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Office of Tariff Affairs & Trade Agreements (TATA)

The Office of Tariff Affairs and Trade Agreements (TATA) carries out the USITC's responsibilities with respect to the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States and the international Harmonized System. TATA staff also work with the Office of Industries to prepare bill reports requested by Congress pertaining to proposed tariff reductions and duty suspensions for specific products. The office provides technical advice and assistance to the Congress and the USTR and participates in Trade Policy Staff Committee activities. The office participates in the World Customs Organization, and TATA's Director chairs both the Committee for Statistical Annotation of the Tariff Schedule and the Board of Directors of the International Trade Data System (ITDS).

Mission

The mission of the Office of Tariff Affairs and Trade Agreements is to serve as a vehicle for U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) participation in the creation, modification, and maintenance of national and international product nomenclature systems for tariff, trade, and statistical purposes. The Office of Tariff Affairs and Trade Agreements is responsible for investigations concerning the operation of related customs law pursuant to the Tariff Act of 1930 and the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988. The Director, Office of Tariff Affairs and Trade Agreements, reports to the Director, Office of Operations.

Functions

  1. Represents the USITC in international and national forums in matters concerning the World Trade Organization (WTO) Committee on Rules of Origin, the development, implementation and maintenance of the international Harmonized System (HS), and the Harmonized System Committee of the World Customs Organization (WCO).
  2. Performs all technical work relating to the Interagency Committee for World Customs Organization matters, including the Harmonized System Committee, the Technical Committee on Rules of Origin, the Valuation Committee, and the Permanent Technical Committee.
  3. Compiles and publishes the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS) and keeps the HTS under review, and recommends amendments to the HTS to the President based upon WCO action or as other circumstances warrant.
  4. Provides technical information and services to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative on matters relating to the trade agreements program, e.g., maintenance of the U.S. Schedule XX under the WTO, preparation of draft presidential proclamations and executive orders modifying the HTS, and planning various statistical programs to provide commodity data in support of U.S. trade negotiations.
  5. Provides technical work in support of the U.S.-Canada Memorandum of Understanding relating to the exchange of trade data covering the bilateral trade.
  6. Represents the USITC in international and interdepartmental forums dealing with origin, statistical, aircraft and related customs matters, as well as certain matters arising under the trade agreements program.
  7. Plans, directs, and coordinates all work by USITC staff in support of the interagency Committee for Statistical Annotation of Tariff Schedules (the "484 Committee"). Formulates and maintains comparable statistical systems providing U.S. imports and exports.
  8. Participates in preparing USITC reports to the Congress on miscellaneous tariff and trade legislation.
  9. Reviews the nomenclature sufficiency of all USITC actions taken in connection with Title VII and other investigations related to import relief actions.
  10. Establishes and maintains current and historical documents relating to the international Harmonized System and the trade agreements program and for use by other government agencies as well as the private sector.
  11. Reviews and participates in drafting and revising guidance in the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure, USITC internal rules, and other policy documents related to the functions set forth in this statement.
  12. Follows and supports all agency-wide functions including EEO, ethics, audit follow-up, and property management.