The latest on Russia sanctions from the International Trade and Supply Chain Team
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Nithya’s extensive background in U.S. trade issues spans 25 years and includes various roles in a number of federal government agencies, including the Department of Commerce Department of Justice, and the U.S. Court of International Trade. She assists clients with administrative and regulatory actions before the Department of Commerce, International Trade Commission and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and defends clients in appeals before the Court of International Trade, Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, NAFTA panels and the World Trade Organization. In addition to her body of U.S. experience, Nithya is also well-versed in international trade issues in China and India.

July 6, 2022, will mark the four-year anniversary of the institution of Section 301 tariffs against approximately $370 Billion in imports from China into the United States.  In light of this anniversary, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (“USTR”) is commencing the first phase of its Four-Year Review Process, which will allow representatives of domestic industries which benefit from the trade actions to submit comments on whether or not the Section 301 tariffs should continue.  In a notice to be published in the Federal Register on May 5, 2022 (unpublished version available here), USTR is requesting interested parties to address whether the imposition of the tariffs has been beneficial.  Comments from domestic interested parties must be submitted in a 60-day window prior to the four-year anniversary.  The first round of comments will be accepted between May 7, 2022, and July 5, 2022, for the List 1 tariffs which are set to expire on July 6, 2022.  Comments related to the List 2 tariffs will be accepted between June 24, 2022, and August 22, 2022, as those tariffs are set to expire on August 23, 2022.
Continue Reading USTR Announces Opportunity for Domestic Industry Parties to Comment on Continuation of Section 301 Tariffs

On March 22, 2022, the United States and the United Kingdom announced in a joint statement that the U.S. will halt Section 232 tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum from the U.K, effective June 1, 2022, and that the U.K. will also lift retaliatory tariffs on over $500 million worth of U.S. exports to the U.K.  The Section 232 tariffs were instituted in March 2018 on all imports of steel and aluminum from multiple countries. 
Continue Reading The United States and the United Kingdom Agree to Cessation of Section 232 Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum

On March 11, 2022, President Biden issued an Executive Order (“EO”) that prohibited the importation into the United States of fish, seafood, and preparations thereof; alcoholic beverages; non-industrial diamonds; and any other products of Russian Federation origin as may be determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Commerce.  Because the Executive Order lists no effective date, implementation will be immediate.  No exceptions are listed for such products that are in transit and the EO specifically states that the prohibitions apply “notwithstanding any contract entered into or license or permit granted prior to the date of this order.”

Continue Reading Biden Issues Executive Order Prohibiting Certain Imports and Calls for Congressional Action to Revoke Permanent Normal Trade Relations With Russia

On February 10, 2022, the Department of Commerce published a Federal Register notice requesting public comments on the Section 232 exclusions process.  The notice follows the agreement reached between the U.S. and the EU related to the tariff rate quotas for steel and aluminum articles from EU member countries and the President’s January 3, 2022 announcement, Adjusting Imports of Steel into the United States (Proclamation 10328).

Continue Reading Commerce Requesting Public Comments on Section 232 Exclusion Process

The U.S. Department of Commerce (“Commerce”) announced on Friday that it was set to resume trade missions starting as early as March 2022.  Trade missions are government- led programs where members of the trade can meet directly with foreign industries and officials to explore potential business opportunities.  The COVID-19 pandemic brought these missions to a sudden halt in March 2020 and no trade missions have occurred in the past 24 month.  The International Trade Administration (“ITA”) is now preparing to resume in-person trade missions, where possible.

Continue Reading Commerce Trade Missions Set to Resume in March 2022

On Saturday, the United States and the European Union reached an agreement on section 232 duties being imposed because of global steel and aluminum excess capacity concerns.  The trading partners have agreed that the U.S. will adjust tariffs on steel and aluminum to allow elimination of certain U.S. section 232 duties, and the EU will suspend its retaliatory tariffs.
Continue Reading U.S.-EU Make a Deal on Steel and Aluminum Tariffs

The Department of Commerce published its Final Determination in the antidumping (“AD”) and countervailing duty (“CVD”) investigation of Utility Scale Wind Towers from India on October 13, 2021, which investigation was initiated in November 2020. The AD/CVD petition was filed by Wind Tower Trade Coalition (“Petitioner”) and a complete summary of the original petition can be found here.  The mandatory respondent selected by Commerce in both the antidumping and countervailing duty investigation was Vestas Wind Technology India Private Limited (“Vestas”).
Continue Reading Commerce Issues Final Determination in AD/CVD Investigation on Utility Scale Wind Towers from India

On September 30, 2021, the Department of Commerce (“Commerce”) filed a motion requesting a voluntary remand to review 502 Section 232 exclusion request denials it issued to Voestalpine High Performance Metals Corporation and Ergo Specialty Steels, Incorporated (collectively “Voestalpine, et al.”) beginning in 2018.  Specifically, Commerce in its motion acknowledges that it lacks documentation explaining why it rejected all 502 requests.  This motion for voluntary remand comes only a couple months after Commerce requested the same type of voluntary remand in six separate Section 232 appeals.
Continue Reading U.S. Court of International Trade Stays Department of Commerce’s Motion for Voluntary Remand Setting Course for Court-Annexed Mediation in Section 232 Exclusions Dispute

On October 4, 2021, Ambassador Katherine Tai, the United States Trade Representative, addressed the state of U.S.- China trade relations and the upcoming plans for the Biden Administration to improve foreign trade policy. Since taking office in January, the Administration has spent time reviewing the trade policies put in place under the Trump Administration.  There has been little movement until now as to the stance the Biden Administration would take, which created uncertainty regarding U.S. trade policy with China. Speculation grew as many questioned what would happen with the tariffs imposed on Chinese imports (under Section 301), how the administration would address the shortcomings of the “Phase 1” deal, and whether the product exclusion process would be re-instated.

Continue Reading Biden Administration Shows Signs of Addressing China Trade Wars