April 24, 2001
News Release 01-054
GLOBAL ISSUES AFFECTING U.S. INDUSTRIES
AND THE TECHNOLOGICAL COMPETITIVENESS OF THE UNITED STATES
ARE FOCUS OF ITC QUARTERLY PUBLICATION
Trade parity for Andean countries in the U.S. apparel market, Central Europe's chemical trade, and
the prospects for light metals in hybrid vehicle development are among the topics examined in the
current issue of Industry Trade and Technology Review (ITTR), a quarterly publication of the U.S.
International Trade Commission's Office of Industries.
Industry Trade and Technology Review (ITTR) contains articles originating from research and
analysis conducted by International Trade Commission (ITC) staff as part of its responsibilities to
provide advice and technical information on industry and trade issues. The ITTR provides analysis
of important issues and insights into the global position of U.S. industries, the technological
competitiveness of the United States, and implications of trade and policy developments.
The ITTR is a publication of the Office of Industries. The opinions and conclusions it contains are
those of the authors and are not the views of the Commission or of any individual Commissioner.
The current issue (March 2001) includes the following articles:
- Apparel: Andean Countries Seek Parity with Caribbean Basin Countries to Remain
Competitive in the U.S. Market -- Colombia and Peru, the leading Andean Trade Preference
Act (ATPA) suppliers of textiles and apparel to the United States, have expressed concern
that the newly enacted U.S.-Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act (CBTPA), which
essentially granted NAFTA-equivalent trade preferences to certain textile and apparel
articles of the Caribbean Basin countries, may weaken their competitiveness in exporting
apparel to the United States, their most important market. This article examines U.S.-ATPA
trade; recent developments in the ATPA countries' textile and apparel sectors; the
implications of the CBTPA for trade, employment, and foreign investment in ATPA
countries; and recently introduced legislation that would allow the ATPA countries to
compete more effectively with Mexico and the Caribbean Basin countries.
- Chemical Trade by the Central European Countries: Difficulties of Sector Transition -- Liberated from Soviet domination, Central European countries abandoned central planning
and undertook the transition to market economies. Privatization of the chemical industry is
nearly completed in the Czech Republic and Hungary, but is still progressing in Poland and
Slovakia. Although their bilateral global trade flows in chemical products have increased
considerably in recent years, a growing trend for each has been larger sector trade deficits.
This article examines progress and problems associated with the Central European
countries' transition to privatization, impacts on their trade in chemical products, and their
prospects for the future.
- Commercialization of Hybrid Automobiles: Prospective Demand for Light Metals -- Hybrid
vehicles (combining electric and conventional internal-combustion propulsion systems) pose
a market-growth opportunity for manufacturers of light-weight nonferrous metals as
substitutes for iron and steel to lower vehicle weight for increased fuel efficiency. However,
commercial success of hybrid vehicles will be affected by the price premium and the
difficult challenge of meeting fuel economy and tighter emissions standards. This article
examines U.S. and Japanese automakers' progress in designing and producing hybrid
vehicles; the problems and potential associated with increased use of aluminum,
magnesium, and titanium; and research efforts underway to reduce production costs of these
light metals for hybrid vehicles.
In addition, the publication includes an appendix charting key performance indicators for the steel,
automobile, aluminum, flat glass, and services industries, as well as for North American trade.
Industry Trade and Technology Review (USITC Publication 3413, March 2001) will be posted on
the ITC's Internet site at www.usitc.gov. A cumulative list of articles published in the report series
is also posted. The ITTR will also be available at regional federal depository libraries in the United
States. To request a printed copy of the ITTR or to be added to the mailing list, contact the Office of
the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington DC 20436.
Requests may also be faxed to 202-205-2104.
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