9 June 2017
Process to Provide Duty Suspensions to a Range of Products Moves Forward
The USITC will submit to Congress on 9 June a preliminary report on the petitions for duty suspensions and reductions that have been filed with it under the revamped miscellaneous trade bill process, which is aimed at boosting 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. Many of the items currently under consideration for duty suspensions or reductions are of potential interest to Hong Kong and mainland Chinese exporters.
The USITC report will categorise petitions as follows.
- meets the statutory requirements for inclusion in an MTB without modification (category I)
- meets the statutory requirements with specified technical changes, changes in product scope or adjustments in the amount of duty reduction (category II, III or IV)
- does not contain the required information or was not filed by a likely beneficiary (category V)
- not recommended for inclusion in an MTB (category VI)
The USITC will accept additional public comments on any category VI petitions from 12 through 21 June. All such comments must be submitted electronically through the USITC’s website. The public will be able to comment on the administrability of the article descriptions in category VI petitions, the existence of domestic producer objections to these petitions and other issues affecting their placement in category VI. In particular, the USITC seeks input that would clarify or narrow the scope of proposed article descriptions, including the constituent materials in the intended goods or similar information that would help verify the classification of the goods in HTSUS chapters 1-97. Similarly, the USITC seeks information that could clarify technical criteria, distinguish the intended goods from other goods in the same rate line, or narrow the scope of an article description to avoid covering domestically produced goods.
The USITC’s final report to Congress is expected in August. Congress will then make the final decision regarding those imported articles that will be included in a final MTB.