Sunday, December 11, 2016

Next Steps for Duty Suspension Requests

The deadline for submitting petitions for tariff relief under the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill ("MTB") is Monday, December 12th, at 5:15 p.m. EST.

By January 11, 2017, the International Trade Commission ("ITC") will begin accepting public comments on the petitions. Comments will be accepted for 45 calendar days.

By April 13th the Secretary of Commerce will submit to the ITC a report containing the following--

  1. Determination of whether there is domestic production of the article and whether any domestic producer objects.
  2. Any technical changes necessary for the administration of the suspension or reduction.

Between 120 and 150 days from the publication of the petitions (mid-May to mid-June) the ITC will submit a preliminary report to congress.

60 days after the preliminary report (mid-July mid-August), the ITC will submit the final report to congress.

There is no deadline for congress to vote on the MTB. Since congress has power to remove products from the ITC list, presumably congress will give itself some time to vet the list. That places the earliest likely congressional vote on the MTB in late summer or early fall, nearly a year from the beginning of the process. In the past congress has given the MTB an effective date of 15 days after enactment. However, the ITC will be publishing a new tariff schedule with effective date of January 1, 2018, so congress may decide to make the changes effective on that date as well.

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