Posts Tagged ‘Trade Enforcement’


Hometown Heroes: Trade Specialists Shine a Community Spotlight on Manufacturing

October 26, 2022

Lisa Wang is the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Enforcement and Compliance

October is National Manufacturing Month, and communities across the country are celebrating the important contributions of America’s most enduring and rapidly evolving field. Every aspect of our lives and livelihoods is touched by the people and places that produce our goods.

At the International Trade Administration (ITA), we help U.S. manufacturers thrive in global trade and ensure a level playing field at home and abroad. ITA’s Enforcement and Compliance (E&C) team enforces U.S. antidumping and countervailing duty laws to protect our industries from unfair pricing and practices of foreign actors who don’t play by the rules.

Over the past few months, I’ve had the opportunity to see our trade laws in action at manufacturing sites stretching from Appalachia to Alabama as part of a series that we’ve been calling “Hometown Tours.” On each tour, we visit a city considered home by one of our trade specialists and a U.S. company impacted by our work.

A collage of five images. Upper left is Jayden White-Graham standing with two Tuskegee University officials with a Tuskegee University logoed backdrop. Upper right is Kathryn Krishnan with construction glasses on holding an object with four individuals in the background. Lower Left is Norbert Gannon in a construction hat and protective outfit, standing in a crowd of 9 individuals with similar dress. Lower left is Tom Conley posing for a photo behind a sign that reads AMI Auburn Manufacturing Inc. with two individuals besides him and four individuals in front. Center is Zachary Le Vene posing for a photo with construction glasses on with a city backdrop.
Photo collage of ITA trade specialists: Jayden Graham-White (upper left), Kathryn Krishnan (upper left), Norbert Gannon (lower right), Tom Conley (lower left – standing above the AMI sign), and Zachary Le Vene (center).

Our first stop in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, can be credited to Norbert Gannon. Gannon, who grew up near U.S. Steel’s Edgar Thomson Plant, saw the integrated steel mill’s evolution throughout his life and marveled at its longevity. Built in the 1870s, it outlasted every other steel mill subsequently built in the “Mon Valley.” Gannon had always wanted to visit the mill but had never stepped foot inside. After a career dedicated to learning about and crafting policy that implicated U.S. manufacturers of steel—nearly 50% of E&C’s cases deal with some form of unfairly traded foreign steel product—Norb was finally able to tour his neighborhood steel facility.

  • Having finally seen the facility, Gannon said, “I can now check this off my bucket list!”

Next, in Portland, Maine, Tom Conley showcased Auburn Manufacturing Inc. (AMI), a woman-led factory that produces high-performance textiles that provide protection from extreme temperatures. Both AMI and nearby Sappi North America—a wood yard and paper mill—are companies that in recent years have been affected by unfair trade practices from China and other countries. Through the enforcement of our laws, ITA has helped these companies stay competitive in the international marketplace while also supporting hundreds of local jobs.

  • Conley said, “These two businesses alone show that Maine is much more than just ‘Vacation Land’ and seafood—though we do have great seafood. It was fantastic to see firsthand the tremendous impact ITA has had on the businesses I grew up with.”

In Lexington, Kentucky, Kathryn Krishan gave a perfect example of a resilient U.S. supply chain with a visit to Leggett & Platt, where 100% of the components that go into the innerspring unit—including the wire that makes the innerspring coils—are manufactured by Leggett & Platt. Through vertical integration and strategic application of U.S. trade laws, Leggett & Platt maintains a global company that has employed generations of Kentuckians.

  • Krishnan said, “My work in D.C. and my hometown in Kentucky have always felt very distinct. It wasn’t until I heard someone who sounds like my Papaw explain how important our work in ITA was to him and his family that I could bridge that gap. I hope that my colleagues were able to see the vibrant and proud communities that make what we do worth it.”

In Alabama, Jayden Graham-White arranged a visit to Globe Specialty Metals. As result of successful trade enforcement, Globe recently reopened its Selma-based plant to continue a proud legacy of producing silicon metals that support sectors ranging from cosmetics to energy and semiconductors. What made this tour more special was visiting the nearby campuses of some distinguished historically Black colleges and universities and predominately Black institutions—Alabama State University, Auburn University at Montgomery, and of course Graham-White’s alma mater, Tuskegee University.

  • Graham-White said, “It was an honor to be able to see firsthand the work that these people do every single day to keep these factories, cities, and ultimately this country running. To return to Alabama serving the communities that raised me and encouraging and supporting diverse students to follow suit was an amazing experience that really brings meaning to the title public servant.”

And most recently, Wisconsin-native, Zachary Le Vene highlighted the local and global impacts of trade remedies at a visit to Renewable Energy Group (REG), a producer of sustainable biofuels. After E&C put duties in place to counter unfairly subsidized and priced biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia, REG was able to invest in its refining capacity at facilities like the one E&C visited in Deforest, Wisconsin.

