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The Federal Trade Commission has announced proposed court orders imposing $1.3 million in penalties against four retailers. The fines are due to a settlement based on wrongly labeling bamboo materials. The complaints allege that the four importers broke the law by continuing to misrepresent products of bamboo, despite the warning letters from the FTC in 2010. In 2013, several other importers settled a combined $1.26 million to settle similar FTC claims.
Jessica Rich, Director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection, is quoted saying the following on the matter:
"It's misleading to call bamboo that has been chemically processed into rayon simply 'bamboo'. With consumers in the midst of their holiday shopping, it's important for them to know that textiles marketed as environmentally friendly alternatives may not be as 'green' as they were led to believe."
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Effective January 13 at all U.S. ports of entry, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will detain cotton products and tomato products produced in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.
CBP issued a Withhold Release Order (WRO) against cotton products and tomato products produced in Xinjiang based on information that reasonably indicates the use of detainee or prison labor and situations of forced labor. The agency identified the following forced labor indicators through the course of its investigation: debt bondage, restriction of movement, isolation, intimidation and threats, withholding of wages, and abusive living and working conditions.
The deployment of the Aluminum Import Monitoring and Analysis (AIM) system scheduled for January 25, 2021 has been delayed until March 29, 2021. The AIM system website consists of an online aluminum import license application platform and public monitoring. This delay means that licenses will not be required for covered aluminum products until the new implementation date.
The U.S. Trade Representative has determined to suspend the tariff action in the Section 301 investigation of France’s Digital Services Tax (DST). The additional tariffs on certain products of France were announced in July 2020 and were scheduled to go into effect on January 6, 2021. The U.S. Trade Representative has decided to suspend the tariffs of the ongoing investigation of similar DSTs adopted or under consideration in ten other jurisdictions. Those investigations have significantly progressed; however, have not yet reached a determination on possible trade actions. A suspension of the tariff action in the France DST investigation will promote a coordinated response in the ongoing DST investigations.