Huawei challenging constitutionality of US ban.

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Yesterday, Huawei filed a motion in court to challenge a ban against Huawei in the most recent National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) passed last August 13, 2018.

The NDAA language banning US government agencies is found here:


(a) Prohibition On Use Or Procurement. – (1) The head of an executive agency may not—

(A) procure or obtain or extend or renew a contract to procure or obtain any equipment, system, or service that uses covered telecommunications equipment or services as a substantial or essential component of any system, or as critical technology as part of any system; or

(B) enter into a contract (or extend or renew a contract) with an entity that uses any equipment, system, or service that uses covered telecommunications equipment or services as a substantial or essential component of any system, or as critical technology as part of any system.

Huawei’s main argument is the ban is unlawful because it targets a specific person – Huawei and its entities.

The NDAA (defense budget) does specifically mention Huawei and ZTE when it included:

(3) COVERED TELECOMMUNICATIONS EQUIPMENT OR SERVICES.—The term “covered telecommunications equipment or services” means any of the following:

(A) Telecommunications equipment produced by Huawei Technologies Company or ZTE Corporation (or any subsidiary or affiliate of such entities).

The government claims the ban is for national security reasons. Previous bans included a federal ban on software from Russia-based Kaspersky Lab. Kapersky also filed a legal challenge but the government prevailed in court due to national security issues. It is unclear whether this court will rule similarly.

Will update as soon as more information becomes available.

President Trump lifts steel tariffs on Canada and Mexico.


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Last week, President Trump lifted steel tariffs on Canada and Mexico to improve the chances of Congress approving a renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

President Trump withdrew tariffs of 25% and 10% duties steel and aluminum from Canada and Mexico imposed a year ago. In return, Canada and Mexico said they would lift retaliatory duties on many American goods, including farm products. In addition to withdrawing the steel and aluminum tariffs, Trump also postponed the imposition of new tariffs on imported automobiles and automobile parts.

With a Democrat-led Congress, whether the US Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA) passes is uncertain as Congressional Democrats want changes covering the enforcement of labor rights and duration of drug companies keeping an exclusivity for their products.

US China Trade War impact – small Ellisville cabinet firm braces for impact of trade war.

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According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, a small cabinet firm in Ellisville maybe one of the victims of the ongoing trade war between the US and China. The article introduces the reader to Joe Knichel, owner of the St. Louis Cabinet Warehouse in Ellisville. He installs cabinets and frequently buys ready-to-assemble (RTA) cabinet kits from a supplier that includes doors, drawers, partitions, and hardware. Joe says the main benefit of buying an RTA kit is the time frame to complete, 2 weeks versus 4 weeks for made to order cabinets. However, in April, the U.S. International Trade commission issued a preliminary ruling that American cabinet manufacturers had been injured by Chinese imports — including imports of the kits that Knichel relies upon.

The final ruling, expected in a few months, can see tariffs added to cabinets as high as 348 percent, an amount that Joe says would likely put him out of business.

The investigation into cabinets isn’t alone – the ITC has also initiated investigations of anti-dumping on over 24 other Chinese products – such as ceramic tile and crawfish tail meat.

Joe’s example is likely just one of many examples of small businesses who rely on relatively cheap imports from China for their business. We’ll likely see a greater impact in a few months as the current inventory imported without 25% 301 duties runs out, and future imports subject to 301 duties appear on the shelves.

If you have any questions about how antidumping will impact your business, contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu by call/text: 832-896-6288 or by email at

Huawei and affiliates added to the BIS “Entity List”.

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On May 21, 2019, the Federal Register published the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) “Addition of Entities to the Entity List”. While not published until the 21st, the entity list had an effective date of 5/16/2019. The full document can be found here.

What does this mean?
This rule by BIS amends the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) by adding Huawei Technologies Co., LTD and its affiliates to the “Entity List”.

What is the “Entity List”?
This is a list of certain foreign persons (including companies and individuals) that are subject to license requirements for export, re-export or transfer of specific items.

