Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Interactive Training Course on Forced Labor

The International Trade Administration (ITA) has developed an interactive training course to help U.S. firms and the public understand the laws and regulations that prevent goods made with forced labor from entering the United States. See the interactive training entitled Human Trafficking: Forced Labor in Global Supply Chains on ITA’s Forced Labor in Supply Chains webpage.

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

VE Source Fined $7.6

On August 2, 2022, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced that a Monmouth County, New Jersey, company will pay $7.6 million under a consent judgement for its role in making false statements to obtain government contracts that were set aside businesses owned and controlled by service-disabled veterans.

As alleged in the government’s complaint:

"VE Source LLC, based in Shrewsbury, New Jersey; the company’s owners, Sherman Barton and Christopher Neary; and a related entity, Vertical Source LLC, defrauded the federal government by falsely claiming that VE Source was eligible for government contracts that were set aside for companies owned and controlled by service-disabled veterans. VE Source obtained contracts from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), a component of the U.S. Department of Defense, totaling more than $16.5 million. By obtaining contracts for which they were ineligible, the government alleged that VE Source, Neary, and Barton undercut the express Congressional purpose in enacting laws intended to encourage the awards of federal contracts to businesses owned and controlled by service-disabled veterans."

Read more HERE

Flame-Resistant Coverall Contract Awarded

Excel Garment Manufacturing Ltd., El Paso, Texas, has been awarded a maximum $25,801,200 modification (P00009) exercising the second one-year option period of a one-year base contract (SPE1C1-20-D-1248) with four one-year option periods for improved flame-resistant coveralls. This is a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. The ordering period end date is Aug. 18, 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.

Saturday, August 13, 2022

$3.64 Million Settlement Aagainst Menswear Company for Underpaying Customs Duties

On August 11, 2022, Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, AnnMarie Highsmith, Executive Assistant Commissioner for U.S. Customs and Border Protection's ("CBP") Office of Trade, and Francis Russo, Director, CBP Field Operations New York, announced that the United States has filed and settled a civil lawsuit against Luchiano Visconti Loutie LLC d/b/a Luchiano Visconti ("LUCHIANO VISCONTI"), a New York-based company that imports and sells men’s apparel to retailers, as well as its manager, SASHA HOURIZADEH ("HOURIZADEH"). The settlement resolves claims that LUCHIANO VISCONTI and HOURIZADEH (collectively, "Defendants") defrauded the United States by falsely underreporting to CBP the value of apparel imported from overseas in order to avoid paying customs duties owed on the goods.

LUCHIANO VISCONTI did not pay over $1.8 million in customs duties that it was obligated to pay on the menswear.

In connection with the filing of the lawsuit and settlement, the Government joined a whistleblower lawsuit that had previously been filed under seal pursuant to the False Claims Act. The government has not announced how much of the fine will go to the whisteblower.

Read more HERE.

Certain Polyester Staple Fiber From South Korea and Taiwan

On August 12, 2022, the U.S. International Trade Commission published in the Federal Register (87 FR 49886) [Investigation Nos. 731-TA-825-826 (Fourth Review)] Certain Polyester Staple Fiber From South Korea and Taiwan.

On the basis of the record developed in the subject five-year reviews, the United States International Trade Commission determines, pursuant to the Tariff Act of 1930, that revocation of the antidumping duty orders on certain polyester staple fiber from South Korea and Taiwan would be likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of material injury to an industry in the United States within a reasonably foreseeable time.

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Manufacturing Extension Partnership Advisory Board; Notice of Open Meeting

On August 10, 2022, the National Institute of Standards and Technology published in the Federal Register (87 FR 48623) Manufacturing Extension Partnership Advisory Board; Notice of open meeting.

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Navy and Air Force Women's Coverall Contract Awarded

Carter Industries Inc.,* Olive Hill, Kentucky, has been awarded a maximum $16,446,258 modification (P00015) exercising the second one-year option period of a one-year base contract (SPE1C1-20-D-1238) with two one-year option periods for women’s coveralls. This is a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-quantity contract. Location of performance is New York, with an Aug. 11, 2023, ordering period end date. Using military services are Navy 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

FTC Sues Marketer of Personal Protective Equipment and Light Fixtures for Lying About Products Being Made in the USA and Government-Certified

The Federal Trade Commission has referred a complaint to the Department of Justice alleging Adam J. Harmon and two companies he controls falsely told consumers that personal protective equipment they marketed during the pandemic, as well as light fixtures they sold, were made in the United States. The FTC charged Harmon and his two companies, Axis LED Group, LLC and ALG-Health LLC, with violating the COVID-19 Consumer Protection Act, the Made in USA Labeling Rule and the FTC Act. The agency’s proposed order would stop them from making deceptive claims that products were Made in USA – or, that because they were Made in USA, they provided superior protection from COVID-19. The order also would require them to pay a civil penalty for their past deceptive claims.

Under a proposed settlement the defendants must pay a $157,683.37 civil penalty, which is due immediately. The defendants are also subject to a $2.8 million redress judgment, which is suspended due to their inability to pay. Should the FTC discover that the defendants have misstated the value of any assets or failed to disclose them, the agency will seek to have the suspension lifted and the full judgment due immediately.

Read more HERE.

