ITC rules Mahindra’s Roxor is copy of Jeep Wrangler.

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According to The Detroit News, the International Trade Commission (ITC) ruled last week that Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd’s US-built “Roxor” off-road vehicle is a copy of the Jeep Wrangler SUV. As a result of this finding, the ITC ruling prohibits Mahinda from importing vehicles and components that copy the appearance of the Jeep. The Roxor was built from 2018 to 2019.

While the Roxor is built in Auburn Hills, some components such as the engine and some body panels are built in India and assembled in the United States. The next step for Mahinda is further review in which the current administration has 60 days to veto the decision on public policy grounds or Mahindra can appeal to federal circuit court.

The case was originally brought to the ITC by Fiat Chrysler America who claimed Roxor’s boxy shape, vertical sides and rear body and hood all shared similarities with FCA’s Jeep.

Fiat Chrysler is facing growing competition in the off-road sector that for decades it has dominated. In addition to the Roxor, the return of Ford Motor Co.’s Bronco and its smaller version is forthcoming. The Bronco is set to make its first appearance next month, and this week, Jim Farley, Ford’s chief operating officer, said during an auto industry conference held by Deutsche Bank that it would be a “much superior product” to Jeep.

Interesting fact I did not know – Jeep and Mahindra used to work together since 1940’s to build Jeeps for the Willy Overland Export Company.

Jeep and Mahindra had worked together starting in the 1940s when the Mumbai-based automaker began assembling Jeeps at its Kandivali plant under contract with Willy Overland Export Corp. Mahindra had defended itself that such past agreements dating to as late as 2009 gave them the right to build and sell the Roxor. Mahindra has also placed a bid proposal to build the next U.S. Postal Service (USPS) mail delivery vehicle, so we will likely hear more about them in the future.

ITC publishes final determination of no material injury by imports of Fabricated Structural Steel from China, Canada and Mexico.

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About 30 minutes ago, the Federal Register published the final determination decision by the International Trade Commission finding no material injury by imports of fabricated structural steel from Canada, China and Mexico. The Final Determination can be viewed here: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2020-03-20/pdf/2020-05845.pdf

The petitioners have 30 days to file an appeal in court. If no appeal is filed, importers who paid duties may be eligible for a refund after the deadline to appeal expires.

If you want to learn more about getting a refund for your imports of fabricated structural steel from China, Canada or Mexico, contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288, or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

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 attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

American Farm Bureau Federation supports Commerce Department anti-dumping investigation of Mexican tomatoes.

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The U.S. Department of Commerce will resume anti-dumping investigations into imports of Mexican tomatoes despite a previous agreement not to.

Zippy Duvall, President of the American Farm Bureau Federation indicated an anti-dumping investigation was needed because Mexican producers have increased their market share despite an agreement to ban artificially low prices.

On February 6, 2019, the Department of Commerce notified Mexico they would withdraw from the 2013 Suspension Agreement on Fresh Tomatoes from Mexico under a clause that the signatories may withdraw from the Agreement with “ninety days written notice to the other party”. The expiration of the 90-days is May 7, 2019.

After the withdraw on May 8th, an investigation by the Department of Commerce will continue and will send notification to the International Trade Commission of its final determination.

If you are an importer of Mexican tomatoes or want to know how this may impact you, contact antidumping duty attorney David Hsu at attorney.dave@yahoo.com or by phone/text at 832.896.6288 for a no cost or obligation consultation.

US Trade Commission reverses decision, finds the US tire market IS being harmed by truck and bus imports from China.

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Summary of what happened:
On January 30th, the US International Trade Commission (USITC) reversed their earlier decision, finding the US tire market is being harmed by truck and bus imports from China. In short – bus and truck imports from China will now be subject to tariffs. A tariff rate and timeline for imposition of duties was not reported by the USITC.

The USITC released a 62-page determination in response to an order of the U.S. Court of International Trade. Back in November 2018, the USITC remanded the ITC’s decision therefore requiring the ITC to re-evaluate their case.

What caused the reversal?
The five-members of the ITC had changed membership in 2017 when commissioner Scott Kieff left 3 years before the end of his term. President Trump later nominated and the Senate confirmed former President Barack Obama’s nominee to fill the commission – Jason Kearnes.

Jason Kearnes turned out to be the swing vote in the most recent reversal of the ITC decision on bus and truck tires.

Very brief history:
In January 2016, the US Steelworkers filed a complaint that tire imports from China was hurting US industry. After investigating, the ITC voted in February 2017 to NOT impose tariffs. This was a surprise because every other tire investigation led to imposition of duties.The US Steelworkers then appealed the decision to the Court of International Trade and in November 2018, the USITC was forced to re-evaluate their decision. Ultimately in their re-evaluation, the ITC found: “In sum, we find that the significant volume of subject imports, at prices that undersold the domestic like product and depressed domestic prices, adversely impacted the domestic industry. We consequently determine that the domestic industry is materially injured by reason of subject imports.”

Please contact our offices if you have questions on how the most recent ITC decision will effect your company’s imports of bus and truck tries from China. You can call David Hsu at 832-896-6288 at anytime or email attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Qualcomm asks Judge to block iPhone imports – Judge says no because of “public interest factors”.

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Qualcomm appeared in front of the US International Trade Commission Judge on Friday to request a ban on the importation of Apple iPhones due to Apple phones infringing Qualcomm’s patent related to power management technology. Apple’s position is that Qualcomm is requesting royalties for technology unrelated to Qualcomm.

The administrative law judge, Thomas Pender, found Apple did infringe on one patent, but denied the request for a ban citing “public interest factors”.

From my experience, CBP will readily and gladly detain and/or seize any import that infringes upon any intellectual property or trademark registered by the holder. We all know the reason why the Judge said he would not ban the importations of iPhones – he does not want to be known as “that guy” that banned importation of some iPhones to the US – especially due to the release of the new iPhone max and other variations.

Unfortunately, this decision highlights the rules being selectively applied to some and not to others.

If your imports have been detained or seized by Customs, contact experienced trade attorney, David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

Varidesk files complaint with International Trade Commission alleging patent infringement claims by other height-adjustable desk companies.

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Coppell based Varidesk LLC, makers of the height-adjustable desk platform, has filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission under section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930.

The section 337 complaint claims other importers of height-adjustable desk platforms and components are infringing upon Varidesk’s patents (9,113,703; 9,277,8009; 9,554,644; and 9,924,793.

After a complaint is filed, the ITC will investigate and after the investigation, they may issue a general exclusion order and a cease and desist order.

More updates posted when they become available – if you are under investigation by the ITC, contact experienced trade attorney, David Hsu at 832.896.6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.