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NEWS RELEASE 01-081; June 4, 2001 June 4, 2001
News Release 01-081

ITC LAUNCHES TARIFF AND TRADE DATAWEB AS FULL-TIME, PERMANENT, FREE PUBLIC SERVICE

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) today announced that it will make its interactive tariff and trade data warehouse, the ITC DataWeb, available to the public on a permanent full-time basis, free of charge.

The ITC, an independent, nonpartisan, quasi-judicial federal agency, developed the interactive tariff and trade data system for its own staff when a system maintained by another agency and previously used by the ITC was scheduled for termination. The system is currently used in all ITC investigative activities and is also relied upon by staff at numerous federal government agencies, congressional offices, various U.S. trade negotiating groups, and U.S. embassies.

Following a successful two-year pilot program to test the feasibility of public access to the system, the ITC has completed hardware and software upgrades to the DataWeb to ensure it can handle public and government users' inquiries efficiently and expeditiously.

The ITC DataWeb (http://dataweb.usitc.gov) is a self-service, interactive, Internet-based system that provides access to extensive tariff and trade data. The system is designed to enable even novice users to find their way -- unassisted -- through the numerous options available in working with tariff and trade data. The ITC DataWeb responds to user-defined queries rapidly, and it allows both expert and non-expert users to create and save customized country and product lists for future re-use from anywhere in the world.

The ITC DataWeb integrates international trade transactions with complex tariff and customs treatment. Import and export materials are updated monthly. Data are available for years 1989 through 2001 on a monthly, quarterly, annual, or year-to-date basis and can be retrieved in a number of classification systems, including the Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS), the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC), the Standard International Trade Classification (SITC), or the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). Material is available on U.S. trade under special tariff preference programs or by country or country group. Pre-defined reports are also available by geographic region, partner country, and production sharing provisions (under which goods are exported for processing abroad and later returned to the United States). Current information on U.S. tariffs, which is maintained and published by the ITC as one of its statutory responsibilities, can be accessed via the DataWeb, where it can also be linked to relevant and current trade data.

"My colleagues and I are proud to announce the permanent availability of this remarkable resource to the public," said Stephen Koplan, Chairman of the ITC. "Through the two-year pilot project, we confirmed strong public interest in access to the system and identified the technical upgrades we'd need to provide it. The upgrades are now completed, and we're pleased to launch the system on a permanent basis."

Koplan noted that opening the DataWeb to the public fulfills one of the agency's goals under the Government Paperwork Elimination Act, under which information collected at taxpayer expense is to be made, to the extent possible, directly available to the public rather than through government staff. It also responds to a request for public access to this data from the International Trade Data System (ITDS) Board, an interagency group chartered to re-engineer the collection, processing, and dissemination of trade data.

The ITC makes no recommendations on policy or other matters through the ITC DataWeb.

The ITC DataWeb can be accessed through the ITC Internet site (www.usitc.gov) or directly at http://dataweb.usitc.gov. Input from users and other interested parties, including written submissions that address trade and tariff data availability issues or suggestions, is welcome. Written submissions should be addressed to the Office of the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436. Technical questions may be sent to the DataWeb help desk at DataWeb@usitc.gov or to Peg MacKnight (pmacknight@usitc.gov), Tariff and Trade Information Manager, or Martin Smith (msmith@usitc.gov), Director of the ITC Office of Information Services.

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