The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) is seeking public comment concerning the probable economic impact of duty-free treatment for currently dutiable imports from Japan. The investigation, U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement: Advice on the Probable Economic Effect of Providing Duty-free Treatment for Currently Dutiable Imports, was requested by the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer in a letter received October 26, 2018. For additional background on this trade agreement and USTR’s separate request for public comments, see Trump and Trade Updates of October 17, 2018 and October 26, 2018.

The ITC will provide a report advising the USTR on the probable economic effect of providing duty-free treatment for imports of currently dutiable products from Japan on U.S. industries producing like or directly competitive products and on consumers. The USTR asked that the ITC’s analysis consider each article in chapters 1 through 97 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS) for which U.S. tariffs will remain, taking into account implementation of U.S. commitments in the World Trade Organization. The advice will be based on the HTS in effect during 2018 and trade data for the year 2017. In addition, the ITC report will assess the probable economic effects of eliminating tariffs on imports from Japan of certain agricultural products on U.S. industries producing the products concerned and on the U.S. economy as a whole. The ITC expects to submit its report, which will be confidential, to the USTR by January 24, 2019.

The ITC is seeking input for the investigation from all interested parties under Investigation Nos. TA-131-043 and TPA-105-004. The key deadlines for the investigation are:

  • November 26, 2018: Deadline for filing requests to appear at the public hearing
  • November 30, 2018: Deadline for filing prehearing briefs and statements
  • December 6, 2018: Public hearing – Main ITC Hearing Room, 500 E Street S.W., Washington, D.C. 20436
  • December 13, 2018: Deadline for filing post-hearing briefs and submissions
  • December 13, 2018: Deadline for filing all other written statements
  • January 24, 2019: Transmittal of report to the USTR

Further information on the scope of the investigation and appropriate submissions is available in the ITC’s notice of investigation, dated November 7, 2018.