Recently, the International Trade Commission ("ITC") began a global safeguard investigation under section 201 of the Trade Act of 1974 into whether the large amounts of blueberries being imported into the U.S. have harmed domestic blueberry farmers. The announcement of this investigation is one part of a set of actions announced by the United States Trade Representative ("USTR"). One possible outcome may be tariffs being placed on Blueberry goods originating from Canada and imported to the U.S.
The ITC plans to publish a notice of commencement of the proceeding and will allow parties interested to be heard at the hearing. Canada is mentioned very few times in the Report on Seasonal and Perishable Products in U.S. Commerce (the "Report"), while the influx of blueberries imported from Mexico seems to be cause for concern for some U.S. producers and U.S. industry associations. Of note in the Report, the USTR plans to work with domestic U.S. workers to also begin investigations into other seasonable and perishable goods, such as strawberry and bell pepper imports.
The following Blueberry goods are classified according to the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States ("HTSUS") and are subject to investigation:
- 0810.40.0029 (cultivated blueberries, including highbush, fresh or chilled);
- 0810.40.0026 (certified organic blueberries, fresh or chilled);
- 0810.40.0024 (wild blueberries, fresh or chilled);
- 0811.90.2024 (wild blueberry, uncooked or cooked by streaming or boiling in water, frozen);
- 0811.90.2030 (blueberries, certified organic, cultivated (including highbush), uncooked or cooked by steaming or boiling in water, frozen); and
- 0811.90.2040 (blueberries, cultivated (including highbush), uncooked or cooked by steaming or boiling in water, NESOI, frozen).
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