August 16, 2005
News Release 05-098
Inv. No. 332-472
Contact: Peg O'Laughlin, 202-205-1819

ITC TO UPDATE ADVICE TO USTR ON THE PROBABLE ECONOMIC EFFECT OF THE REDUCTION OF U.S. TARIFFS FOR CERTAIN ITEMS

The U.S. International Trade Commission has launched a general factfinding investigation to update advice on the probable economic effect of the reduction of certain U.S. tariffs.

The investigation, Probable Economic Effect of the Reduction of U.S. Tariffs: Update of Advice for Certain Items (Inv. No. 332-472), was requested by the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) in a letter received July 29, 2005.

In his letter, the USTR requested that the ITC provide an update to advice the agency provided in 2002 to help the USTR prepare for the Doha round of multilateral trade negotiations. At that time, the ITC provided confidential advice on the probable economic effect of implementing certain tariff reduction scenarios (ITC Inv. No. 332-440). For the current investigation, the USTR is asking the ITC to update its advice on certain products that have experienced a substantial increase in imports since the period covered in the 2002 report.

As requested, the ITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency, will provide advice as to the probable economic effect on industries producing like or directly competing articles and on consumers of reducing U.S. tariffs by 75 percent on dutiable imports from all U.S. trading partners for products (8-digit HTS items) that meet all of the following criteria:

The ITC will submit its report, which will be confidential, to the USTR by December 13, 2005.

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 submitted at the earliest practical date but no later than 5:15 p.m. on September 16, 2005. All written submissions except for confidential business information will be available for public inspection.

Further information on the scope of this investigation and appropriate submissions is available in the ITC's notice of investigation, dated August 15, 2005, which may be obtained from the ITC Internet site (www.usitc.gov) or by contacting the Office of the Secretary at 202-205-2000.

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 Commissions' objective findings and independent analyses on the subject 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, like this one, they are classified by the requestor for national security reasons.

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