USITC Releases Report Concerning Proposed Modifications to the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences

September 28, 2018
News Release 18-115
Inv. No. 332-567
Contact: Peg O'Laughlin, 202-205-1819
USITC Releases Report Concerning Proposed Modifications to the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences

The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) today released a public version of its confidential report on possible modifications to the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP).

The investigation, Generalized System of Preferences: Possible Modifications, 2017 Review (Investigation No. 332-567), was requested by the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR).

The USITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency, submitted a confidential version of the report to the USTR on September 7, 2018. The public version released today contains only the unclassified sections, with any business confidential information deleted.

As requested, the USITC provided advice regarding the probable economic effect on U.S. imports, U.S. industries producing like or directly competitive articles, and U.S. consumers of the addition of the following Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) subheadings to the list of GSP-eligible products for all GSP beneficiary developing countries:

  • 0808.30.40 (Pears, fresh, if entered during the period from July 1 through the following March 31, inclusive),

  • 0814.00.80 (Peel of citrus fruit, excl. orange or citron and peel, nesi, of melon, fresh, frozen, dried or provisionally preserved),

  • 1207.29.00 (Cotton seeds, whether or not broken, other than seed for sowing),

  • 1512.11.00 (Sunflower-seed or safflower oil, crude, and their fractions, whether or not refined, not chemically modified),

  • 2008.99.05 (Apples, otherwise prepared or preserved, nesi),

  • 2918.99.05 (p-Anisic acid; clofibrate and 3-phenoxybenzoic acid),

  • 2918.99.43 (Aromatic carboxylic acids with additional oxygen function and their anhydrides, halide, etc deriv described in add US note 3 to sect VI, nesoi),

  • 2918.99.47 (Other aromatic carboxylic acids with additional oxygen function and their anhydrides, halide, etc deriv (excluding goods in add US note 3 to sec VI)),

  • 4010.33.30 (Transmission V-belts of vulcanized rubber, V-ribbed, circumference exceeding 180 cm but not exceeding 240 cm, combined with textile materials).

The USITC also provided advice regarding the probable economic effect on total U.S. imports, U.S. industries producing like or directly competitive articles, and U.S. consumers of the removal from eligibility of two HTS subheadings for certain GSP countries: 

  • 2009.89.6011 and 2009.89.6019 (Cherry juice - Part of 2009.89.60 "Juice of any other single fruit, nesoi") from Turkey,

  • 3920.51.50 (Nonadhesive plates, sheets, film, foil and strip, noncellular, not combined with other materials, of polymethyl methacrylate, not flexible) from Indonesia and Thailand.

The USITC also provided advice as to whether any industry in the United States is likely to be adversely affected by competitive need limitation waivers for certain countries and the probable economic effect on total U.S. imports, as well as on consumers, of the requested waivers. The USITC also provided advice as to whether a like or directly competitive article was produced in the United States in any of the preceding three calendar years for these articles. "Competitive need limitations" represent the maximum import level of a product that is eligible for duty-free treatment under the GSP.  Once the limit is reached, trade is considered "competitive," benefits are no longer needed, and imports of the article become ineligible for GSP treatment, unless a waiver is granted.  With respect to the competitive need limit in section 503(c)(2)(A)(i)(I) of the 1974 Act, the USITC, as requested, used the dollar value limit of $180 million. The HTS subheadings considered are:

  • 0410.00.00 (Edible products of animal origin, nesi) from Indonesia,

  • 2836.91.00 (Lithium carbonates) from Argentina,

  • 3301.13.00 (Essential oils of lemon) from Argentina,

  • 6802.99.00 (Monumental or building stone & arts. thereof, nesoi, further worked than simply cut/sawn, nesoi) from Brazil),

  • 7202.50.00 (Ferrosilicon chromium) from Kazakhstan.

The USITC also provided advice regarding the probable economic effect on U.S. imports, U.S. industries producing like or directly competitive articles, and U.S. consumers of the redesignation for certain countries of the following HTS subheadings:

  • 2007.99.48 (Apple, quince and pear pastes and purees, being cooked preparations) from Argentina,

  • 2306.30.00 (Oilcake and other solid residues, resulting from the extraction of vegetable fats or oils, of sunflower seeds) from Argentina,

  • 2841.90.20 (Ammonium perrhenate) from Kazakhstan,

  • 2909.50.40 (Odoriferous or flavoring compounds of ether-phenols, ether-alcohol-phenols & their halogenated, sulfonated, nitrated, nitrosated derivatives) from Indonesia,

  • 4107.11.80 (Full grain unsplit whole bovine (not buffalo) nesoi and equine leather nesoi, w/o hair, prepared after tanning or crusting, fancy, not 4114) from Argentina,

  • 6802.93.00 (Monumental or building stone & arts. thereof, of granite, further worked than simply cut/sawn, nesoi) from India.

In addition, the USITC provided advice regarding the probable economic effect on U.S. imports, U.S. industries producing like or directly competitive articles, and U.S. consumers of the redesignation of articles for two countries. The USITC also provided advice as to whether a like or directly competitive article was produced in the United States in any of the preceding three calendar years for these articles. The HTS subheadings considered are:

  • 7202.93.80 (Ferroniobium, nesoi) from Brazil,

  • 4412.31.41 including 4412.31.4150 and 4412.31.4160 (Plywood sheets n/o 6mm thick, with specified tropical wood outer ply, with face ply nesoi, not surface covered beyond clear/transparent) from Indonesia.

Finally, the USITC provided advice regarding the probable economic effect on total U.S. imports, U.S. industries producing like or directly competitive articles, and U.S. consumers of the denial of a de minimis competitive need limitation waiver for one article from a GSP beneficiary country. The USITC also provided advice as to whether a like or directly competitive article was produced in the United States in any of the preceding three calendar years for this article. The HTS subheading considered is:

  • 3802.90.10 (Bone black) from Brazil.

Generalized System of Preferences: Possible Modifications, 2017 Review (Investigation No. 332-567, USITC publication 4827, September 2018) is available on the USITC's Internet site at https://www.usitc.gov/publications/332/pub4827.pdf.

USITC general factfinding investigations, such as this one, cover matters related to tariffs or trade and are generally conducted at the request of the U.S. Trade Representative, the House Committee on Ways and Means, or the Senate Committee on Finance.  The resulting reports convey the Commission's objective findings and independent analyses on the subjects investigated.  The Commission makes no recommendations on policy or other matters in its general factfinding reports.  Upon completion of each investigation, the USITC submits its findings and analyses to the requester.  General factfinding investigation reports are subsequently released to the public, unless they are classified by the requester for national security reasons.

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