April 29, 2011
News Release 11-042
Inv. No. 332-522
Contact: Peg O'Laughlin, 202-205-1819


The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) today released a public version of its confidential report on the probable economic effects of waiving the competitive need limit for certain goods under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP).

The report, Advice Concerning Possible Modifications to the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences, 2010 Review of Competitive Need Limit Waivers, was requested by the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR).

As requested, the USITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency, provided advice as to the impact of granting a waiver of the competitive need limit for Brazil for lysine and esters (HTS subheading 2922.41.00); Sri Lanka for pneumatic tires (HTS subheading 4011.93.80); Thailand for rubber gloves (HTS subheading 4015.19.10); and Argentina for calcium- silicon ferroalloys (HTS subheading 7202.99.20).

"Competitive need limitations"represent the maximum import level of a product, in terms of the dollar value or share of total imports, 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 limitation in section 503(c)(2)(A)(i)(I) of the 1974 Act, the Commission, as requested, used the dollar value limit of $145 million.

The USTR published full article descriptions in the Federal Register (75FR249) on December 29, 2010.

The USITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency, submitted a confidential version of the report to the USTR on April 8, 2011.

Advice Concerning Possible Modifications to the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences: 2010 Review of Competitive Need Limitation Waivers (Investigation No. 332-522, USITC Publication 4228, April 2011) is available on the ITC's Internet site at http://www.usitc.gov/publications/332/pub4228.pdf.

The report may be requested by sending an email to pubrequest@usitc.gov, by calling 202- 205-2000, or by writing the Office of the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436.

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 subjects 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 requestor. General factfinding investigation reports are subsequently released to the public unless they are classified by the requestor for national security reasons.