendations for the committee's consideration regarding the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) implementation as well as the UFLPA Importer Guidelines.

2. The Next Generation Facilitation Subcommittee will provide updates on its task forces and working groups, including an update on the progress of the 21st Century Customs Framework (21CCF) and E-Commerce Task Forces, and it is expected there will be recommendations for the committee's consideration in both areas. The Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) 2.0 Working Group will present recommendations for the committee's consideration stemming from the in-depth gap analysis of areas that may be improved when CBP embarks on ACE 2.0 modernization. Finally, the One U.S. Government Working Group will provide an update on the work planned for upcoming quarters of the 16th Term of the COAC.

3. The Rapid Response Subcommittee will provide updates for the Domestic Manufacturing and Production (DMAP) Working Group and the Broker Modernization Working Group. CBP formed the DMAP Working Group to collaborate and obtain input from industry stakeholders on trade enforcement areas impacting domestic manufacturers and producers. While this is a new group, the expectation is that recommendations will be developed and submitted for consideration at an upcoming COAC public meeting. The topics for discussion for the Broker Modernization Working Group will include the April 2022 broker exam, potential regulatory updates to 19 CFR part 111, and requiring continuing education for licensed customs brokers.

4. The Secure Trade Lanes Subcommittee will provide updates on the progress and plans for the In-Bond Working Group and the Remote and Autonomous Cargo Processing Working Group. The Partnership Programs and Industry Engagement Working Group (formerly Trusted Trader Working Group) topics of discussion will include the inclusion of forced labor into the Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT) program, as well as the proposed requirements CTPAT members must meet to mitigate the risk of forced labor in their supply chains. The Export Modernization Working Group will provide updates regardingthe development of policies for industry and government partners regarding data collection and sharing in all modes for exportation of goods out of the United States.

More information HERE.

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Certain Amorphous Silica Fabric From the People’s Republic of China: Final Results of the Expedited First Sunset Review of the Antidumping Duty Order

On June 8, 2022, the International Trade Administration published in the Federal Register (87 FR 34845) Certain Amorphous Silica Fabric From the People’s Republic of China: Final Results of the Expedited First Sunset Review of the Antidumping Duty Order.

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Manufacturing Extension Partnership Advisory Board

On June 7, 2022, the Manufacturing Extension Partnership Advisory Board published in the Federal Register (87 FR 34254) Manufacturing Extension Partnership Advisory Board.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Advisory Board will meet on Wednesday, June 8, 2022 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Central Time. The meeting is partially closed to the public in order to protect the confidential and proprietary data to be examined and discussed at the meeting.

Certain Amorphous Silica Fabric From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of the Expedited First Sunset Review of the Countervailing Duty Order

On June 7, 2022, the International Trade Administration published in the Federal Register (87 FR 34641) Certain Amorphous Silica Fabric From the People's Republic of China: Final Results of the Epedited First Sunset Review of the Countervailing Duty Order

Request for Comments on Proposed U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st-Century Trade

On June 7, 2022, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative published in the Federal Register (87 FR 34745) Request for Comments on Proposed U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st-Century Trade

Certain Superabsorbent Polymers From the Republic of Korea: Preliminary Affirmative Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, Postponement of Final Determination, and Extension of Provisional Measures

On June 7, 2022, the International Trade Administration published in the Federal Register (87 FR 34647) Certain Superabsorbent Polymers From the Republic of Korea: Preliminary Affirmative Determination of Sales at Less Than Fair Value, Postponement of Final Determination, and Extension of Provisional Measures

Friday, June 3, 2022

USTR Extends 301 Exclusions for Pandemic-Related Articles

On June 3, 2022, the Office of the United States Trade Representative published in the Federal Register (87 FR 33871) Notice of Product Exclusion Extensions: China’s Acts, Policies, and Practices Related to Technology Transfer, Intellectual Property, and Innovation. The Trade Representative has determined to extend 81 of the COVID–19 related product exclusions for an additional 6 months.

Thursday, June 2, 2022

Army and Air Force Trouser Contract Awarded

Bethel Industries Inc., Jersey City, New Jersey, has been awarded a maximum $8,040,600 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for trousers. This was a competitive acquisition with nine responses received. This is a one-year base contract with three one-year option periods. Location of performance is Kentucky, with a May 25, 2023, ordering period end date. Using military services are Army and 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 (SPE1C1-22-D-1559).

Target Recalls Children’s Cat & Jack Unicorn Cozy Pajama Sets Due to Burn Hazard

Description: This recall involves a children’s two-piece, long-sleeved top and pant pajama sets. The pajama set is the brand “Cat & Jack” in the “Unicorn Cozy” pattern. The pajama top is black with ivory unicorns and ivory stars with the words “Dream Away” printed in metallic gold lettering. The pajama bottoms are ivory with black unicorns and black stars. The pajama set is 100% polyester and was sold in children’s sizes XS, S, M, L and XL. The product item number is printed on the inside sewn-in side seam label on both the pajama top and pant.

Remedy: Consumers should immediately take the recalled pajama sets away from children and return the pajama sets to any Target store location for a full refund. Consumers who purchased the pajama sets on Target.com can contact Target to receive a prepaid return label to return the pajama set for a full refund. The firm is contacting known purchasers directly regarding the recall.

Incidents/Injuries: None reported

Sold Exclusively At: Target stores nationwide and Target.com from October 2021 through March 2022 for about $15.

Importer(s): Target Corporation, of Minneapolis, Minnesota

Manufactured In: China

Recall number: 22-142

More information and photos HERE.

