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NEWS RELEASE 98-005; FEBRUARY 9, 1998
February 9, 1998
News Release 98-005
GLOBAL ISSUES AFFECTING U.S. INDUSTRIES
AND THE TECHNOLOGICAL COMPETITIVENESS OF THE UNITED STATES
ARE FOCUS OF ITC QUARTERLY PUBLICATION
Future market access for the U.S. electronics industry, the commercialization of new
manufacturing processes for materials, and new parts under development by auto producers are
among the topics explored in the current issue of Industry, Trade, and Technology Review, a
quarterly publication of the U.S. International Trade Commission's Office of Industries.
Industry, Trade, and Technology Review (ITTR) contains articles originating from research and
analysis conducted by International Trade Commission (ITC) staff as part of its responsibilities
to provide advice and technical information on industry and trade issues. The ITTR provides
analysis of important issues and insights into the global position of U.S. industries, the
technological competitiveness of the United States, and implications of trade and policy
The ITTR is a publication of the Office of Industries. The opinions and conclusions it contains
are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Commission or of any
The current issue (January 1998) includes the following articles:
- Free Trade in Information Technology Goods --- provides background information on
the Information Technology Agreement (ITA) and analyzes the effects it is likely to
have on market access for the U.S. electronics industry. The ITA, signed during the
World Trade Organization Ministerial meeting in Singapore, has been adopted by 43
countries (as of December 1997) representing about 93 percent of world trade in
information technology (IT) products. The agreement requires participants to eliminate
their tariffs by January 1, 2000, on a specific list of IT products that include computers,
telecommunications equipment, computer software, semiconductors, and other
electronic components and equipment.
- Factors Affecting the Commercialization of New Manufacturing Processes for
Materials --- examines how economic considerations, technical factors, corporate
culture, and regulations promote or impede commercialization of new manufacturing
processes for materials (NMPM); highlights the diverse efforts of private industry,
government, and academia to overcome existing barriers; and presents public- and
private-sector recommendations to improve the commercialization process to foster
U.S. industrial competitiveness. This article concludes a series of articles on NMPM.
These articles are being compiled in an ITC staff research study expected to be released
- Thermoplastic Elastomers in the Auto Industry: Increasing Use and the Potential
Implications --- discusses new parts under development by auto producers specifically
designed to use the unique characteristics of thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs). TPEs
are a group of specialty rubbers that combine the elasticity of thermoset rubbers (which
are unable to be reshaped with heat) with the processing advantages of plastic materials
(which do not have the temperature restrictions of thermosets). This article provides an
overview of the advantages that TPE materials offer manufacturers, examines the use of
TPEs in the auto industry, and briefly looks at the role of TPEs in other sectors.
In addition, the publication includes an appendix charting key performance indicators for the
steel, automobile, aluminum, flat glass, and services industries.
Industry, Trade, and Technology Review (USITC Publication 3084, January 1998) may be
obtained from the ITC's Internet server (http://www.usitc.gov or ftp://ftp.usitc.gov). A
cumulative list of articles published in the report series is also posted on the Internet servers.
The ITTR will also be available at regional federal depository libraries in the United States. To
request a printed copy or to be added to the mailing list, contact 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.
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