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CSUSTL SUPPORTS COMMERCE’S

PROPOSED REGULATORY CHANGES

TO THE ANTIDUMPING AND COUNTERVAILING DUTY LAWS

THE COMMITTEE TO SUPPORT U.S. TRADE LAWS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (September 14, 2020):

 

The Department of Commerce (DOC) has proposed a rule (Regulations to Improve Administration and Enforcement of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Laws: Proposed Rule; Request for Comments, 85 Fed. Reg. 49,472 (August 13, 2020)) to modify regulations under Title 19 to improve the administration and enforcement of the antidumping (AD) and countervailing duties (CVD) laws.  The rule is structured to assist Commerce in addressing “circumvention and evasion” of trade remedy actions. 

 

A review of the 33-page public notice by The Committee to Support US Trade Laws (CSUSTL) identified an assortment of new enforcement tools which CSUSTL believes will  permit more robust enforcement of the US AD/CVD laws by empowering the agency to efficiently pursue parties that attempt to evade the AD/CVD laws.  CSUSTL submitted comments in support of the regulatory changes declaring that the proposed rule will significantly improve the administration and enforcement of US trade remedy laws.

 

“We commend the Department for proposing this much needed update to the regulations, which addresses several longstanding issues with circumvention and evasion of the laws,” said Tim Brightbill, Chairman of CSUSTL’s Executive Committee. 

 

CSUSTL also urged the Department to promptly move forward with execution of the proposed changes, as originally proscribed in the Federal Register announcement, if the improvements are to be completed by the end of 2020. 

 

CSUSTL is a national organization of companies, trade associations, labor unions, law firms and individuals located in all 50 states of the nation and is committed to preserving and enhancing U.S. trade laws and supporting trade policies that benefit the United States-based productive economy.  CSUSTL consists of 429 companies and organizations representing 167 industries, including manufacturing, technology, agriculture, mining, energy, and services.  We are dedicated to ensuring that the laws against unfair trade are not weakened through legislation or policy decisions in Washington, DC, in international negotiations, or through dispute settlement at the World Trade Organization (WTO) and elsewhere.

 

CONTACT:  Mark Benedict

(540) 257-4224

September 14, 2020

U.S. Manufacturers and Producers

Support Commerce’s Proposed SIMA Changes

THE COMMITTEE TO SUPPORT U.S. TRADE LAWS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

(Washington, DC, April 30) – The Committee to Support U.S. Trade Laws (CSUSTL) submitted comments, on April 29th, to the US Department of Commerce on the proposed rule to make changes to the Steel Import Monitoring and Analysis system (“SIMA”).  CSUSTL strongly supports the changes to the regulations which would provide for a more effective and timely monitoring of import surges of specific steel products and aid in the prevention of transshipment of steel products.

 

“CSUSTL supports SIMA’s collection of information identifying where the steel used to manufacture a downstream product imported into the United States was melted and poured”, said Tim Brightbill who is the Chairman of the CSUSTL Executive Committee.  He continued, “It is critical to have a mechanism that is in place to help determine whether such steel imports are manufactured from dumped and subsidized steel inputs.”

 

Under the rule, the SIMA system would be used by Commerce to help execute the Trump Administration’s May 17, 2019 agreements with Canada and Mexico to remove the duties on steel products imposed pursuant to Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962.  The three countries agreed to prevent the importation of steel articles that are unfairly subsidized or sold at dumped prices, to prevent the transshipment of steel articles, and to monitor for and avoid import surges. 

 

Thomas Beline, Co-Chair of CSUSTL’s Lawyers Committee added that beyond identifying countries of melt and pour “CSUSTL encourages Commerce to require U.S. importers to identify each country where subsequent processing of the steel has taken place.”  He concluded “doing so ensures transparency and confidence in the reported data because it requires traders to acquire mill test certificates for each processing stage.”   

 

CSUSTL noted that the SIMA system has operated under its current authority since March 11, 2005, and based on its past effectiveness, the group supports the decision to extend SIMA indefinitely.

 

CSUSTL is a national organization of companies, trade associations, labor unions, law firms and individuals located in all 50 states of the nation and is committed to preserving and enhancing U.S. trade laws and supporting trade policies that benefit the United States-based productive economy.  CSUSTL consists of 429 companies and organizations representing 167 industries, including manufacturing, technology, agriculture, mining, energy, and services.  We are dedicated to ensuring that the laws against unfair trade are not weakened through legislation or policy decisions in Washington, DC, in international negotiations, or through dispute settlement at the World Trade Organization (WTO) and elsewhere.

 

​CONTACT:  Mark Benedict, President, Committee to Support US Trade Laws (CSUSTL)

​(540) 257-4224

CBP Suspension of Collection of Duties On Antidumping/Countervailing Duty Orders

To:  Honorable Commissioner Mark Morgan:

 

Thank you for your, and CBP’s, hard work during this difficult time.  It is much appreciated by our member companies, organizations, and workers across the nation.  I am writing as the President of the Committee to Support US Trade Laws (CSUSTL) regarding the possible suspension of the collection of duties on antidumping/countervailing duty orders. 

