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.

CBP Seizes $253k in Counterfeit Edison speakers from China.

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Image of seized speakers, source: CBP.gov

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) media release, officers seized 1,626 counterfeit Edison Professional speakers in Philadelphia earlier this week. If the Edison speakers were authentic, the manufacturer’s suggested retail price would have been approximately $253,572.

The speakers arrived in two shipments from China destined for an address in Los Angeles. CBP suspected the speakers were counterfeit because of poor packaging and markings. CBP’s Electronics Centers for Excellence and Expertise, confirmed the Bluetooth markings on the speakers were counterfeit.

My guess is these speakers were to be sold through the “white van” scams where people sell supposedly high end speakers or counterfeit speakers from a van. The pitch is that the speakers are “leftovers” from an installation and the installers were told to get rid of them.

CBP claims counterfeit goods cause revenue loss, damage the US economy and threaten the health and safety of Americans. CBP claims in 2018 over $3.7 million worth of good were seized daily for intellectual property rights (IPR) violations.

In our practice, most of the IPR are for fake markings such as the “UL” or “Bluetooth” or “USB” logos in addition to our frequent seizures of Apple and Samsung phones. Protip – if you import legos, that’s fine, but do not include the minifigure head – it will be seized.

If you have had a Customs seizure for IPR violations, contact experienced seizure attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Canadian Conservative leader Andrew Scheer calls for more inspections on Chinese imports and potential tariffs.

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According to Canada’s National Observer, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer has urged Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to step up inspections on all products from China and to consider levying tariffs on imports on Chinese imports.

The request was sent by letter last Friday in which Scheer urged Prime Minister Trudeau to take a harder line on China’s second largest trade partner. China detained two Canadians in December just days after Canada arrested Chinese high-tech executive Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver on a U.S. extradition warrant. Additionally, China has increased inspections that have led to the suspension or obstruction of key Canadian agricultural imports, including pork and canola. Last week, China announced an additional suspension of all imports of Canadian meat products because of claimed concerns over fraudulent inspection reports.

In Scheer’s publicly released letter, he writes: “There is no other way to put this: Canada is being bullied by the Chinese government and you have done nothing to stand up for Canada in response”. Scheer asks Prime Minister Trudeau to increase Canadian inspection of all imports from China and the potential of placing tariffs on some of the $75 billion worth of goods imported from China last year.

Vietnamese Furniture makers win in Trump’s trade war.

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A Bloomberg article highlights one of the winners in Trump’s trade war with China – that being Vietnamese furniture manufacturers.

With imports of Chinese furniture subject to a 25% duty in addition to any applicable anti-dumping or countervailing duties, furniture companies in Vietnam are cashing in as the tariff-free alternative to Chinese manufacturing.

The Bloomberg article quotes, the CEO of Xuan Hoa Vietnam Joint Stock Co., a furniture company that has seen a boom in international visitors – including Ikea. Xuan Hoa is a long time Ikea manufacturer (past 17 years) and their ability to produce cheaper than China is only increasing under the trade war.

In addition to not being subject to 301 duties or AD/CVD duties, the Bloomberg article cites labor costs half of what they are in China and lower electricity costs as it is subsidized by the government. Vietnam’s shared border with China also allows for the ease of materials and components.

If you are a furniture importer from China and want to learn how to save on import duties, contact trade and customs attorney by mobile/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com or dh@gjatradelaw.com.

China’s #2, – Premier Li Keqiang eases trade tensions with the US.

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According to the New York Times, China’s Number 2 official, Premier Li Keqiang speaking at the World Economic Forum in the Chinese port city of Dalian, promised to cut tariffs, loosen restrictions on foreign investments, protect intellectual property rights and allow foreign companies to apply for China’s generous subsidies for research and development.

Speaking during a question and answer session, Li also said that China would allow foreign financial services companies into its market a year earlier than previously promised, and that it would rewrite many rules on foreign investment.

The NYT mentioned the lack of details, and indicated previous vague promises by Chinese officials in the past.

In addition to extending an olive branch to foreign companies, Premier Li’s remarks also sought to calm worries about the relocation of manufacturing overseas as a result of the Section 232 and 301 duties levied against China.

