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NEWS RELEASE 02-075; August 23, 2002 August 23, 2002
News Release 02-075
Inv. No. 332-445

ITC TO INVESTIGATE CONDITIONS OF COMPETITION IN THE U.S. MARKET FOR WOOD STRUCTURAL BUILDING COMPONENTS

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has launched a general factfinding investigation to assess the conditions of competition in the U.S. wood structural building components industry.

The ITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency, will conduct the investigation, Conditions of Competition in the U.S. Market for Wood Structural Building Components (Inv. No. 332-445), at the request of the Senate Committee on Finance. In its request letter, received on July 31, 2002, the Committee noted that the global competitiveness of U.S. industries is a continuing concern and that as part of the policy making process, it is seeking impartial and detailed information on the competitiveness of the industry producing structural building components (e.g. wood trusses, wall panels and related structural components also know as the panelized construction industry). The Committee requested that the scope of the investigation cover structural building components including, but not limited to, beams and arches, roof and floor trusses, I-joists, prefabricated partitions and panels (including headers) for buildings and other structural wood members, and that it cover the period 1997-2002 to the extent possible.

As requested, the ITC will provide an overview of the North American market for prefabricated wood structural building components (including a description of the principal structural wood components in production and trade and their non-wood substitutes); a description of the U.S. industry and the industry in the principal countries supplying the U.S. market, including recent trends in production, capacity, employment, and consumption; trade patterns (both imports and exports), factors affecting trade patterns (including tariffs and other border measures), and competitive conditions affecting U.S. production and trade; views of industry, homebuilders, and other interested parties on future developments in the supply of and the demand for U.S. wood structural building components, including the effect of imports (including factors affecting imports such as tariffs and other border measures) and non-wood substitutes on U.S. production and housing construction; and a comparison of the strengths and weaknesses of the U.S. industry and major U.S. suppliers in such areas as raw material supply, technological capabilities, plant and equipment modernization, and present capacity and potential capacity expansion.

The ITC will submit its report to the Committee by April 30, 2003.

A public hearing in connection with the investigation will be held at the U.S. International Trade Commission Building, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC, beginning at 9:30 a.m. on December 5, 2002. Requests to appear at the public 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 November 21, 2002.

The ITC also welcomes written submissions (one original and 14 copies) for the record in this investigation. Written statements should be submitted at the earliest possible date but no later than 5:15 p.m. on December 19, 2002. The Commission's rules do not authorize filing submissions with the Secretary by facsimile or electronic means, and all written submissions, except for confidential business information, will be available for public inspection. All submissions should be addressed to the Secretary, United States International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436.

Further information on the scope of this investigation and appropriate submissions is available in the ITC's notice of investigation, dated August 23, 2002, which may be obtained from the ITC Internet site (www.usitc.gov) or by contacting the Office of the Secretary 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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