 

CSUSTL is a national organization of companies, trade associations, labor unions, law firms and individuals located in all 50 states of the nation and is committed to preserving and enhancing U.S. trade laws and supporting trade policies that benefit the United States-based productive economy.  CSUSTL consists of 429 companies and organizations representing 167 industries, including manufacturing, technology, agriculture, mining, energy, and services.  We are dedicated to ensuring that the laws against unfair trade are not weakened through legislation or policy decisions in Washington, DC, in international negotiations, or through dispute settlement at the World Trade Organization (WTO) and elsewhere.

 

Please find attached a letter from CSUSTL concerning deliberations by the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to suspend the collection of duties on antidumping and countervailing duty orders, in response to the corona virus.  CSUSTL strongly opposes any suspension of duty collection under the trade remedy laws.  The letter sets forth our position and reasoning.

 

Thank you for your consideration of this matter.  If helpful, I am available to provide additional information on our group’s concerns. My direct cell phone number is 540-257-4224.

 

Sincerely,

 

Mark Benedict

President – Attorney At Law

Committee to Support US Trade Laws

CBP Suspension of Collection of Duties On Antidumping/Countervailing Duty Orders

To:  Honorable Commissioner Mark Morgan:

 

Thank you for your, and CBP’s, hard work during this difficult time.  It is much appreciated by our member companies, organizations, and workers across the nation.  I am writing as the President of the Committee to Support US Trade Laws (CSUSTL) regarding the possible suspension of the collection of duties on antidumping/countervailing duty orders. 

 

CSUSTL is a national organization of companies, trade associations, labor unions, law firms and individuals located in all 50 states of the nation and is committed to preserving and enhancing U.S. trade laws and supporting trade policies that benefit the United States-based productive economy.  CSUSTL consists of 429 companies and organizations representing 167 industries, including manufacturing, technology, agriculture, mining, energy, and services.  We are dedicated to ensuring that the laws against unfair trade are not weakened through legislation or policy decisions in Washington, DC, in international negotiations, or through dispute settlement at the World Trade Organization (WTO) and elsewhere.

 

Please find attached a letter from CSUSTL concerning deliberations by the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to suspend the collection of duties on antidumping and countervailing duty orders, in response to the corona virus.  CSUSTL strongly opposes any suspension of duty collection under the trade remedy laws.  The letter sets forth our position and reasoning.

 

Thank you for your consideration of this matter.  If helpful, I am available to provide additional information on our group’s concerns. My direct cell phone number is 540-257-4224.

 

Sincerely,

 

Mark Benedict

President – Attorney At Law

Committee to Support US Trade Laws

U.S. Manufacturers and Producers Strongly Oppose Proposed Deferral of Payment of Custom Duties

 

THE COMMITTEE TO SUPPORT U.S. TRADE LAWS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

 

(Washington, DC, March 30) – The Committee to Support U.S. Trade Laws (CSUSTL) strongly opposes proposals that would result in the deferral of the payment of estimated duties, taxes, and fees to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. 

In a letter to the Acting Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Mark A. Morgan, sent on March 23rd, CSUSTL explained that a broad deferral program allowing importers to avoid payment of trade remedies – including antidumping, countervailing, Section 232, and Section 301 duties – would have a devastating impact on trade-impacted industries and their employees throughout the country.  Many U.S. manufacturers, farmers, commercial fishermen, and other producers have currently shuttered their businesses or are operating at significantly reduced capacity.  Incentivizing the entry of imports into the U.S. market under these circumstances substantially increases the challenges faced by trade-affected domestic industries and threatens the livelihoods of millions of working women and men across the country.

Moreover, any duty deferral program that included extensions on the payment of trade remedies would lead to massive non-payment of these duties.  As U.S. Customs and Border Protection has found, inadequate security for the payment of antidumping and countervailing duties at the time of import entry has led to billions of dollars in unpaid bills to the U.S. Treasury.  A deferral of a requirement to pay cash deposits at import entry would act as an invitation to foreign entities to act as importers of record for goods brought into the United States.  Once the deferral period ended, U.S. Customs and Border Protection would have no meaningful way to collect duties owed.

For these reasons, CSUSTL calls upon President Trump to reject proposals for the deferral of payment of estimated duties, taxes, and fees.

The Committee to Support U.S. Trade Laws (CSUSTL) is a national organization of companies, trade associations, labor unions, law firms and individuals located in all 50 states of the nation and is committed to preserving and enhancing U.S. trade laws and supporting trade policies that benefit the United States-based productive economy.  CSUSTL consists of 429 companies and organizations representing 167 industries, including manufacturing, technology, agriculture, mining, energy, and services.  We are dedicated to ensuring that the laws against unfair trade are not weakened through legislation or policy decisions in Washington, DC, in international negotiations, or through dispute settlement at the World Trade Organization (WTO) and elsewhere.

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​CONTACT:  Mark Benedict, President, Committee to Support US Trade Laws (CSUSTL)

​(540) 257-4224

March 30, 2020

CSUSTL ENDORSES FINDINGS IN USTR REPORT CRITICAL OF WTO APPELLATE BODY

 

 

THE COMMITTEE TO SUPPORT U.S. TRADE LAWS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

 

(Washington, DC, February 13) – On Tuesday, the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) issued its report on the World Trade Organization’s Appellate Body setting forth the Appellate Body’s failure to follow established procedures and the applicable standard of review.   USTR stated that the Appellate Body’s conduct “has converted the WTO from a forum for discussion and negotiation into a forum for litigation.”  More than one-quarter of all cases reviewed by the Appellate Body involved challenges to U.S. laws causing a disproportionate impact on the United States, its businesses and their workers.

