What could Apple do to reduce the tariff impact on September 1st?

pexels-photo-887751.jpeg

Photo by PhotoMIX Ltd. on Pexels.com

If Trump levies a 10% tariff on over $300 billion of goods on September 1st, all of Apple’s products from China would be impacted. What options does Apple have?

  1. Exclusions – Apple can apply for an exclusion of their goods that are covered by the proposed List 4.
  2. Country of origin – Apple’s major contract manufacturer, Hon Hai has additional production ability in Taiwan, India, Thailand and Vietnam and a shift to one of those countries may be possible. Samsung makes their Galaxy phones in Vietnam.
  3. Apple can ask their suppliers for price reductions to make up for the additional 10% duties.

Like Apple, other these options are also available to any company that manufactures in China. If you want to know what your company can do to lessen the impact of the potential duties, or want to know other ways to save money on duties – contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Presidential candidate Joe Biden says he would renegotiate TPP.

agriculture country countryside crop

Photo by Phan Dang Viet Tung on Pexels.com

This past Thursday, Presidential hopeful and former Vice-President Joe Biden announced he would renegotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and would not rejoin the TPP as it was initially put forward.

The irony in Vice-President Biden’s statement is his boss was a strong advocate of TPP and tried to push the agreement through before the end of his presidency.

Joe’s main reason to negotiate the TPP is to change provisions that labor and environmental groups in the US worried would result in US jobs moving to lower-income countries such as Vietnam along with other developing countries in Southeast Asia.

Chinese manufacturers return to China leaving ‘inefficient’ Vietnam.

group of persons wearing yellow safety helmet during daytime

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

According to the South China Morning Post, some Chinese manufacturers that relocated to Vietnam due to the tariffs placed on imports to the US, are moving back to China or exploring manufacturing options in Thailand, Bangladesh and Myanmar.

The SCMP article quotes a factory manager who said differences in culture (no over time in Vietnam and lower skill labor force) were two main causes of delays in delivery times and poor production numbers. With the tariffs in place, this has increased the demand for land and labor in Vietnam, causing costs to also increase. As foreigners cannot own land in Vietnam, there is also a risk for Chinese manufacturers to partner with a Vietnamese counterpart. Another factor leading to increased manufacturing costs for Chinese companies are the stricter labor and environmental protections, causing many Chinese companies to face fines for violations.

The current trade situation in Vietnam and US tariffs are forcing some manufacturers to look towards Thailand – attractive because of the stable political situation but high labor costs; Bangladesh which is relatively unknown to Chinese manufacturers and Myanmar which has low labor costs, but Myanmar faces sanctions due to their human rights abuses.

While not discussed in the SCMP article, the other big problem for Chinese manufacturers is the issue of how long the US 301 duties will remain in place. Just as spontaneously as the 301 duties were put in place, the 301 duties can also spontaneously end at the discretion of President Trump. I believe this unpredictability is the main question Chinese manufacturers must answer before spending the money and dedicating the time, resources, and manpower needed to move production to a foreign country.

If you have any questions regarding country of origin and how to avoid tariffs by moving production to other countries besides China, contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at dh@gjatradelaw.com, attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

Vietnam telecom Viettel not using Huawei 5G equipment.

brown and grey decors

Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh on Pexels.com

According to the New York Times, telecommunications companies in Vietnam are avoiding using Huawei equipment in their 5G plans. The NYT article finds this unusual as companies in Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos and Malaysia have already welcomed Huawei for their 5G plans.

However, in Vietnam the major wireless carriers are working with Ericsson and Nokia for their 5G collaborations. A spokesperson for government owned Viettel stressed the company is not prohibited from using Huawei equipment.

The NYT article cites Major General Le Van Cuong, the former director of the Institute of Strategic Studies at the Vietnamese Ministry of Public Security states that Vietnam should view China as a cyber security threat if “a superpower like America regards China as a cybersecurity threat”.

Vietnam currently has a majority of its people connected to 4G and hopes to have 5G connections countrywide by 2020.

As China is Vietnam’s largest trading partner, Vietnam has supported previous initiatives such as Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative. However, both sides claim portions of the disputed South China Seas which has led to tensions between the two countries, even though China is Vietnam’s largest trading parter.

While Vietnamese telecom companies have cooperated with Ericsson and Nokia, it is unsure whether those carriers will speak to Huawei.

The NYT article also says Viettel is developing their own software and equipment in house, employing 300 engineers in research and development. he also notes that 1,000 of the 4G base stations across Vietnam, Cambodia and other countries are also self-produced by Viettel.

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

agriculture alternative energy clouds countryside

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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 imposes 400% duties on steel imports from Vietnam.

blue plastic chairs and a girl

Photo by Nate Cohen on Pexels.com

In early July, the Commerce Deparatement said certain products produced in South Korea and Taiwan were sent to Vietnam for minor processing before being exported to the US. The steel included corrosion-resistant stell and cold-rolled steel. The Commerce department imposed duty rates as high as 456.23% on imports from Vietnam if they were using material from South Korea or Taiwan.

While Vietnam has been benefitting from the increased duties against Chinese goods – Vietnam’s shared border with China helps the supply chain for manufacturers who go south of the border to avoid the 301 China duties.

However, Trump was quoted as saying Vietnam as the ““almost the single-worst abuser of everybody”, a statement viewed as a potential hint of the next target of his sanctions.

Vietnam is not alone in having companies “tranship” goods through Vietnam to avoid paying tariffs. CBP is also investigating six American companies for evading anti-dumping duties who importing carbon steel pipe fittings through Cambodia.

If you have any questions about anti-dumping, or would like to know how to reducing AD/CVD duties or under investigation for transshipment. Contact experienced antidumping attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Vietnam becomes member of UN Commission on International Trade Law.

time lapse photography of road

Photo by Nhat Minh Luong on Pexels.com

According to the Vietnam.net Bridge website – Vietnam was voted in by the UN General Assembly for membership into the UN Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) last week.

The goal of UNICTRAL is to remove legal obstacles to international trade and Vietnam’s membership shows Vietnam’s increasing importance in trade in Southeast Asia. I believe the US-China trade war may help this along by pushing companies to seek other countries for manufacturing of goods to avoid the 10-25% duties on goods from China.

As written on my blog multiple times, Vietnam is also a party to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

Dulles CBP seizes $11k from couple traveling to Vietnam.

pexels-photo-259132.jpeg

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) news release, CBP officers seized $11,882 from a couple traveling out of Dulles on February 6, 2018.

During inspections of travelers leaving the US, CBP stopped a couple boarding a flight to Vietnam. When stopped by CBP, the couple initially told CBP they had $4,000. CBP officers then read the reporting requirements to the travelers who then claimed they possessed $7,000. Upon further questioning, the travelers wrote down they had $9,000. After searching the traveler’s belongings, CBP found additional currency in the male passenger’s pants and and a purse belonging to the female traveler. A total of $11,882 was seized by CBP.

CBP does not limit how much money travelers can carry, however, CBP does require reporting of any currency or monetary instruments totaling $10,000 or more. A common misconception we hear at our law office is that the amount of money being carried will somehow be subject to a tax, which is not true.

As the couple was traveling to Vietnam at the start of February, I believe the large amount of cash was to be used during the celebration of Tet which falls on Friday, February 16th this year. Hopefully the couple will return in time to respond to the seizure notice that will inevitably be mailed to their address on file.

If your hard-earned money was taken as part of the $289,000 seized on average by CBP daily,  call David Hsu at 832.896.6288 or email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, we are here for you!