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 dh@gjatradelaw.com or by phone/text at 832.896.6288 for a no cost or obligation consultation.

CHS Inc. SEC filing discloses FCPA violations.

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Tell me more about the CHS FCPA violation:
In an August 31, 2018 Form 10-K filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), CHS Inc. disclosed FCPA violations related to:

“a small number of reimbursements the Company made to Mexican customs agents in the 2014-2015 time period for payments the customs agents made to Mexican customs officials in connection with inspections of grain crossing the U.S.-Mexican border by railcar. We are fully cooperating with the government, including with the assistance of legal counsel, which assistance includes investigating other areas of potential interest to the government. We are unable at this time to predict when our or the government agencies’ review of these matters will be completed or what regulatory or other outcomes may result.”

The full 10-K filing can be found here (link opens in a new window).

Who is CHS?
CHS is a Fortune 100 business based in Minnesota and operates food processing and wholesale, farm supply, Cenex brand fuel, financial services, and retail businesses. CHS employs 12,000 people and are also large operators in grain, soybean and sunflower production and transport.

What is the FCPA?
In short – the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977 was enacted for the purpose of making it unlawful for certain classes of persons and entities to make payments to foreign government officials to assist in obtaining or retaining business. Payments, promises to pay or even authorization for payment is a violation and the definition of a foreign official is also very broad.

What does the FCPA have to do with importers and exporters?
Everything! The FCPA applies to all U.S. persons and many of our clients have FCPA risks without even knowing they do. FCPA violations and penalties are severe and individuals have also been found to be personally liable for violations that were committed by the company. The CHS FCPA violations highlight just some of the risks US based exporters face when doing business (exporting) overseas.

FCPA consultation and audit at no obligation or cost to you.
If you don’t have a FCPA compliance program in place or have not updated your compliance program – call experienced trade and compliance attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at dhsu@givensjohnston.com.

The FCPA penalties and compliance risk to you and your company is high, call David Hsu today.

 

 

US House of Representative Conservatives protest LGBT protections specified in the USMCA.

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According to the Politico, US House of Representative members Rep. Steve King of Iowa, Rep. Mark Meadows, and Rep. Diane Black along with 37 other conservative house members sent a letter today (Friday, November 16, 2018) to the Trump administration expressing their concerns of the LGBT protections in the USCMA agreement. The letter indicates that the LGBT protections may cause some of the signatories to the letter to not support the agreement.

In short, chapter 23 of the USMCA has requirements that workers be protected from discrimination on the basis of sex, including sexual orientation and gender identity. These LGBT protections were a priority for Canada and the Trudeau government.

The US, Canada and Mexico are expected to sign the USMCA at the G20 summit on November 30th in Argentina.

What should my company do regarding the Section 232 and Section 301 tariffs?

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We are fielding a lot of calls from importers, vendors, manufacturers, brokers and freight forwarders about what to do now that the Section 232 and Section 301 tariffs are in place.

We suggest:

  1. Review the list of products to determine your company’s exposure to Section 301 and Section 232 tariffs. The First Section 301 list can be found here.
  2. If there is a product on the second list of the Section 301 tariffs, you should participate in the comment process. The second list can be found here.
  3. If you are importing a product covered under Section 301 or Section 232, look into other alternatives for sourcing.
  4. This may be a good time to review your imported and exported goods and the classification used.
  5. Notify your customers, suppliers, vendors, buyers of potential price impacts of these new tariffs.
  6. Review pending purchase orders and pending shipments with companies in China, Canada, Mexico and the European Union.

If you have any questions about Section 232 or Section 301, contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at dhsu@givensjohnston.com. We also assist in filing exclusion requests and submission of comments, call or email now for immediate assistance.

It’s official – US issues trade tariffs on steel and aluminum from the EU, Canada and Mexico.

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The Whitehouse issued two presidential proclamations that placed 25% steel and 10% aluminum tariffs on imports from the European Union, Canada and Mexico.

The full proclamations can be found here for steel and here for aluiminum.

If you have any questions on how these new tariffs will impact your business or what options you may have – contact experienced antidumping attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at dhsu@givensjohnston.com for a free evaluation.