CBP: Help Needed Managing De Minimis Entries

May 8, 2024 – Acting Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Troy Miller, who will be a keynote speaker at AAEI’s upcoming annual conference, says the agency needs help managing the rising number of de minimis entries.

At a recent Congressional hearing, Miller testified that number of packages entering the U.S. under de minimis rules grew last year from 600 million the previous year to 1 billion packages.

“we need help in the de minimis environment.” Miller said. Referring to legislative proposals involving de minimis, he added, ” There are several packages out there that will allow us to have the appropriate data, number one to determine who the where the shipments coming from, what’s in the package, where it’s going. And the appropriate funds to be able to fund are CBP officers to open the packages and the appropriate penalties to assess those that are carrying to carry in those packages when they don’t know what’s actually in the package. And then there are additional legislative packages out there that would allow us to actually bring that level down to a manageable level for us.”

Acting Commissioner Miller will speak at AAEI’s 2024 Annual Conference and Expo in Fort Lauderdale on June 11th. See AAEI’s event information for details on registering.

CBP Says De Minimis Threshold Not a Factor in Stopping Counterfeit Imports

May 8, 2024 – U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP’s) Executive Director of Trade Policy and Programs Directorate Brandon Lord told lawmakers this week that legislative proposals to lower the de minimis threshold from $800 won’t address the problem of counterfeits in the de minimis environment.

Lord testified before the Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet that the average value of a de minimis shipment last year was about $54. “The average value of each shipment has remained roughly the same, though the overall volume continues to rise. Once confined primarily to air transport, express consignment hubs, and international mail facilities, de minimis shipments now enter through all modes of transportation, at all POEs, impacting CBP locations that have not previously processed these types of shipments. While shipment volume has dramatically increased, CBP’s staffing, tools, and facilities have not grown at the same pace. “

Read CBP’s testimony before the Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet. 

ITA Announces Preliminary AD Duties on Aluminum Extrusions

May 8, 2024 – The International Trade Administration (ITA) announced this week that it has made preliminary determinations to apply antidumping (AD) duties on aluminum extrusion imports from 14 countries.

Colombia, Ecuador, India, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, Taiwan, Thailand, China, South Korea, Turkey, Vietnam, and the UAE.

Importers whose products contain an aluminum extrusion part or a part that contains extruded aluminum, it may be subject to additional duties as of this Saturday, March 11, 2024. See the ITA website for the full list of preliminary AD rates.

Auto Industry Urges BIS to Ban Chinese Vehicles in U.S. Market

May 8, 2024 – BIS recently published its plans to write rules protecting against risks posed by navigation and other technologies used in cars when made by some foreign manufacturers or companies owned by foreign adversaries.

More than 50 comments were submitted before the April 30 deadline last week. Industry associations, companies, and other stakeholders in the automotive industry argued that Chinese-owned firms operating anywhere in the world should be barred from making buses, subway cars, heavy trucks or cars and trucks for sale in the U.S. market.

Read the comments here.

Democrats Call for Biden Administration to Keep Trump-era Tariffs

May 8, 2024 – A group of seven U.S. Senators, all Democrats, are calling for the Biden Administration to keep Trump-era tariffs on imports from China, known as Section 301 tariffs. In a letter to the White House, the lawmakers, led by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), say that any reduction in the size or scope of the tariffs would undermine American producers and their workers.

“China has continued to cheat, circumvent, and manipulate to artificially strengthen its economy and harm the United States. Across sectors like steel, solar products, and electric vehicles, China employs tactics to distort markets and create artificially low prices by illegally subsidizing its industries and producing to overcapacity. These practices disrupt global product demand and supply chains and threaten the goals of the United States’ industrial policy. Our communities are left reeling from the impact.”

In addition to Sen. Brown, the signatories include Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA), Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA), Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI), Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI).

Read the lawmakers’ letter on Section 301 tariffs. 

Labor Department Official Flags Concerns on “Social Auditing”

May 8, 2024 – Thea Lee, Deputy Undersecretary of Labor for International Affairs at the US Department of Labor (ILAB), said in a hearing last week that social compliance auditing cannot be the only mechanism for detecting forced labor in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. She emphasized that audits cannot be conducted without government oversight. She raised concerns that audits provide factory managers advance notice to hide forced labor violations. Read her and other testimonials from the hearing hosted by the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC).

New Report: DHS Funding Up $2 Million for CBP in FY2024

May 8, 2024 – Congressional Research Service published a new report last week comparing the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS’s) FY2023 annual appropriations measure and the annual appropriations requested by the Biden Administration for FY2024. The report shows an approximately $2 million increase in funding for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), among other changes. For more details, read the report.

WTO's Duty-free E-Commerce Proposal Resurfaces

May 8, 2024 – A proposal at the World Trade Organization (WTO) on banning e-commerce duties is resurfacing just two months after the WTO’s Ministerial Conference voted against it.

A group of WTO members is pressing forward anyway, and are working to propose new global rules for digital trade. The proposal, which may be ready for a cvote this July, would include a a long-sought permanent ban on customs duties for e-commerce transmissions.

Some elements of a deal have already been agreed upon. They include establishment of global guidelines for electronic payments, guidelines for validating digital contracts and invoices, and the electronic signatures.

For details, read more from the Hinrich Foundation.

Carmakers Win Two-Year Reprieve to Qualify for EV Tax Credits

May 8, 2024 – The U.S. Treasury Department has granted an extension to U.S. car manufacturers that would allow them to remain eligible for electric vehicle tax credits. The announcement last Friday allows them to continue to use trace minerals from China such as graphite until 2027, when removal of those minerals will be required to remain eligible for tax credits.

Read the Treasury Department’s news release here.