May 9, 2013
News Release 13-044
Inv. Nos. TA-131-038 and TA-2104-030
Contact: Peg O'Laughlin, 202-205-1819
USITC TO INVESTIGATE THE PROBABLE ECONOMIC EFFECT
OF DUTY-FREE IMPORTS UNDER A U.S.-TRANS-PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP FTA
THAT INCLUDES JAPAN
The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) is seeking input for investigations into the probable economic effect of a U.S. free trade agreement (FTA) with members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), including Japan.
The investigations, U.S.-Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade Agreement Including Japan: Advice on the Probable Economic Effect of Providing Duty-Free Treatment for Imports, were requested by the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) in a letter received April 30, 2013.
In the request letter, the USTR stated that he has informed Congress of the President's intention to commence negotiations with Japan in the context of the TPP and asked the USITC to provide advice concerning the probable economic effect of a U.S. free trade agreement with Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam.
For the current report, the USTR asked that the USITC, among other things, identify any changes in its advice from the earlier advice that did not include Japan. The USITC has previously provided advice to the USTR concerning the probable economic effect of providing duty-free treatment for imports of products from Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam, plus Malaysia, Canada, and Mexico, under a TPP FTA (those reports remain classified by the USTR).
As requested, the USITC will advise the President as to the probable economic effect of providing duty-free treatment for imports of products of the 11 countries participating in the TPP negotiations on industries in the United States producing like or directly competitive articles and on consumers. In preparing its advice, the USITC will consider each article in chapters 1 through 97 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States for which tariffs will remain, taking into account implementation of U.S. commitments in the World Trade Organization and under U.S. free trade agreements that the United States has with a TPP country. The advice will be based on the 2013 Harmonized Tariff Schedule nomenclature and trade data for the year 2012. The advice will assume that any known U.S. non-tariff barrier will not be applicable to such imports, and the USITC will note in its report any instance in which the continued application of a U.S. non-tariff barrier would result in different advice with respect to the effect of the removal of the duty.
In addition, as requested by the USTR, the USITC will prepare an assessment of the probable economic effect of eliminating tariffs on imports of certain agricultural products of the TPP participants on U.S. industries producing the product concerned and the economy as a whole. A list of the products is attached to the USTR's request letter, which can be obtained from the USITC's web site and its electronic document information system (EDIS).
The USITC expects to submit its report, which will be confidential, to the USTR by August 21, 2013.
The USITC is seeking input for the investigations from all interested parties and requests that the information focus on the issues for which the USITC is requested to provide information and advice.
The USITC will hold a public hearing in connection with the investigations on June 11, 2013. Requests to appear at the hearing should be filed no later than 5:15 p.m. on May 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 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 June 17, 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 investigations, dated May 9, 2013, which can be downloaded from the USITC Internet site (www.usitc.gov) or may be obtained by contacting the Office of the Secretary at the above address or at 202-205-2000.