On June 7, 2018, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced that Chinese Telecommunications companies, Zhongxing Telecommunications Equipment Corporation of Shenzen, China and ZTE Kangxun Telecommunications Ltd. of Hi-New Shenzhen, China (collectively “ZTE”) have agreed to pay $1 billion and place an additional $400 million in suspended penalty money in escrow in order to be removed from the Denied Persons List.  This penalty payment is in addition to the over $850 million in penalties that ZTE already previously paid to multiple U.S. government agencies in March of 2017 when it first entered into a settlement agreement arising out of its illegal re-exportation of controlled U.S. origin telecommunications equipment to Iran and other prohibited destinations.
Continue Reading Commerce Strikes Deal with Chinese Telecom Company ZTE with Largest Fine and Strictest BIS Compliance Measures to Date

Container ShipOn 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. Commerce initiated the case on June 12, 2018. See the factsheet here.
Continue Reading Petition Summary: Steel Propane Cylinders From China, Taiwan, and Thailand

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.

Continue Reading U.S. Commerce Department Rescinds Export Privileges for China’s ZTE

Shipping containersOn 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

globe AsiaThe 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

Container ShipOn 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.

Continue Reading Petition Summary: Glycine from China, India, Japan, and Thailand

globe AsiaOn March 22, 2018, the President issued a Presidential Memorandum in which he announced the actions the United States will take in response to China’s allegedly unfair trade practices found by the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) in its Section 301 investigation of China’s Acts, Policies, and Practices Related to Technology Transfer, Intellectual Property, and Innovation. The actions are as follows:

Continue Reading President Announces Actions against China for Intellectual Property Practices

On Friday, February 23, 2018, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) imposed blocking sanctions against one individual, twenty-seven entities and twenty-eight vessels known to have previously provided maritime support to North Korean coal and petroleum transactions. OFAC added the individuals, entities and vessels to its Specially Designated Nationals List (the “SDN List”), which will generally prohibit the fifty-six sanctioned parties from transacting with the United States or any United States person.

Continue Reading OFAC Issues Additional North Korean Sanctions and Guidance for Shipping Companies

cargo ship

The Department of Commerce released its reports recommending remedies with respect to the Section 232 investigations of steel and aluminum today, February 16. The steel report was submitted to the White House on January 11, 2018 and started a statutory 90-day clock for the President to make a decision on a course of action. The aluminum report was submitted on January 19, 2018 and similarly started the statutory 90 days for the decision.
Continue Reading Commerce Releases Steel and Aluminum Section 232 Reports