Unfair trade – Hardouin http://hardouin.info/ Mon, 21 Nov 2022 18:10:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 Attorney General Tong announces investigation into Optimum following hundreds of consumer complaints https://hardouin.info/attorney-general-tong-announces-investigation-into-optimum-following-hundreds-of-consumer-complaints/ Mon, 21 Nov 2022 18:10:09 +0000 https://hardouin.info/attorney-general-tong-announces-investigation-into-optimum-following-hundreds-of-consumer-complaints/

Press Releases

21/11/2022

Attorney General Tong announces investigation into Optimum following hundreds of consumer complaints

(Hartford, CT) – Attorney General William Tong today announced that he has initiated an investigation under Connecticut’s Unfair Trade Practices Act into Altice Optimum following nearly 500 consumer complaints about slow internet speeds, hidden charges and unacceptable tech support.

Many complaints filed with the Attorney General’s Office involved consumers who had paid for 300 Mbps or 400 Mbps cable internet plans. When consumers took home speed tests, they found they weren’t getting the speeds they paid for. The Office of the Attorney General has also received complaints regarding service charges, technical support and customer service. The Attorney General’s Office is also investigating a $3.50 “network enhancement fee” for Internet customers.

“Customers have the right to expect the Internet service and speed they pay for. Our office has reviewed hundreds of complaints from Optimum Cable Internet customers about slow speeds, hidden charges, and poor customer support. Our investigation is looking for complete records dating back to January 2017 to determine exactly what Altice Optimum knew and what they were doing to deliver the internet speeds and service they promised. If our investigation finds that Optimum has violated Connecticut law, we will not hesitate to hold them accountable,” said Attorney General Tong.

“Reliable internet access is an essential utility in 2022”, said Department of Consumer Protection Commissioner Michelle H. Seagull. “People depend on it for everything from school and work, to paying their bills, to entertainment and access to news. Consumers also deserve value for their money. I am pleased that the Attorney General is undertaking this investigation to determine if there has been any wrongdoing or harm to consumers who pay for Optimum’s services.

“Customers deserve the services they pay for, and these allegations indicate that Altice Optimum has failed to deliver on its word for half a decade,” said Sen. Norm Needleman (D-Essex), co-chair of the Energy and Technology Committee. “As the internet has become a vital part of everyday life, households that depend on these services for employment, education and recreation can suffer significant harm if they do not have reliable internet service. Altice Optimum contributed to this harm, they should suffer the consequences.I look forward to the findings of the Attorney General’s investigation.

“Consumers in Connecticut should not be subjected to potential hidden charges, mismarketing and poor customer service. Altice Optimum should be held liable if it in fact violated Connecticut law. I commend AG Tong for undertaking this investigation on behalf of Connecticut consumers. AG Tong’s record of public service accountability is second to none,” shelp Rep. David Arconti (D-Danbury), co-chair of the energy and technology committee.

“The importance and value of reliable Internet service has never been clearer to our families than it is today,” said Republican Senate Pro Tempore Leader Paul Formica (R-East Lyme), a ranking member of the Energy and Technology Committee. “We all share the objective of wanting to guarantee access to a reliable and quality service. In our efforts to achieve this goal, consumer complaints must be thoroughly investigated, and all stakeholders must work together to promote accountability and transparency and implement appropriate corrective actions to better support consumers.”

A Civil Inquiry Request sent today to Altice Optimum seeks detailed records of consumer complaints dating back to January 2017. The Civil Inquiry Request further requests records of how Altice Optimum marketed its internet speeds, any analysis or any records regarding Internet speed and quality that they ultimately delivered, records showing Altice Optimum’s knowledge of various factors affecting the speed and quality of its Internet service, records showing how Altice Optimum invested the revenue from its “network enhancement fees,” among other demands.

This investigation follows an August settlement with Frontier Communications following the investigation of more than 1,400 consumer complaints about equipment returns, poor internet quality, unsatisfactory customer service and excessive charges. . The Frontier settlement, worth more than $60 million, will dramatically expand high-speed Internet access for Frontier customers in economically challenged communities, end a hidden monthly Internet surcharge of $6.99, and will force significant improvements in Frontier’s marketing and customer service.

