January 18, 2013
News Release 13-007
Inv. No. 332-538
Contact: Peg O'Laughlin, 202-205-1819


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, 2012 Review: Additions and Competitive Need Limitation Waivers, was requested by the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR).

As requested, the USITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency, will provide advice on the likely impact on competing U.S. industries of the addition of 10 Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) subheadings to the list of articles eligible for the GSP. The HTS subheadings being considered for additions are: 0603.11.00 or 0603.11.0010, 0603.11.0030, 0603.11.0060 (sweetheart, spray, and other roses, fresh cut); 0710.80.97 or 0710.80.9722, 0710.80.9724, 0710.80.9726 (vegetables not elsewhere specific or included, uncooked or cooked by steaming or boiling in water, frozen, reduced in size or the 3 existing 10 digit lines for broccoli); 2005.99.80 (artichokes, prepared or preserved otherwise than by vinegar or acetic acid, not frozen); and 7408.19.0030 (refined copper, wire, with maximum cross-sectional dimension of 6 mm or less).

The USITC also will provide advice on the likely impact on competing U.S. industries of competitive need limitation waivers on 12 HTS subheadings for certain countries. "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 USITC, as requested, will use the dollar value limit of $155 million.

The HTS subheadings being considered for competitive need limitation waivers are: 0410.00.00 (edible products of animal origin, not elsewhere specified or included) from Indonesia; 0603.13.00 (orchids: cut flowers and flower buds of a kind suitable for bouquets or for ornamental purposes, fresh, dried, dyed, bleached, impregnated or otherwise prepared) from Thailand; 1102.90.25 (rice flour) from Thailand; 2106.90.99 (food preparations not elsewhere specified or included, not canned or frozen) from Thailand; 6911.10.37 (porcelain or china (other than bone china) household table & kitchenware in sets in which aggregate value of articles is over $56 but not over $200) from Indonesia; 7202.21.50 (ferrosilicon containing by weight more than 55% but not more than 80% of silicon, not elsewhere specified or included) from Russia; 7202.30.00 (ferrosilicon manganese) from Georgia; 7202.99.20 (calcium silicon ferroalloys) from Brazil; 7307.21.50 (stainless steel, not cast, flanges for tubes/pipes, not forged or forged and machined, tooled and otherwise processing after forging) from India; 7307.91.50 (iron or steel (other than stainless), not cast, flanges for tubes/pipes, not forged or forged and machined, tooled and processed after forging) from India; 7408.29.10 (copper wire, coated or plated with metal) from Thailand; and 9506.70.40 (ice skates with footwear permanently attached) from Thailand.

The USITC will submit its confidential report to USTR by April 8, 2013. As soon as possible thereafter, the USITC will, as requested by USTR, 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 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 27, 2013. Requests to appear at the public hearing should be filed no later than 5:15 p.m. on February 11, 2013, 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 March 4, 2013.

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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