Pursuant to a mandate in the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 passed into law earlier this year, the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has launched a web-based interface designed to allow the public to more easily monitor changes in U.S. imports.
The new USITC Import Monitoring Tool utilizes monthly import data retrieved from the U.S. Department of Commerce for the eight latest quarters; and going forward, it will be routinely updated after each calendar quarter.
Results are displayed by Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) tariff line and when initially entering the tool, users will see U.S. imports by tariff line ranked in descending order based on the largest absolute change during the latest two quarters.
Features of the system enable users to:
- Adjust the ranking criteria to a percentage change basis;
- Isolate a group of tariff lines from a specific HTS chapter, heading, or subheading;
- Isolate the changes for a specific import partner;
- View the corresponding change in the quantity of imports.
Users can also query the system for data by HTS tariff line and can see country or quantity detail for these lines.
It should be noted that the Import Monitoring Tool is separate from the Commission’s existing Data Web system for accessing trade data, but the USITC indicates that the new tool represents a first step in planned improvements to make its Data Web more accessible and easier to use.