On January 16th, the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts announced that it “now estimates that federal courts can sustain paid operations through Jan. 25, 2019” (extending its previous estimate by one week).  See https://www.uscourts.gov/judiciary-news

See also Jan. 11, 2019 Trade and Manufacturing’s Blog entitled:  “Government shutdown closes in on the federal court

Despite the partial government shutdown since December 22nd, the Supreme Court and lower federal courts have remained open by drawing on non-appropriated funds and court fees.

Federal courts will be able to continue operating with their limited funds during the shutdown until January 18th, as reported on January 7th by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts (“Administrative Office”).  See https://www.uscourts.gov/judiciary-news.  This deadline is one week longer than its previous estimate.  To meet this goal, courts have been asked to delay or defer “non-mission critical expenses,” such as new hires and non-case related travel.  According to the Administrative Office, judiciary employees are reporting to work and currently are in full-pay status.  If new appropriation funds do not become available, “essential work” will continue to be allowed under the Anti-Deficiency Act.  Id.  This “essential work” would include “activities to support the exercise of the courts’ constitutional powers under Article III, specifically the resolution of cases and related services.”  Id.  Individual courts and judges will then decide how to fulfill those critical functions according to David Sellers, a spokesman for the Administrative Office.  See http://fortune.com/2019/01/05/government-shutdown-federal-courts/.  “In the past, some courts have suspended civil cases, some have conducted business as usual,” Sellers said.  “It’s really a judge-by-judge, court-by-court determination.”  Id.

Below is an update on how the shutdown is impacting the trade courts and the Supreme Court
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As a result of the partial government shutdown which began on December 22, 2018, about 800,000 federal employees are currently on furlough or working without pay.  Nine federal departments have been shutdown:  Department of Commerce; Department of Treasury; Department of Agriculture; Homeland Security Department; Department of the Interior; Deparment of Justice; Department of State; Department

Today Customs and Border Protection (CBP) published an updated version of its “Guidance for Reimbursement Certificates”; see https://www.cbp.gov/document/guidance/guidance-reimbursement-certificates.

In the memorandum, CBP reminds the public that regulations by the Department of Commerce (“DOC”) require that importers must file a certificate advising whether the importer has entered into an agreement, or otherwise has received reimbursement of AD duties, prior to liquidation of the entry.

Failure to file reimbursement certificates (stating that importer was not reimbursed) may double importer’s antidumping duties upon liquidation.  CBP’s memorandum offers specifics on how to file the certificates and includes an example of a blanket reimbursement form.

The memo also outlines procedures for filing in ACE and ACS.  Although CBP will accept paper reimbursement certificates, it is encouraging importers to file electronically.

CBP addresses other guidelines for filing reimbursement certificates, including the following:
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This week the Government of Canada announced its intent to impose restrictions on imports of seven classes of steel products to mitigate harm caused by “the diversion of foreign steel products into Canada.”  See the News Release dated Oct. 11, 2018,  and Notice of Commencement of Safeguard Inquiry.

The seven classes include wire rod; stainless steel wire; hot-rolled sheet; heavy plate; energy tubular; pre-painted steel; and concrete reinforcing bar.

These “safeguard measures” were reportedly prompted by complaints from Canada’s steel industry that U.S. Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum have resulted in shipments of cheap steel to be diverted to Canada from the U.S., and follows the country’s countermeasures imposed on July 1st applying tariffs on over $12 billion worth of U.S. goods in response to those tariffs.

Notably, the safeguards do not apply to goods originating in and imported from the U.S., Chile and Israel.  However imports of energy tubular and wire rod from Mexico “are within the scope of the Tribunal’s inquiry.”
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On Monday September 18th, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer warned that China’s trade practices represent “a threat to the trading system that is unprecedented.”  This was his first public speech since being confirmed in May as USTR.

The World Trade Organization (“WTO”) cannot “successfully manage mercantilism on this scale,” said Lighthizer at an

On September 12th, the Commerce Department announced preliminary subsidy rates in its countervailing duty (“CVD”) investigation of certain tool chests and cabinets from China.  The rates calculated for the two examined Chinese producers and most other Chinese producers/exporters range from 17.32 to 32.07 percent.  See the Fact Sheet here.

In addition, thirty-one Chinese companies that failed to respond to Commerce’s initial inquiries received a “total” adverse rate of 112.99 percent.   The scope of this investigation, which Commerce modified based on petitioner’s recommendations, covers certain metal tool chests and tool cabinets, with drawers, (tool chests and cabinets), from China.  As a result of Commerce’s preliminary determination, imports of covered tool chests and cabinets from China that enter the United States will be subject to cash deposits consistent with the preliminary subsidy rates. 
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On August 10th, the U.S. International Trade Commission (“ITC”) unanimously determined that there is a reasonable indication that a U.S. industry is materially injured by reason of unfairly traded imports of low melt polyester staple fiber (“PSF”) from Korea and Taiwan.  Low melt PSF is a synthetic (manmade) staple fiber, not carded, combed or otherwise processed for spinning, made entirely of polyester.  It can be used in nonwoven products for a broad spectrum of downstream industries, including automotive (door trim, dash pads, wheel guards, carpets, trunk and hood liners), industrial purposes (soundproofing and insulation for construction, water and air filtration), and hygienic products (wipes, diapers, sanitary and medical goods, etc.). 
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On August 14, the Commerce Department published a notice in the Federal Register announcing preliminary subsidy margins ranging from 16.56 to 80.97 percent in its countervailing duty investigation of certain aluminum foil from China.  The aluminum foil covered by Commerce’s investigation has a thickness of 0.2 mm or less, and is coiled in reels that