Passport App to Expedite Arrival of International Travelers at LAX

LOS ANGELES — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) announced today the expansion of Mobile Passport Control (MPC) to LAX. With the addition of LAX, Mobile Passport Control is now available to U.S. citizens and Canadian visitors arriving at 23 major international airports. The Mobile Passport app has been downloaded 1 million times over the last two years.

Mobile Passport is the first authorized app to expedite a traveler’s arrival into the United States. Eligible travelers may voluntarily submit their passport information and answers to inspection-related questions to CBP via a smartphone or tablet app prior to arrival. Android and iPhone users can download the Mobile Passport app for free from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.

“CBP is committed to improving the international travel experience by offering new and innovative technology to streamline the arrival process,” said Carlos C. Martel, CBP Director of Field Operations in Los Angeles. “Through our partnership with Los Angeles World Airports, travelers arriving at LAX will have another processing option to use that has been proven to reduce wait times without compromising our important border security mission.”

MPC currently offers U.S. citizens and Canadian visitors a more efficient in-person inspection between the CBP officer and the traveler upon arrival in the United States. Much like Automated Passport Control (APC) the app does not require pre-approval and is free to use. Travelers who successfully use the app will no longer have to complete a paper form or use an APC kiosk. As a result, travelers will experience shorter wait times, less congestion and faster processing.

“At Los Angeles World Airports, one of our strategic goals is to innovate for security, efficiency, and effectiveness, and the Mobile Passport Control app is a prime example of how we do this,” said Aura Moore, LAWA Deputy Executive Director and Chief Information Officer. “The introduction of the MPC app at LAX is another milestone in our work to enhance the guest experience and deliver a gold-standard airport, without compromising on safety or security. And thanks to the twelve new Wi-Fi access points we’ve installed in the customs area, travelers can be assured the infrastructure is in place to support this new tool.”

The process is efficient and secure, the information and answers to inspection-related questions are submitted directly to CBP via secure encryption protocols. The App streamlines the traveler inspection process and enables CBP officers to focus more on the inspection and less on administrative functions.

Information about Mobile Passport Control, including how to download the app, user eligibility and other frequently asked questions, is available on CBP.gov.
CBP’s website offers rules and tips for clearing CBP inspection during travel to and from the United States.

By CBP: September 21, 2017

U.S. Issues Affirmative Preliminary Countervailing Duty Determination on Aluminum Foil From the China

President Donald Trump on Monday signed a memorandum that could lead to a trade investigation of alleged Chinese theft of intellectual property.

The measure directs U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to look into options to protect U.S. intellectual property. It does not take any specific action against China at this point.

“We will safeguard the copyrights, patents, trademarks, trade secrets and other intellectual property that is so vital to our security and to our prosperity,” Trump said.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the affirmative preliminary determination in the countervailing duty (CVD) investigation of aluminum foil from the People’s Republic of China (China), preliminary finding that Chinese exporters of aluminum foil received countervailing subsidies 16.56 to 80.97 percent.

The Commerce Department will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection to collect cash deposits from importers of aluminum foil from China based on these preliminary rates.

“The United States is committed to free, fair and reciprocal trade, and will continue to validate the information provided to us that brought us to this decision,” said Secretary Ross. “The Trump Administration will not stand idly by as harmful trade practices from foreign nations attempt to take advantage of our essential industries, workers, and businesses.”

Commerce calculated preliminary subsidy rates of 28.33 percent ad valorem for Dingsheng Aluminum Industries (Hong Kong) Trading Co., Ltd, 16.56 percent for Jiangsu Zhongji Lamination Materials Co., Ltd., the two companies that ultimately participated in the proceeding.

Foxconn announces U.S. manufacturing plant in Wisconsin

(Reuters) – Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Foxconn on Wednesday announced plans to build a $10 billion LCD display panel screen plant in Wisconsin, a deal President Donald Trump asserted would not have happened without his efforts.

The company said it plans to invest $10 billion over four years to build a 20-million square foot plant that could eventually employ up to 13,000.

