August 16, 2005
News Release 05-096
Inv. No. 332-470
Contact: Peg O'Laughlin, 202-205-1819


The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) is seeking input for a newly initiated investigation concerning possible modifications of the Generalized System of Preferences.

The investigation, Advice Concerning Possible Modifications to the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences, 2005 Review (Investigation No. 332-470), was requested by the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) in a letter received on August 9, 2005.

As requested, the ITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency, will provide advice with respect to the economic impact on U.S. industries of the elimination of import duties for all GSP beneficiary countries for carrageenan classified under HTS subheading 1302.39.0010.

The ITC will also provide advice with respect to the restoration of India for duty-free treatment under the GSP of ibuprofen under HTS subheading 2916.39.15. Additionally, the ITC will provide advice as to the impacts of granting a waiver of competitive need limits for the Phillipines for dried mangos, HTS subheading 0804.50.80; for Brazil for certain yellow pine plywood, HTS subheading 4412.19.40; and for Turkey for certain travertine, HTS subheadings 6802.21.10 and 6802.91.20. "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, will use the dollar value limit of $115,000,000.

The USTR will publish full article descriptions in the Federal Register.

The ITC is expected to submit its confidential report to USTR by November 10, 2005. As requested by the USTR, as soon as possible thereafter the ITC will issue a public version of the report containing only the unclassified sections, with any business confidential information deleted.

The ITC is seeking input for its new investigation from all interested parties and requests that the information focus on the articles for which the ITC is requested to provide information and advice. The ITC will hold a public hearing in connection with the investigation at 9:30 a.m. September 29, 2005. Requests to appear at the public hearing should be filed no later than 5:15 p.m. on September 9, 2005, with the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436.

The ITC also welcomes written submissions for the record. Written submissions should be addressed to the Secretary to the Commission at the above address and should be submitted at the earliest practical date but no later than 5:15 p.m. on October 7, 2005. Further information on the scope of the investigation and the procedures for written submissions is available in the ITC's notice of investigation, dated August 15, 2005, which can be downloaded from the ITC Internet site ( or by contacting the Secretary at the above address. For further information, call 202-205-1806.

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

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