Taiwan requests WTO consultations with the US over the Trump administration’s tariffs on solar cells.

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After the Trump administration announced tariffs on solar modules and cell manufacturers for the next 5 years with tariff rates starting at 30%, Taiwan submitted a request for a consultation with the US regarding these duties.

Taiwan’s January 29th filing states:

“Having a substantial interest as an exporter in this case, the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu requests consultations with United States under Article 12.3 of the Agreement on Safeguards with a view to, inter alia, exchanging views on the proposed measure and reaching an understanding on ways to achieve the objective set out in Article 8.1 of the Agreement on Safeguards,”

Taiwan is also one of the world’s leading PV manufacturing industries and approximately 13 GW of solar cell manufacturing capability.

More updates to follow if and when a consultation occurs.

If your company imports solar modules and PV cells subject to these dumping rates or you want to know whether your imports are within the scope of the order, call experienced antidumping and countervailing duty attorney David Hsu for a free consultation, 832-896-6288, dhsu@givensjohnston.com.

Bassett Mirror Company to pay $10.5 million for allegations of evading customs duties.

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According to a January 16, 2018 Department of Justice press release – Virginia based home furniture company, Bassett Mirror Company (Bassett) will pay $10.5 million to resolve allegations that Bassett violated the False Claims Act (FCA) by “knowingly making false statements on customs declarations to avoid paying antidumping duties on wooden bedroom furniture imported from the People’s Republic of China (PRC)”.

Wooden bedroom furniture from the People’s Republic Of China is covered under case number: A-570-890 and the scope includes:


The product covered by the order is wooden bedroom furniture. Wooden bedroom furniture is generally, but not exclusively, designed, manufactured, and offered for sale in coordinated groups, or bedrooms, in which all of the individual pieces are of approximately the same style and approximately the same material and/or finish. The subject merchandise is made substantially of wood products, including both solid wood and also engineered wood products made from wood particles, fibers, or other wooden materials such as plywood, oriented strand board, particle board, and fiberboard, with or without wood veneers, wood overlays, or laminates, with or without non-wood components or trim such as metal, marble, leather, glass, plastic, or other resins, and whether or not assembled, completed, or finished.

Since 2004, imports of wooden beddroom furniture from China have been subject to dumping duties and the current PRC rate is 216 percent.

The US Department of Justice alleged that for a five year period (2009 to 2014), Bassett evaded payment of antidumping duties owed by misclassifying the furniture as non-bedroom furniture on import documents. By classifying imports as “non-bedroom furniture”, Bassett avoiding paying the duty rate of 216%.

In general, antidumping duties are imposed against foreign companies for “dumping” products into the US market at prices below cost. Most of the foreign companies are located in “non market economy” countries such as People’s Republic of China and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. By imposing anti dumping duties on goods, the US Department of Commerce is attempting to protect US businesses and “level the playing field” for domestically manufactured products.

Given the current administration in the White House, we can expect the Department of Justice, CBP, and Commerce to further strengthen their enforcement of antidumping duties for any and all goods entering the US.

If you are not sure whether your imports from China are considered “wooden bedroom furniture, or if you have been alleged to violate the false claims act by misclassifying imports, avoiding payment of duties or any other import and export related claim from the US government, contact David Hsu at 832.896.6288 or by email at dhsu@givensjohnston.com immediately. There is no cost for the initial consultation and in most instances, time limits to take action are running – don’t miss your chance, contact us today.

USITC Votes to Continue Investigations on Common Alloy Aluminum Sheet from China.

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According to News Release 18-008 from the United States International Trade Commission (USITC) website (found here), the USITC voted to continue investigations on common alloy aluminum sheet from China. The USITC typically continues investigations if they believe there is a reasonable indication that a U.S. industry is materially injured due to imports of common alloy aluminum sheet from China. The “material injury” results because the USITC believes the manufacturing of aluminum sheet is being subsidized and sold in the US at a cost lower than “fair value”.

A continuation of an investigation means the US Department of Commerce (Commerce) will continue antidumping and countervailing duty investigations. The due date for the preliminary countervailing duty determination is due February 1, 2018. The antidumping duy determination is due on April 17, 2018.

The investigation of common alloy aluminum sheet from China can be found in Investigation Numbers 701-TA-591 and 731-TA-1399, publication number 4757, dated January 2018.

If you have any questions about these orders, or want to know if any of the products you import may be subject to dumping, please feel free to contact David Hsu at 832.896.6288 or by email at dhsu@givensjohnston.com.

January 11, 2018 – Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews.

