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Miscellaneous Trade Bill Petition Process Officially Launched

The U.S. International Trade Commission has announced that it will accept petitions for import duty suspensions and reductions from 14 October through 12 December. Petitions must be submitted electronically via the USITC’s designated secure web portal (https://mtbps.usitc.gov/external/) and may be filed by members of the public who can demonstrate that they are likely beneficiaries of such changes.

This is the first step in the revised miscellaneous trade bill process established by the American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act enacted earlier this year. The MTB process enables Congress to provide temporary suspensions and reductions of duties on imported goods in order to boost the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturers without harming domestic companies that make competing products. In the case of finished goods, the MTB aims to provide duty relief to consumers where there is no domestic production and no impact on U.S. companies. The forthcoming MTB package is expected to include a range of items of potential interest to Hong Kong and mainland Chinese exporters.

Following its receipt of the petitions filed the USITC must publish them on its website and allow public comment on them. The USITC must subsequently submit to the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance committees preliminary and final reports that include (i) the USITC’s analysis of each petition, including whether there is domestic production of the article, whether the estimated loss in revenues due to the duty suspension or reduction exceeds US$500,000, and whether the duty suspension or reduction will be available to any person importing the article, and (ii) the USITC’s recommendations as to whether each petition should be included in or excluded from an MTB. Congress will then make the final decision regarding those petitions that will be included in the MTB.

Petitioners should be prepared to complete their entire petition when they enter the portal and will not be able to edit, amend or complete the petition at a later time. Any changes required must be made by withdrawing the original petition and filing a new one, which must be done by 12 December.

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