Trade & Manufacturing - News of Note - March 2015

by King & Spalding

Customs and Border Protection Issues Update on Enforcement of Trade Orders
P. Lee Smith

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) released its second AD/CVD Update in late January. As explained in the January 2015 edition of the Trade & Manufacturing Alert, the AD/CVD Update is part of CBP's outreach efforts and a way to publicize CBP's progress on this Priority Trade Issue. Similar to the December 2014 AD/CVD Update, the January 2015 publication highlighted seven select enforcement activities conducted by CBP. Each of these enforcement activities resulted in the collection of hundreds of thousands of dollars in antidumping and countervailing duties (AD/CVD) that otherwise would have been evaded. In addition, CBP noted the enforcement efforts by CBP's Labs. CBP explained that CBP Laboratories and Scientific Services played a key supporting role in CBP's anti-evasion efforts by handling 1,746 samples relating to 529 cases of importations of suspect AD/CVD violations during fiscal year 2014.

President Obama Sends FY 2016 Budget Proposal to Congress
Lauren M. Donoghue

On February 2, President Obama released his proposed budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2016. The President's proposed budget includes $9.8 billion in discretionary funding for the U.S. Department of Commerce, which is a billion more than the President requested in FY 2015. The amount requested includes $497 million for the International Trade Administration (ITA) and $20 million to expand SelectUSA, a government-wide effort to attract and retain investment in the American economy. The President calls for the expansion of the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation, building on the nine institutes that have already been funded through 2015 with more than $350 million in additional funds to support seven new manufacturing institutes in the Departments of Commerce, Agriculture, Defense, and Energy. The budget proposal also includes a mandatory spending proposal of $1.9 billion to fund the remaining 29 institutes in the network. U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker stated that President Obama's budget proposal "prioritizes promoting U.S. trade and investment, spurring high-tech manufacturing and innovation, unleashing more of our data and gathering and acting on environmental intelligence, while also streamlining operations to help businesses grow."

International Trade Commission Issues Final Determination in Multiple Mode Outdoor Grills Finding Violation Against Certain Respondents and Exonerating Others
Jeffrey M. Telep & Taryn Koball Williams

On February 3, 2015, the International Trade Commission (Commission) issued its final determination in Certain Multiple Mode Outdoor Grills, Inv. No. 337-TA-895, in which it found a violation of Section 337 as to Respondents Brinkmann Corporation (Brinkmann); Outdoor Leisure Products, Inc. (OLP); Dongguan Kingsun Enterprises Co., Ltd. (Kingsun); Academy, Ltd. (Academy); and Ningbo Huige Outdoor Products, Co., Ltd. (Huige). The Commission, however, found that respondents Char-Broil LLC (Char-Broil) and Zhejiang Fudeer Electric Appliance Company (Fudeer) did not violate Section 337. (In the interests of full disclosure, King & Spalding represented respondents Char-Broil and Fudeer in the -895 investigation.) The Complainants, A&J Manufacturing Co., LLC and A&J Manufacturing, Inc., initially alleged that respondents' combination gas and charcoal barbecue grills infringed three patents -- a utility patent (directed to a "Simultaneous Multiple Cooking Mode Barbecue Grill") and two design patents (directed to a "Pair of Lids for a Dual Grill" and a "Set of Smoke Stacks for a Dual Grill"). Complainants withdrew the design patent claims prior to the evidentiary hearing, which was held during the week of July 14, 2014. At the conclusion of the hearing, the ALJ found that respondents Brinkmann, OLP, Kingsun, Academy, and Huige had infringed the utility patent in violation of Section 337, but that respondents Char-Broil and Fudeer had not infringed the utility patent. The Commission affirmed the ALJ's Initial Determination and issued limited exclusion orders and cease and desist orders against Brinkmann, OLP, Kingsun, Academy, and Huige, but not Char-Broil or Fudeer. The Commission declined to issue a general exclusion order. The Commission's final determination starts the 60-day period of Presidential Review of the orders.

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