Showing posts from January, 2012

State of the Union

For discussion: I will go anywhere in the world to open new markets for American products. And I will not stand by when our competitors don’t play by the rules. We’ve brought trade cases against China at nearly twice the rate as the last administration – and it’s made a difference. Over a thousand Americans are working today because we stopped a surge in Chinese tires. But we need to do more. It’s not right when another country lets our movies, music, and software be pirated. It’s not fair when foreign manufacturers have a leg up on ours only because they’re heavily subsidized.   Tonight, I’m announcing the creation of a Trade Enforcement Unit that will be charged with investigating unfair trade practices in countries like China. There will be more inspections to prevent counterfeit or unsafe goods from crossing our borders. And this Congress should make sure that no foreign company has an advantage over American manufacturing when it comes to accessing finance or new markets lik

The Urge to Merge

In case you have not heard (which is a fancy way of saying that I am catching up on this), the President wants congressional authority to merge several key trade-related functions into a single agency. Most of these are not enforcement agencies and, therefore, do not show up in this blog space often. On the other hand, they are trade promotion agencies. The agencies under consideration for merger are: U.S. Department of Commerce’s core business and trade functions The Small Business Administration The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative The Export-Import Bank The Overseas Private Investment Corporation The U.S. Trade and Development Agency.   Here is the  White House fact sheet on the proposal.  I do not know whether Commerce's "core business and trade functions" include Import Administration and, therefore, dumping and countervailing duty cases.

Grammar Question

In my last post, I referenced the internet in the lower case. The spell checker built into Blogger wanted me to capitalized it. That is consistent with the spell checker in Word. This may generate as much controversy as the apostrophe in Customs' . According to Grammar Girl , my go-to source for these things, "Internet" is a proper noun referring to a specific network. Hence, it is properly capitalized. That advice is apparently consistent with several style manuals. The Grammarist goes the other way. I don't think of the internet as a single network anymore, even though it is technically interconnected. Rather, it is now a medium for the dissemination of of information. Like radio and television. That is no longer a proper noun, but a common noun. No capitalizing "internet" for me. I'm with the Grammarist. How about you?

Blockbuster Decision for Estee Lauder

Estee Lauder  is a Court of International Trade case involving the tariff classification of the plaintiff's "Blockbuster" cosmetics kit. This kit consists of an outer case, several cosmetics (e.g., lipsticks and eye shadows), a cosmetics case, cosmetics brushes, and a brush case. All of it was imported together in a gold carton. If the internet is working properly, this is a picture of what we are talking about: There were no questions as to what the merchandise is, so the court decided this on a motion for summary judgment, which means this is entirely a legal question. The government proposed to classify these kits as separate items while Estee Lauder argued that the kits qualify as retail sets under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule. In the alternative, the Government argued that if the kit is a retail set, then the essential character is imparted by the case, which puts the entirety in the a tariff provision in Heading 4202 with a 20% rate of duty. Cosmetics, on the

Crickets . . . Crickets . . .

I realize it has been very quiet here the past couple weeks. That is generally a sign that I have been busy with client work and life. If you need it, please be reassured that I am alive and well and plan to catch up shortly. On my plate are two Court of International Trade Cases and Customs and Border Protection's proposal to change the way it views transfer pricing in transaction value scenarios. Be back soon.