November 9, 2000
News Release 00-142
Inv. No. 332-420

ITC LAUNCHES INVESTIGATION CONCERNING POSSIBLE GSP MODIFICATIONS FOR CERTAIN GOODS FROM INDIA; SEEKS INPUT FROM INTERESTED PARTIES

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) is seeking input for a newly initiated investigation concerning possible modifications of the Generalized System of Preferences for certain products imported from India.

The investigation, Advice Concerning Possible Modifications to the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences with Respect to Certain Products Imported from India (Investigation No. 332-420), was requested by the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR).

As requested, the ITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency, will provide advice as to whether any industry in the United States is likely to be adversely affected by a waiver of the "competitive need limits" specified in section 503(c)(2)(A) of the Trade Act of 1974 with respect to the imports from India under investigation. The articles under investigation include certain articles of jewelry; certain household articles; and certain non-electric lamps imported from India under Harmonized Tariff Schedule subheadings 7113.19.25; 7113.19.29; 7113.19.50; 7418.19.10; and 9405.50.30. The USTR published full article descriptions in the Federal Register (65F.R.65370) on November 1, 2000.

In her request letter, the USTR noted that these articles are currently ineligible for duty-free treatment under the GSP because imports of them from India exceed the competitive need limits set by the statute. "Competitive need limits" represent the maximum import level of a product that is eligible for duty-free treatment under the GSP; once the limit is reached, trade is considered "competitive," benefits are no longer needed, and imports of the article become ineligible for GSP treatment, unless a waiver is granted. The USTR noted in her request letter that as a result of a White House initiative with India, the interagency Trade Policy Staff Committee is conducting a review to consider waiving the "competitive need limits" for the articles under investigation. The President is required to seek the ITC's advice on the economic effect of such modifications before making them.

The ITC is expected to submit its confidential report to USTR by February 6, 2001. As soon as possible thereafter, the ITC will, as requested by USTR, issue a public version of the report containing only the unclassified sections, with any business confidential information deleted.

The ITC is seeking input for its new investigation from all interested parties and requests that the information focus on the articles for which the ITC is requested to provide information and advice. The ITC will hold a public hearing in connection with the investigation on December 13, 2000. Requests to appear at the public hearing should be filed no later than 5:15 p.m. on November 27, 2000, with the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436. The hearing will be canceled if no witnesses are scheduled to appear as of the close of business on November 27, 2000. For further information, please call 202-205-1806.

The ITC also welcomes written submissions for the record. Written submissions should be addressed to the Secretary to the Commission at the above address and should be submitted at the earliest practical date but no later than 5:15 p.m. on December 21, 2000.

Further information on the scope of the investigation and appropriate submissions is available in the ITC's notice of investigation, November 7, 2000, which can be downloaded from the ITC Internet server (www.usitc.gov) or may be obtained by contacting the Office of the Secretary at the above address or at 202-205-1806.

ITC general factfinding investigations, such as this one, cover matters related to tariffs or trade and are generally conducted at the request of the U.S. Trade Representative, the Senate Committee on Finance, or the House Committee on Ways and Means. The resulting reports convey the Commission's objective findings and independent analyses on the subjects investigated. The Commission makes no recommendations on policy or other matters in its general factfinding reports. Upon completion of each investigation, the ITC submits its findings and analyses to the requester. General factfinding investigation reports are subsequently released to the public, unless they are classified by the requester for national security reasons.

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