December 30, 2003
News Release 03-122
Inv. Nos. 332-350 and 332-351

ITC ISSUES TOMATO AND PEPPER MONITORING REPORTS

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has issued reports on data it has collected concerning imports of certain tomatoes and peppers.

The ITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency, is required by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Implementation Act to monitor imports of "fresh or chilled tomatoes" and "fresh or chilled peppers, other than chili peppers," until January 1, 2009. The monitoring is intended to enable the ITC to conduct an expedited investigation and, if appropriate, recommend to the President provisional relief under either the global safeguard statute (section 202 of the Trade Act of 1974) or the bilateral safeguard statute (section 302 of the NAFTA Implementation Act) should a petition be filed that alleges that increased imports are causing serious injury to the U.S. tomato or pepper industry. The reports, which cover tomatoes and peppers for fresh-market use and for processing, include current conditions in the U.S. industry in such areas as production, imports, exports, and prices.

Copies of Monitoring of U.S. Imports of Tomatoes (Investigation No. 332-350, USITC Publication 3646, November 2003) and Monitoring of U.S. Imports of Peppers (Investigation No. 332-351, USITC Publication 3647, November 2003) will be available on the ITC's Internet site at www.usitc.gov. A printed copy may be requested from the Office of the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street, SW, Washington, DC 20436, or by calling 202-205-1809. Requests may be made by fax to 202-205-2104.

ITC general factfinding investigations, such as these, cover matters related to tariffs or trade. The investigations are generally conducted at the request of USTR, the Senate Committee on Finance, or the House Committee on Ways and Means; the ITC may also self-initiate investigations. 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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