September 20, 2005
News Release 05-106
Contact: Peg O'Laughlin, 202-205-1819
ITC ISSUES FINAL INDUSTRY TRADE AND TECHNOLOGY REVIEW
Multilateral efforts to enhance customs clearance of merchandise trade and worldwide market
developments for environmental insurance are among the topics examined in the final issue of
Industry Trade and Technology Review (ITTR), a periodic publication of the U.S. International
Trade Commission's (ITC) Office of Industries.
The publication will be merged with the International Economic Review, a publication of the
ITC's Office of Economics, creating a new publication that will debut in the spring of 2006.
Industry Trade and Technology Review contains articles originating from research and analysis
conducted by ITC staff as part of its responsibilities to provide advice and technical information
on industry and trade issues. The ITTR provides analysis of important issues and insights into the
global position of U.S. industries, the technological competitiveness of the United States, and
implications of trade and policy developments.
The opinions and conclusions it contains are those of the authors and are not the views of the
Commission as a whole or of any individual Commissioner.
The final issue (June/July 2005) includes the following articles:
- Customs Facilitation: Global Initiatives and the Progress of WTO Negotiations -- Customs
clearing impediments that pose a large adverse impact on firms involved in the global
movement of goods include weight and value restrictions, time-consuming
documentation requirements, burdensome inspection requirements, and regulatory
restrictions on a firm's ability to provide customs brokerage services. These impediments
have been reduced in some countries through the implementation of multilateral
directives and arrangements such as the World Customs Organization and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. Bilateral and multilateral trade negotiations may
further facilitate customs processing. Recently signed U.S. free trade agreements contain
binding customs provisions. The World Trade Organization negotiations on trade
facilitation, launched in August 2004, are intended to improve customs-related articles of
the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. This article presents an overview of
customs-related impediments, examines customs facilitation initiatives currently
underway, and reports on the benefits of improving customs processing on merchandise
- International Markets for Environmental Insurance -- Environmental insurance is designed to
protect policy holders from unexpected environmental liability obligations. The market is
established in the United States and is starting to develop overseas as well. The
environmental insurance market is driven by environmental regulations that incorporate
the "polluter pays" principle. In the United States, the Resource Conservation and
Recovery Act (RCRA) and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation,
and Liability Act (CERCLA) have led to a market focused on insuring against
remediation costs of both past and future land and water pollution. The European
Union's Environmental Liability Directive is creating a market focused on insuring
against the costs of future environmental damage to land, water, and biodiversity. This
article examines the types and benefits of existing environmental insurance products,
developments in the U.S. and foreign markets, potential application of environmental
insurance to risks of natural resource and biodiversity damage, and growth prospects for
In addition, the publication includes an appendix charting key performance indicators for the
steel, automobile, aluminum, flat glass, and services industries, as well as for North American
trade. The ITTR's "Key Performance Indicators" (appendix A) will continue to be updated on a
quarterly basis and posted to the Commission's Internet site. The data can be accessed at http://www.usitc.gov/research_and_analysis/commission_publications.htm.
Industry Trade and Technology Review (USITC Publication 3794, June/July 2005) will be posted
on the USITC's Internet site at www.usitc.gov. A cumulative list of articles published in the
report series is also posted. The ITTR will also be available at regional federal depository
libraries in the United States. To request a printed copy of the ITTR, contact the Office of the
Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436.
Requests may also be faxed to 202-205-2104.
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