Upcoming Event: SBA Southern California Small Business and Government Contracting Conference

THURSDAY APRIL 12, 2018
Irvine Marriott
18000 Von Karman Ave.
Irvine, CA 92612

The SBA Southern California Small Business and Government Contracting Conference is a forum that educates, guides and assists small businesses in working with federal, local, and state governments. This event provides an opportunity to meet buyers and contracting officers from large companies and government agencies to discuss business opportunities in a one-on-one setting.

Registration includes: a networking coffee with continental breakfast, morning plenary session, as well as a seated banquet lunch and onsite complimentary parking.

General Admission before 3/20/2018

Upcoming Event: Virtual Education Fair Schedule

In 2018 the U.S. Commercial Service will host Virtual Education Fairs in several international markets to provide a venue for U.S. institutions to present their schools to the most reputable and best performing agents in those nations.

Using web conferencing technology, your school will have the opportunity to conduct a 10 minute presentation via PowerPoint to an audience of at least 10 top agents from the targeted country.

Each Virtual Education Fair is limited to six appropriately accredited U.S. private high schools, boarding schools and 4-year colleges and universities.

Don’t miss these opportunities to connect with international education agents and recruiters from the comfort of your office!

Schedule B and Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) Updated in the Automated Export System (AES)

The Schedule B, Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS), and HTS Codes That Are Not Valid for AES tables have been updated to reflect the changes to the 2018 codes effective January 1st, 2018.

AES will accept shipments with outdated 2017 codes during a grace period for 30 days beyond the expiration date of December 31st, 2017. Reporting an outdated 2017 code after the 30-day grace period will result in a fatal error.

The ACE AESDirect program has been updated with the 2018 codes and will accept shipments with outdated 2017 codes during the grace period as well.

The 2018 Schedule B and HTS tables are available for downloading at:

http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/aes/documentlibrary/#concordance

The current list of HTS codes that are not valid for AES are available at:

http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/aes/documentlibrary/concordance/hts-not-for-aes.html

For further information or questions, contact the U.S. Census Bureau’s International Trade Indicator Micro Analysis Branch.

Telephone: (800) 549-0595, select option 2 for International Trade Indicator Micro Analysis Branch

Website: www.census.gov/trade

Tax Cuts Act a Win for American Business and the American Worker

Photo of White House event celebrating passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Earlier this week, Congress passed the first overhaul of the U.S. tax system in more than three decades. The historic Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will cut taxes across the board for working families and businesses both large and small. The Act also will make American more competitive, will bolster continued job creation and will help increase wages for American workers.

“President Trump’s tax plan will make our tax code more simple and fair, and help American business stay competitive. Accomplishing these objectives will lead to increased economic growth, and, most importantly, better jobs for the American worker.” – Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross.

Highlights of the Tax Cuts Act for include:

Bigger paychecks for American workers. The Tax Cuts Act provides $5.5 trillion in tax cuts by nearly doubling the standard deduction, doubling the child tax credit, protecting tax savings for higher education and retirement, and lowering rates across the board. It also repeals ObamaCare’s individual mandate tax, 80 percent of which hit households earning less than $50,000 a year in 2016.

Putting American businesses on a level playing field with foreign competitors. America’s corporate tax rate will go from being the highest in the developed world to below the average for Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. A one-time tax on corporate earnings stashed overseas will end the incentive for companies to keep their profits outside of the United States.

Eliminating dozens of special interest tax breaks and loopholes. The Tax Cuts Act will raise $4 trillion in revenue to help offset tax cuts by closing the door on dozens of corporate accounting tricks. The bill eliminates a loophole used to deduct compensation for executives earning more than $1 million a year.

IRS2Go Mobile App

IRS2Go is the official mobile app of the IRS

Check your refund status, make a payment, find free tax preparation assistance, sign up for helpful tax tips, and more!

IRS2Go is available in both English and Spanish.

Download IRS2Go for your mobile device

IRS2Go offers many features

Refund Status

Check the status of your federal income tax refund using IRS2Go. You can check your refund status within 24 hours after IRS receive your e-filed return, or about four (4) weeks after mailing your paper return.

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Free Tax Help

Get your taxes done and filed. You can directly access FREE tax software from your mobile device to quickly prepare and file your taxes and get your refund. Or, if you prefer receiving help in-person, you can find a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) or Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) site near you and receive free tax help. These programs are available to taxpayers who qualify.

Stay Connected

Follow IRS on Twitter and Tumblr, watch helpful videos on YouTube, subscribe to receive IRS Tax Tips, and more.

Security Code

IRS2Go can generate login security codes for certain IRS online services, allowing you to retrieve codes through IRS2Go instead of using text messages. For more information, visit the Secure Access page.

