Is North Korean Labor used in your supply chains? Beware of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).

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Is North Korean Labor used in your supply chains? The answer should be no, and if you are not sure, then you need to be aware of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).

In early December, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) authorized the detention of merchandise from multiple China-based companies – Jingde Trading Ltd., Rixin Foods. Ltd., and Zhejiang Sunrise Garment Group Co. Ltd. at all U.S. ports.

This enforcement action is the result of a CBP investigation indicating that these companies use North Korean labor in their supply chains in violation of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).

The CAATSA prohibits any goods that are produced, or manufactured in whole or in part by North Korean nationals or North Korean citizens anywhere in the world – unless the importer or manufacturer can provide clear and convincing evidence the goods were not made by convict labor, forced labor, or indentured labor.

To enforce the CAATSA – CBP can detain any merchandise suspected of violating CAATSA at all ports of entry into the US.

If you have received notice of a CAATSA violation – please note, you have 30 days to provide clear and convincing evidence forced labor was not used. If you have received a notice – contact David Hsu immediately by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com; DH@GJATradeLaw.com.

Any delay may result in seizure and or forfeiture of your goods. Also, if you are aware of any company or manufacturer importing goods made in violation of CAATSA, please also contact David Hsu by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com; DH@GJATradeLaw.com. All communications are confidential and subject to attorney/client privilege.

China’s WTO victory: China can levy duties on $645 million in US imports.

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This week, an arbitrator with the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Appellate Body in Geneva ruled in favor of China – permitting China to levy duties on approximately $645 million worth of US imports each year.

While this action may appear in response to the Trump-era 301 duties, this past week’s decision has its beginnings during the Obama administration – when in 2012 the WTO established a panel to address Chinese complaints about unfair duties imposed by the United States on products such as paper, tires and solar panels. At that time, the U.S. argued the duties were necessary to counteract the alleged “dumping” of Chinese-made goods in the US market. 2 years later, the WTO Dispute Settlement Body sided with China when they permitted China to place tariffs on $2.4 billion in US goods.

WTO siding with China is nothing new, in 2019, another WTO arbitrator allowed China to levy duties on $3.6 billion worth of US imports.

Since China’s entry into the WTO, the US government has complained about the US’ unfair treatment in the WTO dispute settlement system. It was former President Donald Trump who stopped the WTO Appellate Body from hearing cases when the Trump administration blocked appointment of new Judges. Ironically, after the Biden administration took office, new Judges were appointed and cases were heard – leading to this current win for China.

3,200+ importers file cases with the CIT!

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As you are aware, the HMTX Industries LLC, et al., v. U.S., action initiated Sept. 10, 2020, in the U.S. Court of International Trade (“CIT”) alleges the U.S. failed to comply with applicable law when it imposed the additional “List 3” and “List 4a” duties on certain imports from China. Since the filing, over 3,200+ importers have filed their own “piggyback” actions in the CIT.

As the 2-year limitations period likely expires this upcoming Thursday, September 24th, I expect many more importers to file additional cases.

If you paid 25% duties under the Section 301 List 3 and List 4A duties and want to also preserve your opportunity to receive a future refund – contact David Hsu immediately by phone/text at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.