AIIS Announces Filing of Comments on Customs and Border Protection Interim Regulations Governing Investigation of Duty Evasion Claims
Falls Church, VA. October 14, 2016. The American Institute for International Steel (AIIS), whose members represent tens of thousands of men and women working in the steel supply chain, on October 11, 2016, filed comments with the United States Customs and Border Protection Bureau (CBP) outlining AIIS’s concerns regarding CBP’s Interim Regulations governing the investigation of claims of evasion of antidumping and countervailing duties under the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 (TFTEA).
In its comments, AIIS told CBP that it understands the concerns over evasion of antidumping and countervailing duty Orders, and the obligations placed on CBP by the legislation. At the same time, AIIS noted that it hopes that the required procedures under the new law can be implemented in a manner that limits potential negative effects on parties not engaged in evasion.
Specific AIIS suggestions to improve the Interim Regulations include recommendations to:
Enhance transparency of investigations. At a minimum, CBP should allow an alleged evading interested party the opportunity to respond to the allegations before potentially devastating measures may be taken against it. Under the Interim Regulations, an alleged evading interested party might have no opportunity to provide information until after interim measures are in effect. The economic consequences for an alleged evading party subjected to interim measures, including retroactive duty deposits and the potential disruption of its supply chain with possible loss of customers, can be enormous, even if the final determination finds no evasion occurred.
Promote efficiency. The application of interim measures during an investigation would place an administrative burden on CBP. Requiring that notice be provided to alleged evading interested parties during the initial investigation, allowing the possibility of response, would promote efficiency by making it more likely that unfounded allegations would not lead to unnecessary interim measures.
Enhance supply chain operations. CBP should consider giving public notice when investigations are not initiated in order to discourage potential misuse of evasion provisions.
As AIIS Chairman John Foster affirmed, the underlying objective of the organization’s recommendations is advancing economic growth:
“Today we are seeing global trade grow more slowly than world economic output for the first time in 15 years, corresponding challenges in the shipping sector, increasing global trade restrictions on steel and other products, a continuing U.S. productivity decline, and a relatively weak U.S. recovery. Given this reality, and the overall importance of advancing economic growth, we respectfully suggest that it is vitally important that we achieve an appropriate balance between trade facilitation and enforcement that minimizes potential negative effects on parties not engaged in evasion. We very much look forward to continuing our close cooperation with CBP as this process moves forward.”
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