On April 6, 2020, House Ways and Means Chairman Richard E. Neal (D-MA) and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) submitted a request to the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) for an expedited Section 332 investigation to identify imported products that may be needed to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. In a letter to ITC Chairman David Johanson, the chairmen requested a report by April 30, 2020 that provides details on the tariff classifications and applicable rates of duty associated with identified products in order to assist their committees in working to address the coronavirus emergency.
The chairmen specifically requested that for each identified product, the ITC provide:
- the 10-digit HTS subheading;
- its legal description;
- general duty rate;
- any special or additional rates of duty imposed on the article, the dates on which the rates were imposed, and the authorities under which they were imposed;
- whether any such duties have been suspended and, if so, the date of suspension as well as how long the suspension is scheduled to last;
- the total rate of duty imposed on such article, including any special or additional rate of duty; and
- the major countries of origin for each such article, and the import value of each
such article from each country for the years 2017-2019.
Neal and Grassley noted that they “are keenly aware that our challenges are being severely exacerbated by disruptions and deficiencies in our supply of equipment, inputs, and substances needed for treating and otherwise responding to the COVID-19 pandemic,” and that the requested report would assist their committees and the U.S. Trade Representative “in proposing or taking appropriate and responsive actions.”