Trump praised Foxconn chairman Terry Gou at a White House event, asserting: “If I didn’t get elected, he definitely wouldn’t be spending $10 billion … This is a great day for America.”

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker said at the White House his state will award $3 billion in incentives and sign a memorandum of understanding on the investment on Thursday.
He told reporters at the White House the state legislature will need to approve the $3 billion incentives package. About half is for capital costs and nearly half for workforce development. There are also some sales tax exemption incentives.

Foxconn, formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd (2317.TW), said in a statement that the investment “signifies the start of a series of investments by Foxconn in American manufacturing in the coming years.”

But Foxconn has had a mixed record following up on promises to create new jobs in the United States.

In 2013, Foxconn said it would invest $30 million and hire 500 workers for a new factory in Pennsylvania, but that facility was never completed. Foxconn has another small operation in Pennsylvania.

Foxconn, a major supplier to Apple Inc (AAPL.O) for its iPhones, said last month it plans to invest more than $10 billion in a display-making factory in the United States.
Wisconsin’s tax incentives would be awarded over 20 years if Foxconn meets hiring targets, officials said Wednesday.

Walker said the plant was the largest economic development project in the state’s history.

White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus told a Wisconsin TV station that Trump was aboard Marine One over Kenosha, Wisconsin, in April and spotted the site of a former Chrysler plant.

When Foxconn executives met with Trump in the Oval Office, “the president said I know a good spot where you should go — that place in Kenosha,” Priebus recounted.

Walker said Foxconn is considering several sites in southeast Wisconsin and will announce a final site soon.

Trump has called for companies to build more products in the United States and open additional plants. He has made several announcements since his election in November about U.S. investments by both foreign and domestic manufacturers, building on his campaign focus on boosting American jobs. Some of those announcements sought to take credit for previously announced investments.

U.S., China Sign Historic Agreement to Provide Market Access for U.S. Rice Exports

WASHINGTON, July 20, 2017 – Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has reached agreement with Chinese officials on final details of a protocol to allow the United States to begin exporting rice to China for the first time ever.

“This is another great day for U.S. agriculture and, in particular, for our rice growers and millers, who can now look forward to gaining access to the Chinese market. This market represents an exceptional opportunity today, with enormous potential for growth in the future,” said Perdue. “The agreement with China has been in the works for more than a decade and I’m pleased to see it finally come to fruition, especially knowing how greatly it will benefit our growers and industry.”

China is the world’s largest producer and consumer of rice. Since 2013, it has also been the largest importer, with imports reaching nearly 5 million tons last year. When the new rice protocol is fully implemented, the U.S. rice industry will have access to this critical market, significantly expanding export opportunities. U.S. rice exports can begin following the completion of an audit of U.S. rice facilities by China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine.

Statement From Secretary Ross And Secretary Mnuchin Following The U.S. – China Comprehensive Economic Dialogue

Upon completion of the first meeting of the U.S.-China Comprehensive Economic Dialogue, Co-Chairs Secretary Wilbur Ross and Secretary Steven Mnuchin released the following statement:

“We thank Vice Premier Wang and the Chinese delegation for making the journey to Washington for this first session of the U.S.-China Comprehensive Economic Dialogue.

“We also extend our gratitude to Secretary Perdue, Ambassador Lighthizer, Ambassador Branstad, Chair Yellen and Director Cohn for their participation in these meetings.
“China acknowledged our shared objective to reduce the trade deficit which both sides will work cooperatively to achieve.

“Since the Presidential Summit, the first 100 days made progress on important issues including credit ratings, bond clearing, electronic payments, commercial banking, and liquefied natural gas. Also, this is the first time since 2003 that the Chinese have allowed for imports of American beef.

“The principles of balance, fairness, and reciprocity on matters of trade will continue to guide the American position so we can give American workers and businesses an opportunity to compete on a level playing field. We look to achieving the important goals set forth by President Trump this past April in Mar-a-Lago.”