 

The Committee To Support U.S. Trade Laws (CSUSTL) strongly supports the findings of the report and commends Ambassador Lighthizer for documenting the “persistent overreaching” of the Appellate Body, which has been used to alter the United States’ commitments agreed to in the WTO Dispute Settlement Understanding. 

 

“These longstanding problems with the WTO Appellate Body have weakened the ability of U.S. companies and workers to address trade law violations like dumping, subsidies, and distortions caused by state-owned enterprises,” said Tim Brightbill, chair of the CSUSTL Executive Committee.  “Now is the time to act on this bipartisan issue.”

 

Tom Beline, Co-Chair of CSUSTL’s Lawyers Committee, stated, “The USTR report provides a cogent explanation of how the Appellate Body has been used by Member States to achieve through dispute settlement that which cannot be achieved in treaty negotiations.”  He continued, “This comprehensive report provides crystal clear examples in specific cases of how the Appellate Body has altered substantively Member States’ obligations above and beyond any of the WTO Agreements’ text.”

 

CSUSTL supports a reassessment of the WTO and its role in resolving disputes between member nations because of the Appellate Body’s failure to comply with the WTO Agreements.  Since its inception the panel has been the venue of choice in attacking US trade remedy laws.  CSUSTL believes that WTO members need to address the underlying problems, as identified by USTR, to ensure a lasting reform of the dispute settlement system of the WTO.

 

The Committee to Support U.S. Trade Laws (CSUSTL) is a national organization of companies, trade associations, labor unions, law firms and individuals located in all 50 states of the nation and is committed to preserving and enhancing U.S. trade laws and supporting trade policies that benefit the United States-based productive economy.  CSUSTL consists of 429 companies and organizations representing 167 industries, including manufacturing, technology, agriculture, mining, energy, and services.  We are dedicated to ensuring that the laws against unfair trade are not weakened through legislation or policy decisions in Washington, DC, in international negotiations, or through dispute settlement at the World Trade Organization (WTO) and elsewhere.

CONTACT:  Mark Benedict

(540) 257-4224

February 13, 2020

 

CSUSTL SUPPORTS SPEEDY PASSAGE OF REVISED USMCA 

 

 

THE COMMITTEE TO SUPPORT U.S. TRADE LAWS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

 

 (Washington, DC, December 14) -- The Committee to Support U.S. Trade Laws (CSUSTL) commends the work of the Administration, Congress, and United States Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer, in completing work on the USMCA.   The agreement contains improvements that will benefit US companies and their workers.  A ratified USMCA will bring certainty and stability back into the marketplace between Canada, Mexico, and the US, affecting $1.4 billion worth of annual trade between the three countries.   CSUSTL supports ratification of the agreement and urges speedy passage in both Houses.  

 

The Committee to Support U.S. Trade Laws (CSUSTL) is an organization of companies, trade associations, labor unions, law firms and individuals committed to preserving and enhancing U.S. trade laws and supporting trade policies that benefit the United States-based productive economy.  CSUSTL’s members span multiple sectors, including manufacturing, technology, agriculture, mining, energy, and services.  We are dedicated to ensuring that the laws against unfair trade are not weakened through legislation or policy decisions in Washington, DC, in international negotiations, or through dispute settlement at the World Trade Organization (WTO) and elsewhere. 

 

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Baldwin, Capito, Stabenow, Cassidy Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Crack Down on Trade Cheating

 

 

 

 

 

***MEDIA RELEASE***

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Contact: press@baldwin.senate.gov

              202-224-6225

 

Play by the Rules Act Holds China Accountable for Ignoring Trade Rules and Harming American Workers and Businesses

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) today introduced the bipartisan Play by the Rules Act to crack down on unfair trade cheating from nonmarket economies like China.

 

“China doesn’t play by the international trade rules they agreed to and they should be held accountable,” said Senator Baldwin. “This bipartisan legislation will give the Commerce Department the flexibility it needs to take stronger actions that protect American workers and businesses against China cheating.”

 

“Fair trade rules and policies are needed to protect U.S. jobs and promote economic growth in our country,” said Senator Capito. “Unfortunately, there are non-market economies that do not abide by free market forces to set prices, which ultimately puts our country at a disadvantage. That’s why it’s important that we hold those countries accountable when this happens. Doing so will ensure we are putting American jobs and the American economy first. I’m glad to team up with Senator Baldwin once again in introducing this bipartisan legislation that will provide the Commerce Department the flexibility it needs to hold bad actors accountable and ensure that our trade policies are followed and respected.”

 

“Our trade enforcement laws protect American workers and American jobs. When a bad actor like China circumvents our trade laws, they must be held accountable. The Play by the Rules Act would crack down on unfair trade practices and make sure American workers are competing on a level playing field,” said Senator Stabenow.

 

“The United States can outcompete any country in the world if the rules are applied the same to both countries,” said Dr. Cassidy. “This has not been the case between The United States and China, and it has hurt the American worker. We can do better.”

 

Our anti-dumping (AD) and countervailing (CVD) duty laws are designed to stop trade partners from tipping the scales in their favor and forcing American workers to compete at a disadvantage. These laws allow U.S. customs officials to collect duties on foreign imported products that are sold below market value or produced with unfair government subsidies.

