December 16, 2008 — The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) filed comments Dec. 8 requesting the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) exempt roasted chicory and other roasted coffee substitutes and extracts, essences, and concentrates thereof from a list of products subject to 100 percent ad valorem tariffs instituted as conditions of a 1998 World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement.
AHPA also requested the removal of onions, shallots, “juice of any single fruit,” and “fatty substances derived from wool grease (including lanolin)” from the list. Furthermore, the association asserted the following substances should not be added to the list of subject commodities:
• Dried tomatoes, in powder
• Paprika, dried or crushed or ground
• Sugar Confectionary cough drops
• Tomatoes, in powder
• Mixtures of fruit juices, or mixtures of vegetable fruit juices
In 1998, the WTO Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) found that a European Commission (EC) import ban on beef products produced from animals to which certain growth hormones had been added was inconsistent with EC obligations under the WTO agreement since the effect of the EC ban was to prohibit the import of substantially all U.S.-produced beef and beef products. The ban resulted in an annual $116.8 million nullification or impairment of U.S. benefits under the WTO agreement. To resolve this matter, the DSB allowed the U.S. to recuperate the loss through tariffs. The USTR developed a list of EC commodities subject to a 100 percent rate of duty in which roasted chicory and other substances named above were included.
“AHPA does not believe that imposition of tariffs on these imported goods will be practicable or effective in terms of encouraging a favorable resolution of the dispute,” said AHPA President Michael McGuffin. “Furthermore, continuation of these tariffs will cause disproportionate harm to U.S. interests, including the small or medium-size businesses. Therefore, we request the USTR remove the named products from the list and refrain from adding additional substances, such as dried, crushed or ground paprika.”
The comments filed Dec. 8 maintain and extend comments AHPA submitted to the USTR in June 2000 in response to the initial listing of roasted chicory and other roasted coffee substitutes and extracts, essences, and concentrates thereof as subject commodities.
Source: American Herbal Products Association, www.ahpa.org