3D printing – A New Industry Made in America


Image of Additive Manufacturing Partnership meeting held at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

Increasingly, we’re seeing the products of additive manufacturing – better known as 3D printing – all around us: in retail stores, in classrooms, and even in medical technologies.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) received over 8,000 patent applications last year alone in the field of additive material technologies. These represent a range of products – from household items to prosthetics – that are being manufactured with 3D printing and are having a positive impact on people’s lives and the economy.

One of the founding minds in 3D printing is National Inventors Hall of Fame inductee Charles Hull. Troubled how long it could take to create a prototype of a new device or tool, he created stereolithography in the 1980s, the first commercial rapid prototyping technology, now known as 3D printing. In recent years, the growth and popularity of 3D printers has skyrocketed, as they are increasingly being used by small businesses, hobbyists and entrepreneurs because of their speed and accuracy. There is now even a 3D printer on the International Space Station.

Exciting advances are being made with 3D bioprinting, a method of using 3D printing to create new tissues and organs. The USPTO works with the National Inventors Hall of Fame in running the annual Collegiate Inventors Competition, which has showcased the next generation of 3D printing innovation, such as previous graduate school winner Dave Kolesky for 3D bioprinting of vascularized human tissue. Learn more about 3D bioprinting in the USPTO’s Science of Innovation video, produced by NBC Learn.

The USPTO plays an important role in supporting American businesses in new and growing industries to get new products and technologies to the marketplace faster. This ultimately drives innovation and creates new jobs for American workers, benefitting consumers and manufacturers alike.

Lastly, to stay ahead of the curve in new areas, the agency partners with private industry in other areas such as cyber security and bioscience, all while providing the most up-to-date technical training to patent examiners who examine these new technologies every day.

U.S. Department of Commerce Makes $30 Million Available to Assist America’s Coal Communities

To support locally-driven efforts in coal country to spur job growth, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross today announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) has published a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) making $30 million in funds available to assist coal communities through the 2017 Assistance to Coal Communities (ACC 2017) initiative.

“The Trump administration is working every day to help America’s coal industry, its workers, and their communities,” said Secretary Ross. “This funding is one element of a government-wide effort to restore American jobs, and renew the areas hardest hit by misguided regulations.”

Since taking office, President Trump and his Administration have reversed regulations that have drastically squeezed the American energy sector, eliminated constricting energy restrictions that would have shackled the United States’ economy under the Paris climate change accord, blocked the EPA’s and other agencies needless war on coal, and, in conjunction with Congress, acted swiftly to roll back many of the burdensome regulations and laws which have strangled many American communities.

These critical policy shifts have resulted in a better deal for coal country and tangible results for American workers who have gone ignored for far too long.

The $30 million in ACC 2017 funds available for application are targeted to directly assist communities and regions severely impacted by the declining use of coal through activities and programs that support economic diversification, job creation, capital investment, workforce development and re-employment opportunities. Under the ACC 2017 initiative, EDA is seeking applications for projects and activities that will:

  • Support the creation of new businesses and jobs in a variety of industry sectors,
  • Create or implement economic diversification strategies targeting affected workers and businesses,
  • Develop a business incubator program,
  • Enhance access to and use of broadband services to support job growth,
  • Facilitate access to private capital investment, and provide related capacity building and technical assistance, or
  • Promote market access for goods and services created and manufactured by businesses in the impacted community/region.

Under the ACC 2017 initiative, the term coal economy is used to refer to the complete ecosystem of coal-reliant industries and businesses. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Coal Mining; and/or
  • Coal-Fired Power Plants; and/or
  • Related Transportation, and/or Logistics, and/or Supply Chain Manufacturing Industries.

Prospective applicants are encouraged to refer to the NOFA on grants.gov for more details on the ACC 2017 funding, including eligibility, matching-fund requirements, and other information.

For additional information about ACC 2017, please visit the EDA’s ACC 2017 webpage at: www.eda.gov/coal.