  • Le Vene said, “It was heartening to witness firsthand REG’s commitment to bettering the local community at multiple levels, including both farmers and restaurants who provide the company with ‘waste’ products as feedstock. REG’s innovative, yet practical process of using renewable feedstock and existing infrastructure is inspiring to see in my home state. Although Wisconsin is often known for its beer and cheese, companies like REG are putting it on the map as a center for sustainable, innovative manufacturing.”

ITA’s Enforcement and Compliance team is here to support companies who need our help. If you are facing unfair competition from unfairly priced imports, we offer petition counseling services that are free and confidential. Also, if your U.S. company is facing export barriers, we are available to help. Contact us.

It’s not every day that those of us who work behind the scenes get an opportunity to see how the work we do supports American workers and communities. I am grateful to these individuals for taking us to meet the people and see the places where our work resonates most.


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.




The National Export Initiative: Making Progress and Striving for More

March 6, 2012

This post contains external links. Please review our external linking policy.

Francisco Sánchez is the Under Secretary for International Trade

This month marks the second anniversary of President Obama’s National Export Initiative (NEI).  Launched in 2010, its goal is to double U.S. exports by the end of 2014.  In real terms, that means doubling our exports from $1.5 trillion at the end of 2009 to $3.1 trillion at the end of 2014.

As we reach this milestone, I’m proud to report that to date the NEI has been a resounding success.

U.S. exports have grown 34 percent since the President implemented the initiative.  Last year, U.S. goods and services exports reached a record $2.1 trillion.  As a result of these successes, we are making progress toward the President’s goal.

Why is this important?

Under Secretary Sanchez tours the Larsen & Toubro engineering facility in Chennai

Under Secretary Sanchez tours the Larsen & Toubro engineering facility in Chennai (Photo Larsen & Toubro Limited)

Because, even as the nation’s economic recovery accelerates, there is still a lot of work to be done.  Too many Americans are still looking for work.  Too many businesses find themselves with too few opportunities.

Exporting addresses these challenges, providing companies with new opportunities to sell their goods abroad, which is where more than 9 out of 10 of the world’s potential customers live.  When a business reaches more customers, it can lead to more sales, more revenues and ultimately more jobs.

The overall economic impact of exports has been tremendous; they comprised nearly 14 percent of GDP in 2011 — yet another record.

Naturally, as the Under Secretary of International Trade, I’m pleased with this success.  Certainly, I’m proud of the contributions that the International Trade Administration (ITA) — particularly it’s talented staff — has made to this progress.

For example, last year alone, ITA helped 5,600 American companies export for the first time. This is great news. But I want to be clear: We are not satisfied.

With new economic challenges emerging in pockets throughout the world, in Europe for example, we realize that we have to work harder to keep the momentum of the NEI going.

That’s why we continue to push for progress in a number of ways.  Here are four specific areas of focus:

1. Policy: The United States – Korean Trade Agreement will take effect later this month.  It is estimated to create roughly 70,000 jobs and add billions to the U.S. GDP.  The agreement will create new opportunities for U.S. companies in the world’s 12th largest economy, which is sure to boost exports and enhance the nation’s competitiveness.

We look forward to supporting our colleagues at the Office of the United States Trade Representative to resolve the outstanding issues involved with the free trade agreements with Panama and Colombia.

2. Promotion: We continue to actively link U.S. companies with promising growth markets and industries around the world.  For instance, as you’ll read about in this edition of International Trade Update, I just returned from India where I accompanied twelve U.S. companies on the first-ever ports and maritime trade mission.

Recently, the Indian Government announced infrastructure investments of nearly $100 billion in the port and shipping sectors.  U.S. companies offer cutting-edge products and services that would be a valuable asset to this development.  Recognizing this enormous opportunity, I urged all sides to come together and create mutually beneficial partnerships. I’ll continue to do that in different industries and markets all over the world.

3. Enforcement: We’ll continue to fight to level the playing-field for American firms seeking to do business overseas.  One exciting new effort to do this is President Obama’s Interagency Trade Enforcement Center. Working with colleagues from across the U.S. government, we will take unprecedented steps to remove the barriers to free and fair trade.  American businesses deserve a fair chance to compete.  We’ll keep working to give them that chance.

4. Partnerships: With efforts like the New Market Exporter Initiative and our work with the Brookings Institution, we will continue to leverage our partnerships to maximize opportunities.  In fact, on March 12, the actual date the NEI was launched, I will be at the Port of Baltimore celebrating their great contributions to U.S. exports.

With these and other measures, all of us at ITA remain focused on ensuring that the future of the National Export Initiative is as successful as the past — if not more so. Additional stories, successes and achievements will be detailed in the special NEI anniversary edition of the International Trade Update due out later this month.

We look forward to working with all our stakeholders to increase U.S. exports and expand opportunities for Americans across the country.

We won’t stop working until every American is working.