June 13, 2006
News Release 06-056
Inv. No. 332-476
Contact: Peg O'Laughlin, 202-205-1819

ELIMINATION OF DUTIES ON CERTAIN PHARMACEUTICAL PRODUCTS AND CHEMICAL INTERMEDIATES IS FOCUS OF NEW ITC INVESTIGATION

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC or Commission) has instituted a new investigation to provide information and advice to the President concerning approximately 1300 pharmaceutical products and chemical intermediates used primarily for the production of pharmaceuticals for which the Administration is proposing to eliminate duties.

The products would be added to the Pharmaceutical Appendix to the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS), which was created as part of the Uruguay Round Agreements and already covers approximately 8,250 products. The United States and 21 other major trading countries agreed during the Uruguay Round to eliminate duties on pharmaceuticals and to periodically conduct reviews to identify additional products to be covered by the initiative. If added to the Appendix, the 1300 products included in the new ITC investigation would receive duty-free treatment.

The investigation, Advice Concerning the Addition of Certain Pharmaceutical Products and Chemical Intermediates to the Pharmaceuticals Appendix to the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (Inv. No. 332-476), was requested by the U.S. Trade Representative in a letter received May 25, 2006.

As requested, the ITC will provide a summary description of the products contained in the existing Pharmaceutical Appendix and the modifications to be made to that Appendix; an explanation of the relationship between the various elements in the Appendix and the HTS; and an estimate of current U.S. imports and, where possible, current U.S. exports of the products included in the existing Pharmaceutical Appendix and the proposed additions to the Appendix, based on product groupings if necessary.

The ITC will submit its report to the USTR by September 1, 2006.

The ITC will not hold a public hearing in connection with this investigation. However, the ITC seeks written input on these products from all interested parties. Written submissions should focus on the levels of exports and imports for the items included in this investigation. Written submissions (one original and 14 copies) should be submitted at the earliest practical date but no later than 5:15 p.m. on June 21, 2006. All written submissions, except for confidential business information, will be available for public inspection. Written submissions should be addressed to the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436.

Further information on the scope of the investigation and a list of the products that will be included is available in the ITC's notice of investigation, dated June 13, 2006, which may be obtained from the ITC Internet site (www.usitc.gov) or by contacting the Office of the Secretary at the above address or at 202-205-1802. A list of the proposed additions to the Pharmaceutical Appendix is available on the ITC's web site at: http://www.usitc.gov/research_and_analysis/documents/combined_tables_pharma_332.pdf.

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 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 requester. General factfinding investigations reports are subsequently released to the public unless they are classified by the requester for national security reasons.

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