It’s Time To Comment on Miscellaneous Tariff Petitions

The American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act of 2016 (“AMCA”) established a new process for the submission and evaluation of requests for temporary duty suspensions and reductions. Under the AMCA, petitions for duty suspensions and reductions are filed with the U.S. International Trade Commission (“Commission” or USITC”), and the Commission, with input from other federal agencies, reviews each petition. The Commission must submit preliminary and final reports to two Congressional committees (the House Committee on Ways and Means and the Senate Committee on Finance). Following the final report’s submission, the Committees will draft a miscellaneous tariff bill (“MTB”). Once the MTB passes, the temporary duty suspensions or reductions will be take effect for a period not to exceed three years. The process will repeat again in a second series, no later than October 15, 2019.

In the first series, over 3,100 petitions were submitted to the ITC through its online Miscellaneous Tariff Bill Petition System (“MTBPS”). Due to petition withdrawals, 2,500 petitions still are under consideration. On June 6, 2017, the Commission issued its preliminary report to the Committees, entitled: American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act of 2016: Preliminary Report, USITC Pub. 4699 (USITC June 2017). In preparing the Preliminary Report, the Commission took into account comments from the public, as well as the information contained in a report submitted by the U.S. Department of Commerce, with input from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”). In the Preliminary Report, the Commission broke the petitions down in the following categories: Category I-IV” (petitions that meet the requirements of the Act with or without modification); Category V (petitions that do not contain the information required by the Act or that were not filed by a likely beneficiary); and Category VI” (petitions that the Commission does not recommend for inclusion in a MTB). The public may submit additional comments on the Category VI” petitions cited in its Preliminary Report; see 82 Fed. Reg. 24,142 (USITC May 25, 2017). The closing date for comments is June 21, 2017.

The Commission’s final report is due by mid-August 2017.