US Trade Law Update: January 2017

This bulletin is courtesy of the Law Offices of Nithya Nagarajan, LLC

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE DECISIONS

Investigations:

  • On December
  • On December 9, 2016, Commerce announced its final affirmative determination in the AD investigation on certain large residential washers from China
  • On December 16, 2016, Commerce published its initiation of the AD and CVD investigations on Certain Hardwood Plywood Production from China
  • On December 16 2016, Commerce initiated AD and CVD investigations on Certain Softwood Lumber Products from Canada
  • On December 19, 2016, Commerce published its amended final determinations in the AD and VD Orders on Circular Welded Carbon-Quality Steel Pipe from Oman, Pakistan, and UAE.

Administrative Reviews:

  • On December 16, 2016, Commerce published its initiation notice for various antidumping and countervailing duty orders and findings with October anniversary dates.
  • On December 9, 2016, Commerce published its final results of review for the period May 8, 2014 to October 31, 2015 on Monosodium Glutamate from China
  • On December 9, 2016, Commerce published the final results of the administrative review of the antidumping duty order on PET Film from Taiwan.
  • On December 9, 2016, Commerce published the final results of the administrative review of the countervailing duty order on PET Film from India.
  • On December 15, 2016, Commerce published the final results of its review of the CVD order on Pasta from Turkey
  • On December 16, 2016, Commerce published the final results of AD review on Diffusion-Annealed, Nickel Plated Flat Rolled Steel Products from Japan for the period November 19, 2013 through April 30, 2015
  • On December 16, 2016, Commerce published the final results of review of the AD order on Lightweight Thermal Paper from China for the period November 1, 2014 to October 31, 2015
  • On December 16, 2016, Commerce published the final results of AD review on Certain Pasta from Italy for the period July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015.
  • On December 19, 2016, Commerce published the final results of review for the AD Order on PET Film from India for the period July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2016
  • On December 19, 2016, Commerce published the final results of AD review on Certain Cut-to-Length Carbon Steel Plate from China for the period November 1, 2014 to October 31, 2015
  • On December 20, 2016, Commerce published the final results of AD review of its order on Welded Carbon Steel Standard Pipe and Tube Products from Turkey for the period May 1, 2014, through April 30, 2015.
  • On December 20, 2016, Commerce published the final results of review with respect to the CVD Order on Aluminum Extrusions from China
  • On December 20, 2016, Commerce published its amended preliminary results of new shipper Review on Certain Cased Pencils from China

Changed Circumstances Reviews:

  • On December 2, 2016, Commerce published the final results of changed circumstances review on the AD Order on Stainless Steel Bar from Spain
  • On December 16, 2016, Commerce published the final results of changed circumstances review on the AD Order on Certain Frozen Warmater Shrimp from India
  • On December 16, 2016, Commerce initiated a changed circumstances review of the AD Order on Stainless Steel Bar from India
  • On December 19, 2016, Commerce published the final results of changed circumstances review of the AD Order on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Cells Whether or Not Assembled Into Modules from China

Suspension Agreement:

  • On December 5, 2016, Commerce, published its preliminary results of review of both the AD and CVD agreements suspending the investigations on Sugar from Mexico

Sunset Reviews:

  • On December 1, 2016, Commerce automatically initiated 5-Year Sunset Reviews on the following products:
    • Certain Cut-to-Length Carbon Quality Steel Plate from India, Indonesia, and Korea
    • Stainless Steel Wire Rod from India
    • Link to Federal Register
  • On December 8, 2016, Commerce found that revocation of the antidumping duty order on glycine from China would likely lead to the continuation or recurrence of dumping.
  • On December 20, 2016, Commerce found that the revocation of the antidumping duty order on certain polyesteste staple fibler from Korea and Taiwan would likely lead to continuation or recurrence of dumping.
  • On December 21, 2016, Commerce published the notice continuing the AD Orders on Seamless Refined Copper Pipe and Tube from China and Mexico.
  • On December 21, 2016, Commerce published the finding that revocation of the AD orders on certain large diameter carbon and alloy seamless standard, line and pressure pipe from Japan and certain small diameter carbon and alloy seamless standard, line, and pressure pipe from Japan and Romania would likely lead to the continuation or recurrence of dumping
  • On December 30, 2016, Commerce announced the final results of its sunset review and revocation of the AD orders on solid urea from Russian and Ukraine

