July 15, 2008
News Release 08-070
Inv. No. 332-481
Contact: Peg O'Laughlin, 202-205-1819


Innovation Important to Future Productivity and Competitiveness of U.S. Firms

From pharmaceuticals to plastics, from ethanol to biodiesel, the U.S. chemical and biofuel industries are expanding their use of industrial biotechnology, reports the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) in its report Industrial Biotechnology: Development and Adoption by the U.S. Chemical and Biofuel Industries.

The ITC found that the liquid biofuel industry, composed of ethanol and biodiesel producers, saw remarkable growth in its business activities from 2004 to 2007, with the number of producers, production establishments, and the value of corn ethanol shipments more than doubling and the value of biodiesel shipments increasing by well over 2,000 percent during that time.

The bio-based chemical industry, composed of pharmaceutical and other chemical producers, expanded as well during the period studied, though not as dramatically. Innovation is important to the future competitiveness and productivity of both industries.

The ITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency, completed the report at the request of the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance. As requested, the ITC provided an in-depth description of trends in bio-based activities within the chemical and liquid biofuel industries, factors affecting their development and adoption of industrial biotechnology (IB), and government policies related to these industries that have been implemented by the United States and key competitor countries. Highlights of the report follow.

Industrial Biotechnology: Development and Adoption by the U.S. Chemical and Biofuel Industries (Investigation No. 332-481, USITC Publication 4020, July 2008) will be available on the ITC's Internet site at /publications/332/pub4020.pdf. A CD-ROM of the report may be requested by e-mailing pubrequest@usitc.gov, calling 202-205-2000, or contacting the Office of the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436. Requests may also be faxed to 202-205-2104.

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