Assistant Attorney General Lauren Bidra, Casey Rybak, Paralegal Specialist, Caylee Ribeiro, Investigator, and Associate Assistant Attorney General Michael Wertheimer, Chief of the Consumer Protection Section assisted the Attorney General in this case.

Twitter: @AGWilliamTong

Facebook: CT Attorney General


Media Contact:

Elizabeth Benton
elizabeth.benton@ct.gov

Consumer requests:

860-808-5318
attorney.general@ct.gov

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Committee requests documents and information from FTX https://hardouin.info/committee-requests-documents-and-information-from-ftx/ Fri, 18 Nov 2022 20:34:37 +0000 https://hardouin.info/committee-requests-documents-and-information-from-ftx/

Raja Krishnamoorthi, chairman of the House Oversight Committee’s subcommittee on economic and consumer policy, has asked FTX to turn over documents and information as part of its investigation into the crypto exchange’s collapse, Bloomberg reported. Friday, November 17.

“I am extremely disturbed by the recent news surrounding the collapse of FTX Trading Ltd. (FTX), including its affiliated entity FTX US, and the potentially significant harm that the bankruptcy of FTX will cause to US consumers and investors,” wrote Krishnamoorthi in a letter to former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried and John J. Ray III, the new CEO and Director of Restructuring.

Krishnamoorthi asks for detailed information on the liquidity crisis which led to the collapse of FTX and the decision to declare bankruptcy. He asked what the company plans to do to “ensure that every dollar goes back to the American consumers who have trusted your company.”

The subcommittee requested that the requested information and documents be submitted by December 1.

The House Financial Services Committee is also undertaking a bipartisan hearing on the matter that will begin in December.

This hearing will focus on the platform’s meltdown and its broader implications for the digital asset ecosystem, according to a press release on Wednesday, November 16.

See more : House Financial Services Committee Announces December Hearing on FTX Collapse

“The committee expects to hear from the companies and individuals involved, including Sam Bankman-Fried, Alameda Research, Binance, FTX and related entities, among others,” the statement read.

The hearing is called by Committee Chair Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and Ranking Member Patrick McHenry (RN.C.).

For all the PYMNTS crypto coverage, subscribe daily Crypto Newsletter.

How consumers pay online with stored credentials
Convenience drives some consumers to store their payment credentials with merchants, while security concerns give other customers pause. For “How We Pay Digitally: Stored Credentials Edition,” a collaboration with Amazon Web Services, PYMNTS surveyed 2,102 US consumers to analyze the consumer dilemma and reveal how merchants can overcome holdouts.

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Official World Golf Ranking sued for alleged collusion with PGA Tour https://hardouin.info/official-world-golf-ranking-sued-for-alleged-collusion-with-pga-tour/ Tue, 15 Nov 2022 20:24:00 +0000 https://hardouin.info/official-world-golf-ranking-sued-for-alleged-collusion-with-pga-tour/

Attorney Larry Klayman announced on Monday the filing of a second amended class action lawsuit in the 15th Judicial Circuit for Palm Beach County, which alleges an antitrust conspiracy to restrict commerce and harm golf fans in the State of Florida, as well as “eliminating LIV Golf in its early days. ”

The PGA Tour, DP World Tour Golf Channel and Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) are named in the court filing.

The OWGR is accused of being part of a conspiracy to restrict trade in violation of Florida antitrust laws because its board of directors contains “conflicting leadership of the PGA Tour and the DP World Tour.” PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan and DP World Tour General Manager Keith Pelley both sit on the OWGR Board of Directors.

The court filing alleges that consumers “have seen the quality of the product they pay for at PGA Tour events diluted and destroyed by a deterioration in the level of talent at PGA Tour events due to the exclusion of good number of the best players in the world who have signed with LIV Golf.

The court filing also claims Players Championship tickets in 2023 are 34% higher than in 2022, “and some packages for the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando, Florida are at least ten percent higher. in 2023 than in 2022” and later refers to the increases as “supracompetitive prices”.

