March 9, 2001
News Release 01-030
Inv. No. 332-420


The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) today released a public version of its confidential report on the probable economic effect of providing duty free treatment under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) for selected articles from India.

The ITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency, conducted the investigation, Advice Concerning Possible Modifications to the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences with Respect to Certain Products Imported from India, for the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR). The ITC submitted a confidential version of the report to the USTR on February 6, 2001.

In an October 31, 2000, letter, the USTR asked the ITC to provide advice as to whether any industry in the United States is likely to be adversely affected by a waiver of the "competitive need limits" specified in section 503(c)(2)(A) of the Trade Act of 1974 with respect to the imports from India under investigation. The articles covered by the investigation included certain articles of jewelry; certain household articles; and certain non-electric lamps imported from India under Harmonized Tariff Schedule subheadings 7113.19.25; 7113.19.29; 7113.19.50; 7418.19.10; and 9405.50.30. The USTR published full article descriptions in the Federal Register (65F.R.65370) on November 1, 2000.

In the request letter, the USTR noted that these articles are currently ineligible for duty-free treatment under the GSP because imports from India exceed the competitive need limits set by the statute. "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. The USTR noted in the request letter that as a result of a White House initiative with India, the interagency Trade Policy Staff Committee is conducting a review to consider waiving the "competitive need limits" for the articles under investigation. The President is required to seek the ITC's advice on the economic effect of such modifications before making them.

Advice Concerning Possible Modifications to the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences with Respect to Certain Products Imported from India (Investigation No. 332-420, USITC publication 3397, February 2001) will be posted in the Publications area of the ITC Internet site at A printed copy may be requested by calling 202-205-1809 or by writing the Office of the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436. Requests may also be made by fax to 202-205-2104.

ITC general factfinding investigations, such as this one, cover matters related to tariffs or trade. The investigations are generally conducted at the request of USTR, the Senate Committee on Finance, or the House Committee on Ways and Means; the ITC may also self-initiate investigations. 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 ITC 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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