As a party to the Chemical Tariff Harmonization Agreement (CTHA) from the World Trade Organization's Uruguay Round, the United States applies duties ranging from zero to 6.5 percent on most chemicals, with some eight and 14 percent duties on rubber products. The average U.S. duty for the chemical sector is 3.5 percent.
The CTHA defines the chemicals sector as Harmonized Schedule chapters 28-39, which includes organic and inorganic chemicals, pharmaceuticals, plastics, fertilizers, agro-chemicals, paints and dyes, and cosmetics.
The original participants in the CTHA are:
Since the Uruguay Round, the following countries have applied most or all of the CTHA as part of their accession to the WTO:
Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
WTO Doha Negotiations on Chemicals
In the Doha Development Agenda negotiations of thr World Trade Organization (WTO), the United States is pursuing a sector-specific agreement to eliminate tariffs on chemicals covered by the CTHA, including by major producers and traders that are not currently CTHA participants.
In addition, there is a proposal under consideration in the Doha Round that addresses non-tariff barriers in the chemical products and substances sector.
NAMA Chair's Negotiating Text of December 2008
Annex 5: NTB Textual Proposals (December 2008)
Annex 5: Negotiating Proposal on NTBs in the Chemical Products and Substances Sector (December 2008)