Archive for the ‘Antidumping/Countervailing Duties’ Category

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International Trade Administration: Helping to Win the Fight Against Trade Barriers

February 14, 2019

Steven Presing is the Executive Director for Trade Agreements, Policy and Negotiations at the International Trade Administration (ITA)

Here at the ITA, one of our strategic objectives is to enforce the nation’s trade laws and ensure compliance with our trade agreements. This allows U.S. businesses to compete both domestically and internationally on a level playing field. ITA established its 2018 agency priority goal to reduce, remove, or prevent trade barriers.  Accordingly, two of Commerce’s strategic goals set for 2018 were focused on addressing foreign trade barriers.  I am happy to report that the ITA not only met but exceeded these goals in 2018! This is a huge success for ITA and thousands of American businesses.   ITA logo

In close coordination with U.S. manufacturers and exporters, ITA identified and initiated approximately 18 percent more compliance cases and successfully closed roughly 20 percent more cases than in the previous year.  Between the 39 agreements compliance successes and 99 market access problems resolved, ITA has ensured more than $6 billion in U.S. exports were granted continued access to overseas markets. This work is not only helping U.S. businesses to continue to export billions of dollars in goods and services worldwide, but also providing support for the U.S. economy and helping advance American job growth.

Check out some of our 2018 success stories below to see how ITA is helping to win the fight against trade barriers.

ITA agreements compliance efforts mean changes to Brazil’s medical device regulations
In 2009, the Advanced Medical Technology Association reported to ITA that Brazil required Brazilian regulator inspection of all medical device manufacturing plants before companies could register devices for sale in Brazil. This meant inspections and registrations were backlogged, sometimes for years, resulting in costly delays for U.S. medical device exports valued at $1 billion annually.  This cumbersome registration process raised concerns regarding compliance with WTO Technical Barriers to Trade obligations, which stipulate that technical regulations not be more trade-restrictive than necessary.  For more than six years, the U.S. government engaged Brazil through targeted meetings with both trade officials at the World Trade Organization and regulators in the International Medical Device Regulator Forum (IMDRF) with the goal of streamlining the registration process.  As a result, Brazil recognized the IMDRF Medical Device Single Audit Program (MDSAP) and now accepts certifications from U.S. certification bodies as an alternative means to register devices.  U.S. medical device manufacturers are no longer subject to delays, and U.S. government agencies continue to work with Brazil to identify potential improvements to the MDSAP, which will further increase U.S. export opportunities.

ITA leverages the U.S.-Colombia FTA to expedite flow of U.S.-built SUVs into Colombia

For several years, BMW North America was not receiving proper duty reimbursement for its U.S.-made vehicles imported into Colombia.  Under the Colombia FTA, firms who elect to pay duties up front to keep their exports moving are entitled to a refund once their U.S. origin (i.e. duty-free status) is established and found to be eligible for duty-free treatment. The refunds were taking years and Colombia did not provide BMW NA with a timeline for reimbursement.  Following outreach with Colombia’s Trade Attaché and pressing the Colombian Government about the significant delays in the reimbursements, noting its FTA obligations, the company received more than $3 million in refunds. Colombia also was put on notice that the United States expects all U.S. exports to receive the full benefits of our bilateral agreement.

ITA ensures fairness for Cisco Systems in a Bahrain telecommunications equipment procurement

Cisco Systems contacted ITA’s officers in the Middle East with concerns about a potentially unfair government tender process in Bahrain. The Ministry of Transportation appeared to be changing procurement technical requirements to push the prime contractor for the modernization of Bahrain’s international airport to select wireless telecommunications systems provided by a Chinese company rather than use Cisco’s solutions. The U.S.– Bahrain FTA’s Government Procurement chapter requires that governments do not use such technical specifications in a manner that would create unnecessary obstacles to trade. As the deadline to finalize the purchase of a wireless telecommunications system loomed, ITA (operating regionally in the Middle East) teamed up with the State Department (operating in Bahrain) to jointly press the Ministry of Transportation, including engaging the U.S. Ambassador and using ITA’s analysis, that Cisco be treated fairly and that Bahrain uphold its obligations under the FTA. After sustained ITA advocacy, Cisco finalized a contract with Bahrain this past June to provide its wireless telecommunications equipment as per the original contract award, preserving Cisco’s $1.8 million sales opportunity. Trade compliance means solving trade problems now and locking in fairness for the future. ITA makes U.S. trade agreements work for U.S. industry.

