A detailed timeline of the process can be found here. The new MTB process, as set out in the law, runs from October 2019 through the end of 2020. The dates and time frames below have been calculated from the start date announced by the U.S. ITC and the text of the legislation:

  • October 11 – December 10, 2019: USITC MTB portal open for petition submission.
  • December 10, 2019 – January 11, 2020: USITC compiles petitions.
  • No later than January 11 – USITC issues Federal Register notice soliciting comments on product petitions.
  • January 11 – Late February, 2020 (45 days): USITC accepts public comments through online portal.
  • January 11 – Mid-April, 2020 (90 days): Commerce conducts its review of petitions, at the end of which it submits its report to the congressional committees and the USITC.
  • January 11 – Mid-June, 2020 (150 days): USITC conducts its review of petitions, at end of which it submits its Preliminary Report to the congressional committees, taking into consideration the Commerce Report.
  • Mid-June – mid-August, 2020 (60 days): USITC conducts re-review of individual petitions, based on information submitted by the congressional committees, at the end of which it submits its Final Report to the congressional committees.

A successful MTB petition will cover a “noncontroversial” or “noncompetitive” product. The guidelines defining those products are:

  • No domestic producer objects to the import duty elimination or reduction for the product;
  • The import duty elimination or reduction for the product is determined to be in the interest of U.S. “downstream” producers and consumers; and
  • The import duty elimination or reduction for the product must not result in a loss to the U.S. Department of the Treasury of more than $500,000 in annual revenue.

The ITC determines whether the petition should move forward. ITC delivers its determinations directly to congressional committees, including but not limited to:

  • A determination if domestic production of the product exists;
  • A determination of whether a domestic producer objects to the petition;
  • Any technical changes to the product’s article description that are necessary for purposes of administration;
  • An estimate of the amount of loss in revenue to the United States if the duty suspension or reduction takes effect;
  • A list of petitions that it does not recommend for inclusion in an MTB.

Importers can request an elimination or reduction of duties, depending on the annual duty savings anticipated and the $500,000 threshold.

The ITC’s website indicates that almost 700 (or only 28 percent) of the petitions listed in the Commission’s final 2017 report were not recommended to Congress for inclusion in an MTB.  Many of these are due to issues regarding classification and the ability of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to administer the claimed provision.

Successful MTB petitions are compiled into a bill and presented to the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committees and would then need to be approved by Congress and signed into law by the president before becoming effective. If signed into law, then the MTB petitions may become effective January 1, 2021, with an expiration date of December 31, 2024.

The ITC’s new petition procedures appear more stringent than those applied during the 2016 round of MTB petitions.

The new procedures indicate that the petitions should include (to the extent available):

  1. CBP rulings issued on the product;
  2. a copy of other CBP documentation indicating where the article is classified in the HTS;
  3. an estimate of both total value and dutiable value for the product for the next five calendar years;
  4. an estimate of the share of total imports represented by the petitioner’s imports of the subject article;
  5. the names of any domestic producers of the article, if available;
  6. a certification of completeness and correctness; and
  7. an acknowledgement of the petitioner’s awareness that the information submitted is subject to ITC audit and verification.

The USITC will take into account the Department of Commerce report, including input from CBP, and other Executive agencies, in its report. The USITC will provide its preliminary report to the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committees in mid-June 2020 and its final report in mid-August 2020. In between the preliminary and final reports, the USITC is directed to consider information from the congressional committees on its report. For more information on the MTB process, click here.

For more information regarding the filing or preparation of the petition, contact Diaz Trade Law today at 305-456-3830 or via email at info@diaztradelaw.com.