April 30, 2010
News Release 10-044
Inv. No. 332-518
Contact: Peg O'Laughlin, 202-205-1819


The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has launched an investigation into the effects of market access measures and conditions of competition for U.S. agricultural exports to China.

The investigation, China's Agricultural Trade: Competitive Conditions and Effects on U.S. Exports, was requested by the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance.

In its letter requesting the investigation, received on April 1, 2010, the Committee stated: "Since ...2001, China's imports of U.S. agricultural products have grown substantially.... Yet sales are highly concentrated in a few products.... With rapidly rising per capita income and resource constraints on domestic production growth, China has the potential to provide greater opportunities for expanding U.S. agricultural exports.... At the same time, several factors threaten the ability of U.S. agricultural exporters to realize these opportunities."

As requested, the USITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency, will provide an overview of China's agricultural market; a description of the competitive factors affecting the agricultural sector in China; an overview of China's participation in global agricultural markets; a description of the principal measures affecting China's agricultural imports; and a quantitative analysis of the economic effects of China's MFN tariffs, preferential tariffs negotiated under China's free trade agreements, and China's non-tariff measures on U.S. agricultural exports and on imports from the rest of the world.

The USITC will submit its report to the Committee by March 1, 2011.

The USITC will hold a public hearing in connection with the investigation at 9:30 a.m. on June 22, 2010. Requests to appear at the hearing should be filed no later than 5:15 p.m. on May 25, 2010, with the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436. For further information, call 202-205-2000.

The USITC also welcomes written submissions for the record. Written submissions (one original and 14 copies) should be addressed to the Secretary of the Commission at the above address and should be submitted at the earliest practical date, but no later than 5:15 p.m. on September 15, 2010. All written submissions, except for confidential business information, will be available for public inspection.

Further information on the scope of the investigation and appropriate submissions is available in the USITC's notice of investigation, dated April 30, 2010, which can be obtained from the USITC Internet site (www.usitc.gov) or by contacting the Office of the Secretary at 202-205-2000.

USITC 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 House Committee on Ways and Means, or the Senate Committee on Finance. The resulting reports convey the Commission's objective findings and independent analyses on the subject investigated. The Commission makes no recommendations on policy or other matters in its general factfinding reports. Upon completion of each investigation, the USITC submits its findings and analyses to the requester. General factfinding investigations reports are subsequently released to the public, unless they are classified by the requester for national security reasons.

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