March 12, 2003
News Release 03-029
Inv. No. TA-2104-5


The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has instituted an investigation to assess the comprehensive bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) that the President has proposed to establish with Chile.

The investigation, U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement: Potential Economywide and Selected Sectoral Effects, was requested by the U.S. Trade Representative in a letter received on January 21, 2003.

The Trade Act of 2002 granted the President authority to negotiate trade agreements which can only be approved or disapproved (but not amended) by the U.S. Congress. The law requires the ITC to prepare a report that assesses the likely impact of proposed FTAs on the U.S. economy as a whole and on specific industry sectors and the interests of U.S. consumers. The ITC's report, which will be public, is due to the President and the Congress no more than 90 days after he actually signs the agreement, which he can do 90 days after he notifies the Congress of his intent to do so. The President notified the Congress on January 30, 2003, of his intent to enter into the FTA with Chile.

The ITC has begun its assessment, and it will seek public input for the investigation when a public version of the agreement is made available by the U.S. Trade Representative. The ITC will issue a follow-up Federal Register notice and media advisory when it schedules this portion of its investigation.

-- 30 --