Joey Clothing Recalls Children’s Robes Due to Burn Hazard

Description: This recall involves Leveret branded children’s robes. The robes are made of cotton and nylon, have an attached hood, cuffed wrists, two functional front pockets and a detachable belt. The robes were sold in children’s sizes 12-18 months through size 14 and in the following colors: black, dark blue, green, gray, navy, pink, purple and white. The sewn-in neck label displays the brand Leveret, the robe’s size, material content, washing instructions and “Made in China.”

Remedy: Consumers should immediately take the recalled robes away from children, stop using them and contact Joey Clothing for a full refund. Consumers who purchased the robes from Amazon.com will be contacted through Amazon’s messaging platform. Consumers who purchased the robes directly from Joey Clothing, Nordstrom Rack and Zulily will be contacted via email.

Consumers must cut the robes in half and send photo proof of the destroyed robes and sewn-in label to receive a $30 refund via email at productrecall@leveret.com. Joey Clothing will refund $35 to consumers who a show a receipt of the full purchase price. Consumers without a receipt will be refunded $30.

Incidents/Injuries: None reported

Sold At: Online at amazon.com, leveret.com, nordstromrack.com and zulily.com from November 2020 through January 2022 for between $30 and $35.

Importer(s): Joey Clothing Inc., of Moonachie, New Jersey

Manufactured In: China

Recall number: 22-145

More information and photos HERE.

2022 Trade Facilitation and Cargo Security Summit Anaheim, California July 18 - 20

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has announced that the 2022 Trade Facilitation and Cargo Security Summit will be held July 18-20 at the Hilton Anaheim in Anaheim, California, and virtually via webcast. CBP has combined its annual Trade Symposium and Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (CTPAT) conference to bring you the best of both worlds! There will bethree full days packed with key industry speakers, panel discussions and workshops highlighting the latest requirement updates and best practices for navigating today’s complex supply chain challenges.

Information and registration HERE.

Saturday, May 28, 2022

USTR Extends Covid -19 Exclusions from China Section 301 Tariffs

On May 27, 2022, the Office of the United States Trade Representative announced the further extension of the COVID -19 related product exclusions in the China Section 301 Investigation. The exclusions were previously scheduled to expire on May 31, 2022, and will now be extended for an additional six months, through November 30, 2022.

The exclusions cover 81 medical-care products needed to address the COVID-19 pandemic and were initially granted on December 29, 2020.

Marine Corps Poly/Wool Cloth Contract Awarded

Burlington Industries LLC, Greensboro, North Carolina, has been awarded a maximum $8,164,650 modification (P00013) exercising the fourth one-year option period of a one-year base contract (SPE1C1-18-D-1054) with four one-year option periods for poly/wool, gabardine cloth. This is a fixed-price with economic-price-adjustment, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. The ordering period end date is May 29, 2023. Using military service is Marine Corps. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2022 through 2023 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Wool Fabric Contract with Berry Waiver to be Produced in Mexico

Burlington Industries LLC, Greensboro, North Carolina, has been awarded a maximum $11,171,632 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity letter contract for poly/wool khaki cloth. This was a sole-source acquisition using justification 10 U.S.C. 2304 (c)(1), as stated in Federal Acquisition Regulation 6.302-1. This is an 18-month contract with no option periods. Location of performance is Mexico, with a Nov. 26, 2023, ordering period end date. Using military service is Marine Corps. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2022 through 2024 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (SPE1C1-22-D-1555).

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Army Physical Fitness Uniform Contract Awarded

National Industries for the Blind,** Alexandria, Virginia, has been awarded a maximum $7,727,500 modification (P00002) exercising the first one-year option period of a one-year base contract (SPE1C1-21-D-B112) with four one-year option periods for physical fitness uniform pants. This is an indefinite-delivery contract. Locations of performance are North Carolina and Tennessee, with a June 9, 2023, 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. **Mandatory source

Free Birdees Recalls Children’s Pajamas Due to Burn Hazard

Description: This recall involves Free Birdees’ children’s 95% viscose and 5% spandex pajamas. The two-piece, short or long-sleeved pajamas, were sold in sizes 6-12 months, 12-18 months, 18-24 months, 2T, 3T, 4T, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, and 12, and in three prints: green tractor, green stripe and tropical fish. Free Birdees, the size and RN 157155 are printed at the neck.

Remedy: Consumers should immediately take the recalled pajamas away from children and contact Free Birdees for a full refund. Consumers who purchased the sleepwear garments will be asked to destroy the garments by cutting them in half and send the recalling firm a photo of the destroyed garment and of the garment’s neck label. Upon receipt of the photos, consumers will be issued their choice of either a full refund or a store gift card. Free Birdees is contacting all known purchasers directly.

Incidents/Injuries: None reported

Sold At: Online at www.freebirdees.com from September 2021 through February 2022 for between $34 and $35.

Importer(s): Free Birdees LLC, of Culver City, California

Manufactured In: China

Recall number: 22-=749

More and photos HERE.

Copper Pearl Recalls Children’s Sleepwear Due to Violation of Federal Flammability Standards and Burn Hazard

Description: This recall involves Copper Pearl children’s pajamas made of 69% polyester, 28% rayon and 3% spandex. The two-piece, long-sleeved pajamas were sold in two prints: fawn and polar. The tight-fitting sleepwear was sold in children’s sizes 12M, 18M, 2T, 3T, 4T and 5T. “Made by Copper Pearl,” size and RN 151055 are printed at the neck.

Remedy: Consumers should immediately take the recalled sleepwear away from children and contact Copper Pearl for a full refund. Consumers who purchased the sleepwear directly from Copper Pearl will be contacted via email and provided prepaid mailers to return the garment(s) for a full refund. Consumers who purchased the sleepwear at retail locations will be asked to destroy the garments by cutting them in half and sending the firm a photo of the destroyed product, including the neck label. Upon receipt of the photos, consumers will be issued a full refund and a 20% off discount code towards another purchase.

