[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 198 (Friday, October 11, 2019)]
[Pages 54924-54925]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-21835]



Request for Petitions for Duty Suspensions and Reductions

AGENCY: United States International Trade Commission.

ACTION: Notice requesting members of the public who can demonstrate 
they are likely beneficiaries of duty suspensions or reductions to 
submit to the Commission petitions and disclosure forms.


SUMMARY: As required by section 3(b)(1) of the American Manufacturing 
Competitiveness Act of 2016, the Commission is publishing notice 
requesting members of the public who can demonstrate that they are 
likely beneficiaries of duty suspensions or reductions to submit 
petitions for duty suspensions and reductions. Consistent with the Act, 
the Commission will accept petitions submitted during the 60-day period 
beginning on October 11, 2019, and ending at 5:15 p.m. EST on December 
10, 2019. All petitions must be submitted via the Commission's 
designated secure web portal. At a later date the Commission will 
publish notice of the opportunity for the public to submit comments on 
the petitions filed.

    October 11, 2019: Opening date for filing petitions for duty 
suspensions and reductions.
    December 10, 2019, 5:15 p.m., EST: Closing date and time for filing 
petitions for duty suspensions and reductions.

ADDRESSES: All Commission offices are located in the United States 
International Trade Commission Building, 500 E Street SW, Washington, 
DC. The public file for this proceeding may be viewed on the 
Commission's MTB Petition System (MTBPS) at https://mtbps.usitc.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For general inquiries, contact 
Jennifer Rohrbach at [email protected]. For filing inquiries, contact 
the Office of Secretary, Docket Services division, U.S. International 
Trade Commission, telephone (202) 205-3238.
    The media should contact Peg O'Laughlin, Public Affairs Officer 
(202-205-1819 or [email protected]). General information 
concerning the Commission may be obtained by accessing its internet 
server (http://www.usitc.gov).


    The American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act of 2016 (the Act), 
19 U.S.C. 1332 note, establishes a process for the submission and 
consideration of requests for temporary duty suspensions and 
reductions. The Act requires the Commission to initiate the process by 
publishing a notice requesting members of the public who can 
demonstrate that they are likely beneficiaries of duty suspensions or 
reductions to submit petitions and Commission disclosure forms to the 
Commission. The Act establishes the information to be contained in a 
petition and sets out the process the Commission is to follow. The Act 
requires the Commission to publish its notice requesting petitions no 
later than October 15, 2019, and to allow the public to file petitions 
during the 60-day period following publication of the notice. After the 
period for filing petitions closes, the Commission is required to 
publish the petitions on its website and provide notice to the public 
of the opportunity to submit comments on the petitions.
    The Act requires the Commission to submit preliminary and final 
reports to the House Committee on Ways and Means and the Senate 
Committee on Finance (Committees) on the petitions received. The 
reports are to include the Commission's analysis and recommendations 
regarding the petitions, including determinations regarding whether 
there is domestic production of the article, whether the duty 
suspension or reduction can likely be administered by the U.S. Customs 
and Border Protection, whether the estimated loss in revenues due to 
the duty suspension or reduction does not exceed $500,000, and whether 
the duty suspension or reduction will be available to any person 
importing the article. The Commission is required to classify the 
petitions into categories based on whether (1) the petition meets the 
requirements for inclusion in a miscellaneous tariff bill; (2) the 
Commission recommends inclusion in

[[Page 54925]]

such a bill with specified technical changes, changes in product scope, 
or adjustment in the amount of duty reduction; (3) the Commission 
recommends against inclusion in a bill because the petition does not 
meet the petitioning requirements or the petitioner is not a likely 
beneficiary; or (4) the Commission otherwise recommends not including 
the petition. The Committees and the Congress will make the final 
decision regarding the imported articles to be included in a bill.
    The Act also requires the U.S. Department of Commerce (Commerce), 
with input from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and other 
Federal agencies, to submit a report to the Commission and to the 
Committees. This report is to include information related to domestic 
production and technical changes that are necessary for purposes of 
administration when articles are presented for importation.

