May 31, 2005
News Release 05-060
Inv. No. 332-467
Contact: Peg O'Laughlin, 202-205-1819


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 certain articles.

The ITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency, conducted the investigation, Advice Concerning Possible Modifications to the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences, 2004 Special Review, at the request of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR).

As requested, the Commission provided advice as to the adverse impacts of the granting of a waiver of the competitive need limits for Indonesia for tropical plywood, HTS subheading 4412.13.40, and for contact lenses, HTS subheading 9001.30.00; and for Thailand for certain silver jewelry and electrostatic photocopying apparatus, HTS subheadings 7113.11.50 and 9009.12.00. "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. With respect to the competitive need limit in section 503(c)(2)(A)(i)(I) of the 1974 Act, the Commission, as requested, used the dollar value limit of $115,000,000.

The ITC submitted a confidential version of the report to the USTR on May 31, 2005.

Advice Concerning Possible Modifications to the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences, 2004 Special Review (Investigation No. 332-467, USITC publication 3773, May 2005) 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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