Whistleblower against clothing importer awarded $170,000.

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Earlier this year, a whistleblower was awarded $170,00 for helping the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York recover $1 million from Notations, Inc., a garment wholesaler from Warminster, Pennsylvania. Starting in 2017, Notations admitted to ignoring signs of import duty evasion by Yingshun Garments. Yingsun Garments imported clothing from China and submitted false invoices to CBP. The submission of false imports was at a 75% discount and designed to lower the amount of customs duties to be paid.

Unlike the usual customs false claims cases, the government did not go after the importer, but instead went after the reseller and purchaser instead of the usual foreign manufacturer and importer. Additionally, the whistleblower also received an award eevn though the whistleblower did not specifically mention Notations – instead the whistleblower’s report opened the door leading to an investigation of Novations.

The whistleblower learned through a family member of Yingshun and filed a qui tam law suit under the False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. § 3729, qualifying the whistleblower as a relator to a lawsuit with a potential of an award ranging between 15% to 25% of any funds recovered.

If you or someone you know is aware of any false claims activity that may allow a company to under report the duties paid, contact experienced qui tam attorney David Hsu by phone/text directly at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

What’s the current status of France’s proposed digital tax?

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Last year, France threatened a “digital tax” of 3% on digital revenue of big tech companies such as Facebook and Google. In response, the US threatened tariffs on $2.4 billion of French goods such as wine, cheese, and makeup.

On Monday, January 20th, France said they would delay the the tariffs for the remainder of 2020 in response to US pressure.

And earlier today, at the Davos World Economic Forum, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin reiterated the Trump administration’s claim a digital tax is discriminatory and in response, he threatened tariffs on auto manufacturers if a deal does not work out and the digtal tax is put into effect.

What’s next? Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and his counterpart, France’s foreign minister Bruno Le Maire met earlier today (Wednesday January 22nd), but no news has been released about an agreement between the US and France. Will post more news as it is released.

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.

Taiwan to cut tariffs on sake and Japan farm and fishery products as it looks to join TPP.

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According to the Japan Times, in an effort to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership multilateral free trade pact (formerly the Trans-Pacific Partnership), Taiwan will lower its tariffs on Japanese sake from 40% to 20% along with reductions in tariffs for Japanese farm and fishery products. The reduction in tariffs is to demonstrate Taiwan’s commitment for free trade.

While open to free trade, Taiwan still does not allow imports from five Japanese prefectures impacted by the Fukushima nuclear power station crisis that occurred in 2011.

Will post any updates if and when Taiwan is admitted to the TPP.