The complaint further alleges monopolization, attempted monopolization, collective boycotts and other unfair trade practices. The first amended class action lawsuit to name the OWGR was filed Nov. 4. The second amended complaint was filed electronically on November 11. golf week Confirmed with the 15th Judicial Circuit, the second complaint is still pending at the time of this posting. The offices were closed November 9 and 10 due to Hurricane Nicole and also November 11 for Veterans Day.

The second amended action “seeks actual and compensatory damages, in an amount to be determined” by a jury.

“Consumers, meaning Florida golf fans, including myself, have as much right as anyone to benefit from a free market, which would allow all golf leagues and independent players to compete fairly,” Klayman said via a statement. “But the defendants have unlawfully worked hard to prevent this because the PGA Tour and its co-conspirators will not tolerate honest and fair competition as they challenge their trillion dollar plus monopoly to totally dominate the world of golf. “

While representing Patrick Reed of LIV Golf, Klayman filed a $750 million defamation lawsuit in late September to add Golf Channel’s Damon Hack, Shane Bacon, as well as golf week columnist Eamon Lynch and his parent company, Gannett. Earlier this month, Klayman filed a new $250 million lawsuit against a number of other prominent golf media members and organizations, including author Shane Ryan, Hachette, the New York Post and Fox Sports. , as well as Associated Press golf writer Doug Ferguson and the organization. who he works for.

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US downgrades Russia to non-market economy in bid to further isolate Moscow https://hardouin.info/us-downgrades-russia-to-non-market-economy-in-bid-to-further-isolate-moscow/ Fri, 11 Nov 2022 20:00:46 +0000 https://hardouin.info/us-downgrades-russia-to-non-market-economy-in-bid-to-further-isolate-moscow/

The US Commerce Department announced on Thursday that it had removed Russia from its market economy category in a bid to pressure Moscow in the context of bilateral trade and further isolate the country’s economy.

The Commerce Department’s decision cited increased interference by the Russian government in its own economy, leading to price distortions, which are disadvantageous to American companies. The resolution – a retaliatory action by the US government for Russia’s continued aggression in Ukraine – opens up the possibility of applying the full force of US anti-dumping law against imports from Russia.

“Based on a balanced assessment of the facts and consistent with U.S. law, this decision will ensure that the Department’s dumping calculations reflect the economic realities on the ground and that U.S. industries obtain the unfair import relief to which they are entitled. under the law,” the department said.

Russia was on a list of countries the United States considers non-market economies, but was dropped from the rankings in 2002 following Moscow’s pursuit of moves to liberalize its economy.

The list includes countries such as Russia’s allies, Belarus, China, Vietnam, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Moldova, Uzbekistan and other nations that were part of the former Union Soviet.

The Commerce Department’s determination was based on a number of criteria, including the foreign investment climate, currency convertibility, and government control of the means of production. “In its decision, the Commerce Department found significant backsliding in these areas, particularly since the invasion of Ukraine,” the department’s press release said.

Dumping refers to foreign manufacturers selling goods at prices below the producer’s selling price in the domestic market or at a rate below the cost of production. This happens when the governments of these countries subsidize production and provide financial assistance, such as loans on terms that do not reflect market conditions.

American trade with Russia

The new classification will lead to higher import duties for products of Russian origin. However, the impact would only have a moderate effect as Russian imports have already been curbed since the Ukrainian invasion.

In 2022, the United States imported $12.5 billion worth of Russian goods from the start of the year to September. US imports from Russia totaled $29.7 billion in 2021, more than double this year’s level, while US exports to Russia totaled $6.4 billion.

Oils and minerals, lime and cement were the main commodities from Russia, accounting for more than 59% of all imports in 2021. Base metals, iron, steel and tools followed with 13, 4%, followed by stone, glass, metals and pearls. made up of 10 percent. Last year, 7.9% of total US imports of oils and minerals, lime and cement came from Russia, according to Commerce Department data (pdf).

