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ITC Report Could Result in Lower Tariffs on Goods for COVID-19 Response

The USITC recently began an investigation to identify imported products that are needed in response to COVID-19.

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The United States International Trade Commission (USITC) recently began an investigation, COVID-19 Related Goods: U.S. Imports and Tariffs, to identify imported products that are needed in response to COVID-19 and provide trade-related information on those products, including source countries, tariff classifications, and rates of duty.

The investigation was requested by the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Ways and Means and the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance in a letter received on April 7, 2020.

In the linked letter, the Committees stated: “On March 20, 2020, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) established a process to receive and consider comments for provisional modifications to tariffs imposed on goods that may assist in the public health and clinical response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In view of the Commission’s knowledge in trade and tariff matters, we ask that the Commission provide a report to the Committees and the USTR that identifies imported goods related to the response to COVID-19, their source countries, tariff classifications, and applicable rates of duty so as to assist the Committees and USTR in proposing or taking appropriate and responsive actions.”

The USITC, a nonpartisan, fact-finding federal agency, agreed to provide the following information for each product it identifies:

• the 10-digit HTS code for the article;
• its legal description;
• general duty rate;
• any special or additional rates of duty imposed on the article, and the dates on which the rates were imposed, and the authorities under which they were imposed;
• whether any such duties have been suspended and, if so, the date of suspension as well how the long suspension is scheduled to last;
• the total rate of duty imposed on such article, including any special or additional rate of duty; and
• the major countries of origin for each such article, and the import value of each such article from each country for the years 2017-2019.

The ITC expects to deliver the report by April 30, 2020 and will provide updates of the data through June 30, 2020.

Currently, the USTR is considering provisional modifications to tariffs on goods used for the response of COVID-19, and the Committees believe this report will aid in those efforts.

Please contact your Customs and Compliance representative with any questions.

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