November 30, 2006
News Release 06-115
Inv. Nos. 332-482 and Singapore FTA-103-015
Contact: Peg O'Laughlin, 202-205-1819

ITC SEEKS INPUT FOR INVESTIGATIONS ON THE PROBABLE ECONOMIC EFFECT OF TARIFF AND RULES OF ORIGIN CHANGES UNDER THE U.S.-SINGAPORE FTA

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has launched investigations concerning the probable economic effect of accelerating the reduction or elimination of certain U.S. duties under the U.S.-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (USSFTA) as well as a rules of origin change for certain articles.

The investigations, U.S.-Singapore FTA: Probable Economic Effect of Accelerated Tariff Elimination and Modification of Rules of Origin, were requested by the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) in a letter received on October 27, 2006.

According to the request letter, the United States and Singapore have agreed to enter into consultations to consider accelerating the reduction or elimination of tariffs (including an increase in the quota level of certain tariff rate quotas) and a rules of origin change for certain articles. Sections of the USSFTA authorize such accelerations, and the President is authorized to proclaim modifications in duty treament and rules of origin changes subject to certain requirements, including that the President obtain advice regarding the proposed action from the ITC.

As requested, the ITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency, will provide advice, with respect to specified articles, on the probable effect of accelerating the reduction or elimination of the U.S. tariff under the USSFTA on domestic industries producing like or competitive articles and on consumers of the affected goods. The articles include preparations for infant use, put up for retail sale (HS 1901.10); peanuts in snack products (HS 2008.11); and polycarbonates (HS 3907.40.00). The ITC's advice will be based on 2006 HTS nomenclature and 2005 trade data.

In addition, the ITC will provide advice on the probable effect of modifying the USSFTA rules of origin for photocopiers (HS 9009.12.00) on U.S. trade under the USSFTA, on total U.S. trade, and on domestic industries.

The ITC expects to submit its confidential advice to the USTR by February 5, 2007.

The ITC will not hold a hearing in connection with this investigation, but it welcomes written submissions for the record from all interested parties and requests that the information focus on the articles for which the ITC is requested to provide information and advice. 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 December 21, 2006.

Further information on the scope of the investigation and the procedures for written submissions is available in the ITC's notice of investigation, dated November 30, 2006, which can be obtained from the ITC Internet site (www.usitc.gov) or by contacting the Secretary at the above address.

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