Trump saves Huawei.

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Official portrait of President Donald J. Trump, Friday, October 6, 2017. (Official White House photo by Shealah Craighead)

Well, not exactly Huawei, but at least Huawei’s smartphone division. After backtracking on sanctions, Huawei’s shipments for 2019 are estimated to be 260 million units and more. This new forecast even beats the pre entity list placement forecast of 250 million units.

According to the Bloomberg article cited several reasons for increased smartphone sales: (1) inclusion of Google play store apps for future smart phones, and (2) increased Chinese domestic sales of Huawei devices that may result from consumers supporting a domestic company.

Ultimately, Trump’s reversal of the Huawei ban (for devices not a threat to national security) has ultimately saved Huawei and their smartphone sales. Over the past two months, there have been multiple reports of canceled phones and laptops (new Matebook); we can expect to see those new devices in the near future as a direct impact of President Trump’s reversal at the G20 summit.

If you export any goods that may contain Huawei parts or components, contact experienced export compliance attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at dh@gjatradelaw.com, attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

Trump criticizes India for tariffs on Harley Davidson bikes.

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According to thePrint.in online, President Trump has criticized India several times for their high duties on Harley Davidson motorcycles. As recently as last June, President Trump has told Indian Prime Minister Modi the import duties were unacceptable.

Harley Davidson’s first entered the Indian market in 2007 in exchange for lifting a ban on Indian mango exports to the US (the “Mango” deal). However, in 2018, India incread the duties on “completely knocked down units” of Harley Davidson’s that are shipped to India for assembly. The 13 knocked down units are the lower priced models and are the majority of Harley Davidson motorcycles sold in India.

While Harley Davidson only sells about 2,500 bikes in India per year, President Trump views Harley Davidson and the brand as the “pride of the United States”, which also makes the brand an easy target for foreign governments to irritate the President.

President Trump likely supports Harley Davidson for multiple reasons: (1) the brand is popular among Trump’s voters in the midwest and Southern US, (2) Bikers for Trump is a group of motorcycle riders who also mostly ride Harley Davidson’s and (3) Harley Davidson’s headquarters is in Wisconsin – a Republican state that Trump needs for support in 2020.

Time will tell what products Trump will increase tariffs in retaliation. If you have any questions about duty rates or want to save duties on imports, contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at dh@gjatradelaw.com, attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

Japan claims national security threat the reason for limiting exports of chemicals to South Korea.

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On July 1st, the Japanese government began restricting exports of two chemicals, fluorinated polyimide and hydrogen fluoride; chemicals needed to produce semiconductors and smartphone and television screens. South Korea is dependent on Japan for this supply. Japanese officials claim the chemicals are “controlled items” (goods with civilian and military applications), and have been “inadequately managed” by South Korean companies.

However, South Korean officials believe the real motive for restricting imports of the two checmicals is a political dispute between the two countries and a recent South Korean court ruling that resulted in the seizing of assets of a Japanese company to pay for reparations for Japan’s actions during World War II.

Japanese exporters of the chemicals now need a license for each one with delays taking up to 90 days. In the meantime, South Korean companies are looking for new suppliers even though stockpiles of the checmicals are enough to meet the current demand.

As in most disputes between two nations, the citizens (well, businesses) lose, South Korean companies can’t purchase the chemicals they want and Japanese companies can’t sell the chemicals they don’t need.

CBP stops invasive Scarab beetle pests from entering the US.

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Scarab beetle, source: CBP.gov

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agriculture specialists in Florida stopped several invasive pests from entering the US – specifically the scarab beetle and heteroptera. The scarab beetle can infest and destroy crops while the heteroptera is known to damage plant roots.

According to the CBP media release, agriculture specialists in 2018 seized on average 319 pests at U.S. ports of entry and 4,552 materials for quarantine: plant, meat, animal byproduct and soil each day!

If you have had a Customs seizure due to an infestation of pests or wood-boring insects in wooden packaging materials – contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at dh@gjatradelaw.com, attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

Huawei laying off hundreds of US workers.

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As reported by the Wall Street Journal, Chinese telecommunications firm Huawei will lay off hundreds of workers at their research subsidiary – Futurewei Technologies. Futurewei is the US-based research and development arm for Huawei and employs roughly 850 people nationwide.

According to public records, Futurewei was founded in 2001 in Plano, Texas. I just checked online, and the website www. futurewei.com already appears to be offline.

Trump rallies in Wisconsin for USCMA support.

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According to the Associated Press, President Donald Trump had a rally in Wisconsin to promote his trade deal with Mexico and Canada, known as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). Trump was the first Republican to win Wisconsin since Ronald Reagan in 1984 and recent polling indicates Wisconsin is another battleground state in 2020.

Wisonsin exports $31 million worth of goods to Canada and $15.2 million worth of goods to Mexico; importing $15.5 million in goods from Canada and $9.3 million in goods from Mexico.

The USMCA will likely be ratified in Mexico and Canada, but Congress has not yet supported ratification. Democrat Congress members want strong labor and environmental protections. The AP article said a vote was likely to be held in September at the earliest.

