November 30, 2005
News Release 05-143
Inv. No. 332-470
Contact: Peg O'Laughlin, 202-205-1819


The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) today released a public version of its report Advice Concerning Possible Modifications to the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences, 2005 Review.

The ITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency, submitted a confidential version of the report to the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) on November 10, 2005. The investigation was requested by the USTR in a letter received on August 9, 2005.

As requested, the ITC provided 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 also provided 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 provided advice as to the impacts of granting a waiver of competitive need limits for the Philippines for dried mangos, HTS subheading 0804.50.80; for Brazil for softwood plywood, HTS subheading 4412.19.40; and for Turkey for certain travertine dimension stone, 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, used the dollar value limit of $115,000,000.

Advice Concerning Possible Modifications to the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences, 2005 Review (Investigation No. 332-470, USITC publication 3819, November 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 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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