Flemish Master Weavers Back with Another FTZ Application for Rug Manufacturing

On August 8, 2022 the Foreign Trade Zone Board published in the Federal Register (87 FR 48149) Foreign-Trade Zone 186 -- Waterville, Maine; Notification of Proposed Production Activity, Flemish Master Weavers (Machine-Made Woven Area Rugs), Sanford, Maine

In 2016, FMW received limited FTZ authority to produce machine-made woven area rugs using polypropylene and polyester yarns in privileged foreign (PF) status (19 CFR 146.41), which precludes inverted tariff benefits on those inputs (see 81 FR 51850, August 5, 2016).

In 2017, FMW requested authority to admit continuous filament polypropylene (CFPP) yarn in nonprivileged foreign (NPF) status (19 CFR 146.42) (B-28-2017, 82 FR 26434, 6/7/2017). That request was approved subject to the following restrictions: (1) the annual quantitative volume of CFPP yarn that FMW may admit into Subzone 186A under NPF status was limited to 3 million kilograms; and, (2) approval was limited to an initial period of five years, subject to extension upon review (Board Order 2071, 83 FR 54709, 10/31/2018).

The pending notification requests to remove the restriction requiring admission in PF status for CFPP yarn--to which FMW's operation would otherwise be subject beginning on October 25, 2023 (upon expiration of the time-limited authority approved in Board Order 2071).

U.S.-Kenya Strategic Trade and Investment Partnership

On August 5, 2022, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative published in the Federal Register (87 FR 48060) U.S.-Kenya Strategic Trade and Investment Partnership.

SUMMARY: On July 14, 2022, the United States and Kenya launched the United States-Kenya Strategic Trade and Investment Partnership (STIP). Under this initiative the two governments will pursue enhanced engagement leading to high standard commitments in a wide range of areas with a view to increasing investment; promoting sustainable and inclusive economic growth; benefiting workers, consumers, and businesses (including micro-, small-, and mediumsized enterprises (MSMEs)); and supporting African regional economic integration. As the two governments develop a roadmap for the initial issues under that engagement, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) is seeking public comments on matters relevant to specified trade areas, including U.S. interests and priorities, in order to develop objectives and positions for enhanced engagement and subsequent negotiation.

DATES: The deadline for the submission of written comments is September 16, 2022.

Friday, August 5, 2022

Poly/Wool Navy Fabric Contract Awarded

Burlington Industries LLC, Greensboro, North Carolina, has been awarded a maximum $10,183,500 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity letter contract for poly/wool tropical blue 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 an Aug. 4, 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-1568).

*Small business

Wool and Textile Rules on Schedule for Review in 2023, Made in USA Rules in 2031

On August 5, 2022, the Federal Trade Commission published in the Federal Register (87 FR 47947) Regulatory Review Schedule.

TJX to Pay $13 Million for Letting Recalled Products Re-enter Commerce

On August 5, 2022, the Consumer Product Safety Commission published in the Federal Register (87 FR 48004) The TJX Companies, Inc.

SUMMARY: The Commission publishes in the Federal Register any settlement that it provisionally accepts under the Consumer Product Safety Act. Published below is a provisionally accepted Settlement Agreement with The TJX Companies, Inc., containing a civil penalty in the amount of $13 million, subject to the terms and conditions of the Settlement Agreement.

According to the CPSC complaint: "TJX sold, offered for sale, and distributed Recalled Products because TJX failed to implement adequate procedures to accurately identify, quarantine, and prevent the sale, offer for sale, and distribution of the Recalled Products. The deficiencies in TJX's reverse logistics and compliance programs allowed Recalled Products to reenter commerce."

DATES: Any interested person may ask the Commission not to accept this agreement or otherwise comment on its contents by filing a written request with the Office of the Secretary by August 22, 2022.

Low Melt Polyester Antidumping Orders up for Review

On August 2, 2022, the International Trade Administration published in the Federal Register (87 FR 47187) Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding, or Suspended Investigation; Opportunity To Request Administrative Review and Join Annual Inquiry Service List.

The following proceedings my be of interest--

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                          Period
------------------------------------------------------------------------
          Antidumping Duty Proceedings
 
REPUBLIC OF KOREA:
    Low Melt Polyester Staple Fiber A-580-895..           8/1/21-7/31/22
TAIWAN: 
    Low Melt Polyester Staple Fiber A-583-861.            8/1/21-7/31/22
------------------------------------------------------------------------

CBP OBRA Fees To Be Adjusted for Inflation in Fiscal Year 2023

On August 1, 2022, U.S. Customs and Border Proection published in the Federal Register (87 FR 46973) COBRA Fees To Be Adjusted for Inflation in Fiscal Year 2023.

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Army Cold Weather Suit Contract Awarded

SourceAmerica, Vienna, Virginia, was awarded a $10,622,966 firm-fixed-price contract for Cold Temperature and Arctic Protection System extreme cold weather suits. Bids were solicited via the internet with one received. Work will be performed in Vienna, Virginia, with an estimated completion date of April 28, 2023. Fiscal 2022 operation and maintenance, Army funds in the amount of $10,622,966 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, is the contracting activity (W911QY-22-C-0038).

Marine Dress Coat Contract Awarded

Crown Clothing Co., Vineland, New Jersey, has been awarded a maximum $12,798,481 modification (P00022) exercising the fourth one-year option period of a one-year base contract (SPE1C1-18-D-1079) with four one-year option periods for men’s dress coats. This is a fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. The ordering period end date is Aug. 8, 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.