Procedures for Filing a Petition

    The Commission has promulgated rules of practice and procedure 
regarding the process for filing petitions and has also made available 
a handbook and other materials to assist members of the public in 
filing petitions. The rules, as amended, are published at 19 CFR part 
220 (84 FR 44692, Aug. 27, 2019) and are available at https://gov.ecfr.io/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=2fb26f9e6c52f71f3c0081573eaabf0e&mc=true&node=pt19.3.220&rgn=div5. The rules, handbook, and other materials are also posted on the 
Commission's website at https://www.usitc.gov/mtb_landing.htm. 
Highlights of the filing procedures are presented below only as an 
overview; persons who are considering filing a petition should consult 
the Commission's rules, handbook, and other materials.
    Who may file. As provided for in the Act and in the Commission's 
rules, only members of the public who can demonstrate that they are a 
likely beneficiary of the duty suspension or reduction may file 
petitions for duty suspensions or reductions. The Act defines ``likely 
beneficiary'' to mean ``an individual or entity likely to utilize, or 
benefit directly from the utilization of, an article that is the 
subject of a petition for a duty suspension or reduction.''
    Method for filing. Petitions for duty suspensions and reductions 
must be filed electronically via the Commission's designated secure web 
portal and in the format designated by the Commission in that portal. 
The portal contains a series of prompts and links that will assist 
persons in providing the required information (this information 
concerns both the petitions and related disclosure forms, so there will 
be only one submission). The Commission will not accept petitions 
submitted in paper or in any other form or format. Petitions, including 
any attachments thereto, must otherwise comply with the Commission's 
rules as further explained in the Commission's Handbook on MTB Filing 
Procedures. Persons seeking duty suspensions or reductions on more than 
one imported product must submit separate petitions for each product.
    Persons filing petitions should be prepared to complete their 
entire petition when they enter the portal and because the portal will 
not allow them to edit, amend, or complete the petition at a later 
time. Should a person filing a petition be unable to complete it, the 
person will need to start the process again later. Should a person wish 
to edit or amend a previously filed petition, the person will need to 
file a new petition that includes the changes, and must withdraw the 
earlier petition. Failure to withdraw the earlier petition (or 
petitions) will generally result in the Commission accepting the 
earliest filed petition on the subject product. Accordingly, a person 
filing a petition should have all required information in hand when 
entering the portal to begin the formal filing process. A list of all 
the information required to complete a petition may be found in the 
Commission's Before You File guide located on the Commission's MTB 
information page on its website.
    Time for filing. To be considered, petitions must be filed between 
October 11, 2019, and the close of business (5:15 p.m. EST) on December 
10, 2019. Consistent with the Act, the Commission will not accept 
petitions filed after that time and date.
    Amendment and withdrawal of petitions. As indicated above, the 
Commission's secure web portal will not allow a person who has formally 
submitted a petition to amend the petition. Instead, that person must 
withdraw the original petition and file a new petition that 
incorporates the changes. The new petition must be filed within the 60-
day period designated for filing petitions. The above notwithstanding, 
any petitions properly filed may be withdrawn (without opportunity to 
submit a new petition if withdrawn after the close of the 60-day period 
for filing petitions) no later than 30 days after the Commission 
submits its preliminary report to the Committees.
    Confidential business information. The portal will permit persons 
submitting petitions to claim that certain information should be 
treated either as confidential business information or as information 
protected from disclosure under the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. 552a, (e.g., 
a home address). In the absence of a claim that such information should 
be so treated, the Commission will disclose the information to the 
public when it posts the petitions and attachments on the Commission's 
website. See further information below on possible disclosure of 
confidential business information.

Confidential Business Information

    The Commission will not release information that the Commission 
considers to be confidential business information within the meaning of 
Sec.  201.6(a) of its Rules of Practice and Procedure (19 CFR 201.6) 
unless the party submitting the confidential business information had 
notice, at the time of submission, that such information would be 
released by the Commission, or such party subsequently consents to the 
release of the information.
    Confidential business information submitted to the Commission in 
petitions and comments may be disclosed to or used by (1) the 
Commission in calculating the estimated revenue loss required under the 
Act, which may be based in whole or in part on the estimated values of 
imports submitted by petitioners in their petitions; or (2) the 
Commission, its employees, and contract personnel (a) in processing 
petitions and comments and preparing reports under the Act or (b) in 
internal investigations, audits, reviews, and evaluations relating to 
the programs, personnel, and operations of the Commission including 
under 5 U.S.C. Appendix 3; or (3) Commerce, for use in preparing its 
report to the Commission and the Committees, and the U.S. Department of 
Agriculture and CBP, for use in providing information for that report; 
or (4) U.S. government employees and contract personnel, solely for 
cybersecurity purposes, subject to the requirement that all contract 
personnel will sign appropriate nondisclosure agreements.

    By order of the Commission.

    Issued: October 2, 2019.
Lisa Barton,
Secretary of the Commission.
[FR Doc. 2019-21835 Filed 10-10-19; 8:45 am]