May 19, 2005
News Release 05-056
Inv. No. 332-466
Contact: Peg O'Laughlin, 202-205-1819

ITC RELEASES REPORT ON LIKELY EFFECTS OF DUTY-FREE ENTRY FOR GOODS UNDER THE GSP

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) today released a public version of its confidential report on the probable economic effect of providing duty free treatment under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP).

The report, Advice Concerning Possible Modifications to the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences, 2004 Review, was requested by the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR).

As requested, the ITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency, provided advice as to whether any industry in the United States is likely to be adversely affected by the addition of dates, HTS subheadings 0804.10.20, 0804.10.40, 0804.10.60, 0804.10.80, and 2008.99.25; certain carpets and rugs, HTS subheadings 5702.51.20, 5702.91.30, 5702.92.0010, 5702.99.1010, 5703.10.0020, 5703.20.10, and 5703.30.0020; and leaf springs and leaves for motor vehicle suspensions, HTS subheading 7320.10.60. In addition, the Commission provided 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 polytetrafluoroethylene in primary forms, HTS subheading 3904.61.00.

The report also provided advice as to the adverse impacts of the granting of a waiver of the competitive need limits for Argentina for certain leather goods, HTS subheadings 4107.19.50 and 4107.92.80; for the Philippines for certain fatty acids or acid oils, HTS subheading 3823.19.20; and for Turkey for certain travertine dimension stone, HTS subheading 6802.91.25. "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, used the dollar value limit of $115,000,000.

The ITC submitted a confidential version of the report to the USTR on May 9, 2005.

Advice Concerning Possible Modifications to the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences, 2004 Review (Investigation No. 332-466, USITC publication 3772, May 2005) will be posted in the publications area of the ITC Internet site at www.usitc.gov. A printed copy may be requested by calling 202-205-1809 or by writing the Office of the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436. Requests may also be made by fax to 202-205-2104.

ITC general factfinding investigations, such as this one, 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.

-- 30 --