Weekly Trade Briefing: Jan. 31-Feb. 4, 2021

International Trade News

Trade Update • FEBRUARY 4, 2022

Aweekly roundup of news reports, government announcements, and other information about current and emerging developments in international trade and customs compliance.

Glove Factory in Malaysia

CBP Bans Another Malaysian Glove Maker Over Alleged Forced Labor

On January 28, 2022, U.S. Customs and Border Protection issued a new Withhold Release Order against YTY Industry Holdings, detaining at all U.S. ports of entry disposable gloves produced in Malaysia by the company. CBP says it identified seven of the International Labour Organization’s eleven indicators of forced labor during its investigation of the company. The latest ban is one of half a dozen made by CBP since the agency started cracking down on Malaysias glove manufacturing sector in 2019.

USITC Institutes Sec. 337 Investigation of Certain Video Processing Devices and Smart TVs

The U.S. International Trade Commission on Monday voted to institute an investigation of certain video processing devices, components thereof, and digital smart televisions containing the same, manufactured by Chinese consumer electronics maker TCL Technology Group Corporation. The probe follows a complaint filed by DivX, LLC of San Diego, CA, alleging the infringement of several patents contrary to Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930.  DivX has asked the ITC to issue an exclusion order to bar importation of TCL’s infringing products The USITC will set a target date for completing the investigation before March 17.

Softwood Lumber - Home Construction

Ng Calls for Negotiated Solution to the Softwood Lumber Dispute

Responding to the ongoing administrative review process by the U.S. Commerce Department of its anti-dumping and countervailing duty orders on Canadian softwood lumber products, International Trade Minister Mary Ng issued a statement on Monday once again denouncing the “unjustified duties,” which she said are not only hurting the Canadian forestry sector, but are also “a tax on American consumers” that is contributing to the soaring price of housing. “Canada believes a negotiated solution to this long-standing trade issue is in the best interests of both our nations,” Ng said.

FDA Issues Proposal on Drug Supply Chain Security Act

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday issued a proposed rule establishing uniform licensing standards for wholesale distributors and third-party-logistics providers. The 2013 Drug Supply Chain Security Act mandated that these rules be in place before manufacturers, repackagers, dispensers, wholesale distributors and 3PLs take possession of prescription drug products. The FDA said the long overdue rule would “provide greater assurance that supply chain participants are sufficiently vetted and qualified to distribute prescription drugs, further strengthening the supply chain.” Comments on the proposed rule are being accepted until June 3, 2022.

USITC Determines Pentafluoroethane from China Injures Domestic Industry

The USITC on February 2 determined that Honeywell International, Inc. of Charlotte, NC. is being materially injured by reason of imports of pentafluoroethane (R-125, used as a refrigerant and/or fire suppressant) from China that Commerce has determined are being dumped into the U.S. and subsidized by the government of China. As a result of the USIC’s affirmative determinations, Commerce will issue AD and CVD orders. A public report will be made available by March 7.

NordicTrack Maker Seeks Import Ban on Peloton’s Bike+

The parent company of NordicTrack exercise equipment has launched a new front in its ongoing intellectual property fight with rival Peloton, asking the USITC to ban imports of Peloton Bike+ bikes for infringing one of its patents. In a complaint received Thursday, iFit alleges that Pelaton’s Bike+ infringes its patent covering an interactive exercise bike that allows users to alternate between biking and weightlifting workouts. The complaint also names Taiwanese manufacturers Rexon Industrial Corp and Peloton-owned Tonic Fitness Technology Inc. for making and importing the allegedly infringing bikes.

In USMCA Test Case, Mexican GM Workers Pick New Union

A union backed by international activists on Thursday won an historic election to represent workers at one of the largest General Motors assembly plants in Mexico. The Independent National Autoworkers Union (SINTTIA), won 76% of the roughly 5,500 votes cast, replacing the Confederation of Mexican Workers, which had held the contract for the last 25 years. In a statement, USTR Katherine Tai called the vote a victory for both workers and the Mexican government’s new labor relations body. “The next, and equally critical, stage of the process will be good faith bargaining between General Motors and the new union,” Tai said.


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