April 19, 1999
News Release 99-055
GLOBAL ISSUES AFFECTING U.S. INDUSTRIES
AND THE TECHNOLOGICAL COMPETITIVENESS OF THE UNITED STATES
ARE FOCUS OF ITC QUARTERLY PUBLICATION
Implications of Korea's foreign exchange crisis and efforts to expand the use of advanced
structural ceramics are among the topics explored in the current issue of Industry Trade and
Technology Review (ITTR), a quarterly publication of the U.S. International Trade
Commission's Office of Industries.
Industry, Trade, and Technology Review (ITTR) contains articles originating from research and
analysis conducted by International Trade Commission (ITC) staff as part of its responsibilities
to provide advice and technical information on industry and trade issues. The ITTR provides
analysis of important issues and insights into the global position of U.S. industries, the
technological competitiveness of the United States, and implications of trade and policy
The ITTR is a publication of the Office of Industries. The opinions and conclusions it contains
are those of the authors and are not the views of the Commission or of any individual
The current issue (March 1999) includes the following articles:
In addition, the publication includes an appendix charting key performance indicators for the
steel, automobile, aluminum, flat glass, and services industries.
- Korea's Foreign Exchange Crisis and Its Implications for U.S.-Korean Trade -- After nearly
three decades of extraordinary growth and development, the Korean economy was
derailed in November 1997 by a serious foreign exchange crisis. Facing the high
interest rates, sharp currency depreciation, a falling stock index, and a crippling
shortage of liquidity, Korea had to initiate a series of reforms to stabilize its volatile
financial market and help its transition from a state-directed economic system to one
that is freer. This article examines the crisis, Korea's stabilization efforts, and changes
in U.S.-Korea bilateral merchandise trade.
- Advanced Structural Ceramics: Vast Potential Has Yet to be Realized -- A great deal of initial
promise had been expected of advanced structural ceramics (ASC) by virtue of their
unique properties compared to metals or polymers. However, global markets for these
materials are far below projections made at the beginning of the decade. Although the
use of ASC in cutting tools and wear applications continues to show sustained growth,
industry's goal of significant use penetration into the huge automotive and aerospace
engine components markets and the power generation industry is yet to be realized.
Efforts are underway to make these materials more competitive by reducing product
cost, speeding product development cycles, and gaining acceptance among end-users.
This article examines current end-use applications of ASC, obstacles to
commercialization of these materials, efforts by industry and domestic and foreign
governments to overcome these obstacles, and the use of these ceramics in major global
Industry Trade and Technology Review (USITC Publication 3182, March 1999) will be posted
on the ITC's Internet server at www.usitc.gov. A cumulative list of articles published in the
report series is also posted. The ITTR will also be available at regional federal depository
libraries in the United States. To request a printed copy of the ITTR or to be added to the
mailing list, contact the Office of the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E
Street SW, Washington DC 20436. Requests may also be faxed to 202-205-2104.
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