“Putin’s regime should not enjoy the privileges of a market economy designation. I am pleased that the Commerce Department has implemented this important measure which will put additional pressure on this illegitimate regime,” said Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio).

“The Russian government owns up to 70% of its economy – it’s not a market economy – and by removing Russia’s market economy status, the United States will prevent Russia from engaging in unfair trade practices with our allies.”

At Friday’s climate summit in Egypt, President Joe Biden called on Russia to stop using “energy as a weapon and holding the global economy hostage.”

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Naveen Athrappully is a reporter and covers world affairs and events at The Epoch Times.

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Microsoft accused by the EU of unfair practices https://hardouin.info/microsoft-accused-by-the-eu-of-unfair-practices/ Wed, 09 Nov 2022 12:26:15 +0000 https://hardouin.info/microsoft-accused-by-the-eu-of-unfair-practices/

A European trade group has lodged a complaint with the European Commission against Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), alleging that the tech giant uses anti-competitive practices that “irreparably damage the European cloud ecosystem”.

The complaint from the Cloud Infrastructure Services Providers in Europe (CISPE) trade group relates to Microsoft’s new contractual terms implemented on October 1, 2022, and certain other practices. It should be noted that the e-commerce giant Amazon (AMZN) is also a member of CISPE.

Francisco Mingorance, Secretary General of CISPE, said: “Leveraging its dominance in productivity software, Microsoft is restricting choice and inflating costs as European customers seek to move to the cloud, distorting Europe’s digital economy.

CISPE says Microsoft is abusing its dominant position in productivity software to push more European customers to its Azure cloud platform, to the great disadvantage of its European competitors. Two CISPE members, French cloud provider OVHcloud and Italian Aruba, had previously filed a separate complaint against Microsoft over competition concerns.

Is Microsoft Buy, Sell, or Hold Right Now?

Microsoft earns a consensus Strong Buy rating backed by 24 Buys and three Holds. The average MSFT stock price target of $293.46 implies an upside potential of 28.2%.

Disclosure

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Trade Commission Lawsuit Fighting For Farmers – Ohio Ag Net https://hardouin.info/trade-commission-lawsuit-fighting-for-farmers-ohio-ag-net/ Wed, 02 Nov 2022 00:38:00 +0000 https://hardouin.info/trade-commission-lawsuit-fighting-for-farmers-ohio-ag-net/

By Leisa Boley-Hellwarth

We live in a fractured society these days. Republicans hate Democrats. Democrats hate Republicans. The resentment of the discussion is worse than the interaction between my Border Collies and the barn cats. There seems to be little common ground, which is why a lawsuit filed by the Federal Trade Commission and 10 state attorneys general caught my eye. It is a truly bipartisan effort. Six of the states are led by Democratic governors: California; Colorado; Illinois; Minnesota; Oregon and Wisconsin. Four of the states are led by Republican governors: Indiana; Iowa; Nebraska and Texas.

The case was filed September 29, 2022 in the U.S. District Court for the Intermediate District of North Carolina. Let’s start by identifying the parts.

• The Federal Trade Commission is an independent agency of the United States government whose primary function is the enforcement of civil (not criminal) antitrust law and the promotion of consumer protection.

• Attorneys General are the best lawyers in their state. They advise and represent their legislature and state agencies and act as the “people’s advocate” for the citizens of their state. Most are elected.

• Syngenta is a supplier of agricultural science and technology, particularly seeds and pesticides, headquartered in Basil, Switzerland. It is owned by ChemChina, a Chinese state-owned company.

• Corteva is a major US agricultural chemicals and seeds company that was the agricultural unit of DowDuPont, before being transformed into an independent public company. Corteva is based in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Every year, American farmers buy more than $10 billion worth of pesticides, a crucial input that improves crop yields and food security for everyone in this country. The FTC and the 10 attorneys general allege that each year, American farmers collectively pay several million dollars more than they should for these products because of Syngenta and Corteva’s “loyalty programs”, which operate like illegal exclusions. Both companies design these programs to exclude and marginalize competing generic products, even after the relevant patent and regulatory exclusivity periods have expired, in order to maintain excessive supracompetitive prices. The complaint seeks to end these “loyalty programs” and restore competition to this vital sector of the economy.