Incidents/Injuries: None reported

Sold At: Online at www.copperpearl.com and at various children’s boutiques nationwide from November 2021 through February 2022 for about $35.

Importer(s): Copper Pearl Inc., of Salt Lake City, Utah

Manufactured In: India

Recall number: 22-139

More and photos HERE.

Tariff Mitigation Strategies

Tariff Mitigation Strategies for U.S. Importers
David Trumbull's Comments at Techtextil
10:30, May 19, 2022, Atlanta, Georgia

Product Definition

The first thing is to define the product you will be importing, and the lesson here is that industry calls it and what U.S. Customs calls it is not necessarily the same.

U.S. industry largely uses the imperial system of weights and measures, the government used the metric system. In weaving it is common to use linear yards, often without stating the width -- Is it 54 inch wide linear yard? Is it 110 inch wide linear yard?

Industry and government textile terminology may differ. For example, many technical textiles are coated, but, does customs consider it coated? Customs definition of "coated" is over 200 words long.

"5903 Textile fabrics impregnated, coated, covered or laminated with plastics, other than those of heading 5902.

"Chapter 59 Note 2. Heading 5903 applies to:

"(a) Textile fabrics, impregnated, coated, covered or laminated with plastics, whatever the weight per square meter and whatever the nature of the plastic material (compact or cellular), other than:

"(1) Fabrics in which the impregnation, coating or covering cannot be seen with the naked eye (usually chapters 50 to 55, 58 or 60); for the purpose of this provision, no account should be taken of any resulting change of color;

"(2) Products which cannot, without fracturing, be bent manually around a cylinder of a diameter of 7 mm, at a temperature between 15 C and 30 C (usually chapter 39);

"(3) Products in which the textile fabric is either completely embedded in plastics or entirely coated or covered on both sides with such material, provided that such coating or covering can be seen with the naked eye with no account being taken of any resulting change of color (chapter 39);

"(4) Fabrics partially coated or partially covered with plastics and bearing designs resulting from these treatments (usually chapters 50 to 55, 58 or 60);

"(5) Plates, sheets or strip of cellular plastics, combined with textile fabric, where the textile fabric is present merely for reinforcing purposes (chapter 39); or

"(6) Textile products of heading 5811.

"(b) Fabrics made from yarn, strip or the like, impregnated, coated, covered or sheathed with plastics, of heading 5604."

Customs has repeated held that "The laminated fabrics of this heading (5903) should not be confused with fabrics which are simply assembled in layers by means of a plastic adhesive. These fabrics, which have no plastic showing in cross-section, generally fall in Chapters 50 to 55." NOTE, it need not be visible on the face or the back, as long as it is visible in cross-section.

Case study

A fabricator of tents to protect bicycles imported fabric coated to make it waterproof. The coating was opaque and obscured the fabric which caused it to be classified under heading 5903 with no, or low, import duty. The vendor changed the formulation to make the coating clear. The import didn't care, because it remained waterproof. Customs ruled that because the coating "cannot be seen with the naked eye" it was ineligible for heading 5903 and was classified according to the base fabric, which had a significant import duty. He came to me after the fact. There was nothing to do. Talk to a an import specialist before making decisions.

Tariff Classification

Goods traded internationally are classified using the international Harmonized System. Every article is classified according 4-digit heading and 6-digit subheading. This means that we can track the flow of goods, at the 6-digit level without needing to understand the language of the description. To the internationally-harmonized 6-digits, the U.S. further classifies articles to ten digits. As the coated textile example demonstrates, classification can be complex and difficult. This not a do it yourself project!

Case study

An importer had the correct classification, but was not aware that they can change. The international system is revised every five years and U.S. one more frequently. His classification changed, but he kept on using the old one, which was subject the 25% China duty. Another case where he came to me after the fact. I could have gotten him refunds but deadline for changing his filing had passed. I recommend a periodic review of your entire import program.

Tariff Mitigation

In some cases, there are legal ways to lower tariff costs.

Case Studies

Foreign-Trade Zone

A company imports fiber in the form of tow and pays 7.5% duty. In the U.S. he cuts the tow to make flock, which is duty-free. We set his plant up as a Foreign-Trade Zone through a process with the Department of Commerce and Customs. Now when the tow enters his facility it is not considered to have entered the customs territory of the U.S. It is not, for Customs purposes, considered to be an import until the flock leaves the zone, with no duty. An FTZ can also provide some tariff savings for warehousing and distribution facilities.

Miscellaneous Tarff Bill

If no one in the U.S. makes what you import you can petition through the U.S. International Trade Committee to have the duty temporarily suspended. If the ITC agrees, your article is placed on a huge list that is sent to congress for a vote. There are some limits to using the MTB. Any opposition will get your request denied, a non-appealable decision, however, sometimes one can work with the objector and get the objection removed, if the final decision has not been made. Sometime the request can be tweaked to remove objection. In some cases the objector did not understand the government description is of a product other than his (back to industry vs government nomenclature). There is a once every three years window for submitting requests. There is expectation that they will open that window this fall. I assisted a company importing a specialized glass fiber for wind turbine blades to get relief through the MTB process. This case had an added layer. He described the fiber and gave me the tariff classification. I said that the classification did not match his description. He sent me a sample and I could tell from a naked eye inspection that he had the wrong classification. He was equally certain he was right. So, I sent the sample to Customs for a binding ruling which confirmed my opinion. He had relied on the classification provided by the exporter. Recall that classification is harmonized to 6-digits. At the 10-digit level the U.S. and German had a different classification.

