Miscellaneous Tariff Bills Public Comment Period OpensJanuary 10, 2017
Jeffrey Eversman is an International Economist in ITA’s Office of Trade Negotiations and Analysis
The U.S. International Trade Commission’s (USITC) Public Comment Period for the 2016 Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB) cycle will begin tomorrow, January 11, 2017. The USITC published a Federal Register notice, which can be found on the USITC MTB website, inviting the public to comment on the list of petitions it received during the MTB submission period. The website includes details and specific dates for filing public comments, along with the full list of MTB petitions. The window for submitting public comments to the USITC will close on February 24.
Anyone, including U.S. companies that produce a like or competing product for which a petition has been submitted, may submit a public comment supporting or objecting to the proposed tariff reduction or suspension. The USITC will use these comments and input from the Department of Commerce (Commerce) and other agencies in making a final recommendation to Congress on whether individual MTB petitions should move forward.
Commerce’s involvement in the MTB process is centered on answering two simple questions: does domestic production of the product subject to petition for duty suspension or reduction exist, and, if so, does a domestic producer of the product object to the duty suspension or reduction. Verified instances of domestic production and any subsequent objection from domestic producers will be shared in Commerce’s report to the USITC and to Congress in mid-April.
Commerce will be reviewing all claims of domestic production submitted through the public comments. Companies that prefer to remain anonymous but would still like to note an objection are encouraged to do so to Commerce directly by sending an email to CommerceMTBs@trade.gov. Commerce will not share information on domestic producers who wish to remain anonymous. However, for the purposes of Commerce’s report, all claims of domestic production will still be verified by Commerce staff. Again, the USITC is responsible for making the ultimate determination of whether domestic production of a given product exists and making a recommendation to Congress on each petition.
If you would like to contact the Department of Commerce directly regarding any petition, staff can be reached at the email address CommerceMTBs@trade.gov. More detailed information on MTBs and Commerce’s role in the process may be found at http://www.trade.gov/mtbs.