Syngenta and Corteva develop, patent and register active ingredients in their products and exclusively promote their commercial potential for 20 years. After these patent protections expire, generic manufacturers can enter the market with products containing the same active ingredients and based on the same toxicology and environmental impact studies. This competition generally leads to dramatic price reductions, to the benefit of farmers and therefore consumers.

According to the 91-page complaint, Syngenta and Corteva are undermining that system by paying incentivized payments or “rebates” to distributors on one condition if they limit their purchases of comparable generic products. Distributors then sell the products with branded ingredients to retail outlets.

The main objects of the complaint are the active ingredients in Syngenta, azoxystrobin, mesotrione and metolachlor, and the active ingredients in Corteva, rimsulfuron, oxamyl and acetochlor. Azozystrobin is a fungicide. Mesotrione, metolachlor, rimsulfuron and acetochlor are used as herbicides. Oxamyl is an insecticide and a nematicide.

The FTC and the states accuse the companies of violating the Federal Trade Commission Act and the Clayton Act. The behavior of the companies constitutes “misleading and unfair practices”.

The FTC and the states want the court to end the loyalty programs and award fair monetary relief that would include restitution to farmers in the states participating in the lawsuit. Syngenta strongly disagrees with the FTC’s complaint, which it considers contrary to fact and law and without merit.

Corteva says there is “no merit” to the FTC’s complaint. Its customer marketing programs are “fully compliant” with antitrust laws and are in fact pro-competitive programs that benefit both distribution partners and farmers.

Antitrust Competition or All Complaint Based? Disputes of fact are to be decided by the jury. The FTC and states will have to prove the claims by a preponderance of the evidence, a lower standard than the criminal case “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

All I know for certain is that FTC attorneys, state attorneys, Syngenta attorneys and Corteva attorneys will make a crowded courtroom and a cat and dog fight well dressed, respectable, but vicious.

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5 players to trade with LTIR money https://hardouin.info/5-players-to-trade-with-ltir-money/ Sat, 29 Oct 2022 10:00:00 +0000 https://hardouin.info/5-players-to-trade-with-ltir-money/

With Jake Muzzin on the long-term injured reserve (LTIR), the Toronto Maple Leafs now have a ton of room available to make a trade.

Losing a two-time Stanley Cup-winning defenseman has never been ideal for the Toronto Maple Leafs, but optimism has to be found in hardships. Jake Muzzin, when healthy, was one of the top four blues defenders who made life difficult for the opposition.

However, the “when healthy” statement is the biggest lesson.

During his tenure with the Leafs, through no fault of his own, Muzzin continued to get injured. A number of injuries were bizarre, but for some reason he continued to suffer serious ailments which kept him out of training for a long time.

When your second highest paid defender gets injured all the time, it puts a huge drag and liability on the rest of the team, which is unfair. $5.625 million is a big change for a player who is often injured and hard to replace his production with the team already so tight against the salary cap.

However, now that Muzzin is on LTIR, it seems imminent that he will stay there for a while. It could be the whole season and it could even be for the rest of his career.

When Mitch Marner mentioned that they wanted to “make sure he can do what he wants to do the rest of his life and enjoy time with his family, his kids,” that comment made I believe he could be about to retire.

Obviously, he would never retire before his $5.625 million contract expires for the next two years because he would give up millions for no reason, but he could be left on LTIR until then.

As a result, with his salary clarified and the potential for Matt Murray to stay on LTIR as well, the Toronto Maple Leafs have plenty of salary cap space available. Here are five players they could acquire with that freed up money.

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Hometown Heroes: Trade Specialists Shine Community Spotlight on Crafting https://hardouin.info/hometown-heroes-trade-specialists-shine-community-spotlight-on-crafting/ Thu, 27 Oct 2022 01:00:00 +0000 https://hardouin.info/hometown-heroes-trade-specialists-shine-community-spotlight-on-crafting/

Lisa Wang is Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Enforcement and Compliance

October is National Manufacturing Month, and communities across the country celebrate the significant contributions of America’s most enduring and rapidly evolving field. Every aspect of our lives and livelihoods is affected by the people and places that produce our goods.

