Background

The International Trade Commission has announced that in June it will offer a limited opportunity to submit additional comments on petitions for duty suspensions and reductions that it does not recommend for inclusion in the miscellaneous tariff bill.

MTBs suspend or reduce duties on imported inputs and products for which there is no or insufficient domestic production and availability, and each approved duty modification can result in savings of up to $500,000 per year. Under a process revised by the American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act, petitions for duty suspensions or reductions are submitted to the ITC rather than via legislation introduced by members of Congress.

The ITC plans to send to the House Ways and Means Committee on June 9 a preliminary report evaluating each petition it has received to determine whether it should be included in an MTB. This report must categorize each petition as (1) meeting the requirements of the AMCA without modification, (2) meeting the requirements of the AMCA with certain modifications (category II, III, or IV petitions), (3) not containing the required information or not filed by a likely beneficiary (category V petitions), or (4) not recommended for inclusion in an MTB (category VI petitions).

The ITC has decided to accept additional comments from the public on category VI petitions from June 12 through June 22. Comments may address the administrability of the article descriptions in a petition, the existence of domestic producer objections to a petition, and other issues affecting the placement of a petition in category VI.

In particular, the ITC seeks input that would clarify the scope of a proposed article description, 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 ITC seeks information that could clarify technical criteria, distinguish the intended article in a petition from other goods in the same rate line, or narrow the scope of an article description to mitigate domestic producer objections. The ITC will not consider comments that seek to broaden or materially amend the nature of the goods covered in the original article description.

For more information, please contact customs attorney David Olave at (202) 730-4960.

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