October 10, 2008
News Release 08-099
Inv. No. 332-325
Contact: Peg O'Laughlin, 202-205-1819

ITC TO STUDY THE ECONOMIC EFFECTS OF SIGNIFICANT U.S. IMPORT RESTRAINTS

Trade Liberalization Since 1934 Will Be Special Focus of Sixth Update

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has begun work on the sixth update of its report on the economic effects of significant U.S. import restraints, and U.S. trade liberalization efforts since 1934 will be a special focus of the report.

As requested by the U.S. Trade Representative, the ITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency, will report on efforts to liberalize U.S. trade since 1934, which have transformed the United States from a relatively closed market into one of the world's most open economies.

The sixth update will continue to assess the economic effects of significant import restraints on U.S. consumers and firms, the income and employment of U.S. workers, and the net economic welfare of the United States. The assessment will not include import restraints resulting from antidumping or countervailing duty investigations, section 337 and 406 investigations, or section 301 actions.

The investigation, The Economic Effects of Significant U.S. Import Restraints (Inv. No. 332-325), was requested by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) in May 1992. That request called for an initial investigation and updates at approximately two year intervals. The initial report was submitted in November 1993; updates were submitted in December 1995, May 1999, June 2002, June 2004, and February 2007.

The ITC expects to submit the sixth update to the USTR by August 20, 2009.

The ITC is seeking input for the sixth update from all interested parties. A public hearing will be held in connection with this investigation on January 8, 2009. Requests to appear at the hearing should be filed no later than 5:15 p.m. on December 2, 2008, with the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E St., SW, Washington, DC 20436.

The ITC also welcomes written submissions for the record. Submissions (one original and 14 copies) should be addressed to the Secretary at the above address and should be submitted at the earliest practical date but no later than 5:15 p.m. on February 6, 2009. All written submissions, except for confidential business information, will be available for public inspection.

Further information on the scope of the investigation and appropriate submissions is available in the ITC's notice of investigation, dated October 10, 2008, which may be obtained from the ITC Internet site (www.usitc.gov) or by contacting the Secretary at the above address or 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 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 requestor. General factfinding investigation reports are subsequently released to the public, unless they are classified by the requestor for national security reasons.

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