On March 22, 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will begin to implement its own formaldehyde emission standards as required under the Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Products Act, Title VI to the Toxic Substances Control Act.i For nearly a decade since the passage of Title VI, EPA has relied on California to set the standards, with EPA deeming any goods certified as compliant by the California Air Resources Board as federally compliant.
Over the last decade, the U.S. Department of Commerce and U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) have stepped up their enforcement activities. Those efforts have resulted from additional appropriations and new investigatory tools bestowed by Congress, as well as the more stringent application of existing enforcement mechanisms by the agencies themselves.
Few international trade disputes make their way to the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS). In the vast majority of these appeals, SCOTUS simply denies the petition for certiorari without comment. Indeed, SCOTUS last addressed the merits of a trade appeal over a decade ago, when it upheld the U.S. Department of Commerce’s interpretation of an antidumping statute. See United States v. Eurodif S.A., 555 U.S. 305 (2009).
The composition of the U.S. Court of International Trade (CIT) has changed dramatically over the last decade. Outstanding vacancies have prevented the CIT from operating with its full complement of judges for nearly five years. Although the Senate likely will confirm President Trump’s two nominees to the CIT, more change is afoot.
A new year brings new decisions. In the first opinion issued in 2019 by the U.S. Court of International Trade (CIT), Judge Choe-Groves addresses the application of a hot-button issue—the U.S. Department of Commerce’s recently expanded “particular market situation” authority—through a combination of procedure and record review.
From time to time, international trade and patent law matters overlap. We expect to see these interactions in disputes filed pursuant to Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. § 1337). In other instances, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit will cite to a patent-related decision in an opinion that addresses an appeal from the U.S. Court of International Trade (CIT), leaving members of the international trade bar dazed and confused. Rarely, however, does an action before the CIT mix customs questions with substantive patent issues, such as claim construction and infringement. Enter One World Technologies, Inc. v. United States, a decision authored by Judge Choe-Groves at the end of 2018.
The current news coverage of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) negotiations has touched heavily on the tight deadlines set around reaching an agreement. There is, however, a lot of unnecessary confusion—even among those who follow this closely—about what might happen next and what deadlines are triggered once an agreement is reached. To help you understand the process and timeline for approval of a free trade agreement, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP has created a TPA Timeline to clarify TPA requirements and timing.
On January 13, 2017, President Obama issued Executive Order 13761 to be effective on July 12, 2017, which would revoke prior executive orders underlying the Sudanese Sanctions Regulations and effectively terminate the Sudan sanctions program, provided that the incoming Secretary of State (Rex Tillerson) issues a finding regarding Sudan’s cooperation in five key areas of engagement: countering terrorist groups, ending the threat of the Lord’s Resistance Army, ending the government’s offensive internal military operations, ending Sudan’s destabilizing role in South Sudan, and improving humanitarian access. See our prior alert on that executive order for more information.