Generalized System of Preferences: Possible Modifications, 2017 Review

 
CONTENT

Federal Register, Volume 83 Issue 102 (Friday, May 25, 2018)

Federal Register Volume 83, Number 102 (Friday, May 25, 2018)

Notices

Pages 24342-24345

From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov

FR Doc No: 2018-11458

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INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION

Investigation No. 332-567

Generalized System of Preferences: Possible Modifications, 2017 Review

AGENCY: United States International Trade Commission.

ACTION: Notice of institution of investigation and scheduling of public hearing.

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SUMMARY: Following receipt of a request on May 18, 2018, from the United States Trade Representative (USTR), the U.S. International Trade Commission (Commission) instituted investigation No. 332-567, Generalized System of Preferences: Possible Modifications, 2017 Review, for the purpose of providing advice and information relating to the possible designation of additional articles, removal of articles, waiver of competitive need limitations, redesignation of articles, and denial of a de minimis waiver.

DATES: June 4, 2018: Deadline for filing requests to appear at the public hearing.

June 7, 2018: Deadline for filing pre-hearing briefs and statements.

June 14, 2018: Public hearing.

June 21, 2018: Deadline for filing post-hearing briefs and statements.

June 21, 2018: Deadline for filing all other written submissions.

September 7, 2018: Transmittal of Commission report to the USTR.

ADDRESSES: All Commission offices, including the Commission's hearing rooms, are located in the United States International Trade Commission Building, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC. All written submissions should be addressed to the Secretary, United States International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436. The public record for this investigation may be viewed on the Commission's electronic docket (EDIS) at https://edis.usitc.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Information specific to this investigation may be obtained from Sabina Neumann, Project Leader, Office of Industries (202-205-3000 or email protected), Mark Brininstool, Deputy Project Leader, Office of Industries (202-708-1395 or email protected), or Marin Weaver, Technical Advisor, Office of Industries (202-205-3461 or email protected). For information on the legal aspects of this investigation, contact William Gearhart of the Commission's Office of the General Counsel (202-205-

3091 or email protected). The media should contact Margaret O'Laughlin, Office of External Relations (202-205-1819 or email protected). Hearing-impaired individuals may obtain information on this matter by contacting the Commission's TDD terminal at 202-205-1810. General information concerning the Commission may also be obtained by accessing its website (http://www.usitc.gov). Persons with mobility impairments who will need special assistance in gaining access to the Commission should contact the Office of the Secretary at 202-205-2000.

Background: In his letter, the USTR requested the advice and information described below.

(1) Advice concerning the probable economic effect of elimination of U.S. import duties on certain articles from all beneficiary developing countries under the GSP program. In accordance with sections 503(a)(1)(A), 503(e), and 131(a) of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended (``the 1974 Act'') and pursuant to the authority of the President delegated to the USTR by sections 4(c) and 8(c) and (d) of Executive Order 11846 of March 31, 1975, as amended, and pursuant to section 332(g) of the Tariff Act of 1930, the USTR notified the Commission that the articles identified in Table A of the Annex to the USTR request letter are being considered for designation as eligible articles for purposes of the GSP program. The USTR requested that the Commission provide its advice as to the probable economic effect on total U.S. imports, U.S. industries producing like or directly competitive articles, and on U.S. consumers of the elimination of U.S. import duties on the articles identified in Table A of the Annex to

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the USTR request letter for all beneficiary developing countries under the GSP program (see Table A below).

Table A--Petitions Submitted for Products To Be Considered for Addition

to the List of GSP-Eligible Products

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HTS subheading Brief description Countries

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0808.30.40............... Pears, fresh, if entered Beneficiary

during the period from Developing

July 1 through the Countries.

following March 31,

inclusive.

0814.00.80............... Peel of citrus fruit, Beneficiary

excl. orange or citron Developing

and peel, nesi, of Countries.

melon, fresh, frozen,

dried or provisionally

preserved.

1207.29.00............... Cotton seeds, whether or Beneficiary

not broken, other than Developing

seed for sowing. Countries.

1512.11.00............... Sunflower-seed or Beneficiary

safflower oil, crude, Developing

and their fractions, Countries.

whether or not refined,

not chemically modified.

2008.99.05............... Apples, otherwise Beneficiary

prepared or preserved, Developing

nesi. Countries.

2918.99.05............... p-Anisic acid; Beneficiary

clofibrate and 3- Developing

phenoxybenzoic acid. Countries.

2918.99.43............... Aromatic carboxylic Beneficiary

acids with additional Developing

oxygen function and Countries.

their anhydrides,

halide, etc deriv

described in add US

note 3 to sect VI,

nesoi.

2918.99.47............... Other aromatic Beneficiary

carboxylic acids with Developing

additional oxygen Countries.

function and their

anhydrides, halide, etc

deriv (excluding goods

in add US note 3 to sec

VI).

4010.33.30............... Transmission V-belts of Beneficiary

vulcanized rubber, V- Developing

ribbed, circumference Countries.

exceeding 180 cm but

not exceeding 240 cm,

combined with textile

materials.

