The International Trade Commission has adopted interim regulations on the submission and consideration of petitions for duty suspensions and reductions under the American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act of 2016, which reformed the miscellaneous trade bill process. Comments on this rule will be due 60 days after it is published in the Federal Register. The ITC states that after taking into account all comments received and the experience acquired under the interim rule it will issue a final rule.
Under this rule, a petition may be filed by members of the public (generally, a firm, importer of record, manufacturer that uses the imported article, or a U.S. federal, state, or local government entity) that can demonstrate that they are likely beneficiaries of duty suspensions or reductions. Petitions must be filed via the ITC’s secure web portal designated for this purpose and will not be accepted in paper or any other form. Petitioners may withdraw a petition at any time prior to the time the ITC transmits its final report to the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance committees. Petitioners may not amend a petition but instead must withdraw it and file a new one within the 60-day filing period.
Information that must be set forth in a petition includes the name and contact information of the petitioner; a description of the article, its uses, and the U.S. industry that uses it; an estimate of the total value of the previous year’s imports of the article; a certification that the petitioner is a likely beneficiary; the names of the principal countries from which the article is imported as well as known importers and likely beneficiaries; a description of any domestic production; and a certification that the petitioner has not filed identical or overlapping petitions. The ITC will not likely recommend for inclusion in an MTB specified types of article descriptions, including those that contain “actual use” or “chief use” criteria, trademarked or similarly protected names, language describing goods that are illegal to import or covered by tariff-rate quotas, or language seeking to alter the tariff treatment or classification of a product.
The ITC is expected to publish on Oct. 14 a notice of opportunity to file petitions, which must be filed within the following 60 days (i.e., by mid-December). The ITC must publish all of the petitions that are timely filed and contain the required information, along with a request for public comments, on its website within another 30 days (i.e., by mid-January). Members of the public will have 45 days thereafter (i.e., by early March) to comment on the petitions and the ITC must make those comments available to the public on its website.
The ITC will submit its preliminary report to Congress no later than 150 days after the petitions are published for comment (i.e., by mid-June). For each submitted petition the preliminary report must include the ITC’s determination of whether or not domestic production of the article exists (and, if so, whether or not a domestic producer objects to the petition), any technical changes to the article description that are needed to make the description administrable, an estimate of the amount of revenue loss, a determination of whether or not the duty suspension is available to any person who imports the article, and the likely beneficiaries. The report must also include list of the petitions for which the ITC recommends modifications or does not recommend inclusion in the MTB.
The ITC will submit its final report to Congress no later than 60 days after it submits the preliminary report (i.e., by mid-August). The final report must include the information required to be included in the preliminary report, as updated after taking into consideration certain information from the committees, as well as determinations regarding whether each duty suspension or reduction can likely be administered by CBP, has an estimated revenue loss not exceeding $500,000, is available to any person importing the articles.