ITA holds a unique position as the U.S. Government‘s full-service trade agency with both the expertise and personnel to open markets and remove foreign trade barriers for U.S. industry and its workers.  This is made possible through our global presence. We have personnel throughout the United States and around the world dedicated to solving business problems; with focused daily commercial engagement with foreign governments, the negotiation of new trade agreements and the monitoring of compliance with existing agreements. This coupled with a deep industry sector and data knowledge allows us to ensure our trading partners fulfill their commitments under our trade agreements.

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Office of Trade Agreements Negotiations and Compliance specializes in working with U.S. businesses to remove unfair foreign government-imposed trade barriers.  If your business is facing such a barrier, please report it, and our team of experts will investigate.

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ITA’s Enforcement and Compliance Unit

December 21, 2018

Candice Appiakorang, Public Affairs Specialist in our Office of Public Affairs sat down with ITA’s Enforcement and Compliance Communications Director, Brooke Kennedy, to get an in-depth look into the importance of enforcing trade laws and ensuring compliance with trade agreements. Keep reading to find out how this office promotes the creation and maintenance of U.S. jobs and economic growth.

Brooke, thanks for joining me for this important discussion on the Enforcement and Compliance business unit within the International Trade Administration (ITA). Here at ITA we are focused not only on the international competitiveness of U.S. industry, promoting trade and investment, but also ensuring fair trade and compliance with trade laws and agreements. Your office leads this effort. Tell me about the Enforcement and Compliance (E&C) unit and your role?Legal signs

Thanks, Candice.  I am really excited to talk about the work of E&C, especially at a time when the importance of fair trade is covered in the media almost daily! 

First, let me say that, very simply, I see the role of ITA as helping U.S. companies participate effectively in the global trading system. In E&C, we carry out this mission by providing a suite of services that enhance the strength of U.S. industries and ensure fair competition both at home and abroad. 

To do this, our E&C team has four primary responsibilities:  enforcing the laws on dumped (sold at less-than-fair value) or unfairly subsidized imports, preventing unfair foreign trade barriers, ensuring compliance with trade agreements by our trading partners, and aiding U.S. manufacturers access the benefits of foreign-trade zones.  In short, E&C has the critical responsibility of making sure that international trade works for American manufacturers and workers. 

Let’s touch on each of E&C’s responsibilities a little bit more. What types of services does each team provide to U.S firms and exporters?

One of E&C’s core responsibilities, our bread and butter, is to examine allegations of sales at less-than-fair value and unfair subsidization, which we refer to as antidumping and countervailing duty (AD/CVD) investigations.  That means that when a foreign company dumps a product into the U.S. market at an unfair price or when a foreign government unfairly subsidizes a particular product, E&C investigates those practices and, when warranted, provides relief to a domestic industry by imposing a duty on imports.  Currently, we have 51 active investigations into allegations of dumping or unfair subsidization from countries such as China, India, Thailand, and Vietnam.  E&C is also currently enforcing over 460 border measures on products ranging from steel and aluminum to olives and pasta.

E&C also provides advocacy and support for U.S. companies subject to foreign trade remedy actions like AD and safeguard proceedings, and we monitor foreign government compliance with international obligations.  Our E&C team works directly with U.S. companies to help ensure they are well-positioned to defend their interests and our team can even intervene with foreign authorities to protect the interests of U.S. exporters.  In 2016, our advocacy efforts helped lead to the termination of 27 foreign trade remedy actions, affecting approximately $374 million in U.S. exports. 

In addition, E&C makes sure foreign governments comply with the terms of our trade agreements.  Non-compliance often manifests itself as non-tariff barriers to U.S. exports and investment; E&C works with experts across ITA, both at headquarters and in the field, to end these barriers now and secure lasting changes to the offending laws, procedures, or practices so these barriers hopefully don’t occur again in the future.  Trade compliance means making trade agreements work for U.S. industry.

Last, but not least, E&C plays a key role in helping U.S. manufacturers access the benefits of the Foreign Trade Zones (FTZ) program.  A FTZ is a special economic area in which manufacturers can operate with delayed or reduced duty payments on imports.  Our FTZs program helps level the playing field by reducing the costs of U.S. operations.  One of our best-known FTZs, for example, is BMW’s factory in South Carolina, which supports $5+ billion in exports annually – over half its production – and 10,000+ jobs.