 

AD/CVD rules are widely used and mostly followed by WTO members. However, nonmarket economies—like China—are engaged in a sophisticated and government-backed effort to avoid paying the duties required by these rules at the expense of American workers and businesses.

 

The Play by the Rules Act provides the Commerce Department additional flexibility when reviewing anti-circumvention petitions filed against nonmarket economies like China. This flexibility will allow Commerce to better combat China’s attempts to cheat our workers and businesses.

 

The Play by the Rules Act is supported by the United Steelworkers (USW), the Decorative Hardwood Association, the Committee to Protect U.S. Trade Laws, and Felker Brothers in Marshfield, Wisconsin.

 

“Our trade laws were designed to protect American jobs from unfair traders who dump illegally subsidized products into our markets. These laws must be constantly defended and improved as unfair traders attempt to circumvent the intent of our dumping laws. The Play by the Rules Act provides much needed flexibility for the Commerce Department to stop nonmarket economies like China from circumventing our trade rules and threatening American jobs. I thank Senators Baldwin, Capito, Cassidy, and Stabenow for their leadership on this legislation,” said Tom Conway, USW International President.

 

“The Chinese government has subsidized plywood dumped by Chinese companies into American markets injuring American companies and their workers. When the U.S. government acted and assessed anti-dumping duties, American companies were able to re-hire workers in Wisconsin, Maine, Vermont, North Carolina, Oregon, Virginia, and West Virginia. But China is circumventing these lawful duties, threatening to undo our progress. Senator Baldwin’s legislation provides the Commerce Department with the tools we need to crack down on trade cheating from China. We fully support her efforts and thank her for her work,” said Kip Howlett, President of the Decorative Hardwood Association.

 

“The Committee to Support U.S. Trade Laws (CSUSTL) strongly supports the U.S. trade laws and recognizes that they ensure a level playing field for all parties impacted by unfair trade. The introduction of the Play by the Rules Act of 2019 reiterates the importance of having the appropriate trade tools available to remedy persistent trade distorting practices. We thank Senator Baldwin and her colleagues for their leadership and commitment to this issue.”

 

“For too long Wisconsin manufacturers like me have been forced to compete with unfairly subsidized Chinese imports. While our antidumping laws can create a level playing field for American companies to compete, China is always seemingly finding new ways to circumvent our trade rules. Senator Baldwin’s Play by the Rules Act gives the Commerce Department new flexibility to address Chinese circumvention and save Wisconsin jobs,” said David Hendrickson of Felker Brothers in Marshfield, Wisconsin.

 

More information about the Play by the Rules Act is available here.

 

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CSUSTL FILES AMICUS CURIAE BRIEF WARNING SUNPREME DECISION CREATES MEANS FOR EVADING PAYMENT OF LAWFUL AD/CVD DUTIES

WTO APPELLATE BODY DISSENT CLAIMS OVERREACH IN DECISION ABOUT DUTIES ON CHINESE GOODS

 

THE COMMITTEE TO SUPPORT U.S. TRADE LAWS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

 

(Washington, DC, July 19) – On July 16, 2019, the WTO Appellate Body (AB) released its report concerning issues developed in the Panel Report, “United States – Countervailing Duty Measures on Certain Products from China – Recourse to Article 21.5 of the DSU by China (Panel Report)”.   The AB recognized that the US had demonstrated that China used State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) to subsidize its economy, but stated that the US in applying its countervailing duty laws must use distorted Chinese prices to measure the subsidies without additional fact-finding by the Department of Commerce. 

 

With this decision the WTO dispute settlement process has, once again, been used to weaken US trade laws, WTO rules, and harm US workers and businesses.  The Committee To Support US Trade Laws (CSUSTL) warns that this decision is another example of overreach and engaging in fact-finding by the AB which is not authorized under Article 11 of the WTO’s Dispute Settlement Understanding.  It is a practice by the AB that was never intended as part of the original WTO agreement.  This has long been the view of the United States, but the AB’s decision in DS437 indicates that the U.S. view is also embraced by one of the members of the Appellate Body Division, who filed an extremely rare dissenting opinion stating that both the Panel and the AB exceeded their authority.  This opinion potentially signals recognition by other members of the WTO that the Appellate Body has lost its way.  The member’s opinion expresses concern about the AB’s overreach and urges future panels to consider the dissenting opinion under the mantle of Article 11, arguing that the AB has no authority to review a panel’s factual findings. 

 

The dissenting member succinctly synopsized the problems with the Appellate Body’s decision: “This should have been a relatively simple issue for the Appellate Body to decide on appeal, for the Panel did not do its job in reviewing the USDOC record, and applied the wrong legal standard. However, I believe the work of the Division was made unduly complicated by the majority's engagement with the evidence, effectively acting as a panel in the first instance, and, having done that, articulating an incoherent legal standard. I am aware that this dissent, also, does not make easy reading. But I thought it important to explain at length the errors at both the Panel and majority levels on this issue so that this dissent may serve as guidance for future litigants and panels.” 

