June 21, 2005
News Release 05-073
Inv. No. NAFTA -103-012
Contact: Peg O'Laughlin, 202-205-1819

ITC LAUNCHES INVESTIGATION ON POSSIBLE MODIFICATIONS TO THE NORTH AMERICAN FREE TRADE AGREEMENT RULES OF ORIGIN

The United States International Trade Commission (ITC) is seeking input on a newly initiated investigation concerning proposed modifications to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) rules of origin.

The investigation, Probable Effect of Certain Modifications to the NAFTA Rules of Origin (Inv. No. NAFTA-103-012), was requested by the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) in a letter received on May 23, 2005. The original request was modified by USTR staff in a letter received on June 16, 2005, to delete three products.

As requested, the ITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency, will provide advice on the probable effect of the proposed rules of origin modifications on U.S. trade under the NAFTA and on domestic industries.

The articles covered by the investigation are cocoa and cocoa preparations; cranberry juice; ores, slag and ash; leather; cork and articles of cork; prepared feathers and down and articles made of feathers or of down, artificial flowers, and articles of human hair; glass and glassware; copper; nickel and articles thereof; lead; zinc and articles thereof; tin; other base metals; televisions; information technology agreement goods; and controls.

A detailed list of the proposed modifications is available from the Office of the Secretary or by accessing the Commission's Federal Register notice on the ITC web site (www.usitc.gov). The U.S. NAFTA rules of origin can be found in General Note 12 of the 2005 Harmonized Tariff Schedule, also posted on the ITC web site, and the most recent updates to the current U.S. NAFTA rules of origin can be found in Presidential Proclamation 7870 of February 9, 2005 (70 FR 7611).

The ITC expects to submit its advice to the USTR by September 26, 2005.

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 advice. The ITC will not hold a public hearing in connection with the investigation; however, the ITC welcomes written submissions for the record. Written submissions should be addressed to the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436 and should be submitted at the earliest practical date but no later than 5:15 p.m. on August 3, 2005.

Further information on the scope of the investigation, the proposed rules of origin modifications, and the procedures for written submissions is available in the ITC's notice of investigation, dated June 21, 2005, which can be downloaded from the ITC Internet site (www.usitc.gov) or by contacting the Secretary at the above address.

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