November 22, 2004
News Release 04-118
Inv. Nos. 332-350 and 332-351


The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has issued reports on data it has collected concerning imports of certain tomatoes and peppers.

The ITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency, is required by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Implementation Act to monitor imports of "fresh or chilled tomatoes" and "fresh or chilled peppers, other than chili peppers," until January 1, 2009. The monitoring is intended to enable the ITC to conduct an expedited investigation and, if appropriate, recommend to the President provisional relief under either the global safeguard statute (section 202 of the Trade Act of 1974) or the bilateral safeguard statute (section 302 of the NAFTA Implementation Act) should a petition be filed that alleges that increased imports are causing serious injury to the U.S. tomato or pepper industry. The reports, which cover tomatoes and peppers for fresh-market use and for processing, include current conditions in the U.S. industry in such areas as production, imports, exports, and prices.

Monitoring of U.S. Imports of Tomatoes (Investigation No. 332-350, USITC Publication 3738, November 2004) and Monitoring of U.S. Imports of Peppers (Investigation No. 332-351, USITC Publication 3739, November 2004) are now electronic publications and can be accessed on the ITC's Internet site at

ITC general factfinding investigations, such as these, 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.

-- 30 --