Sunset Reviews Scheduled for Initiation:

  • On December 1, 2016, Commerce announced that the following antidumping and countervailing duty orders are scheduled for initiation of 5-year sunset reviews in January 2017:
    • Light-Walled Rectangular Welded Carbon Steel Pipe and Tube from Taiwan (4th Review)
    • Furfyl Alcohol from China (4th Review)
    • Link to Federal Register

U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION

  • Starting on January 1, 2017 – US CBP will implement the following modifications relating to the filing of reconciliation entries to further automate the ACE process
    • Application Process – New participants will no longer need to apply to CBP HQ to join the program. Instead, importers will need to (1) have a continuous bond on file (single transaction bonds are not allowed); (2) file a reconciliation bond rider; and (3) begin flagging entries for reconciliation.
    • Entry Flagging –CBP will no longer blanket flag entries. Instead, importers will be responsible for flagging their own entries either manually or program software to perform blanket flagging.
    • Reconciliation Transmission – Reconciliation entries will be submitted electronically only in ACE and hardcopies will no longer be required.
    • Reconciliation Reporting –ACE will automatically populate the original value, duties, taxes, and fees relating to the underling entries covered by the reconciliation. Importers will be responsible for reporting the reconciled amounts, as the original entry data will be pulled automatically from the associated underlying entries covered by the reconciliation. CBP has also added a number of program indicators to the reconciliation transmission, requiring importers to provide additional information when transmitting a Type 9 Reconciliation Entry.
    • CBP will no longer issue Importer Trade Activity (“ITRAC”) reports detailing an importer’s entry activity on an entry line-by-line basis. Instead, ITRAC reports will be replaced by ACE reports.

U.S. INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION

Section 701/731 Proceedings

Investigations

  • On November 3, 2016, The ITC determined that there is a reasonable indication that a U.S. industry is materially injured by reason of imports of steel concrete reinforcing bar from Japan, Taiwan, and Turkey that are allegedly sold in the United States at less than fair value and subsidized by the government of Turkey.
  • On November 18, 2016, The ITC announced its determinations in its antidumping and countervailing duty investigations concerning imports of circular welded carbon-quality steel pipe from Oman, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates, and Vietnam that the U.S. Department of Commerce has determined are sold in the United States at less than fair value and subsidized by the government of Pakistan.
  • On November 18, 2016, The ITC determined that an industry in the U.S. is neither materially injured nor threatened with material injury by reason of imports of iron mechanical transfer drive components from Canada and China that Commerce has determined are sold in the U.S. at less than fair value and subsidized by the government of China.

Sunset Review Initiations

Sunset Review Decisions

  • On November 3, 2016, The ITC voted to institute an investigation of food supplements and vitamins containing ocular antioxidants, such as lutein, zeaxanthin, and zeaxanthin isomers, that may be used by individuals with certain ocular disorders, including age-related macular degeneration, hyperopia, presbyopia or astigmatism.
  • On November 7, 2016, The ITC voted to institute an investigation of certain mobile device holders and components that are various sized which allow a user to position their mobile devices in a variety of ways, via magnetism.
  • On November 15, 2016, The ITC voted to institute an investigation of certain mobile electronic devices that include hardware and software components within the mobile electronic devices, such as integrated circuits, cameras, RF transmitters, capacitors, and System-on-chips.
  • On November 22, 2016, the ITC instituted an investigation of certain high-potency sweeteners for human consumption.
  • On November 29, 2016, the ITC instituted an investigation of certain UV curable coatings for optical fibers, coated optical fibers, and products containing the same.

