February 6, 2002
News Release 02-015
Inv. No. 332-438

ITC SEEKS INPUT FOR A FACTFINDING STUDY ON THE ECONOMIC IMPACT OF ESTABLISHING A FREE TRADE AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND TAIWAN

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) is seeking input from industry officials, trade associations, and others for a factfinding investigation on the economic impact on the U.S. economy of establishing a free trade agreement between the United States and Taiwan.

The investigation, U.S.-Taiwan FTA: Likely Economic Impact of a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) Between the United States and Taiwan (Investigation No. 332-438), was requested by the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance in a letter received on January 17, 2002.

In its letter to the Commission, the Committee stated that the world's other major trading nations are moving to conclude trade arrangements to favor their own industries. These arrangements which exclude the United States can undermine U.S. efforts to expand trade and, in some cases, U.S. interests. The Committee also noted that the recent accession of Taiwan to the WTO will strengthen its role in the multilateral trading system.

As requested by the Committee, the ITC will assess the likely economic impact of a free trade agreement between the United States and Taiwan. In estimating the effects of the elimination of barriers to U.S.-Taiwan trade, the Commission will conduct a static as well as a dynamic analysis based on the most current trade data available, tariff and nontariff barriers, and the economic interrelationship.

Specifically, the ITC report will include a general overview of the Taiwan economy; an overview of the current economic relationship between the United States and Taiwan, including a discussion of the important industry sectors in both; an inventory and analysis of the tariff and nontariff barriers to trade between the United States and Taiwan; the estimated effects of eliminating all quantifiable tariff and nontariff trade barriers, with special attention to agricultural goods, on the volume of bilateral trade, sectoral output and gross domestic product for United States and Taiwan, wages and employment across industry sectors for each, and the final prices paid by consumers in each; and a qualitative assessment of the effects of removing nonquantifiable trade barriers. The ITC will submit its report to the Committee no later than October 17, 2002.

The ITC is seeking information for its study from all interested parties. A public hearing will be held on May 13, 2002, in connection with the investigation. Requests to appear at the hearing should be filed with the Secretary, United States International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436, no later than 5:15 p.m. on April 30, 2002.

The ITC also welcomes written submissions for the record. Written submissions (one original and 14 copies) should be addressed to the Secretary at the address above and should be submitted at the earliest practical date but no later than 5:15 p.m. on May 23, 2002. 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 are available in the ITC's notice of investigation, dated February 5, 2002, 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 202-205-2000.

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 requestor. General factfinding investigation reports are subsequently released to the public, unless they are classified by the requestor for national security reasons.

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