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USITC Begins Investigation Concerning Possible Modifications to the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences for Additions and Removals

May 21, 2020
News Release 20-048
Inv. No. 332-578
Contact: Peg O'Laughlin, 202-205-1819
USITC Begins Investigation Concerning Possible Modifications to the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences for Additions and Removals

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

The investigation, Generalized System of Preferences: Possible Modifications, 2020 Review (Investigation No. 332-578), was requested by the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) in a letter received on May 4, 2020.

As requested, the USITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency, will provide advice as to the probable economic effect on U.S. imports, U.S. industries producing like or directly competitive articles, and U.S. consumers of the addition of the following Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) provisions to the list of GSP-eligible products:

For all GSP beneficiary developing countries: 

  • 0603.11.00 (sweetheart, spray and other roses, fresh cut),
  • 0603.11.0010 (sweetheart roses, fresh, suitable for bouquets or for ornamental purposes),
  • 0603.11.0030 (spray roses, fresh, suitable for bouquets or for ornamental purposes),
  • 0603.11.0060 (roses, fresh, suitable for bouquets or for ornamental purposes, nesoi).

Also as requested, the USITC will provide advice as to the probable economic effect on total U.S. imports, U.S. industries producing like or directly competitive articles, and U.S. consumers of the removal from eligibility of six HTS provisions for all beneficiary developing countries.

The removals under consideration are: 

  • 1006.10.00 (rice in the husk, (paddy or rough)),
  • 1006.20.20 (basmati rice, husked),
  • 1006.20.40 (husked (brown) rice, other than basmati),
  • 1006.30.10 (rice semi-milled or wholly milled, whether or not polished or glazed, parboiled),
  • 1006.30.90 (rice semi-milled or wholly milled, whether or not polished or glazed, other than parboiled),
  • 1006.40.00 (broken rice).

The USITC will submit its confidential report to USTR by August 31, 2020. As soon as possible thereafter, the USITC will, as requested by USTR, issue a public version of the report containing only the unclassified sections, with any business confidential information and classified information deleted.

The USITC is seeking input for this investigation from all interested parties and requests that the information focus on the articles for which the USITC is requested to provide information and advice. The USITC will hold a public hearing in connection with the investigation at 9:30 a.m. on June 19, 2020. Because COVID-19 mitigation measures are in effect, the public hearing will be held using Go To Meeting.

Information about how to participate in the hearing will be posted on the Commission’s website at (https://usitc.gov/research_and_analysis/what_we_are_working_on.htm).  Requests to appear at the public hearing should be filed no later than 5:15 p.m. on June 3, 2020, with the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436.  See below for important information regarding filing a request to appear at a USITC hearing.

The USITC also welcomes written submissions for the record. Written submissions should be addressed to the Secretary to the Commission at the above address and should be submitted at the earliest practical date but no later than 5:15 p.m. on June 29, 2020.  All written submissions, except for confidential business information, will be available for public inspection.  See below for important information regarding the filing of written submissions for USITC investigations.

IMPORTANT:  All filings, including requests to appear at the hearing and written submissions, must be made through the Commission’s Electronic Document Information System (EDIS, https://edis.usitc.gov). No in-person paper-based filings or paper copies of any electronic filings will be accepted until further notice. Persons with questions regarding electronic filing should contact the Office of the Secretary, Docket Services Division (202-205-1802), or consult the Commission’s Handbook on Filing Procedures.

Further information on the scope of this investigation and appropriate submissions appears in the USITC’s notice of investigation, dated on May 21, 2020. The notice can be obtained from the USITC Internet site (www.usitc.gov) or by contacting the Office of the Secretary at the above address or at 202-205-2000.

USITC general factfinding investigations, such as this one, cover matters related to tariffs or trade and are generally conducted at the request of the U.S. Trade Representative, the House Committee on Ways and Means, or the Senate Committee on Finance. The resulting reports convey the Commission's objective findings and independent analyses on the subjects investigated. The Commission makes no recommendations on policy or other matters in its general fact-finding reports. Upon completion of each investigation, the USITC submits its findings and analyses to the requester. General factfinding investigation reports are subsequently released to the public, unless they are classified by the requester for national security reasons.

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