Generalized System of Preferences

The U.S., unilaterally, grants tariff concessions to some of the poorest nations. Most textile articles are excluded, but GSP may be helpful in the case of some technical textiles. A textile coating facility imports polytetrafluoroethylene ("PTFE") resin from India. Normally it has 5.8% import duty. He gets it duty free because India has GSP. PTFE from India is subject to substantial antidumping duty, however, because of the way the article is described in the AD order, the version he imports is exempt. Again, terminology!

Free Trade Agreements and Preference Programs

The U.S. have 20 free trade agreements with 14 nations that provide duty free treatment provided the goods satisfy the rules of the origin of the particular agreement. We also have Preference Programs with several nations in the Caribbean region and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Tariff Engineering and Country of Origin Engineering

Importers of certain boxes coated with textiles face 6.3% tariff it is cotton and 17.6% if it is a man-made fiber. They prefer MMF, but get the lower rate buy using a cotton/MMF blend. However, they got in trouble when they got too precise in the blend, making it 51% cotton and 49% MMF. Due to the inherent variances in the manufacturing process and in testing, when Customs had samples tested, they came back with slightly more MMF than cotton. Related is country of origin engineering. A company was importing from China an article with several components and was paying the 25% China tariff. I got Customs to agree that if one critical component was sourced from Vietnam, all the other components could be sourced from China and final assembly stayed in China, the article was a product of China.

This brings up another topic, risky supply chains. After he moved some of the production to Vietnam the U.S. investigation of Vietnam which could have lead to imposition of the China tariff on Vietnam. At the last minute, Vietnam settled the case. It shows that when considering sourcing you need to assess ALL the potential risks.

Monday is Memorial Day in America

Agathon Associates will be closed Monday in observance of Memorial Day, a United States federal holiday which occurs every year on the last Monday of May. Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.

In much of the United States, Memorial Day marks the beginning of summer. The "three day weekend" created by the Monday holiday is enjoyed with cookouts, trips to the beach and other leisure activities as will as parades and public ceremonies honoring those who died in service of the nation.

POST-GAZETTE - Res Publica
The Story of Taps
by David Trumbull -- May 24, 2013

This Memorial Day we remember and honor the men and women who died to preserve our freedom. Even as we enjoy kicking off summer however we chose this weekend, that is itself a testimony to their sacrifices, for we enjoy the cookouts, trips to the beach, and so forth because they made it possible. We especially honor those who died for our country when we decorate their graves or participant in patriotic parades and ceremonies this weekend.

At those solemn memorial events in our towns and cities, in our churches and synagogues, and in the halls of our veterans or other lodges, a familiar, haunting melody will mark the day --

The familiar bugle call "Taps" is generally believed to be based on a traditional French call to curfew (from Middle English "curfeu," from Old French "cuevrefeu," meaning cover the fire and turn in for the night).

According to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs the version of those 24 melancholy notes that we know from military funerals was crafted during America's Civil War by Union General Daniel Adams Butterfield, heading a brigade camped at Harrison Landing, Va., near Richmond. This music was made the official Army bugle call after the war, but not given the name "taps" until 1874.

The Department of Veterans Affair also that: "The first time taps was played at a military funeral may also have been in Virginia soon after Butterfield composed it. Union Capt. John Tidball, head of an artillery battery, ordered it played for the burial of a cannoneer killed in action. Not wanting to reveal the battery’s position in the woods to the enemy nearby, Tidball substituted taps for the traditional three rifle volleys fired over the grave. Taps was played at the funeral of Confederate Gen. Stonewall Jackson 10 months after it was composed. Army infantry regulations by 1891 required taps to be played at military funeral ceremonies."

Taps now is played by the military at burial and memorial services, to accompany the lowering of the flag, and to signal the "lights out" command at day's end.

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Army and Air Force Coat and Trouser Contract Awarded

Puerto Rico Apparel Manufacturing Corp.,* Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, has been awarded a maximum $11,528,347 modification (P00032) exercising the third one-year option period of a one-year base contract (SPE1C1-19-D-1151) with four one-year option periods for various types of coats and trousers. This is a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. The ordering period end date is May 29, 2023. Using military services are Army and 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.

*Small business

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Navy Wool Jumper Contract Awarded

Bernard Cap Co., Inc.,* Hialeah, Florida, has been awarded a maximum $8,782,186 fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for men’s and women’s wool blue jumpers. This was a competitive acquisition with five responses received. This is a one-year base contract with four one-year option periods. The ordering period end date is May 23, 2023. Using military service is Navy. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2022 through 2023 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (SPE1C1-22-D-5043).

*Small business

Monday, May 23, 2022

American Woolen Company on "How America Works" Tonight

American Woolen Company is set to be featured on an episode of television host Mike Rowe’s show, “How America Works,” that will air Monday night at 8 p.m. on the FOX Business Network.

Read more HERE.

Friday, May 20, 2022

IFAI Selects Advanced Textiles Association As New Name

Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) has chosen a new name, the Advanced Textiles Association (ATA), effective June 1.

The name change was approved in April with 85.6 percent of association members casting their votes to do so. Per our bylaws, a two-thirds affirmative vote of those returning ballots is needed for approval. The results were audited by Clifton Larson Allen.

The new name, Advanced Textiles Association, reflects the evolving textile industry and is designed to position the association to meet the needs of its members and the industry as a whole. IFAI's Board of Directors, staff and industry partners have been researching the IFAI brand for over a year, with the goal of ensuring the association is well-positioned for the future.

That market research and discussion with members found the need for a new brand. After more than 40 years as IFAI, the updated name not only speaks to those core markets, but also reflects the fact that members are working in markets that may not be readily identified as “industrial fabrics.” We are working on rebranding to match our new name and we are excited to share it with the industry soon!

Air Force Trouser Contract Awarded

Creighton AB Inc., Reidsville, North Carolina, has been awarded a maximum $8,674,173 modification (P00014) exercising the third one-year option period of a one-year base contract (SPE1C1-20-D-1211) with four one-year option periods for dress trousers. This is a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. Location of performance is New York, with a May 22, 2023, 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.