At the International Trade Administration (ITA), we help American manufacturers thrive in global commerce and ensure a level playing field at home and abroad. ITA’s Enforcement and Compliance (E&C) team enforces U.S. anti-dumping and countervailing laws to protect our industries from unfair pricing and practices by non-compliant foreign players.

Over the past few months, I’ve had the opportunity to see our business laws in action at manufacturing sites stretching from Appalachia to Alabama as part of a series we’ve called “Hometown Tours.” On each tour, we visit a city considered home by one of our trade specialists and an American company touched by our work.

Photo collage of ITA trade specialists: Jayden Graham-White (top left), Kathryn Krishnan (top left), Norbert Gannon (bottom right), Tom Conley (bottom left – standing above of the AMI panel) and Zachary Le Vene (in the middle).

Our first stop at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvaniacan be credited with Norbert Ganon. Gannon, who grew up near US Steel’s Edgar Thomson plant, saw the evolution of the integrated steel mill throughout his life and marveled at its longevity. Built in the 1870s, it outlived all the other steelworks subsequently built in the “Valley of Mon”. Gannon had always wanted to visit the mill but had never set foot there. After a career spent learning and developing policy involving U.S. steelmakers – nearly 50% of E&C cases deal with some form of foreign steel product under unfair trade – Norb was finally able to visit the ironworks in his neighborhood.

  • Having finally seen the installation, Gannon said: “I can now check this off my to-do list!”

Then, in Portland, Maine, Tom Conley introduced Auburn Manufacturing Inc. (AMI), a female-run factory that produces high-performance textiles that provide protection against extreme temperatures. AMI and nearby Sappi North America, a lumber yard and paper mill, are companies that in recent years have been hit by unfair trade practices from China and other countries. Through the enforcement of our laws, the ITA has helped these businesses stay competitive in the international marketplace while supporting hundreds of local jobs.

  • Conley said, “These two companies alone show that Maine is more than just ‘vacation land’ and seafood, although we do have great seafood. It was fantastic to see firsthand the huge impact ITA has had on the companies I grew up with.

In Lexington, Kentucky, Catherine Krishan provided a perfect example of a resilient American supply chain with a visit to Leggett & Platt, where 100% of the components that go into the spring unit, including the wire that makes the spring coils, are manufactured by Leggett & Platt. Through vertical integration and the strategic application of US trade laws, Leggett & Platt maintains a global business that has employed generations of Kentuckians.

  • Krishnan said, “My job in DC and my hometown in Kentucky have always been very separate. It wasn’t until I heard someone who looked like my Papaw explain how important our job at ITA was to him. and his family that I have been able to bridge that gap. I hope my colleagues have been able to see the vibrant and proud communities that make what we do worthwhile.

In Alabama, Jayden Graham-White arranged a visit to Globe Specialty Metals. Following a successful commercial application, Globe recently reopened its Selma-based plant to continue a proud heritage of silicon metal production that supports sectors ranging from cosmetics to energy and semiconductors. What made this visit more special was visiting nearby campuses of some distinguished historically black colleges and universities and predominantly black institutions – Alabama State University, Auburn University at Montgomery and, of course, the alma mater by Graham-White, Tuskegee University.

  • Graham-White said, “It was an honor to be able to see firsthand the work these people do every day to keep these factories, these cities and ultimately this country running. Returning to Alabama to serve the communities that raised me and to encourage and support various students to follow suit has been an incredible experience that truly brings meaning to the title of public servant.

And more recently, Wisconsin-native, Zachary Le Vene highlighted the local and global impacts of trade remedies during a visit to Renewable Energy Group (REG), a producer of sustainable biofuels. After E&C implemented duties to counter unfairly subsidized and priced biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia, REG was able to invest in its refining capacity at facilities like the one E&C visited at Deforest, in Wisconsin.

