January 26, 2009 — Roasted chicory will be exempt from the ad valorem tariffs instituted as conditions of a 1998 World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement as of March 23, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) announces in today’s Federal Register. The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) most recently filed comments requesting USTR exempt the ingredient from the tariffs in December 2008.
In addition to exempting roasted chicory, some onions and shallots, fresh or chilled, the trade office also decided not to add to the list nearly all substances AHPA identified in its comments as commodities that may be imported by AHPA member companies. Namely, dried tomatoes (in powder); paprika (dried or crushed or ground); oats; sugar confectionary cough drops, and tomatoes (in powder) were not added to the list of subject commodities.
The establishment of the tariffs is a result of a 1998 WTO Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) finding 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.
Source: American Herbal Products Association, www.ahpa.org