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NEWS RELEASE 01-135; November 9, 2001
November 9, 2001
News Release 01-135
GLOBAL ISSUES AFFECTING U.S. INDUSTRIES
AND THE TECHNOLOGICAL COMPETITIVENESS OF THE UNITED STATES
ARE FOCUS OF ITC QUARTERLY PUBLICATION
E-commerce in the nonferrous metals sector and foreign direct investment in infrastructure services
are among the topics examined in the current issue of Industry Trade and Technology Review
(ITTR), 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 developments.
The ITTR is a publication of the Office of Industries. The opinions and conclusions it contains are
those of the authors and are not the views of the Commission or of any individual Commissioner.
The current issue (October 2001) includes the following articles:
- E-Commerce and Nonferrous Metals: Despite Potential, Adoption Has Been Slow --- The nonferrous
metals industry has been evaluating the use of E-commerce in its global market, where
annual sales are estimated to range from $200 to $300 billion. Optimistic observers have
suggested that an electronic marketplace for trading physical metals has the potential to
reduce industry costs from a traditional range of 10 to 40 percent of revenues to as little as
2 percent, chiefly by reducing the prices paid for raw material inputs and associated costs.
Other analysis has suggested that from 40 to 60 percent of total metal production could be
sold through electronic marketplaces by 2005, and that by 2010, 95 percent of current
transaction costs could be eliminated. However, industry participants indicate that these
forecasts may be too optimistic because many segments of the industry have been slow to
adopt E-commerce and not all segments of the nonferrous marketplace are equally suited to
benefit from E-commerce. This article examines the obstacles to persuading firms to
abandon traditional transaction methods, the potential benefits of E-commerce, and the areas
of the nonferrous market in which E-commerce technology appears better suited and where
opportunities for application exist.
- Foreign Direct Investment in Infrastructure Services in OECD Countries --- In recent years, the
service sector has accounted for an increasingly larger share of GDP in most countries.
Prominent among service-sector industries are the infrastructure services, such as finance,
telecommunications, and utilities, which provide most other businesses with efficient and
low-cost services that they need in order to compete in global markets. Regulatory and
technological changes in the 1990s have all encouraged foreign direct investment to play a
more significant role in the provision of such services in many countries. This article
examines the extent of inbound foreign direct investment in the service sectors of the
member countries of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development
(OECD), with special attention to investment trends in infrastructure industries.
In addition, the publication includes an appendix charting key performance indicators for the steel,
automobile, aluminum, flat glass, and services industries, as well as for North American trade.
Industry Trade and Technology Review (USITC Publication 3457, October 2001) will be posted
on the ITC's Internet site at www.usitc.gov. A cumulative list of articles published in the report
series is also posted. The ITTR will also be available at regional federal depository libraries in the
United States. To request a printed copy of the ITTR 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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