SmarTrade

Timely news and analysis of the latest developments in international trade law

The U.S. Court of International Trade (CIT) has called into question the “First Sale Rule” tariff mitigation strategy deployed by an increasing number of companies to reduce Section 301 tariffs on China-sourced goods.  In Meyer Corp. v. U.S., No. 13-00154, Slip Op. 21-26 (March 1, 2021), the CIT questioned whether the First Sale Rule should be used in matters involving imports from non-market economy (NME) countries like the People’s Republic of China (PRC).  While the…
On March 1, 2021, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) released President Joseph Biden’s 2021 Trade Agenda and 2020 Annual Report. Providing an overview of “a comprehensive trade policy in support of the administration’s effort to help the U.S. recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and build back better,” the report states that President Biden’s trade agenda addresses four national challenges: (1) building a stronger industrial and innovation base so the future…
On February 24, 2021, President Joseph Biden signed an executive order seeking “to create more resilient and secure supply chains for critical and essential goods.” Noting shortages over the past year of medicine, food and computer chips, the president stated that, “While we cannot predict what crisis will hit us, we should have the capacity to respond quickly in the face of challenges. The United States must ensure that production shortages, trade disruptions, natural disasters…
On February 18, 2021, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) entered into a $507, 375 settlement with BitPay, Inc. (“BitPay”) for 2,102 apparent violations of multiple sanctions programs. BitPay, a cryptocurrency company offering payment processing solutions for merchants to accept digital currency as payment for goods and services, agreed to settle its potential civil liability for allowing persons who appear to have been located in the Crimea region of Ukraine,…
On February 18, 2021, the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) issued a notice in the Federal Register announcing formal actions to limit exports and reexports of sensitive goods to Burma’s military and security services as previously announced by press release. See Update of February 12, 2021. In response to the military coup of February 1, the notice states that “the United States Government is reviewing all available actions to hold…
The three-judge panel established by the Court of International Trade (CIT) to manage the China Section 301 tariff refund litigation has issued two procedural orders in the recently-established master case (Court No. 21-cv-00052-3JP) (see Update of February 8, 2021), setting a path forward for this massive litigation. In a February 10, 2021 order, the panel announced: All filings in the master case will be deemed to have been docketed and filed in each…
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed motions in federal court seeking a pause in litigation involving TikTok and WeChat until the new administration of President Joseph Biden has time to consider former President Trump’s August 6, 2020 Executive Orders declaring that these Chinese social media apps are a national security threat and prohibiting certain transactions with these entities.  Federal judges previously halted Trump’s ban from taking effect, and the apps are currently still permitted…
On February 12, 2021, the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) announced that was implementing restrictions on the export of “sensitive items” to Burma’s Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Home Affairs, armed forces, and security services in response to the Burmese military’s February 1 coup to overthrow the civilian government of Burma.  Effective immediately, BIS “will apply a presumption of denial for items requiring a license for export and reexport to…
On February 11, 2021, in a unanimous 5-0 vote, the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) terminated its Section 201 global safeguard investigation of U.S. blueberry imports, determining that increased imports of fresh, chilled, or frozen blueberries are not a substantial cause of serious injury, or threat of serious injury, to the domestic industry producing an article like or directly competitive with these imports.  The USITC will submit its report containing its injury determination to President…
President Biden Issues Executive Order Regarding Military Coup in Burma and Sanctioning Military Leaders On February 10, 2021, President Joe Biden issued an Executive Order concerning the military coup in Burma on February 1, 2021, in which the military overthrew the democratically elected civilian government and arrested numerous government leaders, politicians, human rights defenders, journalists, and religious leaders.  In brief remarks, President Biden stated that the Burmese “military must relinquish the power it seized…