February 20, 2013
News Release 13-022
Inv. No. 332-540
Contact: Peg O'Laughlin, 202-205-1819

DIGITAL TRADE: USITC BEGINS SECOND OF TWO INVESTIGATIONS

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

The investigation, Digital Trade in the U.S. and Global Economies, Part 2, is the second report of two 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 investigation, Digital Trade in the U.S. and Global Economies, Part I, was instituted on January 7, 2013.

In the second investigation, the USITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency, will conduct a survey of U.S. firms in selected industries particularly involved in digital trade. The second report will build on the first report to:

The USITC expects to deliver the second report to the Committee by July 14, 2014.

For the purposes of these reports, "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 this 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 28, 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 these investigations 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 21, 2014. 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, and February 19, 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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