April 24, 2001
News Release 01-055
Inv. No. 332-430

ITC LAUNCHES INVESTIGATION ON THE PROBABLE ECONOMIC EFFECT OF A U.S.-CHILE FREE TRADE AGREEMENT; SEEKS INPUT FROM TRADE ASSOCIATIONS, INDUSTRY OFFICIALS, AND OTHER INTERESTED PARTIES

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) is seeking input for a newly initiated investigation into the probable economic effect of a U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement.

The investigation, U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement: Advice Concerning the Probable Economic Effect (Investigation No. 332-430), was requested by the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) in a letter received on April 17, 2001.

In his letter, the USTR stated that the United States and Chile are engaged in negotiations to reach a comprehensive bilateral free trade agreement and that advice from the ITC is needed to assist in the process of achieving an agreement.

As requested by USTR, the ITC will:

As requested by the USTR, in preparing its advice with respect to the removal of U.S. duties on imports from Chile, the ITC will assume that any known U.S. nontariff barrier will not be applicable to such imports and will note in its report any instance in which the continued application of a U.S. nontariff barrier would result in different advice with respect to the effect of the removal of the duty. Similarly, in preparing its advice with respect to the removal of Chilean duties on U.S. products, the ITC will assume that any known Chilean nontariff barriers will not be applicable to U.S. products, and any instance where the continued application of such a Chilean nontariff barrier would result in different advice will be noted.

The ITC will submit its advice in a report, which will be confidential, to the USTR by October 17, 2001.

The ITC is seeking input for this investigation from all interested parties and requests that the information focus on the issues for which the ITC is requested to provide information and advice.

The ITC will hold a public hearing in connection with the investigation on May 30, 2001. Requests to appear at the hearing (one original and 14 copies) should be filed no later than 5:15 p.m. on May 22, 2001, with the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street, SW, Washington, DC 20436. To allow sufficient time for full consideration, the Commission encourages all persons who appear at the public hearing to submit any prepared statements and accompanying material to the Secretary by 5:15 p.m. on May 24, 2001. For further information, call 202-205-1816.

The ITC also welcomes written submissions for the record. Written submissions (one original and 14 copies) should be addressed to the Secretary of the Commission at the above address and should be submitted at the earliest practical date but no later than 5:15 p.m. on June 7, 2001.

Further information on the scope of the investigation and appropriate submissions is available in the ITC's notice of investigation, dated April 24, 2001, which can be downloaded from the ITC Internet site (www.usitc.gov) or may be obtained by contacting the Office of the Secretary at the above address or at 202-205-1816.

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 requestor. General factfinding investigation reports are subsequently released to the public, unless they are classified, like this one, by the requestor for national security reasons.

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