If you have any questions how the new USMCA will impact  your business, contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at dh@gjatradelaw.com, attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

New antidumping investigation on utility scale wind towers from Canada, Indonesia, Korea and Vietnam.

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Earlier this week, Arcosa Wind Towers and Broadwind Towers, Inc (Petitioners) petitioned for an investigation on utility scale wind towers from Canada, Indonesia, Korea and Vietnam. The merchandise covered in this scope consists of certain wind towers, whether or not tapered, and sections thereof. Certain wind towers are designed to support the nacelle and rotor blades in a wind turbine with a minimum rated electrical power generation capacity in excess of 100 kilowatts and with a minimum height of 50 meters measured from the base of the tower to the bottom of the nacelle (i.e., where the top of the tower and nacelle are joined) when fully assembled.

A wind tower section consists of, at a minimum, multiple steel plates rolled into cylindrical or conical shapes and welded together (or otherwise attached) to form a steel shell, regardless of coating, end-finish, painting, treatment, or method of manufacture, and with or without flanges, doors, or internal or external components (e.g., flooring/decking, ladders, lifts, electrical buss boxes, electrical cabling, conduit, cable harness for nacelle generator, interior lighting, tool and storage lockers) attached to the wind tower section. Several wind tower sections are normally required to form a completed wind tower.

Wind towers and sections thereof are included within the scope whether or not they are joined with nonsubject merchandise, such as nacelles or rotor blades, and whether or not they have internal or external components attached to the subject merchandise.

Specifically excluded from the scope are nacelles and rotor blades, regardless of whether they are attached to the wind tower. Also excluded are any internal or external components which are not attached to the wind towers or sections thereof, unless those components are shipped with the tower sections.

Merchandise covered by this investigation is currently classified in the HTSUS under subheading 7308.20.0020 or 8502.31.0000. While the HTSUS subheadings are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the scope of the investigation is dispositive.

The listed producers are CS Wind, Enercon Canada, Fabrication Delta, Marmen, Kenertec, Korindo Wind, Dongkuk S&C, Speco, Win&P, Ltd., CS WIND Vietnam Co., Ltd, Vina Halla Industrial Company, UBI Tower Sole Member Co. LTD.

If you are a manufacturer or importer of utility scale wind towers and want to know your options, contact David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at dh@gjatradelaw.com. Time is of the essence in antidumping investigations so you need to act soon.

US Mexico tomato dispute – US demands 100% review of all tomatoes within 72 hours of shipment.

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According to publimetro.com.mx, the Secretary of Economy of Mexico, Graciela Marquez claims the US is inflexible in their demand to review 100% of tomato shipments at the border within 72 hours. The Mexican Government claims the US does not have enough man power to process the tomatoes.

The current tomato dispute stems began in 1996, when tomato growers in Florida initiated antidumping investigations against Mexican tomato exports. A deal was reached in November 1996 between Mexican growers and the Department of Commerce that led to the suspending of the investigation. The suspension was renewed in 2002, 2008 and 2013. However, earlier this year, Florida tomato growers complained the Mexican growers were violating their end of the deal. Since May of 2019, Mexican tomato exporters have had to pay a countervailing duty rate of 17.5% before the tomatoes can be exported into the United States.

The final determination will be issued on September 19, 2019 followed by a final determination regarding the damages to the industry due on November 1, 2019.

Mexico is the world’s largest tomato exporter in 2018, with external sales of $2.3 billion dollars of which 99.7% of its exports are to the US.

Canadian sofa bed manufacturer no longer shipping to US due to 1,732% duties on Chinese mattresses.

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According to a news article from the vancouverisawesome.com webasite, a Vancouver-based company has cancelled shipping their sofa beds into the US due to the 1,732% antidumping duty on Chinese mattresses that are used in their sofa beds. The U.S. Department of Commerce in May dumping rates of 34% to 75% for some Chinese manufacturers with an “all others” rate of 1,732%.

The company claims their sofa beds costing $600 will cost $113,000 due to the tariffs because the sofa beds include the mattress.

Fortunately the company does not only sell beds, and can rely on their Canadian made products. In fact, being made in Canada will probably make this company more competitive than their competitors who rely on Chinese imports for other goods that are likely covered under Lists 1-3 and a potential List 4.

The Commerce Department has set October 11, 2019 as the announcement date for their final decision on antidumping duties for mattresses imported from China.

If you have questions on how this or any other antidumping duty or countervailing duty will impact you and your business, contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

France imposes 3% tax on US technology companies.

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On January 11th, the French Senate and National Assembly passed a 3% tax that will impact American technology firms such as Google and Facebook. In response, the US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said the US Office of the Trade Representative will start their own investigation to determine whether the French bill is discriminatory or unreasonable and burdens or restricts US commerce.

An investigation may result in retaliatory tariffs on French goods such as wine, cheese and perfume. In fact, Trump in the past has hinted at placing tariffs on French wine since France places higher tariffs on imports than the US does. CNBC reports France exported $3.6 billion in wine to the US in 2018, making America France’s largest export market.