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NEWS RELEASE 03-079; August 13, 2003 August 13, 2003
News Release 03-079
Inv. No. 332-457

ITC TO PROVIDE TECHNICAL ANALYSIS OF THE FREE TRADE AREA OF THE AMERICAS

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) is seeking input for a newly initiated investigation into the economic impacts that may result from the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) that is currently being negotiated.

The investigation, Economywide Simulation Modeling: Technical Analysis of the Free Trade Area of the Americas, was requested by the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) in a letter received July 21, 2003.

In his letter to the Commission, the USTR noted that the Administration is conducting an environmental review of the proposed FTAA. He stated that as a possible contribution to the review, staff at USTR and other agencies have been discussing cooperation among the ITC, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service (ERS) to attempt to link large-scale models, on an experimental basis, in order to estimate and examine aspects of the environmental effects of the trade agreement.

As requested by the USTR, to assist this effort the ITC will employ its U.S. computable general equilibrium (CGE) and the Global Trade Analysis Project (GTAP) models to quantify the expected changes in production, trade, and prices that may be associated with the FTAA. The EPA will use the ITC's output as input into its model which describes water and air pollution emissions and water use. The ERS will use the ITC's output as input into its models which describe changes in water use and land use.

The annex provided by USTR can be obtained from the ITC's Internet site at www.usitc.gov or by contacting William Donnelly (202-205-3225 or wdonnelly@usitc.gov) or David Ingersoll (202-205-2218 or ingersoll@usitc.gov).

The ITC will submit its report, which will be confidential, to the USTR by January 21, 2004.

The ITC will not hold a hearing in connection with this investigation, but it welcomes written submissions for the record. Written submissions (one original and 14 copies) 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 October 1, 2003. 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 is available in the ITC's notice of investigation, dated August 12, 2003, 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, like this one, they are classified by the requestor for national security reasons.

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