Why was Huawei added to the list?
The U.S. Government has determined that there is reasonable cause to believe that Huawei has been involved in activities contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States. BIS is also adding non-U.S. affiliates of Huawei to the Entity List because those affiliates pose a significant risk of involvement in activities contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States.

What other Huawei affiliates, subsidiaries are on the entity list?
The list also covers Huawei’s affiliates located in twenty-six destinations: Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Burma, Canada, Chile, China, Egypt, Germany, Hong Kong, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Lebanon, Madagascar, Netherlands, Oman, Pakistan, Paraguay, Qatar, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom, and Vietnam.

If you have questions how the inclusion of Huawei to the entity list will impact your business, call/text David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at

China backtracked on nearly all aspects of US trade deal: Sources.

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According to a report published by, a diplomatic cable from Beijing arrived into Washington on Friday night with edits to a 150-page draft trade agreement containing what was described by CNBC citing Reuters as “riddled with reversals by China that undermined core U.S. demands”.

The CNBC report further details the changes to the seven chapter trade deal:

1. China deleted its commitment to change laws to resolve core complaints that caused the United States to launch a trade war:

2. China deleted its commitment to change laws to resolve theft of U.S. intellectual property and trade secrets;

3. China deleted its commitment to change laws to resolve forced technology transfers;
4. China deleted its commitment to change laws to resolve competition policy;

5. China deleted its commitment to change laws to resolve access to financial services; and

6. China deleted its commitment to change laws to resolve currency manipulation.

The U.S. Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer viewed the changes to the China law as necessary to verifying compliance after years of what U.S. officials have called empty reform promises.

The CNBC report further continues saying the Chinese negotiators said they couldn’t touch the laws, said one of the government sources, calling the changes “major” and that changing any law in China requires a unique set of processes that can’t be navigated quickly.

Will post more news regarding the US/China trade war as they become available. If you have any questions about List 3 tariffs or have questions on what your company can do in light of these China tariffs, call David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at

CBP seizes $1.6 Million inside Propane Gas Tank.

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According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release – officers along with other federal partners under the Border Enforcement Security Task Force (BEST) in Puerto Rico found and seized $1.6 million in undeclared currency inside a large propane gas tank on a disabled vessel found drifting near the coast of Cabo Rojo.

The report states: “On May 23, U.S. Coast Guard Sector San Juan requested assistance from a CBP Air and Marine Operations (AMO) Marine Patrol Unit for a reported disabled vessel. The AMO marine unit found the vessel dead in the water 16 miles southwest of Cabo Rojo, with two men from the Dominican Republic on-board.

The vessel and its occupants were navigating to to Santo Domingo from the British Virgin Islands, when the vessel’s engine failed.

The AMO unit towed the vessel to the Mayaguez port where a CBP Field Operations Officer (CBPO) conducted an inspection.

A CBP canine alerted to the presence of a familiar odor from a large propane gas tank. Inside the tank the CBPO, AMO agent and U.S. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Special Agents discovered large sums of U.S. currency.

The undeclared currency totaled $1,638,700.”

Our firm does handle currency seizures – however, in this instance, this would be a tough case to demonstrate a legitimate source and legitimate use of the funds:

1. The cash was found hidden in a propane gas tank, not exactly a place where you normally keep money and forget to report.

2. $1.6 million is a lot of currency, the two arrested individuals would need to prove to CBP the money was legitimate.

3. In addition to showing the funds were obtained legally, the individuals also have to show a legitimate use for the funds.

4. Homeland Security Investigations got involved, HSI typically does not get involved in currency seizures unless they believe the funds are related to criminal activity.

Here are a few quick tips to avoid currency seizures:

1. The $10,000 limit applies to everyone you are traveling with – not per individual.

2. You must report any amount over $10,000 whether you are entering, transiting or leaving the US.

3. It doesn’t matter what currency you have, all currency from anywhere in the world, checks, traveler’s checks, etc. have to be reported.

4. Canine will be able to detect the currency regardless where you try to hide it.

5. If you are asked to declare how much you are carrying, answer truthfully before you sign the FinCen form.


Call David Hsu if you have any questions, 832-896-6288 or by email at

Mexico’s Tomato Growers Submit Proposal for New Tomato Suspension Agreement.

