The U.S. government has determined that Taiwan is the country of origin of five digital projectors despite several components of the projectors being manufactured in other counties, and the ruling makes those projectors eligible for purchase by U.S. agencies.
On June 12, 2012, U.S. Customs and Border Protection posted a Federal Register notice—Issuance of Final Determination Concerning Digital Projectors—saying, “The assembly and programming operations performed in Taiwan substantially transform the non-TAA [Trade Agreements Act of 1979] country components of the digital projectors. Therefore, the country of origin of the digital projectors is Taiwan for purposes of U.S. government procurement.” Taiwan is a TAA country.
The TAA governs trade agreements negotiated between the United States and other countries under the Trade Act of 1974, and it gives the president the authority to waive requirements of the Buy American Act—which mandates the federal government prefer U.S.-made products in its purchases—for certain government procurements.
The notice does not name the “foreign manufacturer” of the five projectors, or provide a model name of the products. However, it does provide some information about the projectors, including there are “five different models of digital projectors” at issue and a single projector model uses light emitting diodes to project videos and images, while the remaining digital projectors are lamp based.
In addition, the notice lists parts and the countries where they were manufactured. Included on that list are:
- Bottom casing module containing parts from China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan
- Top cover module with mechanical parts from China
- Two fan modules with mechanical parts from China
- Low voltage power supply containing parts from China, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines and Taiwan
- Semi-finished optical engine module with parts and components from China, Taiwan, the Philippines and Japan
- Photo sensor module containing parts from China, Korea and Taiwan
- Three LED modules with LED chips and circuit boards from the United States
- Heat sink for blue LED with mechanical parts from China
- Heat pipe module for green and red LED with mechanical parts from China
- Projection lens module with optical lens and mechanical parts from China
- Main board module with parts and electronic components from China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines and Taiwan
- LED driver board module with components and parts from China, Taiwan, Japan and Malaysia
CBP says, “Based on the facts presented in this case, we find that the assembly and programming operations performed in Taiwan substantially transform the non-Taiwanese components into Taiwanese digital projectors. Therefore, the country of origin of the five different versions of digital projectors described above for purposes of government procurement is Taiwan.”