If you have questions how the China duties will impact your business, contact David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at dh@gjatradelaw.com, attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

CNBC report: China’s factory activity in June was lowest since January.

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A recent CNBC article citing the Caixin/Markit factory Purchasing Managers’ Index for June was 49.4. PMI scores of 50 or above indicate expansion where as below 50 signals a reduction. 49.4 is the lowest the PMI has been since January of this year. In May, the PMI reading was 50.2. China’s official PMI index was also 94.4 in June.

To determine PMI, the official PMI looks at big businesses and state-owned enterprises whereas the Caixin looks at smaller and medium-sized firms.

Will post July numbers as they become available.

Will the new US/China trade war truce lead to a trade deal?

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Two big newsworthy events happened over the weekend at the G20 summit. First, Trump said US companies could supply to Huawei (waiting for official guidance at the moment) and second, the US and China agreed to not enact any further tariffs (current proposed Section 301 List 4 duties) in the near future and to start a new round on trade talks.

This may sound like Groundhog Day, and it partially is. Last year at the Argentina G20 summit, Trump and Xi also reached a similar agreement. And the differences that prevented a deal to be reached in Argentina also exist today. Key issues such as intellectual property and China’s 2025 plan are two areas where the two countries still do not reach a consensus.

With an election looming a little over a year away, Trump may be waiting until after next November before moving forward with a final deal – in the meantime, Trump says the US is already benefiting from the tariffs as the US is “taking in a fortune”.

If you have any questions about any of the 232 or 301 duties and how they may impact your business. Contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at dh@gjatradelaw.com, attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

US China Truce (for now)?

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

At this week’s G20 meeting, President Donald Trump and China’s Xi Jinping agreed to a temporary truce and restart trade talks. This means the current U.S. tariffs will remain in place, but the trade penalties proposed for Section 301, List 4 will be put on hold pending an outcome of what will be the 12th round of trade talks.

List 4 covers approximately $300 billion in goods from China, and if in place, Lists 1-4 effectively cover every import from China.

However, both sides still differ on one item that may prevent a long term solution – trade secrets.

In response, China has also placed tariffs on $110 billion in US goods, mostly focusing on agricultural imports. Some believe the tariffs against farm products (and Trump supporters) are aimed towards pressuring Trump as he heads into the general election next year.

If you have goods under List 3 and want to file an exclusion, contact David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

China Commerce Ministry begins anti-dumping investigation on synthetic rubber products from the US, EU and South Korea.

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China’s Commerce Ministry said they will begin an anti-dumping investigation on imports of a synthetic rubber product from the United States, South Korea and the European Union. The investigation of ethylene propylene diene monomer rubber (EPDM) was started by the request of Jilin Petrochemical and Shanghai Sinopec Mitsui Elastomers Co. Ltd. EPDM is commonly used in electric cables and tires.

Shipments of EPDM from the US, South Korea and the EU account for about 80% of China’s overall EPDM imports.

Jilin and Shanghai Sinopec claim the prices of EPDM from the U.S., South Korea and European Union are below the prices of the product in the Chinese markets, and the dumping into China had caused harm to them.

While our firm does handle antidumping actions initiated by the US Department of Commerce, I thought it was interesting to read about China initiating an antidumping investigation on US goods.

CBP seizes Chinese tires for NHTSA violations.

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Image of sized tires. Source: cbp.gov

According to a CBP media release, CBP officers in Philadelphia seized tires for violating federal motor vehicle safety standards and regulations. Specifically, the tires were for trailer and mobile home applications and did not contain the mandatory markings that tell important safety information and use for customers. The tires also lacked brand identification that is needed in case a recall occurs.

The media release also further highlights CBP’s function of enforcing the rules and regulations of the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) in order to ensure the safety of the traveling public.

If you or anyone you know has had a Customs seizure for violations of any type or if you want to ensure your imports are in compliance with the alphabet soup of federal agencies and their endless rules and regulations; contact experienced seizure attorney David Hsu by text/mobile at 832-896-6288 or by email at dh@gjatradelaw.com, attorney.dave@yahoo.com.