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NEWS RELEASE 02-059; July 10, 2002 July 10, 2002
News Release 02-059
Inv. No. 332-444

ITC LAUNCHES INVESTIGATION OF IMPEDIMENTS TO TRADE AND PROSPECTS FOR LIBERALIZATION OF OIL AND GAS FIELD SERVICES: SEEKS INPUT FROM INTERESTED PARTIES

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has initiated an investigation of global oil and gas field services markets. The investigation follows two previous studies completed by the ITC on the electric power and natural gas industries.

The investigation, Oil and Gas Field Services: Impediments to Trade and Prospects for Liberalization (Investigation No. 332-444), was requested by the United States Trade Representative (USTR).

As requested by USTR, in its study the ITC will (1) describe the various activities involved in the provision of oil and gas field services; (2) discuss the nature of trade in oil and gas field services; and (3) examine the extent of impediments to trade in oil and gas field services and the potential benefits of trade liberalization. Since oil and gas field services are conducted in a vast number of countries, the ITC will focus on issues that could be relevant multilaterally. For the purpose of this study, oil and gas field services are broadly defined to include evaluation and exploration activities; drilling activities; and well development and completion activities.

The ITC expects to submit its report to the USTR by March 18, 2003. As soon as possible thereafter, the report is expected to be made available to the public.

The ITC seeks input for this report from all interested parties. Information submitted should focus on market access conditions in the global markets, trade liberalization measures, and the potential applicability of disciplines embodied in the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). The ITC will hold a public hearing in connection with the investigation on October 1, 2002. Requests to appear at the hearing should be filed no later that 5:15 p.m. on September 17, 2002, with the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street, SW, Washington, DC 20436. For further information, call 202-205-1816.

The ITC also welcomes written submissions for the record. Written submissions (one original and 14 copies) should be addressed to the Secretary of the Commission at the above address and should be submitted at the earliest practical date but no later than 5:15 p.m. on October 22, 2002. The hearing will be canceled if no witnesses are scheduled to appear as of the close of business on September 17, 2002. Any person interested in attending the hearing as an observer or non- participant may call the Secretary to the Commission (202-205-1816) after September 17, 2002, to determine whether the hearing will be held.

Further information on the scope of the investigation and appropriate submissions is available in the ITC's notice of investigation, dated July 9, 2002, which can be downloaded from the ITC Internet site (www.usitc.gov) or may be obtained by contacting the Office of the Secretary at the above address or at 202-205-1816.

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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