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As posted in the Federal Register here, the U.S. Department of Commerce is initiating administrative reviews on multiple antidumping and countervailing duty orders:

Antidumping Duty Proceedings:
India: Welded Stainless Pressure Pipe A-533-876
Indonesia: Monosodium Glutamate A-560-826
Mexico: Certain Circular Welded Non-Alloy Steel Pipes and Tubes A-201-805
Mexico: Steel Concrete Reinforcing Bar A-201-844
Republic of Korea: Circular Welded Non-Alloy Steel Pipe A-580-809
Taiwan: Certain Circular Welded Non-Alloy Steel Pipe A-583-814
The People’s Republic of China: Diamond Sawblades and Parts Thereof A-570-900
The People’s Republic of China: Certain Hot-Rolled Carbon Steel Flat Products A-570-865
The People’s Republic of China: Fresh Garlic A-570-831
The People’s Republic of China: Monosodium Glutamate A-570-992
The People’s Republic of China: Polyethlene Terephthalate (Pet) Film A-570-924
The People’s Republic of China: Seamless Refined Copper Pipe and Tube A-570-964
United Arab Emirates: Polyethylene Terephthalate (Pet) Film A-520-803

Countervailing Duty Proceedings
India: Welded Stainless Pressure Pipe C-533-868
The People’s Republic of China: Certain Passenger Vehicle and Light Truck Tires 7 C-570-017
The People’s Republic of China: Chlorinated Isocyanurates C-570-991 1/1/16-12/31/16
Turkey: Steel Concrete Reinforcing Bar C-489-819

If you have any questions about administrative reviews or general antidumping and countervailing duty questions, feel free to call us at anytime: 832.896.6288 or contact us by email at dhsu@givensjohnston.com.

U.S. Department of Commerce Issues Preliminary Antidumping Duties On Chinese Solar Cells.

pexels-photo-371900.jpegYesterday I posted about countervailing duties on imports of crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells; today’s solar panel post is about the preliminary results of the antidumping review and preliminary duties on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Cells, Whether or Not Assembled Into Modules, From the People’s Republic of China.

The Department of Commerce (Commerce) conducted an administrative review of the antidumping duty order on crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells, whether or not assembled into modules (solar cells), from the People’s Republic of China (China) and looked at imports from December 1, 2015, through November 30, 2016 (Period of Review, POR).

The scope of the antidumping review covered “crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells, and modules, laminates, and panels, consisting of crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells, whether or not partially or fully assembled into other products, including, but not limited to, modules, laminates, panels and building integrated materials. Merchandise covered by this order is classifiable under subheadings 8501.61.0000, 8507.20.80, 8541.40.6020, 8541.40.6030, and 8501.31.8000 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS).”

Commerce typically covers multiple mandatory respondents. However, in the instant review, the administrative review covered only mandatory respondent, Trina Solar (Hefei) Science and Technology Co., Ltd (Trina). Commerce treated the various Trina entities: Changzhou Trina Solar Energy Co., Ltd./Trina Solar (Changzhou) Science and Technology Co., Ltd./Yancheng Trina Solar Energy Technology Co., Ltd./Changzhou Trina Solar Yabang Energy Co., Ltd./Turpan Trina Solar Energy Co., Ltd./Hubei Trina Solar Energy Co., Ltd., as one single entity.

As a result of their review, Commerce preliminary found that Trina sold subject merchandise in the United States at prices below normal value during the Period of Review and is therefore subject to a duty of 61.61%.

All other exporters of crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells will be subject to the China-wide entity rate of 238.95%.

As the findings are preliminary, interested parties still have 30 days from January 9th, 2018 to submit case briefs.

The entity wide rate of 238.95% for imports of crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells from China highlight why it is important for all manufacturers, producers, exporters, importers or other interested parties to enter an appearance with Commerce and request a review, file a separate rate application or certification, scope requests, or other actions to protect their interests.

The full notice from the Federal Register can be found here.

If you are a producer, importer, exporter of crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells and have any questions about how these preliminary ADD/CVD orders effect your company and business, call David Hsu’s office at 713.932.1540, mobile phone at 832.896.6288 or email at dhsu@givensjohnston.com.

 

U.S. Department of Commerce Issues Preliminary Duties On Chinese Solar Cells.

pexels-photo-356049.jpegIn a notice posted on the Federal Register here, the U.S. Department of Commerce (Commerce) has preliminarily found that “Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Cells, Whether or Not Assembled Into Modules, From the People’s Republic of China”, will be subject to preliminary countervailing duties.

Commerce determined that countervailable subsidies are being provided to producers and exporters of crystalline silicon photoltaic cells, whether or not assembled into modules (solar cells) from the People’s Republic of China (China).

The scope of the order covers crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells, and modules, laminates, and panels, consisting of crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells, whether or not partially or fully assembled into other products, including, but not limited to, modules, laminates, panels, and building integrated materials.

