Has it really been three years already? The International Trade Commission has issued its Second Request for Petitions for Duty Suspensions and Reductions. We discussed the process after the first such request was issued in 2016, so here’s a brief recap.
The American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act of 2016 established a formal process for requesting temporary suspension or reduction of regular customs duties. A person seeking this relief must be a “likely beneficiary” if the request is granted. Additionally, the Commission will evaluate “whether there is domestic production of the article, whether the duty suspension or reduction can likely be administered by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, whether the estimated loss in revenues due to the duty suspension or reduction does not exceed $500,000, and whether the duty suspension or reduction will be available to any person importing the article.”
The procedure also calls for the Commission to issue preliminary and final reports regarding the requests it received and a public comment period. After that, products that make it through the administrative process will be covered in legislation on which Congress will act.
Only regular (i.e., Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Column 1) tariffs may be suspended or reduced. While these may seem insignificant for products subject to additional duties imposed under Section 301 or Section 232, successful petitioners do achieve at least some escape from their tariff burdens. The period of relief is up to three years. Petitioners who were successful in the last go-round may file again this time to seek an extension.
Petitions must be filed in accordance with Commission requirements, and have a deadline of December 10, 2019.