International Trade & Supply Chain

Congress ChamberYesterday, July 25th, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the “Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act” by a vote of 419-3. The bill originated as an act in the Senate which was focused on Iran. In response to Russian meddling in the U.S. election, the Senate expanded that bill to include additional sanctions against Russia, codify various Russia-Ukraine sanctions promulgated by the Obama Administration into law and add procedural provisions to delay or prevent any efforts by the Trump Administration to relax those codified Obama Administration sanctions. The Senate passed their revised version of this legislation last month by a vote of 98-2. For more information on the Senate’s earlier approval, please see our post on June 16th.

Continue Reading Congress Passes Russian Sanctions Bill with New Sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea

cargo ship containersOn July 13, 2017, the Cast Iron Soil Pipe Institute (CISPI) filed a petition for the imposition of antidumping duties and countervailing duties on imports of Cast Iron Soil Pipe Fittings from China.

SCOPE OF THE INVESTIGATION

The merchandise covered by these investigations is finished and unfinished cast iron soil pipe fittings (“CISPF”), regardless of industry or proprietary specifications. These are nonmalleable iron castings of various shapes and sizes used in conjunction with cast iron soil pipe in the sanitary and storm drain, waste, and vent piping of buildings. Continue Reading Petition Summary: Cast Iron Soil Pipe Fittings From People’s Republic of China

globeOn Tuesday, July 12, 2017, President Trump issued an Executive Order in order to amend Executive Order 13761, which was issued by the Obama Administration in January of 2017. Today’s amendments to EO 13761 allow the State Department additional time to prepare its report on whether the Government of Sudan has sustained the positive activities that the Obama Administration recognized when it originally issued EO 13761.  EO 13761 originally required the report to be delivered by July 12, 2017, but President Trump’s new order pushes that deadline back to October 12, 2017.

Continue Reading President Trump Extends Deadline for Report on Sudan Sanctions and Temporarily Extends Easing of Sanctions

immigrationIn agreeing to review two rulings by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals and 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on President Trump’s March 6, 2017, Executive Order, the Supreme Court reinstated certain provisions of the Executive Order that the lower courts had blocked. The March 6th Executive Order entitled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States” was to suspend visa issuance for individuals from six countries, including Libya, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen for 90 days. This provision, often referred to as the “travel ban,” effectively prohibits travel to the United States for individuals from the six affected countries.

Continue Reading Supreme Court Allows Major Provisions of Travel Ban to Go Into Effect

cargo shipOn June 26, 2017, Nan Ya Plastics Corporation, America filed a petition for the imposition of antidumping duties on imports of Low Melt Polyester Staple Fiber from the Republic of Korea and Taiwan.

SCOPE OF THE INVESTIGATION

The merchandise subject to this proceeding is synthetic staple fibers, not carded or combed, specifically bi-component polyester fibers having a polyester fiber component that melts at a lower temperature than the other polyester fiber component, used for bonding fibers together (“low melt PSF”). The scope includes bi-component polyester staple fibers of any denier or cut length. The subject merchandise may be coated, usually with a finish or dye, or not coated.

Continue Reading Petition Summary: Low Melt Polyester Staple Fiber From Korea and Taiwan

cargo shipJuly 5 is the deadline to submit comments in response to the Federal Maritime Commission’s Notice of Inquiry seeking guidance on maritime regulations that should be modified or eliminated. As noted in our previous post, within the NOI the FMC specifically identifies the regulations which impose tariff publication requirements (46 C.F.R. §520) as a target for deregulation.

Coupled with recent comments by Acting FMC Chairman Michael Khouri acknowledging the lack of purpose in tariff publication, it appears that tariff publication requirements may be coming to an end:

Continue Reading Tariff Reform: FMC Taking Aim

globeOn June 21, 2017, the Coalition for Fair Trade in Ripe Olives, composed of Bell-Carter Foods and Musco Family Olive Company, filed a petition for the imposition of antidumping duties and countervailing duties on imports of Ripe Olives from Spain.

SCOPE OF THE INVESTIGATION

The products covered by this Petition are certain processed olives, usually referred to as “ripe olives.” The subject merchandise includes all colors of olives; all shapes and sizes of olives, whether pitted or not pitted, and whether whole, sliced, chopped, minced, wedged, broken, or otherwise reduced in size; all types of packaging, whether for consumer (retail) or institutional (food service) sale, and whether canned or packaged in glass, metal, plastic, multi-layered airtight containers (including pouches), or otherwise; and all manners of preparation and preservation, whether low acid or acidified, stuffed or not stuffed, with or without flavoring and/or saline solution, and including in ambient, refrigerated, or frozen conditions.

Continue Reading Petition Summary: Ripe Olives From Spain

Treasury DepartmentToday, the Trump Administration announced that the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has updated the U.S. sanctions list of designated individuals and entities involved in the Ukrainian conflict. The announcement was made while Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko was meeting with President Trump and other officials at the White House.

This action designates 38 individuals and entities under Ukraine-related authorities, thereby blocking access to property these individuals may have in the United States and prohibiting all transactions by U.S. persons involving these individuals.

Continue Reading OFAC Updates List of Blocked Individuals and Entities Connected to Ukraine Conflict

Container ShipCurrent bills (HR 2593, S. 1119) authorizing appropriations for the Federal Maritime Commission contain substantive terms which seem to forecast the path the regulatory agency is taking with respect to both tariff requirements and regulation of ocean transportation intermediaries.

Tariff References

The bills address some meaningful changes to the current antiquated tariff system. Combined with the FMC’s new Regulatory Reform Task Force, and the corresponding Notice of Inquiry issued by the FMC seeking specifics from the shipping public for deregulation, it appears the FMC  may be taking a clear stance on tariffs. Acting Chairman of the Federal Maritime Commission, Michael Khouri, has made several public statements which confirm the conclusion that tariffs have no place in the current ocean transportation marketplace.

Continue Reading The Federal Maritime Commission Authorization Act of 2017: A Death Knell for Tariffs and Closer Carrier Scrutiny?