If a business is interested in learning more, where would you suggest they go? 

If you believe your firm is facing dumping our unfair foreign competition, please contact E&C’s Petition Counseling and Analysis Unit at 202-482-1255.

If your firm or industry is facing a foreign antidumping or countervailing duty investigation, please contact E&C’s Trade Remedy and Compliance Staff at 202-482-3415.

If you need assistance with a foreign trade barrier or would like to report a foreign trade barrier, please contact the Trade Agreement Negotiation and Compliance Office’s hotline at 202-482- 1191.

For matters related to Foreign Trade Zones, please contact 202-482-2862.

For general matters, please contact our experts at the E&C Communication Office at 202-482-0063.

 

 

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Helping the American Worker Succeed in a Global Marketplace

September 1, 2017

This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog

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Helping the American Worker Succeed in a Global Marketplace

As we celebrate Labor Day, the U.S. Department of Commerce is proud to express our appreciation for American workers and reiterate our commitment to helping Americans succeed in a global marketplace.  We firmly believe that given a level playing field, American workers can help grow the economy and build a better future for all Americans.

Commerce’s International Trade Administration (ITA) is the premier resource for Americans competing in the global marketplace. ITA strengthens the global competitiveness of U.S. industry, promotes trade and investment, analyzes trade trends and opportunities that help businesses make better decisions and ensures fair trade through the rigorous enforcement of U.S. trade laws and agreements.

ITA offers the expertise needed to connect U.S. businesses with trade opportunities that strengthen their bottom lines and grow jobs here at home. In 2016 alone, we enabled $59 billion in exports and facilitated $5.3 billion in foreign investment into the United States.

From January 20, 2017, through August 29, 2017, Commerce has initiated 58 antidumping (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) investigations, a 27 percent increase from the previous year, and currently maintains 407 AD and CVD duty orders which provide relief to American companies and industries impacted by unfair trade.

Since President Trump has come into office, ITA has been working hard to fulfill the President’s mission to increase opportunities for American workers. This includes:

  • Fighting for American ManufacturingITA is a leading advocate and ombudsman for advancing the competitive position of U.S manufacturing industries in the global market.  We are ramping up efforts to combat unfair trade practices, intellectual property theft and unfair trade barriers affecting U.S. manufacturing exporters. We provide the data and tools that industry and local government partners need to help companies increase exports, investment and jobs. We also support the negotiation of strong provisions in U.S. trade agreements in key areas, including government procurement, customs and trade facilitation, standards and technical regulations, import licensing, investment, state-owned enterprise behavior, anti-corruption, labor, environment, dumping, subsidies and safeguards. ITA will use its expertise and enhanced data analysis programs to put forth recommendations that will make U.S. companies more competitive and will allow them to support more high-paying jobs here in the United States.

 

  • Empowering American ExportersWith offices in 108 locations across the U.S. and 78 markets worldwide, ITA is uniquely positioned to help American companies overcome the challenges of exporting and capitalize on the opportunities to sell American goods and services around the world. Our team works daily to address the market challenges that U.S. companies – especially small and medium-sized businesses – face when pursuing opportunities in the global marketplace. We provide companies with actionable market intelligence, including practical transactional know-how on the mechanics of exporting, guidance on how to manage and overcome barriers to trade and information on trade financing options.  ITA also provides dedicated advocacy support to American companies competing for foreign civilian and defense government procurements.
  • Fighting Unfair Imports: ITA has a record of accomplishment in delivering timely and responsive relief to American manufacturers and workers from unfair trade and ensuring that U.S. national security interests affected by international trade and investment are vigorously evaluated and addressed. We administer and enforce the U.S. antidumping (AD) and countervailing (CVD) duty laws to defend U.S. manufacturers, ranchers, farmers and workers against injuriously dumped and unfairly subsidized imports. We are steadfast in our work at leveling the playing field through the conduct of these investigations and other proceedings. ITA also provides recommendations and analysis for the Trump Administration of U.S. trade safeguards that protect American industry and jobs. To further strengthen the Department’s abilities to enforce U.S. trade laws, ITA is building capacity to self-initiate trade remedy actions when appropriate.

At home and abroad, ITA works every day to help American workers.  It is our mission and our promise.  Happy Labor Day to everyone!