January 23, 2007
News Release 07-006
Inv. No. 332-483
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 (GSP).

The investigation, Advice Concerning Possible Modifications to the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences, 2006 Review (Investigation No. 332-483), was requested by the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR).

As requested, the ITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency, will provide advice as to the impact of granting waivers of the competitive need limits for Argentina for lithium carbonates and calcium silicon ferroalloys (HTS subheadings 2836.91.00 and 7202.99.20); for Brazil for refined copper cathodes and refined copper wire with a maximum cross-sectional dimension over 6mm but not over 9.5mm (HTS subheadings 7403.11.00 and 7408.11.60); for India for cucumbers, including gherkins, certain hand-hooked carpets and other textile floor coverings, and certain color television reception apparatus (HTS subheadings 2001.10.00, 5703.10.20, and 8528.12.80); and for Thailand for new pneumatic radial bus or truck tires (HTS subheading 4011.20.10).

"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 $125,000,000.

The USTR has posted full article descriptions on its web site at: http://www.ustr.gov/assets/Trade_Development/Preference_Programs/GSP/asset_upload_file19_ 10292.pdf.

The ITC is expected to submit its confidential report to the USTR by April 11, 2007. As soon as possible thereafter, the ITC, as requested by the USTR, 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. February 22, 2007. Requests to appear at the public hearing should be filed no later than 5:15 p.m. on February 5, 2007, 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 (original and 14 copies) 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 February 27, 2007.

Further information concerning this investigation is available in the ITC Federal Register notice dated January 22, 2007.

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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