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ST&R Expands Duty Savings and Supply Chain Expertise

In commerce, a supply chain is a system within organisations, people, activities, information, and resources involved in supplying a product or service to a consumer.

ST&R, announced today the addition of Scott Taylor as a member of the firm and leader of its foreign-trade zones practice area.

He will be part of the firm’s New York office and work with professionals across the country on the intersection of FTZ, international trade, and customs issues.

“United States companies are continuing to innovatively streamline operations and especially lower costs in today’s environment of tariff increases, supply chain disruptions, and uncertain trade policy,” said Lenny Feldman, a member of STR’s Operating Committee. “FTZs are a proven way to address these concerns, and Scott’s legal and operational acumen will heighten our clients’ ability to take advantage of these opportunities.”

“ST&R has long been one of the pre-eminent trade and customs firms in the country, and over the last few years I’ve admired their sharpened focus on assisting businesses to navigate through an increasingly complex and costly environment,” Taylor said. “I’m excited to join this top-notch team and further expand the ways I can serve the trade community.”

Taylor comes to ST&R with more than 20 years’ experience developing and structuring more than 550 FTZ projects, including general-purpose zones and expansions, special-purpose subzones, subzone expansions, alternative site framework applications, boundary modifications, and scope determinations.

He has extensive experience working with officials at the Department of Commerce, United States Customs and Border Protection headquarters and field offices, and congressional offices on Capitol Hill on FTZ issues, and he has negotiated numerous FTZ contracts on behalf of companies.

He also served a constituency of over 500000 as a Kansas City, Missouri City Council Member.

Taylor holds a J.D. from the University of Missouri – Kansas City, an MBA from Rockhurst University, and a B.A. in political science from the University of Kansas.

He is a member of the bar in Missouri and Kansas and before the Court of International Trade.

ST&R Expands Government Relations & Supply Chain Expertise

Government relations is defined as the process of influencing public policy at all levels of governance: local, regional, national, and even global. Government relations aims to persuade government officials to change or maintain policy to more effectively fit the needs of a particular group.

Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A., announced today that Angela Marshall Hofmann has joined the firm as Vice President, International Trade and Supply Chain Resiliency, increasing ST&R’s capacity to leverage its legislative and government relations expertise to address rapidly changing global regulatory environments impacting trading systems and compliance.

“Just as traders started to catch their breath from years of uncertainty on tariffs and trade restrictions, they were hit with a raft of other problems, from greater demands on global logistics, supply chain visibility, and accountability to forced labour reporting requirements and evolving climate requirements,” said Nicole Bivens Collinson, President, International Trade and Government Relations, for ST&R. “But ST&R has continued to expand and evolve to help clients face trade challenges for nearly 45 years, and adding a top-notch professional like Angela will help us continue that success.”

Most recently, Angela led the Eurasia Group’s Industrial and Consumer Corporate Practice, specialising in geopolitical risk impacting global manufacturing, logistics, retail, and consumer goods multinational organisations in North America, Europe, Asia, and Latin America.

Angela also has extensive corporate experience, including nearly 15 years with Walmart Stores in a variety of roles, including vice president for international government affairs where she led the company’s external engagement in 40+ retail, ecommerce, and sourcing countries. Throughout her career she has also launched innovative projects for public-private supply chain capacity building focused on transparency, safety, and agricultural development.

Angela Marshall Hofmann began her career in the United States Senate, where she served first as trade legislative counsel for Sen. Max Baucus of Montana and later as international trade counsel for the Finance Committee. She also served as president of the Organisation of Women in International Trade, leading 25 chapters and 2,000+ members around the globe, from 2010 to 2013.

Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A. Logo

Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A. Logo

United States to Ban Goods Made in Xinjiang China

Under a new law the United States will ban imports of all goods made in whole or in part from any good from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in China, effective June 21, 2022. Companies need to use the next 180 days to ensure their supply chains do not include such goods.

President Biden signed into law Dec. 23 the Uyghur Forced Labour Prevention Act, which effectively deems all goods mined, produced, or manufactured in the XUAR to be produced by forced labour in China. Even those not importing directly from China may have goods detained if the materials used to produce the imported goods in a second country are tied at any level to XUAR or specific entities or commodities associated with forced labour in China.

Under this law, imports of goods from the XUAR will be banned unless United States Customs and Border Protection determines that:

  1. the importer of record has fully complied with relevant guidance to be provided by CBP, as well as any regulations issued to implement that guidance;
  2. the importer has completely and substantively responded to all inquiries for information submitted by CBP to ascertain whether the goods were made wholly or in part with forced labour; and
  3. by clear and convincing evidence, the goods were not made wholly or in part by forced labour.

Any good from the XUAR that thus overcomes the rebuttable presumption of being made with forced labour will be included in a public list to be issued by CBP 30 days after making such determination.

Further, an interagency Forced Labour Enforcement Task Force will have to develop a strategy to prevent the importation of forced labour goods from China along with the following lists:

  1. entities in the XUAR that produce goods with forced labour
  2. entities working with the government of the XUAR to recruit, transport, transfer, harbour, or receive forced labour or Uyghurs, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, or members of other persecuted groups out of the XUAR
  3. products made wholly or in part by such entities
  4. entities that exported products made with forced labour from China to the United States
  5. facilities and entities, including the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, that source material from the XUAR or persons working with the government of the XUAR or the XPCC for purposes of poverty alleviation program or pairing-assistance program or any other government labour scheme that uses forced labour

The Task Force must seek public input no later than Jan. 24, 2022, and the public will be given no less than 45 days to submit comments. A public hearing must be held within 45 days after the close of the public comment period.

The State Department must then submit a report to Congress by March 23, 2022, that provides a strategy to address forced labour in the XUAR along with lists of (1) entities in China or affiliates that use or benefit from forced labour in the XUAR and (2) foreign persons that acted as agents of such entities or affiliates to import goods into the United States The final strategy to be developed by the Task Force must be in place by June 21, 2022.

Importantly, the UFLPA calls for the Task Force to provide guidance to importers with respect to the following:

  1. due diligence, effective supply chain tracing, and supply chain management measures to ensure they do not import any goods made with forced labour from mainland China and especially from the XUAR
  2. the type, nature, and extent of evidence that demonstrates that goods originating in mainland China were not made wholly or in part in the XUAR
  3. the type, nature, and extent of evidence that demonstrates that goods originating mainland China, including goods detained or seized pursuant to Section 307, were not made wholly or in part with forced labour

Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A., has developed a program to help companies review their supply chain visibility. The STR program first provides a stocktaking of procedures, policies, and programs in place to evaluate the level of due diligence and reasonable care. Next is testing and tracking to review a shipment to determine if the procedures in place can timely provide the necessary documents to CBP to rebut a claim of forced labour. Finally, CBP will assist in responding to any CBP-issued detentions.

For more information on ST&R’s import compliance reviews and how they can benefit your company, please contact Charles L. Crowley at (914) 433-6178 ccrowley@strtrade.com.

Customs Attorney Charles Crowley

Customs Attorney Charles Crowley