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(2) Advice concerning the probable economic effect of removal of certain articles from certain countries from eligibility for duty-free treatment. The USTR notified the Commission that two articles are being considered for removal from eligibility for duty free treatment under the GSP program from certain countries. Under authority delegated by the President, pursuant to section 332(g) of the Tariff Act of 1930, with respect to the article listed in Table B of the Annex to the USTR request letter, the USTR requested that the Commission provide its advice as to the probable economic effect of the removal from eligibility for duty-free treatment under the GSP program for these articles from certain countries on total U.S. imports, U.S. industries producing like or directly competitive articles, and on U.S. consumers (see Table B below).

Table B--Petitions Submitted To Remove Duty-Free Status From Certain

Countries for a Product on the List of Eligible Articles for the

Generalized System of Preferences

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HTS subheading Brief description Country

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2009.89.6011 and 2009.89.6019. Cherry juice--Part of Turkey.

2009.89.60 ``Juice of

any other single

fruit, nesoi''.

3920.51.50.................... Nonadhesive plates, Indonesia and

sheets, film, foil Thailand.

and strip,

noncellular, not

combined with other

materials, of

polymethyl

methacrylate, not

flexible.

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(3) Advice concerning waiver of certain competitive need limitations. Under authority delegated by the President, pursuant to section 332(g) of the Tariff Act of 1930, and in accordance with section 503(d)(1)(A) of the 1974 Act, the USTR requested that the Commission provide advice on whether any industry in the United States is likely to be adversely affected by a waiver of the competitive need limitations (CNL) specified in section 503(c)(2)(A) of the 1974 Act for the countries and articles specified in Table C of the attached Annex to the request letter (see Table C below). The USTR also requested that the Commission provide its advice as to the probable economic effect on total U.S. imports, as well as on consumers, of the requested waivers. With respect to the competitive need limit in section 503(c)(2)(A)(i)(I) of the 1974 Act, the USTR requested that the Commission use the dollar value limit of $180,000,000. Further, pursuant to section 332(g) of the Tariff Act of 1930 and in accordance with section 503(c)(2)(E) of the 1974 Act, the USTR requested that the Commission provide its advice with respect to whether a like or directly competitive article was produced in the United States in any of the preceding three calendar years.

Table C--Petitions Submitted for Waiver of GSP CNLs

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HTS subheading Brief description Country

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0410.00.00.................... Edible products of Indonesia.

animal origin, nesi.

2836.91.00.................... Lithium carbonates.... Argentina.

3301.13.00.................... Essential oils of Argentina.

lemon.

6802.99.00.................... Monumental or building Brazil.

stone & arts.

thereof, nesoi,

further worked than

simply cut/sawn,

nesoi.

7202.50.00.................... Ferrosilicon chromium. Kazakhstan.

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(4) Advice concerning redesignations. The USTR notified the Commission that seven articles are being considered for redesignation as eligible articles for purposes of the GSP program. Under authority delegated by the President,

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pursuant to section 332(g) of the Tariff Act of 1930, the USTR requested that the Commission provide its 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 elimination of U.S. import duties on the articles in Table D of the Annex to the USTR request letter from the listed beneficiary countries.

Table D--Petitions Submitted for Redesignation of Excluded Items

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HTS subheading Brief description Country

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2007.99.48.................... Apple, quince and pear Argentina.

pastes and purees,

being cooked

preparations.

2306.30.00.................... Oilcake and other Argentina.

solid residues,

resulting from the

extraction of

vegetable fats or

oils, of sunflower

seeds.

2841.90.20.................... Ammonium perrhenate... Kazakhstan.

2909.50.40.................... Odoriferous or Indonesia.

flavoring compounds

of ether-phenols,

ether-alcohol-phenols

& their halogenated,

sulfonated, nitrated,

nitrosated

derivatives.

4107.11.80.................... Full grain unsplit Argentina.

whole bovine (not

buffalo) nesoi and

equine leather nesoi,

w/o hair, prepared

after tanning or

crusting, fancy, not

4114.

6802.93.00.................... Monumental or building India.

stone & arts.

thereof, of granite,

further worked than

simply cut/sawn,

nesoi.

7202.93.80.................... Ferroniobium, nesoi... Brazil.

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(5) Advice concerning redesignation and advice on whether a like or directly competitive domestic article was produced in any of the preceding three years. The USTR notified the Commission that one article is being considered for redesignation as an eligible article for purposes of the GSP program. Under authority delegated by the President, pursuant to section 332(g) of the Tariff Act of 1930, the USTR requested that the Commission provide its 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 elimination of U.S. import duties on the articles in Table E of the Annex to the USTR request letter from the listed beneficiary countries. Further, pursuant to section 332(g) of the Tariff Act of 1930 and in accordance with section 503(c)(2)(E) of the 1974 Act, the USTR requested that the Commission provide its advice as to whether a like or directly competitive article was produced in the United States in any of the preceding three calendar years.

Table E--Petition Submitted for Redesignation of Excluded Item

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HTS subheading Brief description Country

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4412.31.41, Including Plywood sheets n/o 6mm Indonesia.