 

CSUSTL concurs with the dissenting opinion while applauding the member for the courage of conviction to address the AB’s latest overreach, and just as important, offering an admonition for future litigants to adhere to the limits imposed on the AB.  The dissent continues “the majority appears to have assumed the role of a panel in drawing conclusions from its own analysis of the record evidence, rather than through an analysis of reasoning provided by the Panel. In my view, that would appear to exceed the Appellate Body's mandate to review ‘issues of law covered in the panel report and legal interpretations developed by the panel.’”  CSUSTL joins the member in the call to all participants in the dispute settlement process to return to the original intent of the agreement.

 

The dispute covered 17 separate U.S. countervailing duty investigations of Chinese goods, including pipe and tube products, solar panels, kitchen shelving, aluminum extrusions, and steel cylinders.  “Unfortunately, this is another example of the WTO and the Appellate Body impeding U.S. efforts to use the subsidy laws to address unfair and distortive Chinese government practices,” said Tim Brightbill, chair of CSUSTL’s executive committee. 

 

The Committee to Support U.S. Trade Laws (CSUSTL) is a national organization of companies, trade associations, labor unions, law firms and individuals located in all 50 states of the nation and is committed to preserving and enhancing U.S. trade laws and supporting trade policies that benefit the United States-based productive economy.  CSUSTL consists of 423 companies and organizations representing 167 industries, including manufacturing, technology, agriculture, mining, energy, and services.  We are dedicated to ensuring that the laws against unfair trade are not weakened through legislation or policy decisions in Washington, DC, in international negotiations, or through dispute settlement at the World Trade Organization (WTO) and elsewhere.

 

# #

CONTACT:  Mark Benedict

(540) 257-4224

July 19, 2019

 

 

THE COMMITTEE TO SUPPORT U.S. TRADE LAWS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

 

(Washington, DC, August 12) – CSUSTL filed earlier today an amicus brief in support of the government’s petition for rehearing and/or rehearing en banc at the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) in the Sunpreme Inc. v. US case (Ct. No. 18-1116).  The CAFC rejected Sunpreme’s arguments that the order did not cover its solar modules and upheld Commerce’s finding in the scope ruling in favor of the petitioner.  But the CAFC also found the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) lacked authority to interpret the ambiguity in a duty order so as to place merchandise within its scope when it is unclear from the plain language of an AD/CVD order and a factual inspection of the product.  This finding has significant implications for the enforcement and collection of AD/CVD duties in hundreds of trade remedy cases. 

 

Chief Judge Prost, one of the judges from the three-judge CAFC panel, issued a separate opinion, dissenting-in-part from the majority.  She found that the Court’s decision limits CBP’s ability to regulate imports and to protect the revenue, thereby thwarting the purpose of the trade remedy laws.  Furthermore, importers are encouraged to delay or to avoid requesting a scope ruling from Commerce as a means of evading the payment of the duties.  Prost argued Sunpreme is rewarded “for its delay in filing a request for a scope inquiry”.   CSUSTL believes the Prost opinion provides the correct understanding of the law, commending the Chief Judge for the clarity provided by the dissent.  Prost recognized that CBP and Commerce have no burden to assist Sunpreme by clarifying the language of an order when ambiguities are alleged.  Rather, Congress placed the legal responsibility fully on the importer to use “reasonable care” in making entry.

 

CSUSTL Executive Committee Chairman Tim Brightbill, of Wiley Rein LLP, warned that the decision “may allow U.S. importers to claim their products are non-subject merchandise prior to issuance of formal scope rulings from Commerce on the product – whenever there is arguably any ambiguity as to whether the scope language applies, CBP may be unable to collect duties in such instances.”   Failure to collect duties would significantly weaken the effectiveness  of the antidumping and countervailing duty laws.

 

The CSUSTL filing strongly supports the United States stating that the issue presented in the government’s petition for rehearing is fundamental to the effectiveness of the U.S. trade laws, arguing that the panel’s opinion curtails the authority of CBP to effectively enforce the nation’s trade remedy laws.  The decision will have the effect of allowing imports of goods embraced by existing trade remedy orders to escape duties, to the detriment of the United States’ revenue and the domestic industries that such duties are meant to benefit. 

 

The Committee to Support U.S. Trade Laws (CSUSTL) is a national organization of companies, trade associations, labor unions, law firms and individuals located in all 50 states of the nation and is committed to preserving and enhancing U.S. trade laws and supporting trade policies that benefit the United States-based productive economy.  CSUSTL consists of 423 companies and organizations representing 167 industries, including manufacturing, technology, agriculture, mining, energy, and services.  We are dedicated to ensuring that the laws against unfair trade are not weakened through legislation or policy decisions in Washington, DC, in international negotiations, or through dispute settlement at the World Trade Organization (WTO) and elsewhere.

 

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CONTACT:  Mark Benedict

(540) 257-4224

August 12, 2019

CSUSTL SUBMITS COMMENTS REGARDING CURRENCY MANIPULATION

 

THE COMMITTEE TO SUPPORT U.S. TRADE LAWS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

 

(Washington, DC, June 28) – The Committee To Support US Trade Laws (CSUSTL) has submitted comments in response to a proposed rule by the Department of Commerce that would, in part, clarify how ITA determines the existence of a benefit resulting from a subsidy in the form of currency manipulation and undervaluation.  This change would enable the agency to countervail currency subsidies that harm US industries under US trade remedy laws.  CSUSTL commends the Administration’s efforts, and Commerce’s initiative in this rulemaking, to use all powers under the United States’ trade remedy laws to protect domestic industries from unfair trade practices.  We strongly support Commerce’s action to offset the trade-distorting effects caused by a foreign government’s targeted intervention in the market that artificially devalues its currency.  Given the myriad cases involving diverse industries, CSUSTL supports a final rule that provides Commerce maximum flexibility in administering the CVD law to offset government intervention that confers an unfair competitive advantage to foreign producers over U.S. manufacturers.