Air Force Coat Contract Awarded

Creighton AB Inc., Reidsville, North Carolina, has been awarded a maximum $12,656,835 modification (P00008) exercising the second one-year option period of a one-year base contract (SPE1C1-20-D-1274) with four one-year option periods for men’s and women’s blue coats. This is a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. The ordering period end date is May 20, 2023. 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.

Maritime Buoyant Plates Contract Awarded

Tencate Advanced Armor USA Inc.,* Hebron, Ohio, was awarded an $8,951,506 firm-fixed-priced modification to previously awarded contract N61331-20-D-0011 for maritime buoyant plates to support the Antiterrorism Afloat Equipage Program. Work will be performed in Hebron, Ohio, and is expected to be completed by June 2023, unless further options are exercised. If all options are exercised, performance will be completed by June 2025 with a contract value not to exceed $15,335,931. Varying types of funding will be utilized to place orders on an “as needed” basis. No funding will be obligated at time of award. The Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division, Panama City, Florida, is the contracting activity. (Awarded May 17, 2022)

*Small business

In Less than 24 Hours CBP Officers in Louisville Intercept $3.65M in Counterfeit Designer Apparel & Unapproved Medication

On May 17 officers inspected a shipment arriving from Hong Kong that was heading to a residence in Suwanee, Georgia. Inside officers found over 5,000 pairs of counterfeit Chanel earring. An Import Specialist determined that the earrings were counterfeit. The 5052 earrings had a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $2.27 million, had they been genuine.

Later that night, officers were inspecting a shipment arriving from the United Kingdom and was heading to a residence in Las Vegas, Nevada. Officers inspected the shipment and found 1,000 blister packs of Sildenafil along with clothes and Cheetos. The Sildenafil has a MSRP of more than $309,000.

Early the next morning, officers were still inspecting shipments and targeted a shipment arriving from Hong Kong. The package supposedly contained a kid bag. When officers inspected the shipment, they found more than 150 counterfeit Chanel handbags. An Import Specialist also determined these were counterfeit knockoffs. The 156 handbags had a MSRP of $1.07 million, had they been real. These fakes were heading to a residence in Sands Point, New York.

Read more HERE.

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Navy Poly/Wool Fabric Contract Awarded

Burlington Apparel Fabrics, Greensboro, North Carolina, has been awarded a maximum $11,891,000 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity letter contract for poly/wool tropical khaki cloth. This was a sole-source acquisition using justification 10 U.S. Code 2304 (c)(1), as stated in Federal Acquisition Regulation 6.302-1. This is a two-year contract with no option periods. Location of performance is Mexico, with a May 10, 2024, ordering period end date. Using military service is Navy. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2022 through 2024 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (SPE1C1-22-D-1547).

Apparel Company Fit with $211,335 Fine for Fake "Made in USA" Claims

Lions Not Sheep sells merchandise through social media, on Amazon, and on Etsy. It has described itself as a lifestyle brand that allow customers to “show people it’s possible to live your life as a LION, Not a sheep.” The company and its owner Sean Whalen pitched their politically-themed hats, tees, sweatshirts, etc., with claims that their merchandise was “Made in the USA,” “Made in America,” and “100% AMERICAN MADE.”

Read more HERE.

Complying with the FTC rules can be complex and some manufacturers run afoul of the rules through ignorance, not the intent to deceive. I am pleased to announce that my business, Agathon Associates, offers a "Made in U.S.A. Certification" service. Manufacturers desiring to make a Made in U.S.A. claim can have me evaluate their manufacturing process and certify that under the FTC rules they can honestly say "Proudly Made in the U.S.A."

Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Flammability Standards for Children’s Sleepwear

On May 11, 2022, the Consumer Product Safety Commission published in the Federal Register (87 FR 28817) Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Flammability Standards for Children’s Sleepwear

Annual Review of Country Eligibility for Benefits Under the African Growth and Opportunity Act

On May 11, 2022, the Office of the United States Trade Representative published in the Federal Register (87 FR 28856) Annual Review of Country Eligibility for Benefits Under the African Growth and Opportunity Act

Friday, May 6, 2022

March 2022 Textile and Apparel Import Report

On May 4, 2022, the Office of Textiles and Apparel reported that imports of cotton, wool, man-made fiber, silk blends, and non-cotton vegetable fiber textile and apparel products totaled 9,373.6 million square meter equivalents (MSME) in March 2022, an increase of 39.0 percent compared to March 2021. Imports of textiles were 6,262.5 MSME in March 2022, up 47.4 percent from March 2021. Imports of apparel were 3,111.2 MSME in March 2022, up 24.8 percent from March 2021.

Imports of textiles and apparel were 26,073.8 MSME for the year-to-date March 2022, an increase of 39.0 percent from year-to-date March 2021. Imports of textiles were 17,722.3 MSME for the year-to-date March 2022, an increase of 46.9 percent from the year-to-date March 2021. Apparel imports for the year-to-date March 2022 were 8,351.5 MSME, up 24.7 percent from the year-to-date March 2021.

Read the report HERE.

Notice of Funds Availability; Cotton and Wool Apparel Program June 17 DEADLINE

On May 6, 2022, the Department of Agriculture published in the Federal Register (87 FR 27083 Notice of Funds Availability; Cotton and Wool Apparel Program.

