August 30, 2002
News Release 02-078
Inv. No. 332-446


The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) is seeking written input for a newly initiated investigation on the probable economic effects on the economy as a whole of eliminating U.S. tariffs on certain agricultural products from 33 nations comprising the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) and of eliminating and reducing by 50 percent U.S. tariffs on certain agricultural products from World Trade Organization (WTO) members.

The ITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency, will conduct the investigation for the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR). The USTR requested the investigation, Agriculture: Probable Economic Effects on the U.S. Economy of Eliminating or Reducing U.S. Tariffs on Certain Products from FTAA Countries and WTO Members, in a letter received August 16, 2002.

As requested by the USTR, the ITC will assess the economic impact of eliminating tariffs on certain agricultural products from FTAA countries and of eliminating and reducing by 50 percent tariffs on certain agricultural products from WTO members. In estimating the effects, the Commission will conduct a quantitative analysis of the likely trade and economywide impacts of eliminating the agricultural tariffs specified in the letter. The ITC will submit its report, which will be confidential, to the USTR by November 15, 2002.

A list of products involved in the investigation may be obtained electronically by downloading the request letter from the ITC's electronic document information system (EDIS On-Line, http://dockets, (select "332" at the left and scroll to the bottom for the link to this investigation). A hard copy of the request letter can be obtained from the investigation's project leader, Ronald Babula, by phone (202-205-3331) or e-mail (

The ITC will not hold a public hearing in connection with this investigation. However, the ITC welcomes written submissions for the record in this investigation. Written statements (one original and 14 copies) should be submitted at the earliest practical date but no later than September 19, 2002. All written submissions should be addressed to the Secretary, United States International Trade Commission, 500 E St. SW, Washington DC 20436. All written submissions, except for confidential business information, will be available for public inspection.

Further information on the scope of the investigation is available in the ITC's notice of investigation, dated August 30, 2002, which can be downloaded from the ITC Internet site ( or may be obtained by contacting the Office of the Secretary at the above address or at 202-205-1806.

ITC general factfinding investigations, such as this one, cover matters related to tariffs or trade and generally are 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 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 cleared to the public unless (like this one) they are classified by the requestor for national security reasons.

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