U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $1 Million to Support Business Startups in Keokuk

WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross today announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1 million grant to the city of Keokuk, Iowa, to renovate an office building that will house startup companies. According to grantee estimates, the project is expected to create or retain 75 jobs and spur $3 million in private investment.

“President Trump is working diligently every day to help empower our nation’s entrepreneurs who are the engine of job creation,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “The renovated Roquette building will attract and support new companies that will boost the region’s economic growth.”

The project will help to renovate the former Roquette office building to support the expansion of emerging startup companies in southeast Iowa. It serves as an opportunity for area grain processing businesses as well as entrepreneurs to be close to clustered industries and expand in the region. This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Southeast Iowa Regional Planning Commission. EDA funds Southeast Iowa Regional Planning Commission to bring together the public and private sectors to create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment, and create jobs.

DOC Issues Affirmative Preliminary Antidumping Duty Determination on Imports of 100- to 150-Seat Large Civil Aircraft From Canada

Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the affirmative preliminary determination in the antidumping duty (AD) investigation of 100- to 150-seat large civil aircraft from Canada. As AFA, Commerce applied the sole dumping margin calculated in the petition for Canadian exports of aircraft, which is 79.82 percent. This rate will apply to all other producers/exporters as well.

The Commerce Department will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection to collect cash deposits from importers of 100- to 150-seat large civil aircraft based on this preliminary rate.

“The United States is committed to free, fair and reciprocal trade with Canada, but this is not our idea of a properly functioning trading relationship,” said Secretary Ross. “We will continue to verify the accuracy of this decision, while do everything in our power to stand up for American companies and their workers.”
Although Canadian civil aircraft subject to this investigation have not yet been imported, an April 2016 press release announcing the sale of Canadian civil aircraft to a U.S. airline valued the order to be in excess of $5 billion.

The petitioner is The Boeing Company (IL).
Enforcement of U.S. trade law is a prime focus of the Trump administration. From January 20 through October 5, 2017, the Commerce Department has initiated 65 AD and countervailing duty (CVD) investigations – a 48 percent increase from the previous year, and a 16-year peak in the number of investigations initiated in a single fiscal year. The Commerce Department currently maintains 411 AD and CVD duty orders which provide relief to American companies and industries impacted by unfair trade.

Antidumping laws provide U.S. businesses and workers with an internationally accepted mechanism to seek relief from the harmful effects of dumping unfairly priced products into the United States.

Commerce is currently scheduled to announce its final AD determination in this investigation on December 19, 2017.

If the Commerce Department makes an affirmative final determination of dumping and the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) makes an affirmative final injury determination, Commerce will issue an AD order. If the Commerce Department makes a negative final determination of dumping or the ITC makes a negative final determination of injury, the investigation will be terminated and no order will be issued.

AICC Madagascar branch and the Madagascar Youth for Development Association held a joint meeting.

September 30, 2017, the AICC, American International Chamber of Commerce Madagascar branch and the Madagascar Youth for Development Association held a joint meeting.

“Malagasy Youth for Development Y4D” is an association which regroup malagasy young people in Madagascar island. The association has its representant in 22 regions of Madagascar and has thousands of members.


According to Y4D member boards in national and regional levels, they have decided to have partnership with the American International Chambre of Commerce branch of Madagascar. They have asked Mr José RAMAHERISON to be the Honor President of the Malagasy youth for Development association.

The AICC Madagascar is helping Malagasy youth. The development comes from youth, So the reason why AICC Madagascar gave an office, a meeting room and materials and furnitures to Malagasy Y4D association.

Secretary Ross’s Meetings with Chinese Officials During East Asia Travel

On September 25, Secretary Wilbur Ross and Ambassador Terry Branstad met separately with Premier Li Keqiang, Vice Premier Wang Yang, NDRC Chairman He Lifeng, Director of the Party Central Economic and Financial Affairs Leading Small Group Liu He, and MIIT Minister Miao Wei. The Secretary also met with his counterpart, Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan, on the evening of September 24.

The meetings provided opportunities to prepare the ground for President Trump’s planned visit to Asia later this fall and to engage in a friendly and honest exchange of views on a range of issues including the need to rebalance bilateral trade and investment relations, protect intellectual property, lower tariffs and non-tariff barriers, and guarantee fair and reciprocal treatment for U.S. firms.

The Secretary highlighted his intention to lead a senior level trade mission to China in November and to reduce the trade deficit through increased exports of high-value U.S. goods and services to China and improved market access for U.S. firms.

Chinese officials committed to further market opening and welcomed participation by U.S. firms. Both sides expressed the view that bilateral trade frictions should be resolved through negotiation, commitment to high standards, and good economic governance. Secretary Ross reiterated the need for concrete deliverables and meaningful action on key issues.

Chinese officials also expressed concern about U.S. export controls and about the Section 301 investigation that is being conducted by the United States Trade Representative.

In response, the Secretary relayed the ongoing concerns of the U.S. business community at forced technology transfers, data localization, and other intellectual property rights issues. Chinese officials asked Secretary Ross to inform them of any such issues to them as they arise, saying they would seek to resolve these challenges on behalf of American companies.

Chinese officials continually stressed that dialogue is preferable to unilateral action, saying that they would have to respond in kind to any potential action by the United States. Secretary Ross once again continued to stress the need for concrete action to address the concerns of U.S. businesses, and that the U.S. would take action to defend American workers and businesses if cooperative efforts bear no fruit.

Secretary Ross now travels on to Hong Kong, Thailand, and Laos.

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.