April 10, 2012
News Release 12-035
Inv. No. 332-530
Contact: Peg O'Laughlin, 202-205-1819

USITC TO REPORT ON TRADE FACILITATION IN THE EAST AFRICAN COMMUNITY

The United States International Trade Commission (USITC) is seeking input for a newly initiated investigation on trade facilitation in the East African Community (EAC).

The investigation, Trade Facilitation in the East African Community: Recent Developments and Potential Benefits, was requested by the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) in a letter received on March 28, 2012.

In requesting the study, the USTR noted that the United States and the EAC recently began preliminary discussions on a potential new trade and investment partnership that aims to support regional integration and greater U.S.-EAC trade and investment. He said he believes that one of the initial steps under this initiative that could have the most immediate benefit to U.S.-EAC, regional, and multilateral trade would be engagement with the EAC on customs clearance and other practices at the border.

As requested, the USITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency, will provide a summary of recent developments relating to trade facilitation in the EAC. The USITC report will include a description of the potential benefits of trade facilitation to the EAC countries, based on empirical studies and the experiences of other developing countries. For purposes of the study, trade facilitation means the simplification of customs procedures affecting the movement of goods across borders, as well as improvements to transport infrastructure.

The USITC expects to submit its report to the USTR by July 2, 2012.

Although the information in the report will be based principally on a review of the available literature, the USITC is seeking input for its new investigation from all interested parties. The USITC will not hold a public hearing in connection with the investigation; however, the USITC 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 May 10, 2012.

Further information on the scope of this investigation and the procedures for written submissions is available in the USITC's notice of investigation, dated April 9, 2012, which can be downloaded from the USITC Internet site (www.usitc.gov) or by contacting the Secretary at the above address.

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