April 29, 2013
News Release 13-040
Inv. No. 332-538
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 making certain products eligible for duty- free treatment and for 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, 2012 Review: Additions and Competitive Need Limitation Waivers, was requested by the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR).

The USITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency, submitted a confidential version of the report to the USTR on April 8, 2013.

As requested, the USITC provided advice as to the impact of the addition of certain products to the list of articles eligible for the GSP.

The reviewed products were: fresh cut sweetheart, spray, and other roses (HTS 0603.11.00, 0603.11.0010, 0603.11.0030, and 0603.11.0060); vegetables not elsewhere specific or included, uncooked or cooked by steaming or boiling in water, frozen, reduced in size (HTS 0710.80.97) or the 3 existing 10 digit lines for broccoli (HTS 0710.80.9722, 0710.80.9724, and 0710.80.9726); artichokes, prepared or preserved otherwise than by vinegar or acetic acid, and not frozen (HTS 2005.99.80); and refined copper wire less than 6 mm in diameter (HTS 7408.19.0030).

The USITC also provided advice, as requested, as to the effect on U.S. industries, imports, and consumers of granting a waiver of the competitive need limit for Brazil for imports of calcium silicon ferroalloys (HTS 7202.99.20).

"Competitive need limitations" (CNLs) set the maximum U.S. import level for GSP eligibility and are based on the dollar value or share of total imports of a given product. 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.

The USTR published full article descriptions of a number of products for which CNL waiver petitions had been filed in the Federal Register (77FR249) on December 28, 2012. The USTR subsequently notified the USITC that petitions requesting CNL waivers for all but calcium-silicon imports from Brazil had been withdrawn, and the USITC revised the scope of its investigation accordingly.

Advice Concerning Possible Modifications to the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences, 2012 Review: Additions and Competitive Need Limitation Waivers (Investigation No. 332-538, USITC Publication 4391, April 2013) is available on the USITC's Internet site at http://www.usitc.gov/publications/332/pub4391.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 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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