April 29, 2009
News Release 09-035
Inv. No. 332-506
Contact: Peg O'Laughlin, 202-205-1819


The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) today released a public version of its confidential report on the probable economic effects of waiving the competitive need limit for certain goods under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP).

The report, Advice Concerning Possible Modifications to the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences, 2008 Review of Competitive Need Limit Waivers, was requested by the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR).

As requested, the ITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency, provided advice as to the impact of granting a waiver of the competitive need limit for Indonesia for PET resin (HTS subheading 3907.60.00); for Argentina for certain full grain unsplit bovine (not buffalo) and equine leather (HTS subheading 4107.91.80); and for Turkey for stranded copper wire (HTS subheading 7413.00.10).

"Competitive need limits" represent the maximum import level of a product, in terms of the dollar value or share of total imports, that is eligible for duty-free treatment under the GSP. Once the limit is reached, trade is considered "competitive," benefits are no longer needed, and imports of the article become ineligible for GSP treatment, unless a waiver is granted. With respect to the competitive need limit in section 503(c)(2)(A)(i)(I) of the 1974 Act, the Commission, as requested, used the dollar value limit of $135 million.

The USTR published full article descriptions in the Federal Register (74FR3657) on January 21, 2009.

The ITC submitted a confidential version of the report to the USTR on April 13, 2009.

Advice Concerning Possible Modifications to the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences, 2008 Review of Competitive Need Limit Waivers (Investigation No. 332-506, USITC publication 4074, April 2009) is available on the ITC's Internet site at http://www.usitc.gov/publications/332/pub4074.pdf.

A CD-ROM of the report may be requested by sending an email to pubrequest@ustic.gov, by calling 202-205-2000, or by writing 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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