Weekly Trade Briefing: May 24-28, 2021

International Trade News

Trade Update • MAY 28, 2021

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

Flat Hot-Rolled Steel Sheets

Expiry Notice: Certain Flat Hot-rolled Carbon and Alloy Steel Sheet and Strip

The Canadian International Trade Tribunal’s finding concerning the dumping and/or subsidizing of certain flat hot-rolled carbon and alloy steel sheet and strip originating in or exported from Brazil, China, India, and Ukraine is scheduled to expire on August 11, 2021, barring initiation of an expiry review. The CITT is now consulting interested parties to determine if the finding should be left to expire or if it should conduct a review that could prolong it. Companies requesting or opposing the initiation of an expiry review of the findings must file a notice of participation by June 7, 2021.

Gina Raimondo (Testifying Before Senate Subcommittee)

Raimondo to Seek Long-Term Lumber Solution with Canada

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo on Wednesday said she wants to find a “long-term solution” to the decades-long dispute with Canada over softwood lumber, amid concerns about supply shortages and record-setting prices. Testifying before a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing to review the agency’s funding request for Fiscal Year 2022, Raimondo’s comments came within days of Commerce proposing to double the tariffs on Canadian imports. That decision “couldn’t have come at a worse time as the homebuilders and the American people are in the teeth of struggling with increased prices,” she admitted. Raimondo told lawmakers she would make efforts to convene a lumber supply-chain “summit” with the aim of resolving outstanding issues between the two countries.

Glove Factory in Malaysia

Canada Probing Forced Labour Claims in Malaysian Palm Oil, Glove-Making Industries

Reuters reports that Canada is investigating allegations of forced labour in Malaysia’s palm oil and glove manufacturing industries. Employment and Social Development Canada told the news agency that its Labour Programme was “actively researching a number of forced labour allegations in different countries and sectors, including palm oil and glove manufacturing in Malaysia.” In recent years, the U.S. has banned imports from three Malaysian firms, including the world’s biggest latex glove maker and two of the world’s top palm oil producers.

CIT Prevents Steel Producers from Intervening in Tariff Waiver Suits

The U.S. Court of International Trade this week blocked U.S. steel producers from intervening on the side of the government in six suits challenging the Commerce Department for rejecting Section 232 tariff exclusion requests on certain imports. In a May 25 opinion, Judge M. Miller Baker rejected arguments that U.S. Steel and four U.S. producers of line pipe had a direct stake in the cases and would suffer injury if the Court orders the government to refund the national security tariffs to the plaintiffs, ruling instead that, for multiple reasons, they lacked standing under the circumstances to join the litigation.

Ready to Assemble Kitchen Cabinets

RTA Kitchen Cabinets Excluded from Chinese Plywood Duties

IKEA and other importers of ready to assemble kitchen cabinets have been excluded from antidumping and countervailing duty orders following a ruling by the Court of International Trade upholding an amended scope ruling by the Commerce Department on certain hardwood plywood products from China. The agency had initially accepted a request by Masterbrand Cabinets and a U.S. trade lobby group to have RTA cabinets included, but then reversed itself after finding the petition deficient in several respects.

U.S. Congress

Senate Adds Bipartisan Trade Bill to China Legislative Package

The U.S. Senate on Thursday voted overwhelmingly to attach the “Trade Act of 2021,” introduced by Republican Mike Crapo of Idaho and Democrat Ron Wyden of Oregon, as an amendment to the wide-ranging China-focused “Innovation and Competition Act.” The trade amendment would extend two trade preference programs, restart and reform the exclusion process for Section 301 tariffs on Chinese goods, install an inspector general at the USTR, boost CBP’s enforcement efforts against counterfeits and the products of forced labor, in addition to implementing a number of other trade provisions.

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