The U.S. Trade Representative is proposing an additional 10 percent tariff on approximately 6,000 8-digit tariff codes estimated to be about $200 billion worth of imports.  The USTR has now set a third set of hearing and written submissions for those affected by this new set of proposed tariffs.  The schedule is as follows:

July 27:  Deadline for filing notice of appearance to testify at hearing

August 17:  Written Comments Due

August 20-23: Public Hearings Scheduled

August 30:  Post-Hearing Comments Due

Senior government officials said a decision on the tariffs will be made sometime after August 30.

The notice posted at USTR after close of business July 10 says that staff took into account impacts on consumers, and analysts removed some tariff lines because they were “likely to cause disruptions to the U.S. economy, as well as tariff lines subject to legal or administrative constraints.” Food, chemicals, pesticides, minerals, fabrics, construction materials, handbags, luggage, car parts, appliances, machines, televisions, items made from steel and aluminum, batteries, semiconductor assemblies, furniture and more were on the list. Pharmaceuticals of Chapter 30, and apparel and footwear of Chapters 61-64, were not.

USTR is proposing the tariffs because China has not acquiesced to U.S. demands after initial Section 301 tariffs set at 25 percent on $34 billion in Chinese goods.

For additional information, please contact Stephen Brophy, Nithya Nagarajan, or Jeffrey S. Neeley.

 

Agribusiness professionals are already proficient with a variety of federal regulations (USDA, EPA, etc.) but adding an unmanned aircraft system (“UAS”) into the business brings another agency into the mix – the Federal Aviation Administration – with its own set of regulations. In some scenarios this added regulatory burden may be worthwhile because UAS can be used to perform crop protection product (“CPP”) spraying operations (“spraying”) on crops more efficiently than manned aircraft, saving money for both farmers and consumers. Yamaha Motor Corporation, USA (“Yamaha”) recently announced it has been granted an FAA exemption for its FAZER unmanned aircraft system (“UAS”) to be used for agricultural spraying.

Continue Reading Agricultural UAS Receives FAA Approval

Globe showing Asia

On Friday, July 6, 2018, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) announced a process for obtaining product exclusions from the 25% tariffs imposed on certain products imported from China.  The tariffs went into effect on July 6, 2018.

USTR has set the following deadlines:

  • All product exclusion requests must be filed by October 9, 2018.
  • Following the public posting of a request on Regulations.gov, the public will have 14 days to file responses to the product exclusion request. After the close of the 14 day response period, interested persons will have an additional 7 days to file a reply.

Exclusions will be effective for one year upon the publication of the exclusion determination in the Federal Register, and will apply retroactively to July 6, 2018.

The federal register notice announcing the new process and providing additional information can be found here.

For additional information, please contact Stephen Brophy, Nithya Nagarajan, or Jeffrey S. Neeley.

The proverbial hacksaw inside a prisoner’s birthday cake has been supplanted by a new technological trend for bringing contraband into the jailhouse – Unmanned Aircraft Systems (“UAS”). As early as 2015, a fight broke out at the Mansfield Correctional Institution in Ohio when a drone carrying tobacco, marijuana, and heroin crashed into a yard inside the facility. That same year, a drone trafficking hacksaw blades, a cellphone, and Super Glue crashed into a maximum security prison in Oklahoma. Similar plots have been attempted in more than a dozen states nationwide, leading states like North Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas to ban drone flights over correctional facilities. Perhaps to save us from another pre-emption fight over UAS operational restrictions, the federal government is now following suit.

On June 7, 2018 the FAA announced temporary flight restrictions over federal correctional facilities and certain U.S. Coast Guard facilities. The inclusion of Coast Guard facilities has no connection to the smuggling concerns faced by correctional facilities. Rather, the addition of Coast Guard facilities is simply an expansion of the FAA’s existing flight restrictions at select national security sensitive facilities that are operated by the Departments of Defense and Energy.

The new restrictions went into effect on June 20, 2018 and prohibit UAS operations between the surface and 400 feet above ground in the vicinity of thirty-three Coast Guard and correctional facilities. The restrictions are in effect 24 hours per day, seven days per week.

The correctional facilities located in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia. The Coast Guard facilities are in Maryland, Massachusetts, California, North Carolina, Alaska, Florida, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia.

Failure to comply with FAA and state UAS regulations (including temporary flight restrictions) can lead to significant civil and criminal penalties. Software developers must ensure their products are updated to appropriately avoid these restricted areas, and operators would be wise to check the FAA’s Know Before You Fly app before beginning their missions.

You can reach Husch Blackwell’s experienced team of UAS attorneys by contacting Erik Dullea and Chris Sundberg, who are happy to help your business more effectively utilize UAS technology and stay out of trouble with the FAA.

