The ITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency, is required by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Implementation Act to monitor imports of "fresh or chilled tomatoes" and "fresh or chilled peppers, other than chili peppers," until January 1, 2009. The monitoring is intended to enable the ITC to conduct an expedited investigation concerning provisional import relief should a petition for such relief be filed under section 202 of the Trade Act of 1974 with respect to imports from all countries, or a petition requesting such relief be filed under section 302 of the NAFTA Implementation Act with respect to imports from Canada or Mexico. The reports, which cover tomatoes and peppers for fresh-market use and for processing, include current conditions in the U.S. industry in such areas as production, imports, exports, and prices.
Monitoring of U.S. Imports of Tomatoes (Investigation No. 332-350, USITC Publication 4048, November 2008) and Monitoring of U.S. Imports of Peppers (Investigation No. 332-351, USITC Publication 4049, November 2008) are now electronic publications and can be accessed on the ITC's Internet site at www.usitc.gov.
ITC general factfinding investigations, such as these, cover matters related to tariffs or trade. The investigations 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.