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As you are aware, a suspension agreement between tomato growers and the Department of Congress was passed in 1996 – this agreement reached between US and Mexican tomato growers to maintain a balance in market share between the two sides. This agreement also postponed any Commerce investigation into whether Mexican tomatoes are “dumped” into the US. Last year, tomato growers in Florida petitioned Commerce to suspend the agreement due to an increase in market share by Mexican tomato growers. After the required notice period, the agreement was withdrawn on May 7th.

On May 22nd, Mexico’s tomato growers submitted a proposal that addresses among other things:

1. reference prices for organic and non-organic tomatoes.
2. Mexican growers contend there is no instance of a sale below reference price.
3. Mexican growers without a US repack operation will have a disproportional and negative impact.
4. Revisions to Appendix D removing 100 percent of defective product from the US market.
5. Protection from legal challenges and exposure to treble damages for Mexican growers.
6. Export management such as quarterly certifications to include volumes assigned and or received for export.
7. Adding all tomatoes to the USDA marketing order on Florida tomatoes
8. Increase PACA enforcement including quarterly certifications, preseason letters
9. Commerce Department changes – establishing a taskforce between Commerce, USDA and CBP, quarterly meetings with Commerce to discuss monitoring and enforcement efforts, third-party verification compliance.

The full document can be viewed here. 

Check back for any updates on a new suspension agreement. If you have any questions, contact David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at

Nogales CBP Officers Seize Drugs and Unreported Currency.

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According to a CBP news release, CBP officers arrested two Mexican nationals and a US citizen for attempting to smuggle 10 pounds of heroin valued at $268,000 and 27 pounds of meth valued at $82,000, 5 pounds of fentanyl worth $56,000 and unreported currency containing nearly $96,000. I typically don’t report on drug seizures, but included posted about this CBP media release as CBP also found seized currency. In general, currency can be released if you can show a legal source and legal use of the funds. Unfortunately, as this currency was seized along with the drugs, it will be hard to convince Customs the seized currency were from a legitimate source and have a legitimate use.

If you or someone you know has seized currency and want to get your hard earned money back, contact experiecned seizure attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at

Louisville CBP Seizes Nearly $2.6 Million in Counterfeit Merchandise.

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According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release on May 14th, officers seized a large shipment of counterfeit luxury watches, handbags, and sunglasses in Louisville. CBP estimates the manufacturer suggested retail price (MSRP) for the fake goods are worth an estimated $2.5 million if the goods were genuine.

The shipment contained counterfeit Rolex and Hublot watches, counterfeit Oakley sunglasses and Michael Kors handbags. Samples of the shipment were sent to CBP’s Centers of Excellence and Expertise (CEE) where they were determined to be counterfeit.

The shipment contained 57 Rolex watches, 19 Oakley sunglasses, four Michael Kors handbags, and five Hublot watches, all determined to be counterfeit by CBP’s trade experts at the Centers of Excellence and Expertise. Last year, CBP estimates they seized $3.7 million worth of counterfeit products on a typical day.

If you have had your goods seized by Customs for suspected counterfeit or other intellectual property rights violations, contact experienced seizure attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at

The US Department of Commerce bans Huawei and affiliates from sourcing US components.

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On May 15th, the U.S. Department of Commerce officially placed Huawei and 70 of its affiliates on the Bureau of Industry and Security’s (BIS) “entity list.” The ban prohibits US companies from selling and exporting components to Huawei without government approval through an export license.

Placing Huawei on the BIS entity list comes one day after Trump signed an executive order declaring a national emergency regarding telecommunication equipment from “foreign adversaries” who “are increasingly creating and exploiting vulnerabilities in information and communications technology and services.” The impact of Trump’s executive order prohibits U.S. companies from buying telecommunication equipmetn from companies that pose a national security risk. While the executive order does not specifically name Huawei, the order’s exclusion of “foreign adversaries” implies Huawei and other government controlled entities. The Department of Commerce has 4 months and 20 days to determine who is included as a “foreign adversary”.

If you have any questions how Huawei’s placement on the BIS enttiy list may impact you, contact David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at