What are tariffs and why are they important to U.S. citizens?

Tariffs are key components of trade, especially international trade.  Most American consumers’ merchandise, especially fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) may be purchased from other countries to use in our households and workplaces.    These consumer goods for American citizens must follow the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States for imports from other countries to America.  These tariff schedules are monitored by the U.S. International Trade Commission.

Imports and exports often impact the economic balance to a country’s revenues, operating expenses, and fiscal policies.

Image courtesy of https://usitc.gov/.

The Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) is the primary resource for determining applicable tariff rates and statistical categories for all merchandise imported into the United States. It can also be used in place of Schedule B for classifying goods exported from the United States to foreign countries.

The U.S. Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) classifies a good based on its name, use, and/or the material used in its construction and assigns it a ten-digit number. There are over 17,000 unique ten-digit HTS classification code numbers.

The Harmonized Tariff Schedule is based on the International Harmonized Commodity Coding and Classification System established by the World Customs Organization (WCO). Virtually all countries base their tariff schedules on the WCO’s Harmonized System.

The Harmonized Tariff Schedules of the United States are available as a print subscription product or CD-ROM format.

Custom Brokers will need to be familiar with the nomenclature found within these tariff schedules for the custom brokers’ licensure exam.  Economists, political scientists, small, medium-sized, and large businesses’ senior management executives will want to be familiar with these schedules to identify growth markets and work with their trade compliance teams to ensure that their organization is properly classifying their merchandise.

The GPO Online Bookstore – Easy Access to Federal Publications

HOW DO I OBTAIN THIS RESOURCE?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at https://bookstore.gpo.gov.

Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

Find more than a million official Federal Government publications from all three branches at www.govinfo.gov.

About the author:  This week’s blog contributor is Maureen Whelan, Senior Marketing Team Leader for GPO’s Publications and Information Sales program office in Washington, DC. Maureen oversees print and digital content dissemination strategy and manages third party free and paid content distribution through platforms and vendors, such as Apple iBookstore, Barnesandnoble.com, Google Play eBookstore, Ebscohost databases, Overdrive, ProQuest, and more.

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