On May 22, 2018, Worthington Industries and Manchester Tank & Equipment Co. filed a petition for the imposition of antidumping and countervailing duties on imports of Steel Propane Cylinders from the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan, and Thailand. Continue Reading Petition Summary: Steel Propane Cylinders From China, Taiwan, and Thailand
President Trump announced today, May 8, 2018, that the United States will withdraw from the Iran Nuclear Deal and will begin reimposing previously waived sanctions on Iran. The deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, was signed by the U.S. in July 2015 along with China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, the European Union and Iran. The White House issued a statement which explained that “President Trump is terminating United States participation in the JCPOA, as it failed to protect America’s national security interests.”
On April 30, 2018, the President issued two new Proclamations regarding the 232 tariffs imposed on imports of steel and aluminum articles into the United States. The new Proclamations modify the previous steel and aluminum Proclamations with respect to imports from Canada, Mexico, the European Union, Argentina, Australia, Brazil and South Korea.
On April 15, 2018, the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) issued a denial order against ZTE Corporation and ZTE Kangxun Telecommunications Ltd. (collectively “ZTE”), effectively banning U.S. companies from providing components to ZTE because the company had failed to comply with the terms of a disciplinary agreement reached in March 2017 arising from violations of U.S. export control restrictions against Iran and North Korea. It is estimated that U.S. companies provide nearly 25-30 percent of the components used in ZTE products. ZTE’s U.S. subsidiary advertises that it has been ranked by independent industry analysts as the fourth-largest supplier of mobile devices in the U.S. overall and second-largest supplier of prepaid devices.
On April 17, 2018, Cambria Company LLC filed a petition for the imposition of antidumping and countervailing duties on imports of Quartz Surface Products from the People’s Republic of China.
SCOPE OF THE INVESTIGATION
The merchandise covered by the investigation is certain quartz surface products. Quartz surface products consist of slabs and other surfaces created from a mixture of materials that includes predominately silica (e.g., quartz, quartz powder, cristobalite) as well as a resin binder (e.g., an unsaturated polyester). The incorporation of other materials, including but not limited to pigments, cement or other additives, does not remove the merchandise from the scope of the investigation. Quartz surface products are typically sold as slabs with a total surface area of approximately 45 to 60 square feet and a nominal thickness of 1 centimeter, 2 centimeters, or 3 centimeters. However, the scope of this investigation includes products of all sizes, thicknesses, and shapes. Quartz surface products are covered by the investigation whether polished or unpolished, cut or uncut, fabricated or not fabricated, cured or uncured, edged or not edged, finished or unfinished, thermoformed or not thermoformed, further processed or not further processed, packaged or unpackaged, and regardless of the type of surface finish. Continue Reading Petition Summary: Quartz Surface Products from China
The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) announced that it will conduct a review to determine if India, Indonesia and Kazakhstan are meeting the eligibility criteria of the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program. The reviews are part of the administration’s new triennial process to assess beneficiary country eligibility under the GSP program which was announced in October 2017. The first assessment covered 25 Asian and Pacific Island countries. Based on its assessment as well as petitions filed by interested parties, USTR has decided to review the eligibility of these three countries. USTR intends to publish a Federal Register notice announcing dates for comments and a hearing.
The next GSP assessment will begin in the fall of 2018 and will cover GSP beneficiary countries in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, and the Western Hemisphere.
The Chinese Ministry of Commerce announced on Sunday that it would be imposing duties on 128 different U.S. products beginning today, April 2. They provided the list of products last week, particularly targeting U.S. agriculture. The tariffs are on an estimated $3 billion worth of goods.
There will be a tariff of 15% on commodities such as fruits and nuts, wine, seamless steel pipes and modified ethanol. The 15% tariff will apply to 120 tariff lines, including the following: Continue Reading China Announces New Retaliatory Tariffs on U.S. Goods
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) announced that it had reached an agreement with South Korea to provide the country with a long term exemption from the 25 percent tariff on steel products imposed by the President under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1862). Instead, U.S. imports of steel from South Korea will be subject to a product-specific quota equivalent to 70 percent of the average annual import volume of such products during the period 2015-17. Further details on the quota have not been released and the President has raised doubts about whether or when it will go into effect by stating in a speech that he might hold up the deal until after a deal is made with North Korea on denuclearization.
The apparent agreement on steel was part of a larger agreement to amend and modify the Korean-United States Free Trade Agreement (KORUS). A USTR Fact Sheet on the agreement can be found here.
On March 23, 2018, the President signed into law the “Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018” which, in addition to authorizing certain full-year federal appropriations, also included the renewal for the Generalized System of Preferences through December 31, 2020. The Generalized System of Preferences (commonly referred to as GSP) allows duty-free entry for over 5,000 goods from a wide range of designated beneficiary countries. The program was authorized by the Trade Act of 1974 to promote economic growth in developing countries and was implemented on January 1, 1976.
On March 28, 2018, GEO Specialty Chemicals, Inc. and Chattem Chemicals, Inc. filed a petition for the imposition of antidumping and countervailing duties on imports of glycine from the People’s Republic of China, India, Thailand, and Japan.