 

soccer ballWhile all soccer eyes are on Russia, a company in Reno, Nevada has filed two new applications for the trademarks WORLD CUP 2026 – FAN INFO and WORLD CUP 2026 – U.S. TICKETS, just one day after North America was announced as the host of the World Cup in 2026. Also interesting to note is FIFA’s pending application for the mark USA 2026 was filed almost one year before North America was publicly announced as the 2026 host. What does this teach us? A company can gather a lot of competitive intelligence about a competitor or an industry simply by monitoring the trademark records at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). And the beauty of it all is that searching the records of the USPTO is absolutely free here. One simple search would have told the Nevada company that FIFA already has a registration for the mark WORLD CUP, likely a significant impediment to the registration of these marks. Continue Reading How USPTO Trademark Records Can Help (or Hurt) Your Competitive Edge

WHEN? On June 6, 2018, the Federal Maritime Commission took steps to simplify freight pricing requirements for Non-vessel Operating Common Carriers (“NVOCCs”) by “approving” changes to Negotiated Rate Arrangements (NRAs) and NVOCC Service Arrangements (NSAs). While many NVOCCs are still utilizing the fast disappearing tariff publication methods of meeting the regulatory shipping requirements, it is our opinion that the contemplated changes to NRAs and NSAs will win over the NVOCC community to their almost exclusive usage. While the “Final Rules” were approved, it was clear from the FMC meeting, that the written provisions were still at a drafting stage. In discussions with senior FMC staff, it is our understanding that the so-called “Final Rules” will be going to the Federal Register later this week. By law they are required to be posted on the Federal Register for 30 days before becoming effective. Therefore, a good bet would be that these rules will be effective sometime in the first week of August, 2018. Continue Reading New NVOCC Pricing Models on The Horizon

IranOn June 27, 2018, the U.S. Department of  Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) officially revoked General Licenses H and I.  General License H previously allowed foreign owned or controlled subsidiaries of U.S. companies to engage in limited transactions with Iran that would have otherwise been prohibited under the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations (the “ITSR”).  General License I previously allowed U.S. persons to negotiate and enter into contingent contracts for exports and reexports to Iran of commercial passenger aircraft and related parts and services that were eligible to potentially receive specific licenses under the Iran Nuclear Deal, otherwise known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (the “JCPOA”).  OFAC previously advised that these revocations would be forthcoming in May, when President Trump formally announced his decision to withdraw from the JCPOA. Continue Reading OFAC Officially Revokes Iran General Licenses and Signals Aggressive Enforcement Posture

cargo ship containersOn June 19, 2018, the Coalition for Fair Rack Imports filed a petition for the imposition of antidumping and countervailing duties on imports of Steel Racks from the People’s Republic of China.

SCOPE OF THE INVESTIGATION

The merchandise covered by this investigation is steel racks and parts thereof, assembled or unassembled. Steel racks are racks made of steel of dimensions and configurations that can be adjusted as required, with or without locking tabs or slots, and with or without bolted, clamped, or welded connections, including any of the following: uprights, posts, columns, braces, frames, beams, arms, locking devices, and rails.

Continue Reading Petition Summary: Steel Racks from China

On Monday evening JuneGlobe showing Asia 18, the U.S. Senate adopted draft legislation in its version of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 (the “2019 Defense Bill”) which would: (i) prevent the U.S. Department of Commerce – Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) from fulfilling its agreement to suspend current export controls applicable to Zhongxing Telecommunications Equipment Corporation of Shenzen, China and ZTE Kangxun Telecommunications Ltd. of Hi-New Shenzhen, China (collectively “ZTE”), and (ii) expand existing language in the 2019 Defense Bill to prohibit all U.S. government agencies from contracting with ZTE.  The Senate approved this bill by a vote of 85-10.  After last night’s vote, it has been reported that ZTE shares have dropped more than 25%.  The U.S. House and Senate will still need to reconcile the differences in their versions of the 2019 Defense Bill before they send it to the President, but if they can do so while retaining enough votes to override a Presidential veto then BIS will be unable to remove ZTE from the Denied Persons list and ZTE will continue to be subject to export and re-export prohibitions in transactions involving U.S. origin goods, software and technology. Continue Reading Senate Votes to Block Lifting of US Sanctions against ZTE

Shipping containersOn Friday, June 15, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative released a proposed list of 284 products from China that may be subject to a 25% tariff. They have released a timeline for public comment on these products, which will be published in the Federal Register on June 20, at this link. Continue Reading USTR Requests Public Comment on Tariffs on Products from China