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NEWS RELEASE 99-009; JANUARY 19, 1999 January 19, 1999
News Release 99-009
Inv. No. 332-402

ITC INVESTIGATION WILL PROVIDE ADVICE CONCERNING
THE ELIMINATION OF DUTIES ON CERTAIN PHARMACEUTICAL PRODUCTS
AND CHEMICAL INTERMEDIATES;
INPUT SOUGHT FROM TRADE ASSOCIATIONS, INDUSTRY OFFICIALS,
AND OTHER INTERESTED PARTIES

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has instituted an investigation and will provide advice to the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) concerning the elimination of duties on approximately 750 pharmaceutical products and chemical intermediates.

The investigation, Advice Concerning the Addition of Certain Pharmaceutical Products And Chemical Intermediates to the Pharmaceutical Appendix to the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (Inv. No. 332-402), was requested by the USTR in a letter received December 23, 1998.

The products included in the investigation are being considered for addition to the approximately 7,500 products already covered by the Pharmaceutical Appendix to the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), a product of the Uruguay Round Agreements. The United States and the 21 other major trading countries who agreed as part of the Uruguay Round Agreements to eliminate duties on pharmaceuticals have undertaken this review to identify products eligible to be covered by the initiative. The countries agreed to undertake such a review at least once every three years. If added to the list, the approximately 750 products and their derivatives would receive duty-free treatment.

The USTR indicates that this list of proposed additional products resulted from recommendations made by the U.S. private sector as well as submissions through the governments of participarting countries. USTR consulted with the Industry Sector Advisory Committee on Chemicals (ISAC-3) throughout the negotiations and this ISAC has endorsed the final list of items under consideration.

As requested by the USTR, the ITC will provide the following:

The ITC will submit its report to the USTR by April 1, 1999.

The ITC seeks written input on these products from all interested parties. Written submissions should focus on the levels of exports and imports for the items included in this investigation. Written submissions (one original and 14 copies) should be submitted at the earliest practical date but no later than 5:15 p.m. on February 17, 1999. All written submissions, except for confidential business information, will be available for public inspection. Written submissions should be addressed to the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436.

Further information on the scope of the investigation and an annex listing the products that will be included is available in the ITC's notice of investigation, dated January 14, 1999, 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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