On Wednesday, September 11, 2019, President Donald Trump posed an unexpected tweet that the United States would be delaying the implementation of the tariff increase from October 1, 2019 to October 15, 2019 as a “gesture of good will” towards China. Originally, President Trump had planned to increase the current 25% tariff rate on $250

On August 23, 2019, President Trump announced via Twitter that the tariff rates on Lists 1, 2, and 3, worth approximately $250 billion worth of goods imported from China, will increase from 25% duty to 30% beginning October 1, 2019. Additionally, the President indicated that the tariff rate on the List 4 tariffs currently set to begin on September 1 will increase to 15% from 10%. It is unclear if the tariffs currently set to go into effect on December 15 will also be increased to 15%.
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The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (“USTR”) announced on August 13, 2019 that several goods included on the upcoming tranche 4 of Section 301 tariffs, including laptops, computer monitors, cell phones, video game consoles, certain toys and certain items of footwear and clothing, will not face additional 10 percent tariffs until December 15, 2019. The agency also said there will be some products excluded entirely from the new set of tariffs for health, safety, national security or “other factors.” 
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On July 10, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (“USTR”) announced that it had opened an investigation directed at the Government of France under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974.  The announcement came as the French Senate considered a new digital services tax (“DST”)—enacted a day later—imposing a 3% revenue tax on companies providing certain online services directed at French customers that earn annual revenues of at least €25 million in France and at least €750 million worldwide.
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Court of International Trade

Summary of Decisions

19-66

On June 3, 2019, in the ongoing case of determining whether or not Plaintiff Midwest Fastener’s zinc and nylon anchor products are considered to be nails, the CIT sustained the Department of Commerce’s final results of the redetermination pursuant to the Court Remand. The CIT concluded that Plaintiff’s zinc and nylon anchors do not function like nails and are considered a separate type of product from nails by the relevant industry. Commerce’s remand results were sustained and Plaintiff Midwest Fastener’s products were excluded from the scope.

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On June 6, the CIT denied Plaintiffs Confederacion de Asociaciones Agricolas del Estado de Sinaloa, Consejo Agricola de Baja California, Asociacion Mexicana de Horticultura Protegida, Asociacion de Productores de Hortalizas del Yaqui y Mayo, and Sistem Producto Tomate (collectively, “Plaintiffs”) motion for a temporary restraining order (“TRO”) and preliminary injunction (“PI”) in the antidumping duty investigation of tomatoes from Mexico. The Court determined that the Plaintiffs had not met their burden to establish the likelihood of success on the merits and irreparable harm absent injunctive relief. They also had failed to establish if the hardships tip in favor of denying the Plaintiff’s motion. The Court also found the public interest to be neutral. For those reasons the CIT denied the plaintiff’s motions.
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The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) announced on June 19, 2019 an exclusion process for product exclusions from the tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese products (“List 3”). The exclusion process will open at noon (EDT) on June 30, 2019.

The exclusion process for List 3 will be slightly different from the process involved for the List 1 and 2 exclusions. USTR is opening a portal at http://exclusions.USTR.gov/ for requestors to file exclusion requests and interested parties to comment on them. Among other information, the questions in the exclusion request form will require data on the company’s gross revenues, percentage of total gross sales for which the requested product accounted, and the amount of sourcing of the product from domestic or third-country suppliers.
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Court of International Trade

Summary of Decisions

19-52

On May 1, 2019, the CIT sustained Commerce’s remand redetermination results following a countervailing duty investigation for certain hot-rolled steel flat products from the Republic of Korea. The court reviewed two issues on remand, Commerce’s selection of the highest calculated AFA rate and Commerce’s corroboration. Concerning the first issued on the selection of the AFA rate, the CIT found that Plaintiff POSCO did not exhaust its administrative remedies. The second issue presented was whether or not the selected 1.05% AFA rate was corroborated based upon substantial evidence and whether Commerce’s selection of a non-de-minimis AFA rate was appropriate because it was a rate calculated for a cooperating Korean company in another countervailing duty proceeding for a similar program.

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On May 2, 2019, in the case of garage door openers that were redesigned to avoid infringement on a registered patent, the CIT denied the ITC’s motion for a stay pending appeal based on the grounds that the ITC did not meet its burden for a stay. A stay of the preliminary injunction and all other proceedings in this matter was not warranted as: (1) the ITC has not demonstrated a “strong showing” of likelihood of success on the merits, (2) the ITC has not demonstrated that it will be irreparably injured absent a stay in this action, (3) the issuance of a stay would substantially injure another party, the Plaintiff, and (4) the public interest is neutral. For those reasons, the CIT denied the ITC’s motion for a stay.
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