On April 12, 2018, the US International Trade Commission (ITC) announced that it is seeking input on a new investigation concerning proposed modifications to the United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA) regarding the staging of customs duties for certain motor vehicles (provided for in subheadings 8704.21.00, 8704.22.50, 8704.23.00, 8704.31.00, 8704.32.00, and 8704.90.00 of the U.S. Harmonized Tariff Schedule). The announcement stated:

The investigation, U.S.-Korea FTA: Advice on Modifications to Duty Rates for Certain Motor Vehicles, was requested by the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) in a letter received on April 6, 2018.  The letter included an attachment detailing the articles affected by the proposed modifications.

As requested, the ITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency, will provide advice on the probable economic effect of the proposed U.S.-Korea FTA staging of customs duty modifications on U.S. trade under the Agreement and on domestic producers of the affected articles.

The USITC expects to submit its advice to the USTR by June 1, 2018.  A public version of the report, with all confidential business information deleted, will be released as soon as possible thereafter.

The USITC is seeking input for its new investigation from all interested parties and requests that the information focus on the articles for which the USITC is requested to provide information and advice. The USITC will not hold a public hearing in connection with the investigation; however, the USITC welcomes written submissions for the record. Written submissions should be addressed to the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC, 20436, and should be submitted at the earliest practical date but no later than 5:15 p.m. on May 1, 2018.

Further information on the scope of the investigation, the proposed staging of customs duty modifications, and the procedures for written submissions is available in the USITC’s notice of investigation. The deadline for filing written submissions is May 1, 2018.