August 2, 2005
News Release 05-085
Inv. No. 332-469
Contact: Peg O'Laughlin, 202-205-1819

ITC TO INVESTIGATE THE COMPETITIVE CONDITIONS AFFECTING THE U.S. FRESH ORANGE AND LEMON INDUSTRY

The U.S. International Trade Commission has launched a general factfinding investigation regarding competitive conditions in the U.S. market for fresh oranges and lemons.

The investigation, Conditions of Competition for Certain Oranges and Lemons in the U.S. Fresh Market (Inv. No. 332-469), was requested by the House Ways and Means Committee in a letter received July 5, 2005.

In the letter, the Committee noted that certain U.S. citrus growers are concerned about competitive conditions affecting certain sectors of their industry. The Committee requested that the ITC's study include an overview of the industry focusing on navel oranges and lemons produced for the fresh market, with information provided on broader segments as appropriate.

As requested, the ITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency, will provide an overview of the global market for oranges and lemons for the fresh market, including production, consumption, and trade; profiles of the orange and lemon fresh-market industries in the United States and principal foreign producer countries, such as Argentina, Australia, Chile, China, Mexico, Spain, and South Africa; an analysis of U.S. trade in fresh-market oranges and lemons with major competitor countries, including a description of trade practices and measures; and, a comparison of the strengths and weaknesses of the U.S. fresh-market orange and lemon industries with foreign competitors in such areas as input costs of production (such as labor, land value, water, energy, packing costs, transportation to market, fertilizer and pesticides, taxes, and regulatory compliance), technology, government programs, exchange rates, and pricing and marketing regimes. The ITC investigation will provide information for the most recent five-year period to the extent possible.

The ITC will submit its report to the Committee by July 5, 2006.

The Commission will hold a public hearing in connection with the investigation at 9:30 a.m. on February 7, 2006. Requests to appear at the public hearing should be filed with the Secretary, United States International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC, 20436, and must be received no later than 5:15 p.m. on January 24, 2006.

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 filed at the earliest practical date, but no later than 5:15 p.m. on February 21, 2006. All written submissions, except for confidential business information, will be available for public inspection.

Further information on the scope of this investigation and appropriate submissions is available in the ITC's notice of investigation, dated August 2, 2005, which may be obtained from the ITC Internet site (www.usitc.gov) or by contacting the Office of the Secretary at 202-205-2000.

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 Representatives, the Senate Committee on Finance, or the House Committee on Ways and Means. The resulting reports convey the Commissions' objective findings and independent analyses on the subject 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 finding and analyses to the requestor. General factfinding investigations reports are subsequently released to the public, unless they are classified by the requestor for national security reasons.

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