  • Ven said, “It was encouraging to see REG’s commitment to improving the local community on many levels, including the farmers and restaurants that supply the company with ‘waste’ products as a raw material. REG’s innovative yet practical process of using renewable raw materials and existing infrastructure is inspiring to see in my home country. Although Wisconsin is often known for its beer and cheese, companies like REG are putting it on the map as a center for sustainable and innovative manufacturing.

The ITA Enforcement and Compliance team is here to support businesses that need our help. If you face unfair competition from unfairly priced imports, we offer free and confidential consultation services. Plus, if your US business faces export barriers, we’re available to help. Contact us.

It’s not every day that those of us working behind the scenes get to see how the work we do supports American workers and communities. I am grateful to these people for taking us out to meet people and see where our work resonates the most.

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Reduced Access for Disney Annual Passholders to the Parks: Lawsuit https://hardouin.info/reduced-access-for-disney-annual-passholders-to-the-parks-lawsuit/ Mon, 24 Oct 2022 11:20:31 +0000 https://hardouin.info/reduced-access-for-disney-annual-passholders-to-the-parks-lawsuit/
  • Two Disney World Annual Passholders have sued Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.
  • They claim that Disney has changed the conditions of its Platinum Pass and restricted the days of visitation.
  • The passes “don’t even look like the original deal,” the lawsuit claims.

Disney World annual passholders cannot visit the park as freely as they could before the pandemic, according to a class action lawsuit.

Two Disney World Passholders sued Walt Disney Parks and Resorts on Oct. 18, claiming that Disney changed the terms of its annual passes during the pandemic and no longer gave them enough access to the parks, including apparently limiting the days they could visit.

Disney changed Disney World’s park admission system in Florida to control capacity at the start of the pandemic. As well as having a valid ticket to enter, visitors also had to reserve a seat, with owners of the more expensive passes – Platinum Pass and Platinum Plus – being limited to three days of reservations at a time, which has since been ported at five.

The lawsuit claims this resulted in a ‘strict restriction’ on when they could visit the parks and was a ‘totally different deal’ from their original contract. For example, if someone were to book five days at Disney World next spring, they wouldn’t be able to visit by then.

Passholders thought the reservation system would only be temporary “because they had not been subject to this system before the pandemic,” the lawsuit states.

Park skipping was also restricted after the closures ended. Whereas before the pandemic, annual passholders could swap between Disney World’s four Florida parks “without restrictions,” the option was removed entirely between May and December 2020 within capacity limits.

A tourist looks at a map of the park during the Flower and Garden Festival at Epcot at Walt Disney World in Orange County, Florida on May 30, 2022.

A tourist looks at a map of the park during the Flower and Garden Festival at Epcot at Walt Disney World in Orange County, Florida on May 30, 2022.

Joseph Prezioso/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images



As of 2021, visitors can now only park after 2 p.m. each day.

The lawsuit also claims that Disney apparently introduced restrictions on the number of Platinum and Platinum Plus Pass holders who can visit the parks on certain days. Unlike the two cheaper annual pass tiers – Gold and Silver Passes – Platinum and Platinum Plus Passes come with no “blackout dates,” which are busy days when you cannot enter with your pass.

On some days, Platinum and Platinum Plus Pass holders cannot reserve time slots, even though there are day passes available, per the trial.

“Disney effectively subjected Platinum Plus Passes and Platinum Passes to blackout dates because passholders are subject to days and times when their passes cannot be used,” the lawsuit alleges. Disney “unfairly favors” single and multi-day ticket holders “to achieve a greater profit,” according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit accuses Disney of breach of implied contract, breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and unfair and deceptive trade practices.

“Disney abused a global pandemic to take advantage of its Platinum and Platinum Plus passholders even after the threat of the pandemic subsided,” the lawsuit alleges, claiming the passes “don’t even look like the original agreement”.

“Disney’s behavior is a predatory business practice, aimed at exploiting its most supportive customers, its annual passholders,” he adds.

Disney told Orlando News outlet 6 that it had been “candid” with passholders about changes to their tickets and “offered them the option to opt-in or opt-out of the program at the start. of the pandemic, including refunds if they wished”.