"SUMMARY: The Farm Service Agency (FSA) is announcing the availability of $50 million for the new Cotton and Wool Apparel Program (CAWA), which will support the domestic markets for wool and Pima cotton by assisting eligible apparel manufacturers of men's and boys' worsted wool suits, sport coats, pants, or Pima cotton dress shirts; Pima cotton spinners; and wool fabric manufacturers and wool spinners. The COVID-19 pandemic dramatically reduced the demand for these types of clothing, textiles, and threads, and in turn, the market for the raw commodities. CAWA will assist in the development and restoration of the market for domestically produced cotton and wool products and ultimately for the underlying commodities. To be eligible for CAWA, an applicant must have experienced a decrease of at least 15 percent in calendar year 2020 gross sales or consumption of eligible products described in this document compared to the applicant's gross sales or consumption in any selected calendar years 2017, 2018, or 2019. Payments to eligible entities will be based on their pre-pandemic market share relative to other similar applicants subject to payment limitations. The eligibility requirements, payment calculation, and application procedure for CAWA are included in this document.

"DATES:
Funding Availability: Implementation will begin May 6, 2022.
Applications Start Date: We will accept applications for funding starting on May 16, 2022.
Applications Due Date: We will accept applications for funding through June 17, 2022."

Emily Maling and other CPSC staff will participate in American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists (AATCC) Spring Committee Meetings

Emily Maling, Consumer Product Safety Commission Directorate for Laboratory Sciences, and other CPSC staff will participate in American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists (AATCC) Spring Committee Meetings on May 10-11, 2022 from 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM ET via teleconference. For more information, including meeting call-in information, please contact Emily Maling at emaling@cpsc.gov or 301-987-2301.

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Linum Home Textiles Recalls Children’s Robes Due to Violation of Federal Flammability Standards and Burn Hazard

Description: This recall involves children’s 100 percent cotton terry robes. The long-sleeved, hooded robes have two front pockets and a sewn-in, side-seam matching belt. The robes were sold in sizes small, medium and large and in the following colors: white, navy, pink, gray and purple. “Made in Turkey,” “100% Combed Turkish Cotton,” the size and the washing instructions are printed on a sewn-in, side-seam label.

Remedy: Consumers should immediately take the recalled robes away from children and contact Linum Home Textiles to receive a pre-paid mailer and instructions on how to return the robe(s) for a full refund. The firm is also contacting consumers who purchased the robes directly from Linum Home Textiles.

Incidents/Injuries: None reported

Sold At: Online at Amazon.com, QVC.com, Overstock.com, Groupon.com, Wayfair.com, Zulily.com, Bedbathandbeyond.com, Boscovs.com, Houzz.com, JCPenney.com, Kohls.com, Linumtowels.com and TorreyCommerce.com from July 2017 through April 2022 for between $25 and $40.

Importer(s): Linum Home Textiles LLC, of Ridgefield, New Jersey

Manufactured In: Turkey

Recall number: 22-128

More information and photos HERE.

Children’s Robes Recalled Due to Burn Hazard; Imported by NewCosplay

Description: This recall involves NewCosplay children’s robes. The long-sleeved robes are made of 100% micro polyester and were sold in sizes 3T through 12. The robes were sold in 22 different patterns. The robes have a sewn-in side seam belt, two functional front pockets and a hood that is character theme with a mane, ears and horn. The sewn-in neck label displays the fiber content, washing instructions and “Made in China.” The sewn-in side seam label displays the garment’s size.

Remedy: Consumers should immediately take the recalled robes away from children, stop using them and contact NewCosplay for a full refund. Consumers who purchased the robes from Amazon.com will be contacted through Amazon’s messaging platform and provided prepaid mailers to return the products for a full refund. Consumers can also contact NewCosplay to request a postage prepaid mailer to return the products for a full refund.

Incidents/Injuries: None reported

Sold At: Online at www.newcosplay.net and www.amazon.com from December 2021 through March 2022 for between $14 and $30, depending on the style.

Importer(s): NewCosplay, of China

Manufactured In: China

Recall number: 22-129

More information and photos HERE.

Winter Water Factory Recalls Infant French Terry Jumpsuits, Rompers, Snap Suits, Baby Dresses and Bibs Due to Choking and Laceration Hazards

Description: This recall involves all infant French terry jumpsuits, rompers, snap suits, baby dresses and bibs from the Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, and Spring 2022 seasons. The garments were sold in infant sizes 0M – 3T in various prints in the following styles: French terry jumpsuit, long-sleeve romper, summer romper, tank top romper, bubble romper, footed romper, long-sleeve snap suit, short-sleeve snap suit, Azalea baby dress, Oslo baby Dress, Juniper baby dress, Geneva baby dress, Merano baby dress, Kerchief bib and French terry bib. Images of the recalled styles and prints are available on Winter Water Factory’s website at www.winterwaterfactory.com/pages/recall. The recalled garments can be identified by one of the following codes at the bottom of the label in the back of the neck:

TX-JM-I-XXII

TX-JM-VII-XXI

TX-JM-I-XXI

TX-JM-VII-XX

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled jumpsuits, rompers, snap suits, baby dresses and bibs and contact Winter Water Factory for instructions on how to receive a full refund or a refund in the form of a store credit. Consumers should destroy the recalled garments by cutting them in half with scissors and then upload a photo of the destroyed garment(s) to the company’s website at www.winterwaterfactory.com/pages/recall. Upon receipt of the photo, consumers will be issued their choice of a full refund of the purchase price or a store credit with an additional 20% of the purchase price.

Incidents/Injuries: The firm has received 29 reports of snaps detaching between the prong ring and the stud or socket piece. No injuries have been reported.

Sold At: Small boutique stores nationwide and online at www.winterwaterfactory.com from August 2020 through April 2022 for between $19 and $49, depending on style.

Distributor(s): Winter Water Factory LLC, of Brooklyn, New York

Manufactured In: United States

Recall number: 22-130

More information and photos HERE.

