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NEWS RELEASE 03-021; March 4, 2003 March 4, 2003
News Release 03-021
Inv. No. 332-451

ITC LAUNCHES INVESTIGATION CONCERNING 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.

The investigation, Advice Concerning Possible Modifications to the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences, 2002 Review (Investigation No. 332-451), was requested by the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR).

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 of certain items to the GSP. The items include certain cheeses, figs, peanut oil, mixed vegetables and fruits, filberts, canned sardines, frozen lemon juice, adipic acid, toluidines and its salts, MSG, certain dichlorobenzotrifluorides, ferroniobium, titanium sponge, non-high definition color TVs, and flat-panel color video monitors. The items are imported under HTS subheadings 0406.20.51, 0710.22.37, 0710.22.40, 0710.30.00, 0710.80.97 (pt.), 0710.80.9730, 0710.90.91, 0804.20.80, 1508.10.00, 1508.90.00, 1604.13.20, 1604.13.30, 2001.90.20, 2008.19.20, 2009.31.6020, 2009.39.6020, 2903.69.70 (pts.), 2917.12.10, 2921.43.15, 2921.43.80 (pt.), 2922.42.10, 7202.93.00, 8108.20.0010, 8528.12.3224, 8528.12.3235, 8528.12.3250, and 8528.21.70.

The Commission also will provide advice as to whether any industry in the United States is likely to be adversely affected by the addition of certain knives, forks, and spoons of base metals, imported under HTS subheadings 8211.91.20, 8215.99.01, 8215.99.10, and 8215.99.30, for countries designated as least-developed beneficiaries.

In addition, the Commission will provide advice as to the probable economic effect on U.S. industries producing like or directly competitive articles and on consumers of the removal of Russia from eligibility for duty-free treatment under the GSP for other titanium articles imported under HTS subheading 8108.90.60.

The study will also provide advice as to the adverse impact of the granting of a waiver of the competitive need limits for Argentina peanut oil and frozen lemon juice under HTS subheadings 1508.10.00, 2009.31.6020, and 2009.39.6020; for Brazil MTBE, ferroniobium, and certain power train parts for motor vehicles under HTS subheadings 2909.19.14, 7202.93.00, 8413.30.10, and 8708.99.67; for India copper kitchen ware and non-electrical lamps under HTS subheadings 7418.19.10, 7418.19.50, 9405.50.20, 9405.50.30, and 9405.50.40; for Kazakhstan ferrosilicon chromium and titanium sponges under HTS subheadings 7202.50.00 and 8108.20.0010; for Morocco for other processed vegetables and canned sardines under HTS subheadings 1604.13.20, 1604.13.30, and 2001.90.20; for Thailand for certain ceiling fans, certain color TV/VCRs, and ignition wiring harnesses under HTS subheadings 8414.51.00 (pt.), 8528.12.28, and 8544.30.00; and for Turkey for dried apricots and gold necklaces under HTS subheadings 0813.10.00 and 7113.19.29. "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. With respect to the competitive need limit in section 503(c)(2)(A)(i)(I) of the 1974 Act, the Commission, as requested, will use the dollar value limit of $105,000,000.

The USTR will publish full article descriptions in the Federal Register.

The ITC will submit its confidential report to USTR by May 21, 2003. As soon as possible thereafter, as requested by the USTR, 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. April 8, 2003. Requests to appear at the public hearing should be filed no later than 5:15 p.m. on March 17, 2003, with the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436. In addition, persons appearing should file prehearing briefs (original and 14 copies) with the Secretary by the close of business on March 20, 2003. Posthearing briefs should be filed with the Secretary by close of business on April 14, 2003. In the event that no requests to appear at the hearing are received by the close of business on March 19, 2003, the hearing will be canceled. For further information, please call 202-205-1806.

The ITC also welcomes written submissions for the record. Written submissions should be addressed to the Secretary to the Commission at the above address and should be submitted at the earliest practical date but no later than 5:15 p.m. on April 14, 2003.

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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