July 30, 2020
News Release 20-079
Inv. No(s). 332-573
Contact: Peg O'Laughlin, 202-205-1819
USITC Releases First Volume of Report on Global Economic Impact of Missing and Low Pesticide Maximum Residue Levels

The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) today released the first volume of its report on the impact that policies related to pesticide maximum residue levels (MRLs) have on international agricultural trade.

The investigation, Global Economic Impact of Missing and Low Pesticide Maximum Residue Levels, was requested by the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) in a letter received on August 30, 2019.  The USTR requested that the Commission convey its report in two separate volumes.

As requested, the USITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency, is assessing the global economic impact of national policies and regulations related to maximum residue levels (MRLs) for plant protection products.  The USITC reports will document the impacts of pesticide MRLs, including when they are missing and low, on farmers and exporters in countries representing a range of income classifications.

The information in volume 1 of the report includes, but is not limited to:

  • an overview of the role of plant protection products and their MRLs in relation to global production, international trade, and food safety for consumers;

  • a description of approaches to establishing national and international MRLs;

  • a description of how MRLs for plant protection products are developed, administered, and enforced in major markets for U.S. agricultural products;

  • a description of challenges and concerns faced by exporting countries in meeting importing country pesticide MRLs;

  • case studies describing the costs and effects of MRL compliance and non-compliance for producers in foreign countries; and

  • an economic literature review.

Detailed highlights of the Commission's findings can be found in the report's Executive Summary.

The USITC expects to transmit volume 2 of its report by January 31, 2021, as requested. Volume 2 will include case studies that describe the costs and effects of MRL compliance and noncompliance for U.S. producers and a quantitative analysis on the global impact of MRLs.

Global Economic Impact of Missing and Low Pesticide Maximum Residue Levels, Volume 1 (Investigation No. 332-573, USITC publication 5071, June 2020) is available on the USITC's Internet site at https://www.usitc.gov/publications/332/pub5071.pdf.

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 report conveys 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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