U.S. Department of Commerce Issues Affirmative Preliminary Determination on Forged Steel Fittings from China

March 8th, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the affirmative preliminary determination in the countervailing duty (CVD) investigation of imports of forged steel fittings from China, finding that exporters in China received countervailable subsidies equal to 13.79 percent.

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

“This announcement is separate from today’s the steel and aluminum tariff’s announced by President Trump as a result of the Department’s 232 investigations,” said Secretary Ross. “We will continue to review all information related to this preliminary determination while standing up for American workers and companies.”

In 2016, imports of forged steel fittings from China were valued at an estimated $78.4 million.

The petitioners are Bonney Forge Corporation (Mount Union, PA), and the United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union (Pittsburgh, PA).

Enforcement of U.S. trade law is a prime focus of the Trump administration.  From January 20, 2017, through March 8, 2018, the Commerce Department has initiated 102 antidumping and countervailing duty investigations – a 96 percent increase from the same period in 2016- 2017.

CVD law provides U.S. businesses and workers with an internationally accepted mechanism to seek relief from the harmful effects of unfair subsidization of imports into the United States.  Commerce currently maintains 418 antidumping and countervailing duty orders which provide relief to American companies and industries impacted by unfair trade.

Commerce is currently scheduled to announce its final CVD determination on July 24, 2018.

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

The U.S. Department of 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 rules and is based solely on factual evidence.

Imports from companies that receive unfair subsidies from their governments in the form of grants, loans, equity infusions, tax breaks and production inputs are subject to “countervailing duties” aimed at directly countering those subsidies.

Section 232 investigations help to determine the effects of imports on America’s national security and give the President the ability to address any threats to national security by restricting imports through tariffs.

Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, as amended, gives the executive branch the ability to conduct investigations to “determine the effects on the national security of imports.” Within 270 days of initiating any investigation, the Commerce Department issues a report to the President with the investigation’s findings, including whether certain imports threaten to impair America’s national security. The President has 90 days to determine whether he concurs with the findings and, if so, to use his statutory authority under Section 232 “to adjust the imports” as necessary, including through tariffs or quotas.

President Donald J. Trump has accepted the Commerce Department’s recent conclusion that imported steel and aluminum “threaten to impair the national security,” and is taking action to protect America.

In January 2018, the Department of Commerce delivered the Section 232 reports on steel and aluminum to the President. In February 2018, the Commerce Department publicly released Section 232 reports on imported steel and aluminum. The reports concluded that the quantities and circumstances of steel and aluminum imports “threaten to impair the national security,” as defined by Section 232. The reports found that United States steel imports were nearly four times our exports, and that aluminum imports had risen to 90% of total demand for primary aluminum. The Commerce Department recommended that President Trump take action to protect the long-term viability of our nation’s steel and aluminum industries.

Following President Trump’s signing of a Presidential Proclamation imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum products from certain countries, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross released the following statement:

“President Trump is taking action today to protect both our national security and industries critical to our economy. The President’s decision regarding the steel and aluminum Section 232 reports are the result of a long and well-thought-out process led by the Commerce Department. Once again, President Trump is keeping his promises and standing up for American families, American businesses, and American workers.”

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.

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