 

“For decades, US manufacturers, industries, and lawmakers have called for our government to address the pervasive problem of subsidies due to foreign currency manipulation.  CSUSTL is very pleased that the Commerce Department is now moving ahead on this critically important issue”, said Timothy Brightbill, of Wiley Rein LLP, who is the Chairman of CSUSTL’s Executive Committee.  Thomas Beline, of Cassidy Levy Kent LLP, who serves as CSUSTL Lawyers Committee Co-Chair, added “this proposed rule making is a very positive step and is a strong indication that Assistant Secretary Kessler and his team at Commerce intend to use all of the tools provided by Congress to combat all types of unfair trade practices that otherwise place U.S. industries at a competitive disadvantage.”

 

The CSUSTL submission focuses on 5 technical points that support the fair and effective administration of the proposed final rule to allow currency manipulation and undervaluation as countervailable subsidy.  This includes the organization’s concern that the Proposed Rule appears to inappropriately cede decisional authority under the countervailing duty laws to Treasury, and that this language should be amended to clarify that it will not “defer” to Treasury regarding the existence and extent of currency undervaluation but will “confer with, and seek advice from” Treasury.  CSUSTL notes that Commerce and Treasury may come to different conclusions given the different statutory schemes and so deference to Treasury is unwarranted.

 

John Herrmann, of Kelley Drye & Warren LLP, who also serves as Co-Chair of the Lawyers Committee, commented that “on behalf of CSUSTL’s membership, which includes companies, trade associations, and labor unions committed to preserving and strengthening the U.S. unfair trade laws, we are grateful for the Commerce Department’s efforts on this important issue.  We look forward to the agency’s issuance of a final regulation that ensures subsidies bestowed through undervalued currencies are subject to the disciplining effects of the U.S. countervailing duty law.”

 

The Committee to Support U.S. Trade Laws (CSUSTL) is a national organization of companies, trade associations, labor unions, law firms and individuals located in all 50 states of the nation and is committed to preserving and enhancing U.S. trade laws and supporting trade policies that benefit the United States-based productive economy.  CSUSTL consists of 423 companies and organizations representing 167 industries, including manufacturing, technology, agriculture, mining, energy, and services.  We are dedicated to ensuring that the laws against unfair trade are not weakened through legislation or policy decisions in Washington, DC, in international negotiations, or through dispute settlement at the World Trade Organization (WTO) and elsewhere.

 

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CONTACT:  Mark Benedict

(540) 257-4224

June 28, 2019

 

TIM BRIGHTBILL TAKES HELM AS CSUSTL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN

 

THE COMMITTEE TO SUPPORT U.S. TRADE LAWS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

 

(Washington, DC, January 10) — The Committee to Support US Trade Laws (CSUSTL), Washington DC, has named Tim Brightbill as Chairman of the CSUSTL Executive Committee, which is the governing body of the organization.

Brightbill, a Partner at Wiley Rein LLP, represents US companies and industries on all aspects of international trade law and policy.  Amongst his many professional activities, he serves as Vice-Chair of the Industry Trade Advisory Committee on Services and Finance Industries, and has been an Adjunct Professor, International Trade Law and Regulation, at Georgetown University Law Center for 16 years.  He is rated among the nation’s leading lawyers for international trade law; including import trade remedies, global trade policy and trade negotiations, and customs enforcement matters.

“We are incredibly pleased to welcome Tim’s leadership and many years of experience to head the CSUSTL Executive Committee as its chair at such an important juncture in US international trade policy and the enforcement of our trade remedy laws,” said CSUSTL President Mark Benedict.

Brightbill succeeds Roger Schagrin, President of Schagrin Associates, who served as the Chairman of the CSUSTL Executive Committee from 2017 to the present.  Schagrin has been an active advocate for strong and effective trade laws as a member of CSUSTL since the group’s establishment almost three decades ago.  Roger represents an array of US manufacturers with a concentration in the metals industry on matters related to trade and competition.  Schagrin will continue as a member of CSUSTL’s Executive Committee.

Commenting on the leadership transition, Schagrin said ”over the past two years the CSUSTL was successful in its efforts to engage on important trade policy issues including its work with the Administration and trade agencies on the implementation and enforcement of the trade laws and its continued advocacy in Congress to educate officials on the importance of the trade laws.  I wish Tim Brightbill continued success as he assumes his new role as Chairman.”

In his role as Chairman, Brightbill will lead CSUSTL’s unparalleled commitment to strengthening U.S. trade remedy laws as an effective tool for domestic companies and their workers to address unfair trade practices.  Effective trade remedy laws are essential for a robust U.S economy, and ensuring manufacturing and agricultural jobs in America, fair wages for our workers and vibrant local communities. 

“On behalf of CSUSTL, I would like to thank Roger Schagrin for his unwavering dedication to trade enforcement and strengthening of U.S. trade laws,” Brightbill said.  “I am excited to continue these efforts, and look forward to working with American industries, the Administration, and the new Congress.”

