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.

19-69

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.

19-53

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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U.S. International Trade Commission

Section 701/731 Proceedings

Investigations
  • Steel Trailer Wheels from the People’s Republic of China: On May 2, 2019, the ITC released the schedule of the final phase of Countervailing Duty and Antidumping Duty Investigations.
  • Fresh Tomatoes from Mexico: On May 14, 2019, the ITC announced that it would terminate its review of the subject merchandise since there is no longer a suspension agreement in place.
  • Steel Wheels from the People’s Republic of China: On May 17, 2019, the ITC announced its final determinations in the Antidumping Duty and Countervailing Duty investigations and found that the importation of steel wheels has caused material injury to a U.S. industry.
  • Laminated Woven Sacks from Vietnam: On May 30, 2019, the ITC announced its final determinations in the Antidumping Duty and Countervailing Duty investigations and found that the importation of the subject merchandise has caused material injury to a U.S. industry.


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Investigations

  • Glycine from India: On May 1, 2019, Commerce released its final determinations for both the Antidumping Duty and Countervailing Duty Investigation.
  • Glycine from the People’s Republic of China: On May 1, 2019, Commerce released its final affirmative Countervailing Duty determination.
  • Glycine from Japan: On May 1, 2019, Commerce issued its final Antidumping Duty determination.
  • Large Diameter Welded Pipe: On May 2, 2019, Commerce issued an amended final affirmative antidumping determination and antidumping duty order to the following countries: Greece
  • Turkey
  • Republic of Korea
  • Certain Quartz Surface Products from the People’s Republic of China: On May 23, 2019, Commerce released both the final affirmative Countervailing Duty and final affirmative Antidumping Duty determinations.


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USTR Publishes Notice on Increase in Section 301 List 3 Tariff Rate

On May 8, 2019, USTR released its federal register notice on the tariff increase for the third tranche (List 3) Section 301 tariffs on China. The duty rate on the estimated $200 billion worth of Chinese products will increase from 10% to 25% effective 12:01am ET on Friday, May 10, 2019. The notice also announces that an exclusion process will be instituted for these products in a separate notice.

The rate increase to 25% means that entries of goods

  1. entered for consumption, or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption, on or after 12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time on May 10, 2019, and
  2. exported to the United States on or after May 10, 2019 will now be subject to an additional tariff of 25%. Entries must be subject to both qualifiers-meaning that if a shipment has been exported prior to May 10, 2019 it will still be subject to the 10% duty rate.  However, if the shipment is exported after 12:01am ET on May 10 the 25% duty rate will apply. To see our full post, click here.


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Late Friday, May 31, 2019, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (“USTR”) announced that they would extend the time frame for the application of increased tariffs on shipments of goods exported from China prior to May 10, 2019.   The increase from 10% to 25% in duties was announced on May 8th and was set to be applicable on all imports starting on June 1, 2019.   The USTR has now revised its earlier announcement and has stated that shipments must be entered before midnight on June 15, 2019 in order to remain subject to the 10% duty rate.  Any entries after midnight on June 15, 2019 will be subject to the increased rate of 25% announced on May 8, 2019.
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