Weekly Trade Briefing: July 19-23, 2021

International Trade News

Trade Update • JULY 23, 2021

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

Global Carbon Price Floor Would Remove Need for Border Taxes: IMF Report

A proposal under consideration at the International Monetary Fund to price carbon in countries around the world based on their level of development would eliminate the need for carbon border adjustment measures, such as those recently proposed by the European Union and Democratic lawmakers. The report’s authors say their carbon price floor plan “parallels the current discussion on a minimum for the tax rate in international corporate taxation,” a reference to the talks leading up to the global minimum tax rate recently announced by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development as part of a new framework for global tax reform.

CBP Revoking Prior Rulings on Brass Drains

In NY N267667, NY N267669, NY N262071, and NY N262072, CBP classified various shower or bath drain assemblies of brass in heading 7419, HTSUS, as other articles of copper. The agency has since reconsidered these rulings, however, and find that the subject drains are properly classified in heading 7418, HTUSS, as sanitary ware and plumbing fixtures. CBP now maintains that the subject goods are more specifically provided for by 7419 and as such are precluded from heading 7418.   Accordingly, CBP has revoked the above-noted rulings.

CBP Changes Stance on Classification of Certain Plastic Plumbing Fixtures

CBP has also changed its position regarding the classification of certain plastic plumbing fixtures, finding a 1993 ruling (NY 889651) in this regard to have been made in error. Following the General Interpretive Guidelines, in ruling HQ H296172, CBP now maintains that the subject plastic basket strainers for kitchen sinks are more specifically provided for under heading 3922 as being within the scope of plastic “sanitary ware” for purposes of classification rather than, as had previously been ruled, under 3926 as “other” articles of plastic. CBP has accordingly modified the ruling in question to reflect the new interpretation of such goods.

Apparel and Footwear Makers Request Immediate Tariff Relief

Struggling with a surge in shipping costs and rising inflation, the American Apparel and Footwear Association this week called on the Biden administration to take “aggressive” enforcement action against the price gouging of ocean carriers and to provide tariff relief to help offset U.S. producers’ “rocketing” material costs. In a letter, the AAFA urged President Biden to immediately remove “the biggest single cost on our industry – tariffs” including the U.S. government’s punitive Sec. 301 tariffs on China. The group also pressed for renewal of the Generalized System of Preferences program and the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill.

CIT Upholds Commerce Determination re Certain Plywood Not Circumventing AD/CVD Orders

In a July 21 ruling, the U.S. Court of International Trade upheld Commerce’s May 10, 2021 Remand Results concluding that certain CARB-labeled plywood with face and back veneers of radiata pine does not constitute “later developed merchandise” circumventing the antidumping and countervailing duty orders on hardwood plywood from China. The Coalition for Fair Trade in Hardwood Plywood had challenged the basis of Commerce’s negative anticircumvention determination, which had focused on whether the nature of the proprietary glue formulation involved was grounds to exempt the subject goods from products covered by the AD/CVD orders.

WTO Headquarters Building

Tai Joins Ottawa Group to Discuss Upcoming WTO Priorities

U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai on Thursday joined the World Trade Organization reform-oriented Ottawa Group to discuss upcoming priorities, such as wrapping up the negotiations to rein in global fisheries subsidies. Under the Trump administration, the United States had been notably absent from the informal group of “likeminded countries” – Canada, Mexico, the EU, Australia, Brazil, Chile, Japan, Kenya, South Korea, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, and Switzerland – that has converged around finding ways to break the current state of paralysis at the WTO’s dispute resolution body.

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