March 10, 2008
News Release 08-021
Inv. Nos. 332-498 and Chile FTA-103-020
Contact: Peg O'Laughlin, 202-205-1819
ITC LAUNCHES NEW INVESTIGATION
ON ACCELERATED TARIFF ELIMINATION FOR CERTAIN AGRICULTURAL ARTICLES
UNDER THE U.S.-CHILE FREE TRADE AGREEMENT
The United States International Trade Commission (ITC) is seeking input for a newly initiated investigation concerning the proposed accelerated elimination of tariffs under the U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement (UCFTA) for certain vegetables and grape juice that are goods of Chile.
The investigation, Certain Vegetables and Grape Juice: Probable Economic Effect of Accelerated Tariff Elimination for Certain Goods of Chile, was requested by the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) in a letter received on February 11, 2008. An addendum to the request was received on February 22, 2008.
As requested by the USTR, the ITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency, will provide advice on the probable economic effect of the proposed UCFTA tariff eliminations on U.S. industries producing like or directly competitive articles, on workers in these industries, and on consumers of the affected goods. The investigation will cover frozen beans, spinach, sweet corn, miscellaneous other frozen vegetables, and frozen mixtures of vegetables; canned artichokes; and other grape juice including grape must. If enacted, duties on these goods would be eliminated on or about January 1, 2009.
The ITC expects to submit its confidential advice to the USTR by May 22, 2008.
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 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 April 4, 2008.
Further information on the scope of this investigation and the procedures for written submissions is available in the ITC's notice of investigation, dated March 7, 2008, which can be downloaded from the ITC Internet site (www.usitc.gov) or by contacting the Secretary at the above address. The USTR's request letter included an annex listing the articles with respect to which the President may eliminate duties. That letter and annex can be found on the ITC's Internet site at http://www.usitc.gov/ind_econ_ana/research_ana/vegetables.htm. The addendum can be found at http://www.usitc.gov/ind_econ_ana/research_ana/AddendumRequestLetter.pdf.
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.