December 1, 2009
News Release 09-099
Inv. No. 332-511
Contact: Peg O'Laughlin, 202-205-1819

ECONOMIC INTEGRATION, EXPORT COMPETITIVENESS, AND INBOUND INVESTMENT FOR SELECTED INDUSTRIES IN SOUTHEAST ASIA ARE FOCUS OF NEW USITC STUDY

The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has launched an investigation that will study the economic integration, export competitiveness, and inbound investment of six industries in Southeast Asia.

The investigation, ASEAN: Regional Trends in Economic Integration, Export Competitiveness, and Inbound Investment for Selected Industries, was requested by the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) in a letter received on November 9, 2009.

In the letter, the USTR noted that in 2006, the United States and the member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) signed the U.S.-ASEAN Trade and Investment Framework Arrangement, which among other things is designed to support ASEAN's stated goal of full regional economic integration by 2015. The USTR further noted that achieving this goal would make the region a more attractive trade and investment partner for U.S. business. The USTR stated that ASEAN has identified 12 priority integration sectors for accelerated economic integration. He asked the USITC to provide certain information on six of those sectors of most interest to U.S. exporters and investors: electronics, automotives, agro- based products, healthcare, textiles and apparel, and wood-based products.

As requested, the USITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency, will provide an overview of regional trends in economic integration, export competitiveness, and inbound investment for the six sectors. The USITC will identify a leading industry within each of the six sectors, and for each industry, provide a description, including the industry's position relative to global competitors, particularly as it relates to export competitiveness and inbound investment flows. The USITC will also identify the leading ASEAN exporting countries and their key markets; identify the leading ASEAN country recipients of inbound investment and source countries of that investment; identify pairs or groups of countries within ASEAN that have experienced significant integration related to industry production and/or marketing; and analyze leading competitive factors that have contributed to changes in industry regional integration, export competitiveness, and inbound investment.

The USITC will submit its report to USTR by August 2, 2010.

The USITC will hold a public hearing in connection with the investigation at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, February 3, 2010. Requests to appear at the hearing should be filed no later than 5:15 p.m. on December 30, 2009, with the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436. For further information, call 202-205-2000.

The USITC also welcomes written submissions for the record. Written submissions (one original and 14 copies) should be addressed to the Secretary of the Commission at the above address and should be submitted at the earliest practical date, but no later than 5:15 p.m. on March 10, 2010. 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 USITC's notice of investigation, dated December 1, 2009, which can be obtained from the USITC Internet site (www.usitc.gov) or by contacting the Office of the Secretary at 202-205- 2000.

USITC 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 subject investigated. The Commission makes no recommendations on policy or other matters in its general factfinding reports. Upon completion of each investigation, the USITC 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.

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