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Six-Week Comment Period on Duty Suspension and Reduction Petitions Opens

Wednesday, January 11, 2017
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The International Trade Commission has established Feb. 24 as the deadline for public comments on petitions seeking duty suspensions or reductions under the miscellaneous trade bill process revised and reinstated by the American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act of 2016. All such petitions timely filed with the ITC will be available on the ITC’s website for review and comment beginning Jan. 11.

The ITC states that it is particularly interested in receiving comments from domestic producers with respect to (1) whether they produce an article that is identical to, like, or directly competitive with an article named in a petition and (2) if they do, whether they object to the petition. The ITC is also interested in receiving comments from individuals and entities who believe they would be a likely beneficiary of a particular duty suspension or reduction or who, having been named in the petition or another comment as a likely beneficiary, wish to state that they would not be a likely beneficiary.

Comments on these petitions may only be filed electronically via the ITC’s designated secure web portal and in the format designated in that portal. Commenters must be prepared to complete their entire comment when they enter the portal, which will not allow them to edit, amend, or complete the comment at a later time.

Following the comment period the ITC will submit preliminary (in June) and final (in August) reports to the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance committees on the petitions received. The reports will include the ITC’s analysis and recommendations regarding 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 $500,000, and whether the duty suspension or reduction will be available to any person importing the article. The ITC is required to classify the petitions into categories based on whether (1) the petition meets the requirements for inclusion in an MTB, (2) the ITC recommends inclusion in an MTB with specified technical changes, changes in product scope, or adjustment in the amount of duty reduction, (3) the ITC recommends against inclusion in an MTB because the petition does not meet the requirements or the petitioner is not a likely beneficiary, and (4) the ITC otherwise recommends not including the petition. Congress will make the final decision regarding the imported articles to be included in an MTB.

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