January 9, 2013
News Release 13-004
Inv. No. 332-531
Contact: Peg O'Laughlin, 202-205-1819


The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has launched the first of two investigations into the role of digital trade in the U.S. and global economies.

The investigations were requested by the Committee on Finance, U.S. Senate, in a letter received on December 14, 2012.

In its letter requesting the investigations, the Committee stated: "Digital trade has increased rapidly in recent years and is an increasingly important activity within the global economy. ....[P]olicymakers are facing unprecedented challenges as they seek to ensure that digital trade remains open while producers' and consumers' data remain secure."

As requested, the USITC will deliver two reports to the Committee.

The first report, Digital Trade in the U.S. and Global Economies, Part I, will:

The USITC expects to deliver the first report to the Committee by July 14, 2013.

The second report will build on the first report to:

The second report will be delivered to the Committee by July 2014. More details on the second study will be available when it is instituted.

For the purposes of the report, "digital trade" encompasses commerce in products and services delivered over digital networks. Examples include software, digital media files (e.g., e-books and digital audio files), and services such as data processing and hosting. The report will also examine how other industries, such as financial services and retailing, make use of digital products and services for production and trade.

The USITC will hold a public hearing in connection with these investigations at 9:30 a.m. on March 7, 2013. Requests to appear at the hearing should be filed no later than 5:15 p.m. on February 21, 2013, 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 for the first investigation 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 March 14, 2013. All written submissions, except for confidential business information, will be available for public inspection.

Further information on the scope of the investigations and appropriate submissions is available in the USITC's notice of investigation, dated January 8, 2013, 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 these, cover matters related to tariffs or trade and are generally conducted at the request of the U.S. Trade Representative, the House Committee on Ways and Means, and the Senate Committee on Finance. 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 investigations reports are subsequently released to the public, unless they are classified by the requester for national security reasons.

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