The Committee to Support U.S. Trade Laws (CSUSTL) is an organization of companies, trade associations, labor unions, law firms and individuals committed to preserving and enhancing U.S. trade laws and supporting trade policies that benefit the United States-based productive economy.  CSUSTL’s members span multiple sectors, including manufacturing, technology, agriculture, mining, energy, and services.  We are dedicated to ensuring that the laws against unfair trade are not weakened through legislation or policy decisions in Washington, DC, in international negotiations, or through dispute settlement at the World Trade Organization (WTO) and elsewhere.

# # #

CONTACT:  Mark Benedict

(540) 257-4224

January 10, 2019

CSUSTL PRAISES ADMINISTRATION FOR EFFECTIVE APPLICATION OF U.S. TRADE REMEDY LAWS IN ALUMINUM SHEET CASE

 

THE COMMITTEE TO SUPPORT U.S. TRADE LAWS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

(Washington, DC, December 12) — Today, the U.S. International TradeCommissions (USITC) reached a unanimous determination to finalize anti-dumpingand countervailing duties on imports of common alloy aluminum sheet fromChina.  The final anti-dumping duties range between 50 to 60 percent andcountervailing duties of 46 to 116 percent.   Imports of common alloysheet from China increased by 731 percent between 2007 and 2017 with China asthe largest foreign supplier, accounting for nearly 40 percent of total U.S.imports of that product in 2017.  This is the first trade remedy case in25 years to be “self-initiated” by an administration.

The Committee to Support U.S. Trade Laws (CSUSTL) praises the Administration for self-initiating the unfair trade case on imports of common alloy aluminum sheet and enforcing existing U.S. trade remedy rules fairly and consistently.  The group cites the Administration’s willingness to use these laws to address problematic trade practices as critical to sustaining a robust U.S. economy, ensuring manufacturing and agricultural jobs in America, fair wages for our workers, and vibrant local communities.

“The effective enforcement of U.S. trade remedy laws is critical to addressing unfair trading practices that injure or threaten to injure U.S. industries,” said John Herrmann, Co-chair of CSUSTL’s Lawyers Committee, and of the law firm Kelley Drye & Warren LLP which represents the Aluminum Association Common Alloy Aluminum Sheet Trade Enforcement Working Group.  He continued, “By self-initiating this case, the Administration took the initiative in administering the rules in a fair and consistent manner toward unfairly traded imports from China that injured U.S. producers of aluminum sheet.  We hope the Administration will continue this approach of proactively addressing trade problems that confront other U.S. manufacturers and agricultural producers being injured by the unfair practices of our trading partners.”

The Committee to Support U.S. Trade Laws (CSUSTL) is an organization of companies, trade associations, labor unions, law firms and individuals committed to preserving and enhancing U.S. trade laws and supporting trade policies that benefit the United States-based productive economy.  CSUSTL’s members span multiple sectors, including manufacturing, technology, agriculture, mining, energy, and services.  We are dedicated to ensuring that the laws against unfair trade are not weakened through legislation or policy decisions in Washington, DC, in international negotiations, or through dispute settlement at the World Trade Organization (WTO) and elsewhere.

# # #

CONTACT:  Mark Benedict

(540) 257-4224

December 12, 2018

CSUSTL SUBMITS COMMENTS ON NEGOTIATING OBJECTIVES FOR A US-JAPAN TRADE AGREEMENT

 

 

THE COMMITTEE TO SUPPORT U.S. TRADE LAWS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

 (Washington, DC, November 26) — The Committee to Support U.S. Trade Laws (CSUSTL) today submitted comments to the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) in response to a 10/26/2018 solicitation requesting public comments on negotiating objectives for a US-Japan trade agreement concerning US interests and priorities. 

In its statement, CSUSTL asks USTR to maintain existing US trade remedy laws and include no revisions to the laws in any negotiations with Japan.  CSUSTL stated the discussions between the two nations are an opportunity for US negotiators to seek improvements necessary to the enforcement of these laws.  Six items were listed as being important to all, or some, of CSUSTL’s membership.  They are:

  1. Currency Manipulation;

  2. Customs Enforcement;

  3. FTA Rules of Origin;

  4. State-Owned Enterprise Rules;

  5. Government Procurement; and

  6. Inclusion of Non-Tariff Barrier provisions in the proposed US-Japan FTA.

 

The Committee to Support U.S. Trade Laws (CSUSTL) is an organization of companies, trade associations, labor unions, law firms and individuals committed to preserving and enhancing U.S. trade laws and supporting trade policies that benefit the United States-based productive economy.  CSUSTL’s members span multiple sectors, including manufacturing, technology, agriculture, mining, energy, and services.  We are dedicated to ensuring that the laws against unfair trade are not weakened through legislation or policy decisions in Washington, DC, in international negotiations, or through dispute settlement at the World Trade Organization (WTO) and elsewhere.

# # #

CONTACT:  Mark Benedict

(540) 257-4224

November 26, 2018

CSUSTL APPLAUDS USCMA DUTY EVASION VERIFICATION PROCEDURE AS A MAJOR STEP FORWARD FOR DUTY ENFORCEMENT

 

THE COMMITTEE TO SUPPORT U.S. TRADE LAWS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

 

 (Washington, DC, October 18) — The Committee to Support U.S. Trade Laws (CSUSTL) welcomes provisions included in Chapter 10 of the United States, Mexico, Canada, Agreement (USMCA) creating new procedures to address circumvention and evasion of trade remedy orders.

