Higher tariffs and other measures on imports of fine denier polyester staple fiber could result from a safeguard investigation recently initiated by the International Trade Commission. For more information, please contact attorney Kristen Smith at (202) 730-4965 or via email.

The investigation responds to a petition filed under section 201 of the 1974 Trade Act, which requires the ITC to determine whether an article is being imported in such increased quantities as to be a substantial cause or threat of serious injury to a U.S. industry.

The investigation covers fine denier PSF, not carded or combed, measuring less than 3.3 decitex (3 denier) in diameter. All fine denier PSF is covered, whether coated or uncoated. Subject goods are classified under HTSUS 5503.20.0025.

The following products are not covered by this investigation: (1) PSF equal to or greater than 3.3 decitex (more than 3 denier, inclusive), currently classified under HTSUS 5503.20.0045 and 5503.20.0065, and (2) low-melt PSF (which has one polyester fiber component that melts at a lower temperature than the other), currently classified under HTSUS 5503.20.0015.

The ITC will hold hearings June 4 on injury and, if necessary, July 23 on remedy. Pre-hearing briefs are due by May 28 and July 16 and post-hearing briefs are due by June 11 and July 29, respectively. The ITC plans to make its injury determination by July 9 and to submit a report to the president by Aug. 26.

If the ITC’s determination is affirmative it will recommend relief, which may include tariff increases, quotas, tariff-rate quotas, trade adjustment assistance, or any combination thereof as well as any other action authorized under the law that is deemed likely to facilitate positive adjustment to import competition.

However, any relief proposed by the ITC is merely advisory; it is up to the president to make the final decision on whether to provide relief as well as its form, amount, and duration. Relief may initially be imposed for up to four years and extended to no more than eight.

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