On January 15, the Commission made an affirmative determination under section 202 of the Trade Act of 1974 that increased imports of wheat gluten are a substantial cause of serious injury to the U.S. wheat gluten industry. It further made a negative finding with respect to imports of wheat gluten from Canada and Mexico under section 311 of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Implementation Act. As a result of the affirmative injury determination, the Commission proceeded to the remedy phase of its investigation. Today's action relates to that phase of the investigation.
Chairman Marcia E. Miller, Vice Chairman Lynn M. Bragg, and Commissioner Carol T. Crawford announced that they will recommend that the President impose a quota on imports of wheat gluten for a four-year period. The quota would be set in the first year at 126 million pounds, with this amount increasing by 6 percent in each of the three following years. They will also recommend that the President allocate, within that quota, separate quotas for the European Union, Australia, and all other non-excluded countries, taking into account the disproportional growth and the impact of imports of wheat gluten from the European Union.
The Commissioners will further recommend that any imports of wheat gluten from Canada, Mexico, Israel, and the beneficiary countries under the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act or the Andean Trade Preferences Act be excluded from the quota.
The Commissioners will further recommend that the President undertake international negotiations to address the underlying cause of the increase in imports of wheat gluten or otherwise to alleviate the injury to the domestic industry.
The Commission will forward its findings and recommendations to President Clinton by March 18, 1998. The President, not the Commission, will make the final decision whether to provide relief to the U.S. industry and the type and amount of relief.
The Commission's public report to the President Wheat Gluten (Inv. No. TA-201-67, USITC Publication 3088) will contain the views of the Commission and information developed during the investigation. A copy may be requested after April 8, 1998, by calling 202-205-1809 or writing The Office of the Secretary, 500 E Street, SW, Washington, DC 20436. Requests may also be faxed to 202-205-2104.