On Monday, March 25, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) published its Federal Register notice to announce its annual Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) review. USTR will consider petitions addressing several aspects of the GSP program, most importantly the redesignation of currently excluded products.
Last November, despite the RV Industry Association’s petition, USTR did not include a redesignation of a Competitive Needs Limit (CNL) waiver for lauan/meranti plywood from Indonesia, meaning that imports of this plywood are still subject to the 8 percent duty, as they have been since the previous waiver was revoked in 2015. This duty amounts to more than $1 million each month for importers of this plywood, which is factored into the cost that RV manufacturers pay for the material.
The primary cause for non-acceptance of last year’s petition was a report from the International Trade Commission (ITC) claiming there was a domestic production of a “like or directly competitive product.” The ITC report contains numerous errors, omissions and analytical problems, as the evidence is clear, that no such product exists.
The RV Industry Association will be submitting a petition proactively addressing the issues in last year’s ITC report asking that lauan/meranti from Indonesia be redesignated. Petitions must be submitted by April 18, 2019.
For more information, contact Sam Rocci at [email protected].