January 10, 2011
News Release 11-005
Inv. No. 332-522
Contact: Peg O'Laughlin, 202-205-1819

USITC TO INVESTIGATE POSSIBLE MODIFICATIONS TO THE U.S. GENERALIZED SYSTEM OF PREFERENCES

The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) is seeking input for a newly initiated investigation concerning possible modifications to the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP).

The investigation, Advice Concerning Possible Modifications to the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences, 2010 Review of Competitive Need Limitation Waivers, was requested by the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) in a letter received on December 22, 2010.

As requested, the USITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency, will provide advice as to the impact of granting a waiver of the competitive need limit for lysine and esters from Brazil (classified under HTS subheading 2922.41.00); pneumatic tires from Sri Lanka (HTS subheading 4011.93.80); rubber gloves from Thailand (HTS subheading 4015.19.10); and calcium silicon ferroalloys from Argentina (HTS subheading 7202.99.20).

"Competitive need limits" represent the maximum import level of a product that is eligible for duty-free treatment under the GSP. Once the limit is reached, trade is considered "competitive," benefits are no longer needed, and imports of the article become ineligible for GSP treatment, unless a waiver is granted. With respect to the competitive need limit in section 503(c)(2)(A)(i)(I) of the 1974 Act, the Commission, as requested, will use the dollar value limit of $145 million.

The USITC is expected to submit its confidential report to USTR by April 11, 2011. As soon as possible thereafter, the USITC, as requested by USTR, will issue a public version of the report containing only the unclassified sections, with any business confidential information and classified information deleted.

The USITC is seeking input for its new investigation from all interested parties and requests that the information focus on the articles for which the USITC is requested to provide information and advice. The USITC will hold a public hearing in connection with the investigation at 9:30 a.m. on February 17, 2011. Requests to appear at the public hearing should be filed no later than 5:15 p.m. on January 28, 2011, with the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436.

The USITC also welcomes written submissions for the record. Written submissions 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 February 24, 2011

USITC 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 House Committee on Ways and Means, or the Senate Committee on Finance. 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 USITC submits its findings and analyses to the requester. General factfinding investigation reports are subsequently released to the public, unless they are classified by the requester for national security reasons.

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