December 8, 1998
News Release 98-094
Inv. No. 332-401

ITC INSTITUTES FACTFINDING STUDY ON ECONOMIC
AND COMPETITIVE CONDITIONS AFFECTING
THE U.S. PIANO INDUSTRY; SEEKS INPUT
FROM TRADE ASSOCIATIONS, INDUSTRY OFFICIALS,
AND OTHER INTERESTED PARTIES

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has instituted an investigation into the competitiveness of the U.S. piano industry, particularly that portion of the industry producing upright pianos.

The investigation, Pianos: Economic and Competitive Conditions Affecting the U.S. Industry (Inv. No. 332-401), was requested by the U.S. House of Representatives' Committee on Ways and Means (the Committee) in a letter received November 11, 1998.

In its request letter, the Committee requested that the ITC undertake an impartial and detailed analysis on the competitiveness of the U.S. piano industry to inform and assist policymakers. Specifically, the Committee requested that the ITC collect, to the extent possible, information that would provide:

In addition to the factors noted above, the Committee specified that the ITC's examination of foreign industries and markets should concentrate principally on Japan, Korea, China, and Indonesia, and that the ITC should take into account the impact of worldwide currency fluctuations and devaluations. The ITC will submit its report to the Committee by May 12, 1999.

The ITC is seeking input on the U.S. and worldwide piano industry from all interested parties. Any information that is provided should concentrate on those competitive factors noted above and upon that portion of the U.S. and foreign industries that produces upright pianos.

A public hearing will be held in connection with the investigation on February 17, 1999. Requests to appear at the public hearing should be filed no later than 5:15 p.m. on January 29, 1999, with the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street, SW, Washington, DC 20436.

The ITC also welcomes written submissions for the record. Written submissions (one original and 14 copies) should be addressed to the Secretary at the above address and submitted at the earliest practical date but no later than 5:15 p.m. on March 1, 1999. All written submissions, except for confidential business information, will be available for public inspection.

Further information on the scope of the investigation and appropriate submissions is available in the ITC's notice of investigation, dated December 7, 1998, which may be obtained from the ITC Internet server (http://www.usitc.gov) or by contacting the Office of the Secretary at the above address or at 202-205-1802.

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