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Conflict Minerals Disclosure Requirement

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) has published a final rule implementing Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank Act”) relating to “conflict minerals” from the Democratic Republic of Congo (“DRC”).

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U.S. Trade Representative Cancels Anticipated Modifications To 100% Tariff List Covering Certain Eu-Origin Goods

In 1999, the WTO Dispute Settlement Body authorized the United States to impose increased tariffs on EU products up to a total annual trade value of $116.8 million. Pursuant to this authorization, the US created a "retaliation" list subjecting certain EU goods to a 100% ad valorem tariff rate. In January 2009, the US Trade Representative announced modifications to the 100% tariff list--these amendments included adding additional goods to the list, while removing others. The effective date of the modifications was initially scheduled for March 23, 2009. To permit additional time for resolution of the trade dispute through negotiations, the effective date was delayed until May 9, 2009, although the scheduled removal of certain items was effected. Prior to the final changes being implemented, however, the US and EU have reached a provisional agreement under which the US will not modify the current list of EU products subject to the 100% tariffs.

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Customs Issues for the Fashion Industry

On Wednesday, September 5, 2012, Frances P. Hadfield will be presenting at a CLE panel sponsored by the New York County Lawyers’ Association (NYCLA) regarding customs issues for the Fashion Industry.

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Toxics in Packaging

Recently, major retailers have begun requesting certifications from vendors confirming that their products comply with the “Toxics in Packaging Laws.” These laws, enacted in nineteen states,[1] prohibit the intentional use of any amount of lead, cadmium, mercury, or hexavalent chromium in packaging or individual packaging components, such as inks and labels. In addition, total concentration levels of unintended or incidental regulated metals in a package or packaging component are limited to less than 100 parts per million (0.01%) by weight. Generally, these materials appear in plastic packaging but may appear in other materials particularly through coatings and pigments. The restrictions imposed by these state laws are distinct from other federal lead limits such as those established by the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008.

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President Signs Legislation Impacting AGOA, DR-CAFTA and Burma

On August 10, 2012, the President signed H.R. 5986 into law. Highlights of the new law include the following:

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