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H.R. 4353

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on Tariffs and Trade. Prepared or preserved plums, prunes, or prunelles are not eligible for duty-free entry under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), nor are preferential rates granted to imports from least developed developing countries (LDDC's). However, imports from designated beneficiary countries are eligible for duty-free entry under the Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI).

The tariff classification of various dried salted plums and prunes from the Orient has been the subject of several decisions. In 1965, plums said to have been immersed in salt water solution (Baume reading not over 18 percent) for a period of 6 days for the purpose of arresting immediate decay and then thoroughly sun dried were classified in TSUS item 149.26--dried plums, prunes, and prunelles. In 1973, dried prunes "made of the fresh fruits which have been soaked in salt water and then sun dried" were classified in TSUS item 149.28--the provision for otherwise prepared or preserved articles. The U.S. Customs Court (now the Court of International Trade) decided in 1978 on cross-motions for summary judgement that the imported merchandise in question, which was subjected to both brining and drying (separate preparative or preservative operations) and which contained 44.1 percent salt, was properly classified in TSUS item 149.28. The U.S. Customs Service is reviewing the proper tariff classification of certain imported plums and prune products.

Effect on Revenue

Based on the average of the annual imports of plums, prunes, and prunelles otherwise prepared or preserved not in airtight containers entered during 1978 to 1982, the enactment of this legislation would likely result in an annual loss of customs revenue of about $193,000. However, should imports continue at the 1982 level, the potential revenue loss is estimated to be $269,000.

Subcommittee Action

Agency Reports

The Department of Agriculture had no objection to enactment of H.R. 4353.
The International Trade Commission submitted an informative report.


On June 27, 1984, the Subcommittee on Trade ordered H.R. 4353 favorably reported to the full Committee on Ways and Means by voice vote, with technical amendments, including changes in the article description and in the effective date of the new provision to 15 days after date of enactment.

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Department of Agriculture: No objection to enactment of H.R. 4353.
Statements for the Record


Jade Food Products, Inc.: Over 20 years ago Jade Food received permission from the U.S. Customs Service to import brine-soaked and sun dried plums at 2 cents per pound tariff for further processing in the United States. When the rate was changed to 17.5 percent ad valorem, it put Jade Food Products in a competitive disadvantage. The extra cost of the tariff will result in Jade moving to Asia and 20 people losing their jobs.


Hawaii International Services Agencey (HISA): Twenty years ago, U.S. Customs Service allowed Jade Food Products to begin importing brine-soaked and sun-dried plums into the United States at a 2 cent per pound tariff rate for further processing in Hawaii. As a result, a business with 20 employees was started. Now the Customs Service has unilaterally imposed a 17.5% ad valorem rate on the plums, the same rate that is imposed on the finished product. As a result. Jade Food Product Company can do business at less cost in Asia than in Hawaii and will be forced to move there.

Yick Lung Co., Inc.: This bill seeks to modify the present tariff schedule so that plums which have been prepared in brine and dried would be taxed at the same rate as plums which have only been dried. Plums prepared and preserved by this particular process would be taxed at a substantially lower rate than those prepared or preserved by other means. This distinction is arbitrary and affords an unfair competitive edge to those companies which deal with salted, dried plums.

Introduced by: Mr. Frenzel (Minn.)

Date: November 14, 1983

To suspend the duty on sulfaquinoxaline until the close of December 31, 1986.

Summary of the Provision

H.R. 4378, if enacted, would suspend the duty on sulfaquinoxaline until the close of December 31, 1986.

Section-by-Section Analysis

Section 1 of H.R. 4378, if enacted, would amend subpart B of part 1 of the Appendix of the Tariff Schedules of the United States (19 U.S.C. 1202) by inserting a new item 907.28 to suspend both the MFN, column 1 duty and the column 2 duty on sulfaquinoxaline, provided for in item 411.81, part 1C, schedule 4, until December 31, 1986.

Section 2, as amended, would make the provision effective on the 15th day after the date of enactment of the Act.

Background and Justification

Sulfaquinoxaline is principally used as a low level additive in cattle and other animal feeds, where it functions as a growth promoter. In addition, it is used for treating certain bacterial and microbial infections in poultry, swine and sheep. The medicinal use of this product has declined, due to the development of resistant strains of infective organisms and to competition from penicillin and other antibiotics. However, there continues to be significant use for medicinal purposes. Sulfaquinoxaline may be administered orally, in powder or tablet form, or used externally, in powder or ointment form.

Imports of sulfaquinoxaline enter the United States under item 411.81 of the TSUS, along with several other enumerated antiinfective agents; and separate import statistics are therefore not available. Sulfaquinoxaline is produced in England and Poland and in the past has also been produced in Italy.

Exports of this product are believed to be nil.

36-895 O

H.R. 4378

Comparison With Present Law

Sulfaquinoxaline is classifiable in TSUS item 411.81, along with five other enumerated products. The current column 1, MFN, rate of duty is 18.9% and the LDDC rate is 10.8% ad valorem. The column 2 rate applicable to this item is 7 cents per pound plus 95% ad valorem.

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H.R. 4378
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This item was eligible for staged rate reductions under the Tokyo round of the MTN and the column 1 rate of duty will decrease to 10.8% by 1987, where it is scheduled to remain.

In March 1983, sulfaquinoxaline was added to the list of articles eligible for duty-free entry when imported from countries designated in general headnote 3 (c) of the TSUS as beneficiary developing countries under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP). By suspending the duties applicable to imports from countries not designated under the GSP, this legislation would temporarily eliminate any advantage, in terms of the cost of duties, which now exists as to imports of this product from beneficiary countries.

Effect on Revenue

It is estimated that customs revenue losses during the specified 3-year period, from 1984 through 1986, would be less than $50,000 per year.

Subcommittee Action

Agency Reports

The Department of Commerce has no objection to enactment of H.R. 4378.

The International Trade Commission submitted an informative report on this legislation.


On June 27, 1984, the Subcommittee on Trade ordered H.R. 4378 favorably reported to the full Committee on Ways and Means by voice vote, with a technical amendment providing for the effective date to be 15 days after the date of enactment.

Senate Action

A companion bill, S. 1482, has been introduced in the Senate.

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Department of Commerce: No objection to enactment of H.R. 4378.

Statements for the Record

The Honorable Cooper Evans, M.C. (Iowa): Sulfa drugs are used primarily by the livestock and poultry industry directly in the treatment of animal infection or indirectly in the production of other drugs which treat infection.

Salsbury Laboratories, Inc.: Sulfa drugs are of prime importance to the livestock and poultry industries and there is virtually no domestic production of these essential veterinary health products. Also, due to environmental problems and costs associated with their manufacture, future domestic production is quite unlikely.

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