USDA Issues Permit for Santa’s Reindeer

WASHINGTON, Dec. 22, 2017 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) issued a movement permit to Mr. S. Claus of the North Pole, a broker with Worldwide Gifts, Unlimited. The permit will allow reindeer to enter and exit the United States between the hours of 7 p.m. December 24, 2017 and 7 a.m. December 25, 2017, through or over any U.S. border port.

“It’s the season of giving and joy. Here at USDA we don’t want anything to delay these very important reindeer at our borders,” said Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. “We know that children all over the country – including my own fourteen grandchildren – are eagerly awaiting a visit from Mr. Claus and his team before they wake on Christmas morning. USDA issued this permit in advance and waived all applicable fees to help ensure a smooth trip on Christmas Eve night.”

In addition to the normal disease testing requirements, flying reindeer must undergo additional tests to ensure they will be able to safely handle significant changes in altitude and temperature throughout their journey, and are fit for landing on rooftops. On this year’s health certificate, the accredited veterinarian noted that one of the reindeer named Rudolph was positive for “red nose syndrome,” however, it was also explained that this is normal for him and not an animal health concern. The veterinarian also verified the reindeer have been vaccinated against any diseases they could encounter on their trip around the world.

At the request of Mr. and Mrs. Claus, APHIS also completed a courtesy welfare and humane treatment check of the reindeer facility.  Mr. Claus and his staff passed with flying colors.

They will arrive pulling a wooden sleigh with jingling bells attached, filled with brightly wrapped gifts. Port personnel will clean and disinfect the runners and underside of the sleigh at the time of entry, and will also conduct a short visual inspection of the reindeer. Mr. Claus will also have his boots disinfected and will thoroughly wash his hands. These measures are intended to prevent the entry of any livestock diseases the team may encounter during deliveries to farms around the world prior to entering the United States.

“It would be a disaster for Worldwide Gifts, Unlimited, if my reindeer were to unintentionally bring in foot and mouth disease along with all the gifts,” explained Mr. Claus. “Why, something like that could put me out of business. That’s why we work all year to keep the reindeer healthy and take all possible precautions before and during our trip.”

Mr. Claus has also provided an advance list of what port personnel should expect upon their arrival. This includes a variety of food items, all of which come from approved locations and none of which pose a threat to U.S. animal or plant health.

“As we do every day, we work diligently to ensure the health of American agriculture. Mr. Claus and the reindeer can safely continue their journey across the country and around the world, spreading holiday cheer as they go,” said Secretary Perdue.

Department of Commerce Issues Affirmative Preliminary Antidumping Duty Determinations on Fine Denier Polyester Staple Fiber

December 19, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the affirmative preliminary determinations in the antidumping duty (AD) investigations of imports of fine denier polyester staple fiber, finding that exporters from China, India, Korea, and Taiwan have sold this merchandise at less than fair value.

“The U.S. values its relationships with these nations, but all of our trading partners must play by the rules,” said Secretary Ross. “We will continue to review all information related to this preliminary determination while standing up for American businesses and workers.”

As a result of decision, Commerce will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection to collect cash deposits from importers of fine denier polyester staple fiber from China (52.66 percent to 170.92 percent), India (0.66 percent to 15.66 percent), Korea (0.00 percent to 45.23 percent), and Taiwan (0.00 percent to 48.86 percent) based on these preliminary rates.

In 2016, U.S. imports of fine denier polyester staple fiber from China, India, Korea, and Taiwan were valued at an estimated $79.4 million, $14.7 million, $10.6 million, and $9.6 million, respectively.

The petitioners are DAK Americas LLC (NC), Nan Ya Plastics Corporation, America (SC), and Auriga Polymers Inc. (NC).

Click HERE for a fact sheet on decisions.

Enforcement of U.S. trade law is a prime focus of the Trump administration. From January 20, 2017, through December 18, 2017, Commerce initiated 79

antidumping and countervailing duty investigations – a 52 percent increase from 52 initiations in the previous year.

The AD law provides U.S. businesses and workers with an internationally accepted mechanism to seek relief from the harmful effects of unfair pricing of imports into the United States. Commerce currently maintains 412 antidumping and countervailing duty orders which provide relief to American companies and industries impacted by unfair trade.

Unless the final determinations are postponed, Commerce is currently scheduled to announce its final AD determinations on March 5, 2018.

If Commerce makes affirmative final determinations of dumping and the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) makes affirmative final injury determinations, Commerce will issue AD orders.  If Commerce makes negative final determinations of dumping or the ITC makes negative final determinations of injury, the investigations will be terminated and no orders will be issued.

Commerce’s Enforcement and Compliance unit within the International Trade Administration is responsible for vigorously enforcing U.S. trade laws and does so through an impartial, transparent process that abides by international law and is based solely on factual evidence.

Foreign companies that price their products in the U.S. market below the cost of production or below prices in their home markets are subject to antidumping duties.