NCTO President & CEO Kim Glas Issues Statement on USTR 301 Tariff Review

On May 4, 2022, the National Council of Textile Organizations issued the following statement--

“We have long advocated for the 301 penalty tariffs to remain on finished textile and apparel products from China. Not only do they increase the government’s negotiating leverage to address the Chinese government’s serious predatory trade practices that have hurt our domestic manufacturing sector and that of our free trade agreement partners for decades; they also send a strong message to China that the United States is committed to addressing systemic predatory trade practices that have undermined domestic industries and their workers.

For decades, China’s illegal actions have undermined virtually every domestic manufacturing sector and contributed to the direct loss of millions of U.S. jobs. These devastating state-sponsored practices, which include intellectual property theft, pervasive state-ownership of manufacturing, industrial subsidies, and abhorrent labor and human rights abuses in the Xinjiang region, have allowed China to dominate the global marketplace, which has had severe ramifications on American workers and our Western Hemisphere trade allies. As sourcing executives seek to de-risk out of China for these products, our sector is experiencing massive investment in the U.S. and Western Hemisphere supply chains. In fact, we expect approximately $1 billion of investment announced in the United States and Central America this year alone, as penalty tariffs have played a key role in sourcing shifts.

We have long advocated for the tariffs to be maintained on finished textile and apparel products to ensure we address these larger systemic issues that have substantially hurt our manufacturing sector and offshored jobs.

Tariffs are a reasonable and necessary mechanism to support U.S. jobs, offset unacceptable practices, and strengthen the national economy. They help partially level the playing field for American manufacturers and workers trying to compete against unfair and illegal trade practices – ranging from intellectual property theft, forced labor, to state-sponsored subsidies – that have been perpetuated by the Chinese government. These products have flooded the U.S. market and put our domestic producers and their jobs at risk and have significantly contributed to offshoring and the destruction of the middle-class jobs. It’s critical we maintain key negotiating leverage to address these predatory trade behaviors.

We have also strongly advocated for a fair, transparent process to remove tariffs on certain limited textile machinery, chemicals and dyes that cannot be sourced domestically to help U.S. manufacturers compete against China.

The review process, which is required by statute and being undertaken by the U.S. Trade Representative’s office, will allow domestic manufacturers to weigh in on whether removing the tariffs will be harmful and trigger USTR to do a further review.

Our position has not wavered; the U.S. must maintain Section 301 tariffs on finished products, in the absence of substantive improvements in China’s pervasive, predatory trade practices. Lifting these penalty duties will cement China’s destructive dominance of global manufacturing and will do nothing to achieve the administration’s goal of easing inflationary pressures, as apparel prices out of China continue to hit rock bottom regardless of the Section 301 tariffs.”

Dress Uniform Trouser Contract Awarded

Fechheimer Brothers Co., Cincinnati, Ohio, has been awarded a maximum $9,052,500 modification (P00006) exercising the first one-year option period of a one-year base contract (SPE1C1-21-D-1468) with four one-year option periods for men’s uniform dress trousers. This is a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. Locations of performance are Kentucky, Tennessee and Ohio, with a May 4, 2023, 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.

Army Dress Uniform Coat Contract Awarded

Gil Sewing Corp.,* Chicago, Illinois, has been awarded a maximum $15,160,500 modification (P00008) exercising the first one-year option period of a one-year base contract (SPE1C1-21-D-1467) with four one-year option periods for men’s uniform dress coats. This is a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. Location of performance is Illinois, with a May 6, 2023, 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.

*Small business

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

USTR Releases 2022 Special 301 Report on Intellectual Property Protection and Enforcement

On April 27, 2022, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) today released its 2022 Special 301 Report on the adequacy and effectiveness of U.S. trading partners’ protection and enforcement of intellectual property (IP) rights.

“Intellectual property-intensive industries support more than 60 million jobs – from the independent inventor just starting out to the documentary filmmaker studying critical social issues.  We need robust protection and enforcement in foreign countries to protect these individuals, their livelihoods, and ensure they can fairly compete in the global marketplaces,” Ambassador Katherine Tai said.  “Following extensive input from a broad range of stakeholders, the 2022 Special 301 Report identifies trading partners that are falling short.  The Biden-Harris Administration will continue to engage with these trading partners to level the playing field for our workers and businesses.”

The 2022 Special 301 Report can be viewed here

This annual report details USTR’s findings of more than 100 trading partners after significant research and enhanced engagement with stakeholders.  Key elements of the 2022 Special 301 Report include:
 

  • The Special 301 review of Ukraine has been suspended due to Russia’s premeditated and unprovoked further invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
     

  • USTR will conduct an Out-of-Cycle Review of Bulgaria to assess whether Bulgaria makes material progress on addressing deficiencies in its investigation and prosecution of online piracy cases, particularly its failure to adopt evidence sampling in criminal cases.
     

  • The 2022 Special 301 review period took place during the COVID-19 pandemic, the largest global health crisis in more than a century.  The Biden-Harris Administration supports a waiver of IP protections for COVID-19 vaccines under the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement).  USTR is working hard to facilitate an outcome on IP that can achieve consensus across the 164 Members of the WTO to help end the pandemic.   The United States will continue to engage with WTO Members as part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s comprehensive effort to get as many safe and effective vaccines to as many people as fast as possible.
     

  • The United States is closely monitoring China’s progress in implementing its commitments under the United States-China Economic and Trade Agreement (Phase One Agreement).  In 2021, China enacted amendments to the Patent Law, Copyright Law, and Criminal Law, as well as other measures aimed at addressing IP protection and enforcement.  While right holders have welcomed these developments, they continue to raise concerns about the adequacy of these measures and their effective implementation, as well as about long-standing issues like bad faith trademarks, counterfeiting, and online piracy.  Also, statements by Chinese officials that tie IP rights to Chinese market dominance continue to raise strong concerns.
     

