From Washington

Travel Goods & GSP – Status Update

Travel Goods & GSP – Status Update

On February 25, President Trump left India without a trade deal. However, all hope is not lost for restoration of India’s Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) benefits as negotiations continue. Meanwhile, we await a final Trump administration decision on GSP benefits for Thailand and Indonesia. We expect a final decision this summer. And, finally, on February 25, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), the Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee, the powerful trade setting committee, joined five other prominent Senate Democrats in calling for the Trump administration to review the Philippines’ GSP benefits over labor/human rights concerns.

China Tariff Exclusions Now at Four

China Tariff Exclusions Now at Four

On February 19, the U.S. government published a new set of decisions under its review of the 30,322 tariff exclusion requests on the 25% punitive tariffs under Tranche 3. As a result, the government has now granted exclusions for three travel goods items: certain drawstring backpacks (See description on Page 6, #5) certain leather bags (See description on Page 6, #5) (See petition), certain nylon bags (See description on Page 8, #31) (See petition), and certain zippered bags on armbands (see description on Page 9, #32) (See petition). Anyone importing products matching these descriptions no longer pay the punitive 25% tariff (until August 7, 2020). Previous tariffs paid are eligible for refunds, retroactive to September 24, 2018. To date, the U.S. government has denied 396 travel goods petitions. 501 travel goods petitions still await review.

Public Comment Period on Miscellaneous Tariff Bills (MTB) Now Open

Public Comment Period on Miscellaneous Tariff Bills (MTB) Now Open

The public comment period on Miscellaneous Tariff Bills (MTB) petitions closes this coming Monday, February 24, at 5:15 P.M. Over 60 MTB petitions have been filed on travel goods, with petitioners seeking the temporary reduction of tariffs on U.S. imports of certain products as long as there is no U.S. production of the product. The process ends with Congress voting on a final package of MTB provisions in fall 2020, with the temporary tariff reductions going into effect January 1, 2021 for a period of three years. The tariff reductions benefit anyone importing the same product. TGA urges companies to file comments on the petitions relevant to their products before the February 24 deadline.