April 10, 2003
News Release 03-042
Inv. No. TA-2104-5

ITC ANNOUNCES SCHEDULE, SEEKS PUBLIC INPUT FOR INVESTIGATION ON THE IMPACT OF THE U.S.-CHILE FREE TRADE AGREEMENT

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) is now seeking public input for its investigation to assess the comprehensive bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) that the President has proposed to establish with Chile.

The investigation, U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement: Potential Economywide and Selected Sectoral Effects, was requested by the U.S. Trade Representative in a letter received on January 21, 2003. The ITC instituted the investigation on March 19, 2003, but did not announce its plans for seeking public input pending the release of a public version of the proposed agreement by the U.S. Trade Representative. The USTR issued the public version of the proposed agreement on April 3, 2003.

The Trade Act of 2002 granted the President authority to negotiate trade agreements which can only be approved or disapproved (but not amended) by the U.S. Congress. The law requires the ITC to prepare a report that assesses the likely impact of proposed FTAs on the U.S. economy as a whole and on specific industry sectors and the interests of U.S. consumers. The ITC's report, which will be public, is due to the President and the Congress no more than 90 days after he actually signs the agreement, which he can do 90 days after he notifies the Congress of his intent to do so. The President notified the Congress on January 30, 2003, of his intent to enter into the FTA with Chile.

The ITC will hold a public hearing in connection with the investigation on May 1, 2003. The hearing will take place in Washington, DC. Requests to appear at the hearing (one original and 14 copies) should be filed with the Secretary to the Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436, no later than 5:15 p.m. on April 21, 2003. 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 to the Commission at the above address and should be submitted at the earliest practical date but no later than 5:15 p.m. on May 8, 2003. All written submissions, except for confidential business information, will be available for public inspection.

Further information on the scope of the investigation is available in the ITC's notice of investigation, dated March 19, 2003. Further information concerning appearances or submissions is available in the notice of scheduling, dated April 10, 2003. Both notices can be obtained from the ITC's Internet site (www.usitc.gov) or by contacting the Office of the Secretary at the above address or 202-205-1816.

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