August 16, 2005
News Release 05-097
Inv. No. 332-471
Contact: Peg O'Laughlin, 202-205-1819

ITC WILL INVESTIGATE POSSIBLE MODIFICATIONS TO THE U.S. GENERALIZED SYSTEM OF PREFERENCES, 2005 SPECIAL REVIEW ON WATCHES

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, 2005 Special Review on Watches (Investigation No. 332-471), was requested by the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) in a letter received on August 9, 2005.

As requested, the ITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency, will provide advice for all GSP beneficiary countries for certain watches classified under HTS subheadings 9102.11.10, 9102.11.25, 9102.11.30, 9102.11.45, 9102.19.20, 9102.19.40, and 9102.91.40. The ITC will provide separate advice for each watch HTS subheading as to the probable economic effects of the elimination of import duties on United States industries, as well as the effects on United States insular possessions.

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

The ITC will submit its confidential report to USTR by February 17, 2006. As requested by the USTR, as soon as possible thereafter 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 immediately following the close the hearing concerning its investigation U.S. Generalized System of Preferences, 2005 Review on September 29, 2005. Requests to appear at the public hearing should be filed no later than 5:15 p.m. on September 9, 2005, with the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436.

The ITC also welcomes written submissions for the record in this investigation. 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 November 7, 2005. Further information on the scope of the investigation and the procedures for written submissions is available in the ITC's notice of investigation, dated August 15, 2005, which can be downloaded from the ITC Internet site (www.usitc.gov) or by contacting the Secretary at the above address. For further information, call 202-205-1806.

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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