The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has instituted two monitoring factfinding investigations on U.S. imports of fresh or chilled strawberries and bell peppers.
The investigations, Monitoring of U.S. Imports of Fresh or Chilled Strawberries, and Monitoring of U.S. Imports of Fresh or Chilled Bell Peppers, was requested by the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) in a letter received on November 4, 2020.
In the letter, the USTR noted that the monitoring request was made in accordance with the perishable agricultural product provisions of the global safeguard law. The provisions state that if the USITC has monitored imports of a perishable agricultural product for at least 90 days, the domestic industry may file a petition for a global safeguard investigation that includes a request for a preliminary determination and provisional relief pending completion of the full Commission investigation. More information concerning the provisions can be found in the Background section of the Commission’s notices of institution of monitoring investigations for fresh or chilled strawberries and fresh or chilled bell peppers.
As requested, the USITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency, will collect and analyze information on U.S. imports of fresh or chilled strawberries and bell peppers. The products identified for monitoring in USTR’s request letter are all products that fall under the follow statistical reporting categories in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States:
- for strawberries: 0810.10;
- for bell peppers: 0709.60.40.15, 0709.60.40.25, 0709.60.40.65, 0709.60.40.85.
As provided for in the statute, the USITC will monitor these products for a period not to exceed two years.
The USITC is seeking input for the investigation from all interested parties in the form of written submissions for the record. The Commission notes that it is seeking submissions to enable its monitoring activities only at this time.
Specifically, the Commission is interested in receiving information about imports, principal source countries, and the impact of the imports on the domestic industry producing the like or directly competitive product. The Commission is also interested in receiving information about the condition of the domestic industry, including with respect to production, employment, profits and losses, and other factors set out in section 202(c) of the Trade Act. To the extent practical, data and information should include the period 2016-2020 and any subsequent period.
Written submissions should be addressed to the Secretary of the Commission and should be submitted no later than 5:15 p.m. on January 15, 2021. All written submissions, except for confidential business information, will be available for public inspection.
IMPORTANT: All filings, including written submissions, must be made through the Commission’s Electronic Document Information System (EDIS, https://edis.usitc.gov). No in-person paper-based filings or paper copies of any electronic filings will be accepted until further notice. Persons with questions regarding electronic filing should contact the Office of the Secretary, Docket Services Division (EDIS3Help@usitc.gov), or consult the Commission’s Handbook on Filing Procedures.
Further information on the scope of the investigation and appropriate submissions is available in the USITC’s notice of investigation, dated December 2, 2020. The notice can be downloaded from the USITC Internet site (www.usitc.gov) or may be obtained by contacting the Office of the Secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.