September 5, 2002
News Release 02-079
Inv. No. 332-447

ITC LAUNCHES INVESTIGATION ON POSSIBLE MODIFICATIONS TO THE U.S. GENERALIZED SYSTEM OF PREFERENCES

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

The investigation, Advice Concerning Possible Modifications to the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences (Investigation No. 332-447), was requested by the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) in a letter received on August 22, 2002.

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 the addition to the GSP of certain cheeses, peanuts, dairy preparations, pineapple and grape juices, grape must, other rosin and resin acids, certain ferroalloys, and ball and tapered roller bearings. These articles are imported under Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) subheadings 0406.90.41, 1202.10.40, 1202.20.40, 1901.90.42, 2008.11.25, 2008.11.45, 2009.41.20, 2009.49.20, 2009.60.00, 2009.69.00, 2204.30.00, 3806.90.00, 7202.99.50, 8482.10.10, 8482.10.50, and 8482.20.00.

The study will also provide advice as to the adverse impacts of the granting of a waiver of the "competitive need limits" specified in section 503(c)(2)(A) of the Trade Act of 1974 with respect to the following: from Argentina, peanuts and grape juice imported under HTS subheadings 1202.20.40, 2008.11.25, 2009.61.00, 2009.69.00; from the Philippines, pineapple juice imported under HTS subheading 2009.49.20; and from Turkey, gold or platinum jewelry imported under HTS subheading 7113.19.50. "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. As requested, with respect to the competitive need limits, the Commission will use the dollar value limit of $100,000,000.

The USTR published full article descriptions in the Federal Register (67F.R.55297) on August 28, 2002.

The ITC is expected to submit its confidential report to USTR by December 4, 2002. As soon as possible thereafter, the ITC will 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 at 9:30 a.m. October 17, 2002. Requests to appear at the public hearing should be filed no later than 5:15 p.m. on September 20, 2002, with the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436. For further information, please call 202-205-1806.

The ITC also welcomes written submissions (one original and 14 copies) for the record in this investigation. Written submissions should be submitted at the earliest practical date but no later than 5:15 p.m. on October 22, 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 the investigation and appropriate submissions is available in the ITC's notice of investigation, dated September 5, 2002, which can be obtained from the ITC Internet site (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 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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