“This lawsuit misrepresents the program and its history, and we will respond further in court,” he added.

Disney retired the Platinum Plus, Platinum, Gold, and Silver passes in September 2021, replacing them with four new pass tiers. Sales of new passes are currently suspended, although existing pass holders can renew their tickets.

Disney World has also increased prices and removed or started charging guests for certain services that were once free, such as airport pickups and parking for resort guests.

]]> Systemic approach vs smuggling | Company Applicant https://hardouin.info/systemic-approach-vs-smuggling-company-applicant/ Fri, 21 Oct 2022 18:18:00 +0000 https://hardouin.info/systemic-approach-vs-smuggling-company-applicant/

A systemic approach, not a piecemeal and uncoordinated approach, is needed to win the fight against smuggling. This approach does not rely solely on the Bureau of Customs (BOC). To ensure transparency and accountability, it is important to have the collaboration and cooperation of other government agencies and the private sector.

Here we acknowledge the capable staff of the Philippine Public-Private Agriculture and Fisheries Council (PCAF) who are helping to pursue this ambitious approach: Juliet Opena, Frances Macalintal, Sara Bales, Bernard Masa and Marsela Perena.

During a Senate hearing chaired by Senator Cynthia Villar on October 18, Senator Raffy Tulfo named four people alleged to be behind agricultural smuggling: Michael Yang, Andrew Chang, Manual Tan and Lea Cruz. With the exception of Yang, the other three were already identified on April 2 in former Senate President Vicente Sotto’s list of agricultural smugglers.

Tulfo said, “This Michael Yang seems to be the kingpin of vegetable smuggling and he likes to befriend people in [Department of Agriculture].”

The issue is particularly important now, given recent discussions at the CFP.

Alarmed by the continuing rampant smuggling, the PCAF formed an anti-smuggling committee to address the problem. The catalyst was the August 19 report from the League of Associations of La Trinidad Vegetable Trading Area Inc., a member of Alyansa Agrikultura. The death threats they have received lately have succeeded in curbing their anti-smuggling efforts.

The committee said smuggling can easily be stopped if persons of interest are apprehended. Therefore, a meeting with BOC Commissioner Yogi Filemon Ruiz was scheduled.

Consensus

The consensus of the committee was that the fight against smuggling requires a systemic approach. He recommended the reinstatement of the successful Anti-Smuggling Oversight Committee, which included other ministries (Finance, Agriculture, Trade and Industry, Justice and Interior and Local Government) and a private sector representative from sectors of agriculture and industry. In the past, this committee met monthly with the BOC and reported its findings directly to the president.

Due to transparency and accountability, the smuggling rate decreased by 25% and 31%, respectively, during the period of the committee’s existence (during the time of former presidents Gloria Arroyo and Benigno Aguino III). Unfortunately, this committee was abolished, some thinking that it was because it was too successful. Its relaunch is currently being considered by senior government officials.

In the meantime, the fight against smuggling must continue. Alas, when the proposed meeting with Ruiz was scheduled, the latter said he received instructions from ‘superiors’ that he could not have the meeting without the DA’s explicit approval. When Ruiz was asked if individual farm leaders could meet with him, he also declined. When this topic was brought up with DA officials, they said they would not approve of it.

In the December 6, 2021, multimedia interview with then-presidential candidate Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. with a virtual audience of 229,000, he supported stronger anti-smuggling measures to combat “severe disruptions market and unfair commercial practices”.

Today, the government still uses a piecemeal and uncoordinated approach, relying almost completely on BOC for necessary anti-smuggling action.

This cannot go on. With the support of the CFP, our new government should now restore the anti-smuggling oversight committee using the systems approach. Government agencies and the private sector must meet with the head of the BOC monthly and report directly to the president.

With the transparency and accountability of this systemic approach, the fight against smuggling can succeed again, as has been clearly demonstrated in the past.

The author is Chairman of Agriwatch, former Secretary of Presidential Flagship Programs and Projects, and former Undersecretary of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Trade and Industry. Contact is [email protected]

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