Background

The International Trade Commission has submitted to Congress its final report (available here) on the petitions for duty suspensions and reductions that have been filed with the ITC under the revamped miscellaneous trade bill process. Congress now has 90 days to determine which imported articles to include in a final MTB and then introduce and consider that legislation.

While competing legislative priorities could delay that action, companies interested in securing MTB benefits should get involved in the congressional approval process. ST&R Director for Trade and Government Relations David Olave points out that there are nearly 60 members of Congress who were not involved in the MTB reform effort in 2016 as well as a new team at the White House that may be unfamiliar with MTBs.

The ITC report lists 2,524 petitions covering products in the following categories: chemicals (58.0 percent of petitions filed); textiles, apparel, and footwear (18.1 percent); machinery and equipment (18.1 percent); agriculture and fisheries (1.4 percent); and other (4.4 percent). These petitions are characterized as follows.

- meets the statutory requirements for inclusion in an MTB without modification (category I, 144 petitions)

- meets the statutory requirements with (a) technical changes aimed at clarity and administrability (category II, 1,287 petitions), (b) adjustments in the amount of duty suspension or reduction requested (category III, 392 petitions), or (c) modifications in product scope to address objections from domestic producers (category IV, four petitions)

- does not contain the required information or was not filed by a likely beneficiary (category V, 54 petitions)

- not recommended for inclusion in an MTB because the product description could not be administered or was indiscernible, a domestic producer objected, or the estimated duty revenue loss was more than $500,000 per year (category VI, 643 petitions)

For more information on the MTB process, please contact David Olave at (202) 730-4960.

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