October 18, 2010
News Release 10-118
Inv. Nos. TA-131-035 and TA-2104-027
Contact: Peg O'Laughlin, 202-205-1819


The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) is seeking input for newly initiated investigations into the probable economic effect of a U.S. free trade agreement with members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), including Malaysia.

The investigations, U.S.-Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade Agreement Including Malaysia: Advice on the Probable Economic Effect of Providing Duty-Free Treatment for Imports, were requested by the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) in a letter received on October 5, 2010.

In that letter, the USTR stated that Malaysia has joined TPP negotiations involving seven countries (and the United States) that began earlier this year. In June 2010, the USITC delivered to the USTR advice as to the probable economic effect of providing duty free treatment for imports of products from the original seven countries Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. The USTR requested that the USITC now provide advice concerning the probable economic effect of a U.S. free trade agreement with those seven countries and Malaysia, identifying any changes in its June 2010 advice that result from the addition.

As requested by the USTR, the USITC will advise the President as to the probable economic effect of providing duty-free treatment for imports of products of the eight TPP members on industries in the United States producing like or directly competitive articles and on consumers. In preparing its advice, the USITC will consider each article in chapters 1 through 97 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States for which tariffs will remain, taking into account implementation of U.S. commitments in the World Trade Organization and under U.S. free trade agreements in force between the United States and TPP partner countries.

In addition, as requested by the USTR, the USITC will prepare an assessment of the probable economic effect of eliminating tariffs on imports of certain agricultural products of the TPP members on U.S. industries producing the product concerned and the economy as a whole. A list of the products is attached to the USTR's request letter, which can be obtained from the USITC's web site at: http://www.usitc.gov/research_and_analysis/ongoing/TA-131-035_request_letter.pdf.

The USITC expects to submit its report, which will be confidential, to the USTR by January 7, 2011.

The USITC is seeking input for these investigations from all interested parties and requests that the information focus on the issues for which the USITC is requested to provide information and advice.

The USITC will hold a public hearing in connection with the investigations on November 17, 2010. Requests to appear at the hearing (one original and 14 copies) should be filed no later than 5:15 p.m. on November 10, 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 November 26, 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 October 15, 2010, which can be downloaded from the USITC Internet site (www.usitc.gov) or may be obtained by contacting the Office of the Secretary at the above address or at 202-205-2000.

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