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NEWS RELEASE 98-087; NOVEMBER 16, 1998 November 16, 1998
News Release 98-087
Inv. No. 332-400

ITC BEGINS AN INVESTIGATION TO ANALYZE
CONDITIONS OF COMPETITION IN U.S. FOREST PRODUCTS TRADE

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) is seeking input from industry officials, trade associations, and other interested parties for a factfinding investigation concerning the conditions of competition in forest products trade.

The investigation, Conditions of Competition in U.S. Forest Products Trade (Inv. No. 332- 400), was requested by the Committee on Finance, U.S. Senate, in a letter received October 19, 1998.

In its request letter, the Committee noted that the recent financial crisis in Asia and developments in Europe and Latin America, such as increasing production levels, declining consumption, and depreciation of local currencies relative to the dollar, are having an important effect on U.S. forest products exports and on market conditions in the United States.

As requested, the ITC will investigate the conditions of competition in forest products trade, with special emphasis on trade barriers and forest practices that may distort domestic and international markets in Asia, Europe and Latin America. In its report, the ITC will provide the following:

The scope of the ITC investigation is limited to the wood and paper products covered in chapters 44, 47, and 48 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedules of the United States. The investigation will cover the period 1994-98.

The ITC will submit its report to the Senate Committee on Finance by October 19, 1999.

The ITC will hold a public hearing in connection with this investigation. The hearing will be held on May 26, 1999, at 9:30 a.m. at the ITC Building, 500 E Street, SW, Washington, DC. Requests to appear at the public hearing should be filed no later than 5:15 p.m. on May 12, 1999, with the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street, SW, Washington, DC 20436. For hearing-related information, contact the Office of the Secretary at 202-205-1806.

The ITC welcomes written submissions for the record in this investigation. Written submissions (one original and 14 copies) should be addressed to the Secretary at the above address and should be submitted at the earliest practical time but no later than 5:15 p.m. on June 9, 1999. All written submissions, except for confidential business information, will be available for public inspection.

Further information on the scope of the investigation and appropriate submissions is available in the ITC's notice of investigation, dated November 12, 1998, which may be obtained from the ITC Internet server at www.usitc.gov or by contacting the Office of the Secretary at the above address or at 202-205-1802.

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