The two mandatory respondents and their respective subsidy rates include Canadian Solar Inc. and its Cross-Owned Affiliates - 13.72% and Changzhou Trina Solar Energy Co., Ltd. and its Cross-Owned Affiliates - 10.93%. Non-selected companies under review have a subsidy rate of 12.64%

If you or someone you know imports crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells from China and they have questions about how this order affects them, please call David Hsu at 832.896.6288 or by email at dhsu@givensjohnston.com.

Givens & Johnston Secures Favorable Scope Ruling Regarding Pipe Spools.

Pipe Spools

Givens & Johnston PLLC recently secured a scope ruling excluding certain pipe spools manufactured in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) from Chinese anti-dumping duties (ADD) and countervailing duties (CVD). The exclusion covers pipe spools fabricated from non-Chinese originating pipe and pipe fittings (e.g. Japanese, Korean, U.S., etc.). In 2016, the ITA and Customs determined that all pipe spools fabricated in PRC were within the scope of the ADD & CVD orders applicable to Chinese pipe and pipe fittings as part of the ITA’s Westlake scope ruling decision.

In the Westlake case, the ITA declined to apply a substantial transformation analysis to the fabrication of pipe spools. Instead, the ITA used a mixed media analysis that looked at the components individually rather than as part of a whole. In Westlake, the ITA held that the pipe and pipe fittings fabricated into a pipe spool continue to have the same characteristics of pipe, so the ITA continued to treat them as pipe for ADD & CVD purposes. More recently, the ITA used the same method of analysis, except determined that because the non-Chinese origin pipe spool components were not subject to Chinese ADD & CVD, the fabrication into pipe spools did not change this result.

The full text of the scope ruling can be found here.

This ruling is crucial to companies who fabricate goods in the PRC from non-Chinese originating components and to any importers interested in importing pipe spools that are not subject to Chinese ADD & CVD. If you have any questions regarding how this ruling may affect you or your business, please give Givens & Johnston a call:

950 Echo Lane, Suite 360
Houston, Texas 77024
Phone: (713) 932-1540
Fax: (713) 932-1542

US Department of Commerce Self-Initiates ADD/CVD Investigation on Alloy Aluminum Sheet from China.

Aluminum Antidumping

According to a press release issued by the US Department of Commerce on November 28, 2017; the Commerce Department has self-initiated an ADD/CVD investigation of imports of alloy aluminum sheet from China. This action is noteworthy as most ADD/CVD investigations are brought forward by US manufacturers – with the last self-initiated ADD investigation occurring in 1985 on semiconductors from Japan.

The merchandise subject to investigation is common alloy aluminum sheet that is flat-rolled having a thickness of 6.3 mm or less but greater than 0.2 mm, in coils or cut-to-length, regardless of width. Alloy aluminum sheet is usually used in business, construction, transportation, appliances etc.

While the initiation of the case is unique, the investigation itself will follow any other trade remedy investigation. Look for a preliminary decision on or before January 16, 2018.

January 2018 may see potential tariffs on all solar panel imports to the US.

Solar Panels

President Trump campaigned with a tough on trade message and it appears January 2018 may be the first of many actions taken by the current administration.

The potential tariffs involve the importation of solar panels from around the world. Currenly, manufacturers in China account for almost two-thirds of all solar panel production worldwide and in the last 10 years, China’s manufacturers have lowered the global prices of solar panels by 90 percent. While Chinese manufacturers argue the lower solar panel prices benefit the environment, American producers successfully argued for the US to impose tariffs for Chinese solar panels “dumped” into the United States.

These tariffs have resulted in Chinese manufacturers shifting the manufacturing of solar panels to Southeast Asia to avoid paying anti-dumping duties to the US. In response, American producers have now asked the Department of Commerce to implement tariffs on all solar panel imports to the US regardless of country of origin. With a fast approaching deadline of January 26th, we will see whether the Trump administration upholds their tough on trade message.

Potential Expansion of ADD/CVD Orders for Seamless Pipe from China to Include Pipe Rack Modules.

Seamless Pipe

On April 6, 2017, the ITA posted a scope ruling request filed by United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union (“USW”) attempting to extend the existing ADD & CVD cases against seamless pipe from China to include pipe rack modules. The 2016 Westlake scope ruling extended existing ADD & CVD cases against various types of pipe from China to include pipe spools, and the new request cites to Westlake extensively. If this case is successful, CBP will most likely apply it to more than just modules fabricated seamless pipe from China but to any pipe subject to an ADD or CVD case.

Givens & Johnston is currently pursuing multiple scope rulings clarifying Westlake pipe spool rulings and can provide immediate consultations about how importers and producers might respond.

Now is the time to get involved! Importers and producers can more easily impact or derail the scope rulings before a bad ruling is issued.

Please call David Hsu (713.932.1540) if you have any questions or would like more information.