For almost a century, the United States (US) has promoted and employed America’s antidumping and countervailing duty laws (AD/CVD) as our nation’s first line of defense against unscrupulous trade practices.  It is America’s families, and our communities, who benefit most from these laws.  But they must be effectively enforced, and duties actually collected, if they are going to work.   Regrettably, the laws are constantly threatened by new and more subtle ways by our trading partners to illegally avoid payment of duties.  Honey, bearings, furniture, steel, and many other industries, agriculture businesses, and workers have suffered as jobs have been lost and our economy damaged because of our inability to fully enforce existing AD/CVD orders.

US officials work to be increasingly vigilant in their management of the laws.  The Enforce and Protect Act of 2015 (EAPA) created a framework to investigate allegations of evasion of AD/CVD orders, and then requires action be taken to remediate the evasion of these orders if such conduct is found to exist.  But use of these laws is restricted to how well we are able to obtain the information needed to corroborate evasion.  That can be very difficult.

CSUSTL expects changes included in Chapter 10 of the agreement, under Trade Remedies, will help improve enforcement of duty orders, once the details are properly worked out in the governing regulations.  The new procedures will make more data available and provide easier access to it.  The USMCA establishes procedures permitting the US to request a duty evasion verification by the other signatories to the agreement.  Under this process the US is to have access to the other nation’s territory to participate in the duty evasion verification, as well as the sharing of confidential information for purposes of determining whether duty evasion exists.  CSUSTL looks forward to working with the United States Trade Representative (USTR) and US Customs Border and Protection (CBP) in supporting their implementation of the Chapter 10 methodologies.

 

Bonnie Byers, of King & Spalding, and a Co-Chair of the CSUSTL Government Affairs Committee, states “The provisions contained in Chapter 10 will result in improved coordination with our key trading partners to prevent the evasion of U.S. trade rules.  This will help ensure that American companies and workers benefit from the relief these laws are intended to provide.”

CSUSTL Enforcement Committee Co-Chair Nathan Rickard, of Picard Kentz & Rowe LLP, notes “Duty evasion schemes undertaken by a small group of traders have undermined the effectiveness of our antidumping and countervailing duty orders, particularly against unfairly traded imports from China.  The inclusion of language specifically addressing duty evasion in trade agreements is a powerful demonstration of this Administration’s commitment to enforcing our trade remedy laws.”

The Committee to Support U.S. Trade Laws (CSUSTL) is an organization of companies, trade associations, labor unions, law firms and individuals committed to preserving and enhancing U.S. trade laws and supporting trade policies that benefit the United States-based productive economy.  CSUSTL’s members span multiple sectors, including manufacturing, technology, agriculture, mining, energy, and services.  We are dedicated to ensuring that the laws against unfair trade are not weakened through legislation or policy decisions in Washington, DC, in international negotiations, or through dispute settlement at the World Trade Organization (WTO) and elsewhere.

# # #

CONTACT:  Mark Benedict

(540) 257-4224

October 18, 2018

CSUSTL WELCOMES COMPLETION OF ‘USMCA’

 

THE COMMITTEE TO SUPPORT U.S. TRADE LAWS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

 

(Washington, DC, October 1) — The Committee to Support U.S. Trade Laws (CSUSTL) welcomes the announcement by the United States Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer of the completion of talks on the new trade agreement between the US, Mexico and Canada (the USMCA).  It is a significant achievement.  We appreciate the hard work of the US negotiators in securing a trilateral agreement to benefit US industry, manufacturers, farmers, and workers.

CSUSTL will support the US government in its effective implementation of the agreement.  We look forward to reviewing the details of the accord and working with the Administration in ensuring the effective enforcement of US trade laws and the provisions of the USMCA.  Chapter 19 was abolished in the previously announced US/Mexico agreement, but was reinserted into the final USMCA.

CSUSTL continues to support ending the Chapter 19 process.  Also, for US agricultural groups, tools are needed to help perishable agricultural producers to be able to effectively use the trade laws with these countries.  CSUSTL urges the US government to address these problems.

The Committee to Support U.S. Trade Laws (CSUSTL) is an organization of companies, trade associations, labor unions, law firms and individuals committed to preserving and enhancing U.S. trade laws and supporting trade policies that benefit the United States-based productive economy.  CSUSTL’s members span multiple sectors, including manufacturing, technology, agriculture, mining, energy, and services.  We are dedicated to ensuring that the laws against unfair trade are not weakened through legislation or policy decisions in Washington, DC, in international negotiations, or through dispute settlement at the World Trade Organization (WTO) and elsewhere.

 

# # #

CONTACT:  Mark Benedict

(540) 257-4224

October 1, 2018

"The Committee To Support US Trade Laws (CSUSTL) is dedicated to ensuring that the U.S. laws against unfair trade are not weakened through legislation or policy decisions in Washington, D.C., in international negotiations, or through dispute settlement at the World Trade Organization (WTO) and elsewhere.  CSUSTL shall work to promote strong and effective US trade remedy laws."

 

                                                                                            - Committee To Support US Trade Laws

                                                                                               (Washington, DC)

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