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ITC to Study Probable Economic Effects of Japan Joining TPP

Monday, May 13, 2013
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The International Trade Commission has launched an investigation of the probable economic effect of adding Japan to the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement currently under negotiation by the U.S. and ten other countries. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative asked the ITC to identify any changes from its previous advice on the effect of providing duty-free treatment to goods imported from the other TPP participants (which remains classified).

The ITC states that it will consider each article in chapters 1 through 97 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States for which tariffs will remain, taking into account the implementation of U.S. commitments in the World Trade Organization and under free trade agreements the U.S. has with other TPP countries. The ITC’s advice will be based on the 2013 HTSUS nomenclature and trade data for the year 2012. The advice will assume that any known U.S. non-tariff barrier will not be applicable to such imports, and the ITC will note in its report any instance in which the continued application of a U.S. non-tariff barrier would result in different advice with respect to the effect of the removal of the duty.

The ITC will also prepare an assessment of the probable economic effect of eliminating tariffs on imports of certain agricultural products on U.S. industries producing the products concerned and the economy as a whole.

The ITC will hold a public hearing in connection with this investigation on June 11. Requests to appear at this hearing should be filed no later than May 28. Written submissions for the record should be submitted no later than June 17. The ITC expects to submit its confidential report to USTR by Aug. 21.

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