4412.31.4150 and 4412.31.4160. thick, with specified

tropical wood outer

ply, with face ply

nesoi, not surface

covered beyond clear/

transparent.

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(6) Advice concerning denial of de minimis waiver. The USTR notified the Commission that one article from a GSP beneficiary country is being considered for denial of a de minimis CNL waiver. Under authority delegated by the President, pursuant to section 332(g) of the Tariff Act of 1930, with respect to the article listed in Table F of the Annex to the USTR request letter, the USTR requested that the Commission provide its advice as to the probable economic effect of the removal from eligibility for duty-free treatment under the GSP program of this article from the specified country on total U.S. imports, on U.S. industries producing like or directly competitive articles, and on U.S. consumers. Further, pursuant to section 332(g) of the Tariff Act of 1930 and in accordance with section 503(c)(2)(E) of the 1974 Act, the USTR requested that the Commission provide its advice with respect to whether a like or directly competitive article was produced in the United States in any of the preceding three calendar years.

Table F--Petition Submitted for Denial of De Minimis Waiver

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HTS subheading Brief description Country

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3802.90.10.................... Bone black............ Brazil.

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Time for reporting, HTS detail, portions of report to be classified. As requested by the USTR, the Commission will provide the requested advice and information by September 7, 2018. The USTR asked that the Commission issue, as soon as possible thereafter, a public version of the report containing only the unclassified information, with any confidential business information deleted. As requested, the Commission will provide its economic effect advice and statistics (profile of the U.S. industry and market and U.S. import and export data) and any other relevant information or advice separately and individually for each U.S. Harmonized Tariff Schedule subheading for all products subject to the request. The USTR indicated that those sections of the Commission's report and working papers that contain the Commission's advice and assessment will be classified as ``confidential.'' The USTR also stated that his office considers the Commission's report to be an inter-agency memorandum that will contain pre-decisional advice and be subject to the deliberative process privilege.

Public Hearing: A public hearing in connection with this investigation will be held at the U.S. International Trade Commission Building, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC, beginning at 9:30 a.m. on June 14, 2018. Requests to appear at the public hearing should be filed with

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the Secretary no later than 5:15 p.m., June 4, 2018. All pre-hearing briefs and statements should be filed no later than 5:15 p.m., June 7, 2018; and all post-hearing briefs and statements should be filed no later than 5:15 p.m., June 21, 2018. All requests to appear, and pre- and post-hearing briefs and statements should be filed in accordance with the requirements of the ``written submissions'' section below.

Written Submissions: In lieu of or in addition to appearing at the hearing, interested parties are invited to file written submissions concerning this investigation. All written submissions should be addressed to the Secretary, and should be received not later than 5:15 p.m., June 21, 2018. All written submissions must conform to the provisions of section 201.8 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (19 CFR 201.8). Section 201.8 and the Commission's Handbook on Filing Procedures require that interested parties file documents electronically on or before the filing deadline and submit eight (8) true paper copies by 12:00 p.m. eastern time on the next business day. In the event that confidential treatment of a document is requested, interested parties must file, at the same time as the eight paper copies, at least four (4) additional true paper copies in which the confidential information must be deleted (see the following paragraph for further information regarding confidential business information). Persons with questions regarding electronic filing should contact the Office of the Secretary, Docket Services Division (202-205-1802).

Confidential Business Information: Any submissions that contain confidential business information must also conform with the requirements of section 201.6 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (19 CFR 201.6). Section 201.6 of the rules requires that the cover of the document and the individual pages be clearly marked as to whether they are the ``confidential'' or ``non-confidential'' version, and that the confidential business information is clearly identified by means of brackets. All written submissions, except for confidential business information, will be made available for inspection by interested parties.

The Commission may include some or all of the confidential business information submitted in the course of this investigation in the report it sends to the USTR. Additionally, all information, including confidential business information, submitted in this investigation may be disclosed to and used: (i) By the Commission, its employees and Offices, and contract personnel (a) for developing or maintaining the records of this or a related proceeding, or (b) in internal investigations, audits, reviews, and evaluations relating to the programs, personnel, and operations of the Commission including under 5 U.S.C. Appendix 3; or (ii) by U.S. government employees and contract personnel (a) for cybersecurity purposes or (b) in monitoring user activity on U.S. government classified networks. The Commission will not otherwise disclose any confidential business information in a manner that would reveal the operations of the firm supplying the information.

Summaries of Written Submissions: The Commission intends to publish summaries of the positions of interested persons. Persons wishing to have a summary of their position included in the report should include a summary with their written submission. The summary may not exceed 500 words, should be in MSWord format or a format that can be easily converted to MSWord, and should not include any confidential business information. The summary will be published as provided if it meets these requirements and is germane to the subject matter of the investigation. The Commission will identify the name of the organization furnishing the summary and will include a link to the Commission's Electronic Document Information System (EDIS) where the full written submission can be found.

By order of the Commission.

Issued: May 23, 2018.

Lisa Barton,

Secretary to the Commission.

FR Doc. 2018-11458 Filed 5-24-18; 8:45 am

BILLING CODE 7020-02-P