Elimination of Customs Duties Possible for Over 700 Additional Pharmaceutical Products and Chemical Intermediates

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By letter dated May 27, 2010, the U.S. Trade Representative (“USTR”) sent a letter to the U.S. International Trade Commission (“ITC”) requesting that the ITC provide information about over 700 pharmaceutical products and chemical intermediates for which the elimination of custom duties may be proposed. As part of the “zero-for-zero” initiative of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act, the President can proclaim changes to duties for certain classes of goods as part of the “zero-for-zero” initiative. Pharmaceutical and chemical intermediates are in such categories. To date over 2,000 pharmaceutical products and intermediates have been added to the Pharmaceutical Appendix in the HTUS. The current review is the fourth periodic proposal to add additional pharmaceuticals and intermediates to the list. The United States and 21 other major trading countries agreed during the Uruguay Round to eliminate duties on pharmaceuticals and to periodically conduct reviews to identify additional products to be covered by the initiative. If added to the Appendix, the products included in the new USITC investigation would receive duty-free treatment.

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