  • Several trading partners continued to advance IP protection and enforcement by enacting major legal reforms and joining international IP treaties.  For example, the United Arab Emirates enacted new Industrial Property, Trademark, Copyright, and Cyber Crime laws in 2021.  Chile’s amendment to its Industrial Property Law took effect in January 2022.   Japan’s Trademark Act amendments came into force in April 2022.  Kiribati, Uganda, and Vietnam acceded to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Performances and Phonograms Treaty and the WIPO Copyright Treaty, collectively known as the WIPO Internet Treaties.
     

  • Concerns with the European Union’s aggressive promotion of its exclusionary geographical indications (GI) policies persist.  The United States continues its intensive engagement in promoting and protecting access to foreign markets for U.S. exporters of products that are identified by common names or otherwise marketed under previously registered trademarks.  The United States is also concerned about the transfer of much of the GI application review process to EU Member States and the reduction of time periods for opposing registration of a GI that is part of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy, adopted in 2021 and entering into force in 2023.  

The report also highlights progress made by our trading partners to resolve and address IP issues of concern to the United States:

  • Kuwait is removed from the Watch List this year for making continued and significant progress on concerns that stakeholders identified with IP enforcement and transparency.   For example, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and the Copyright Office each created online portals for streamlining the submission of trademark and copyright violation reports, respectively.  Kuwait also increased engagement and transparency through meetings of the United States-Kuwait Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) Intellectual Property Working Group.
     

  • Saudi Arabia is removed from the Priority Watch List this year due to steps the Saudi Authority for Intellectual Property took to publish its IP enforcement procedures; increase enforcement against counterfeit and pirated goods and online pirated content; create specialized IP enforcement courts with trained judges and expedited timelines; conduct strong IP awareness, outreach, training, and support; set up a centralized committee to coordinate IP enforcement actions across multiple authorities; and train IP specialists in 76 different authorities to increase government compliance with IP laws.
     

  • Romania is removed from the Watch List this year due to taking significant actions to improve IP protection and enforcement.  These actions include the appointment of its first-ever national IP enforcement coordinator, establishment of a new department of the economic police dedicated to online piracy cases, dedication of additional officers to IP investigations, and the General Prosecutor Office Intellectual Property Coordination Department’s resumed coordination of IP working group sessions.
     

  • Lebanon is removed from the Watch List this year.  Stakeholders have not raised significant concerns about IP protection or enforcement during the Special 301 review.

BACKGROUND

The “Special 301” Report is an annual review of the global state of IP protection and enforcement.  USTR conducts this review pursuant to Section 182 of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended by the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988 and the Uruguay Round Agreements Act.

USTR reviewed more than one hundred (100) trading partners for this year’s Special 301 Report, and placed twenty-seven (27) of them on the Priority Watch List or Watch List.  The Special 301 review of Ukraine has been suspended due to Russia’s premeditated and unprovoked further invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

In this year’s Report, trading partners on the Priority Watch List present the most significant concerns this year regarding insufficient IP protection or enforcement or actions that otherwise limited market access for persons relying on intellectual property protection. Seven countries — Argentina, Chile, China, India, Indonesia, Russia, and Venezuela — are on the Priority Watch List.  These countries will be the subject of particularly intense bilateral engagement during the coming year.

Twenty trading partners are on the Watch List, and merit bilateral attention to address underlying IP problems: Algeria, Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Guatemala, Mexico, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, Thailand, Trinidad & Tobago, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam.

In addition, Out-of-Cycle Reviews provide an opportunity to address and remedy such issues through heightened engagement and cooperation with trading partners and other stakeholders.   USTR announced an Out-of-Cycle Review of Bulgaria.

PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT

USTR continued its enhanced approach to public engagement activities in this year’s Special 301 process.  USTR requested written submissions from the public through a notice published in the Federal Register on December 13, 2021 (Federal Register notice).  In addition, due to COVID-19, USTR fostered public participation via written submissions rather than an in-person hearing with the interagency Special 301 Subcommittee of the Trade Policy Staff Committee (TPSC) sending written questions about issues relevant to the review to those that submitted written comments, including to representatives of foreign governments, industry, and non-governmental organizations.  USTR posted the written questions and the written responses online at www.regulations.gov, docket number USTR-2021-0021.  

The Federal Register notice drew submissions from 44 non-government stakeholders and 18 foreign governments.  The submissions filed in response to the Federal Register notice are available to the public online at www.regulations.gov, docket number USTR-2021-0021.
 

The U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of Textiles and Apparel (OTEXA), maintains a Made in the USA Directory (trade.gov) as a tool to assist domestic and foreign buyers sourcing U.S.-made textiles, apparel, footwear, and travel goods. The Directory is a listing of over 500 U.S. manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, and producers and receives over 5000 web visits per month.

Demand for Made-in-USA products is gaining popularity with consumers, retailers, and foreign buyers. The Directory will be a useful tool to help expand your company’s visibility and customer base. We invite you to register your company on the Directory – it’s FREE! To register - go to the link: Made in the USA Directory (trade.gov) and choose Register as a U.S.A. Company. Fill out the information that you want posted as your listing. You can also search the listings for products or services you may need.

To qualify, a vendor must be a company established in the United States with at least one manufacturing plant, assembly plant, or distribution center that manufactures, assembles, or distributes U.S.-made textile, apparel, footwear or travel goods products.

NOTE: Please use a valid company email address and phone number so that potential clients can easily contact you. If the occasion arises that you change job functions, please provide information on your successor by updating your Directory listing. This will assure continuous coverage and contact information for your company.

If you have any questions, please contact Homer Boyer at homer.boyer@trade.gov or by phone at 609-922-0957.