USITC Begins Investigation Concerning Possible Modifications To The U.S. Generalized System of Preferences For Removals, Competitive Need Limitation Waivers, and Redesignations

The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) is seeking input for a newly initiated investigation concerning possible modifications to the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP).

The investigation, Generalized System of Preferences: Possible Modifications, 2018 Review, was requested by the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) in a letter received on June 4, 2019.

As requested, the USITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency, will provide advice as to the probable economic effect on total U.S. imports, on U.S. industries producing like or directly competitive articles, and on U.S. consumers of the removal from eligibility of two HTS subheadings for certain GSP countries.

The removals in consideration are:

  • 3907.61.00 (Polyethylene terephthalate, having a viscosity number of 78 ml/g or higher) from Pakistan,

  • 3907.69.00 (Polyethylene terephthalate, having a viscosity number less than 78 ml/g) from Pakistan.

The USTR also requested that the USITC provide advice on whether any industry in the United States is likely to be adversely affected by competitive need limitation waivers for two HTS subheadings for certain GSP countries and advice as to the probable economic effect on total U.S. imports, as well as on consumers, of the requested waivers. The USITC will also provide 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, will use the dollar value limit of $185 million. The HTS subheadings in consideration are:

  • 3823.11.00 (Stearic acid) from Indonesia,

  • 9001.50.00 (Spectacle lenses of materials other than glass, unmounted) from Thailand. Read More →