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  • DATVF.CHIATL
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  • DATVF.DALLAX
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  • DATVF.LAXSEA
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  • DATVF.VEU
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  • DATVF.VNU
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  • DATVF.VSU
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  • DATVF.VWU
    1.553
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  • ITVI.USA
    9,385.190
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  • OTRI.USA
    6.800
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  • OTVI.USA
    9,385.780
    -15.500
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  • TLT.USA
    2.740
    0.000
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  • WAIT.USA
    156.000
    -2.000
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  • DATVF.ATLPHL
    1.743
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  • DATVF.CHIATL
    1.978
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  • DATVF.DALLAX
    0.916
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  • DATVF.LAXDAL
    1.446
    -0.049
    -3.3%
  • DATVF.SEALAX
    1.006
    0.021
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  • DATVF.PHLCHI
    1.069
    0.000
    0%
  • DATVF.LAXSEA
    2.100
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    2.7%
  • DATVF.VEU
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  • DATVF.VNU
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  • DATVF.VSU
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  • DATVF.VWU
    1.553
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  • ITVI.USA
    9,385.190
    -18.330
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  • OTRI.USA
    6.800
    -0.320
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  • OTVI.USA
    9,385.780
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  • TLT.USA
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  • WAIT.USA
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American ShipperShippingTrade and Compliance

CBP principals discuss duty evasion, influx of new cases

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is in the process of investigating 15 duty evasion cases, amidst the executive branch’s budget request calling for 140 more personnel to work in the agency’s Office of International Trade.

   U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is in the process of investigating 15 duty evasion cases under the Enforce and Protect Act (EAPA) provisions of the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act, and the executive branch’s budget request calls for 140 more personnel to work in the agency’s Office of International Trade (OIT), Acting CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan told reporters on Feb. 28.
   The additional personnel would cover “all the different functions” of that office, including, “significant investment in antidumping/countervailing duty writ large, but also the EAPA aspect of that process from the import specialist to the regs [regulations] and rulings attorneys, to the reg auditors,” he said. “We want to invest in our entire trade workforce, so we can take on more cases and more expeditiously.”
   McAleenan and OIT Executive Assistant Commissioner Brenda Smith sat down with reporters before the CBP Commercial Customs Operations Advisory Committee (COAC) quarterly meeting in Miami Feb. 28.
   CBP continues to see new EAPA cases, in part, because “the early cases paid off,” Smith said. “The private sector was willing to bring us information and essentially lay out what they knew about the evasion. And we’ve been seeing such a steady increase in cases.”
   CBP is expecting about 100 people to attend a public workshop March 9 in Washington to “go through the nuts and bolts of what’s required to make a good allegation,” Smith said.
   CBP officials also have several visits scheduled to foreign countries to verify evasion claims.
   “We’re getting allegations in that have merit,” McAleenan said. “We want to invest in our entire trade workforce, so we can take on more cases and more expeditiously.”
    Also, CBP is handling an influx of antidumping and countervailing duty cases self-initiated by the Commerce Department, collecting new global safeguard duties on solar panel and washer imports.
   Commerce in November started the first self-initiated AD/CV duty cases in over 25 years, and continues to investigate potential dumping and illegal subsidization of China aluminum sheet.
   Commerce in December also self-initiated a changed circumstances review of AD duties of 22 percent and 60.81 percent on large power transformers from South Korea.
   McAleenan said CBP is feeling the increase in duty cases at an operational level.
   “It’s a significant effort,” he said. “We’re at the table with our partners in Commerce, Treasury, and the rest of the trade policy leadership of the administration. We’re at that implementation and enforcement arm, as you understand well. So yes, we’re needing to invest significant time and energy into responding to these new trade measures, and we’re doing that aggressively.”
   But Commerce notifies CBP when it launches a self-initiated AD or CV duty investigation, Smith said.
   CBP and Commerce’s International Trade Administration, which conducts AD and CV duty investigations, “have a good working relationship,” and “as soon as” a case gets self-initiated, CBP works with Commerce to understand what it is examining, and “very quickly” reaches out to domestic stakeholders to “get educated” on the industry itself and “understand where the harm is coming from,” Smith said.
   She added, “By developing those relationships and developing that baseline information, when Commerce issues its order or issues its remedy, we can then be pretty well-positioned to take action fairly quickly.”

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Brian Bradley

Based in Washington, D.C., Brian covers international trade policy for American Shipper and FreightWaves. In the past, he covered nuclear defense, environmental cleanup, crime, sports, and trade at various industry and local publications.
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