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Import Statistics Highlight Potential GSP Coverage Changes

Friday, March 03, 2017
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has made available full calendar year 2016 import statistics showing products that could be removed from or reinstated to the duty-free treatment available under the Generalized System of Preferences based on competitive need limitations. However, USTR states that its lists may not include all articles to which the CNLs may apply and that each interested party should conduct its own review of 2016 import data.

USTR is accepting public comments through March 22 on the following issues.

De minimis CNL waivers. When the president determines that a GSP beneficiary developing country exported to the U.S. during a calendar year either (1) a quantity of a GSP-eligible article having a value in excess of the applicable amount for that year ($175 million for 2016) or (2) a quantity of a GSP-eligible article having a value equal to or greater than 50 percent of the value of total U.S. imports of the article from all countries, the president must terminate GSP duty-free treatment for that article from that BDC no later than July 1 of the next calendar year unless a waiver is granted.

USTR lists the following products that exceeded a CNL in 2016 and are newly subject to potential exclusion from GSP.

- HTSUS 2933.99.22 (other heterocyclic aromatic or modified aromatic pesticides) from India

- HTSUS 4409.10.05 (coniferous wood continuously shaped along any of its ends) from Brazil

- HTSUS 6801.00.00 (natural stone setts, curbstones, or flagstones) from Turkey

USTR notes that petitions for CNL waivers for the following goods have been withdrawn because full calendar year trade data show that these products did not surpass the CNL thresholds for 2016.

- HTSUS 6802.99.00 (monumental or building stone and articles thereof, further worked than simply cut/sawn) from Brazil

- HTSUS 0714.90.10 (fresh or chilled dasheens, whether or not sliced or in the form of pellets) from Ecuador

- HTSUS 0410.00.00 (edible products of animal origin) and 4011.20.10 (new pneumatic radial tires, of rubber, of a kind used on buses or trucks) from Indonesia

- HTSUS 8525.80.30 (television cameras) and 9001.50.00 (spectacle lenses of materials other than glass, unmounted) from Thailand

The president may also waive the 50 percent CNL with respect to an eligible article imported from a BDC if the value of total imports of that article from all countries during the calendar year did not exceed the applicable de minimis amount for that year ($23 million for 2016). USTR has listed more than 100 products that qualify for such a waiver.

Redesignation of goods as GSP-eligible. If imports of an eligible article from a BDC ceased to receive duty-free treatment due to exceeding a CNL in a prior year, the president may redesignate such an article for duty-free treatment if imports in the most recently completed calendar year did not exceed the CNLs. USTR’s statistics include more than 150 products that could be reinstated to GSP eligibility based on this criterion.

Revocation of CNL waivers. A CNL waiver remains in effect until the president determines that it is no longer warranted due to changed circumstances. In addition, not later than July 1 of each year the president should revoke any CNL waiver that has then been in effect with respect to an article for five years or more if the BDC has exported to the U.S. (directly or indirectly) during the preceding calendar year a quantity of the article (1) having an appraised value in excess of 1.5 times the applicable amount for that calendar year ($255 million in 2015) or (2) exceeding 75 percent of the appraised value of total imports of that article into the U.S. during that calendar year. USTR states that there are no articles subject to CNL waiver revocation for 2016.

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