OTHER TRADE MATTERS

  • The Chinese government said it feared that the EU would not fulfill its obligations to the WTO by refusing to grant it market economy status when a provision in China’s accession protocol expires. The EU has not taken a unified position on whether China should be granted ME status in December.  Inside US Trade – November 4, 2016.
  • Several European industry groups are railing against the EC’s proposal for a new antidumping methodology for eliminating any reference to non-market economies by placing the burden of proof on the complainant and for potentially not having a criterion for using 3rd country data. The EU proposal published on November 9th, seeks to pre-empt the expiration of the China WTO accession protocol that is interpreted to mean that China should no longer be treated as a non-market economy.  The current EU last lays out 5 criteria that a country must meet to be a market economy and the new proposal would eliminate a reference to these 5 criteria and uses a more vague definition of “significant distortions” to determine a country’s market status.  Inside US Trade – November 9, 2016.
  • The Vietnamese steel industry is urging the Commerce Department to reject an anti-circumvention petition filed by U.S. Industry claiming that Chinese cold-rolled steel is being shipped to Vietnam in order to avoid antidumping and countervailing duties. Inside US Trade – November 9, 2016.
  • The American Sugar Alliance is calling for an end to the U.S-Mexico sugar suspension agreements due to the fact that renegotiation talks are stalled in an effort to modify the deals to reflect the complaints from U.S. growers and refiners that the agreements are not functioning as expected. The renegotiations center around increasing the floor pried of refined sugar imports as well as address the concern that refined sugar was being shipped under the raw sugar category.  Inside US Trade – November 18, 2016.
  • Brazil has formally requested WTO consultations with the U.S. over two CVD cases on hot and cold-rolled steel claiming that the U.S. violated the WTO Agreement on SCM. Brazil has four main claims: (1) the U.S. initiated the case using inaccurate and insufficient data and evidence; (2) the final injury determination was not based on positive evidence; (3) the U.S. incorrectly defined certain government measures; and (4) the U.S. incorrectly calculated the CVD margins as it relates to the tax and loan measures subject to the investigation.  Inside US Trade – November 18, 2016.
  • On November 16, 2016, the U.S-China Economic and Security Review Commission released its report to the 114th The report focused on trade as well as security concerns.  The Commission recommended that Congress requires that (1) under U.S. AD & CVD laws, that Chinese state-owned enterprises be determined to not have standing to block a case from proceeding; (2) create an office within the ITA whose sole purposes it to identify and initiate AD and CVD cases against China to ensure a more effective and timely response; and (3) to enact legislation requiring Congressional approval to the country as a whole or individual sectors before granting market economy status.

Nithya Nagarajan

Nithya Nagarajan
Law Offices of Nithya Nagarajan, LLC
Tel: +1 202-656-2448 | Cel: +1 301-807-1286
E: nithya@intl-tradelaw.com | W: www.intl-tradelaw.com

Other Trade Matters

  • Chinese steel companies have requested that the ITC dismiss U.S. Steel’s Section 337 case against them for failure to assert an actual injury. U.S. Steel has accused the Chinese government of stealing trade secrets on behalf of the country’s state-run steel industry.
  • The WTO’s appellate body ruled against the United States’ methodology in Korean washer machine antidumping cases. The ruling is significant due to its focus on the Commerce Department’s practice of “zeroing” – or disregarding negative dumping margins – which drive margins up.
  • Another antidumping methodology matter is causing a stir in the trade remedy world as lawyers debate on a proposed shift in the way Commerce deals with determining normal value for products from market economies. The proposal is seen to be in anticipation of China’s potential move to market economy status later this year.
  • A September 14th meeting between Canadian and U.S. officials regarding a deal over softwood lumber did not produce results with less than a month left for negotiation. Canadian Minster of International Trade Chrystia Freeland told reporters that Canada is “prepared to fight” and will continue with litigation over the matter if negotiations do not produce an equitable result for Canadian lumber producers.
  • The Chinese aluminum industry will testify on September 29th before an ITC fact-finding hearing about that nation’s export policies and subsidies. The Section 332 investigation was requested by the House Ways & Means Committee earlier this year and will supplement the already-underway multilateral talks between the two governments on how to address the misclassification of Chinese aluminum to avoid certain duties.
  • The Sweeteners Users Association has inserted itself into the renegotiation of the U.S.-Mexico sugar suspension agreements. The association, which represents end-users of refined sugar, has requested two aspects of the original agreement be changed to lower prices of raw and refined sugar; specifically, those changes are an agreement to support prices used in the 2014 Farm Bill and an increase in the stocks-to-use target ratio.