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ITC Launches Investigation into Potential Duty-Free Imports from the EU

President to Begin Negotiations with the EU on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Agreement

On March 25, 2013, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative requested that the U.S. International Trade Commission investigate the probable economic effect of duty-free imports from the European Union under a U.S.-E.U. Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Agreement (TTIP Agreement). The President announced his intention to launch negotiations with the European Union regarding such an agreement in his State of the Union address. The announcement followed a year-long exploratory process conducted by the U.S.-EU High Level Working Group on Jobs and Growth. 
 
The ITC’s report will address the economic impact of duty-free imports from all EU member states on industries in the United States producing like or directly competitive products and consumers. Because certain U.S. tariffs would remain if a TTIP Agreement were implemented, the ITC’s report will also address each article in chapters 1 through 97 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States for which these tariffs would remain. 
 
The ITC will also prepare an assessment of the probable economic effects of eliminating tariffs on imports from all the EU member states of those agricultural products described in the Tariff Rate Quota Items list on both industries in the U.S. producing the listed agricultural product and the U.S. economy as a whole. The Tariff Rate Quota Items list was attached to the USTR’s letter to the ITC and can be found here.
 
According to the USTR, the U.S./EU economic relationship is already the world’s largest and accounts for one-third of total goods and services trade and one-half global output. In its final report, the U.S.-EU High Level Working Group on Jobs and Growth concluded that an agreement that addresses a broad range of bilateral trade and investment policies, as well as global issues of common interest, could generate substantial economic benefits to both the U.S. and the EU.
 
The ITC is seeking input for its investigation from all interested parties and requests that the information focus on the requested issues. The ITC will hold a public hearing in connection with the investigations on June 5, 2013. Requests to appear at the hearing should be filed by May 16, and any pre-hearing briefs and statements should be filed by May 17. Written submissions for the record should are welcomed and should be received no later than June 18. The ITC expects to submit its confidential report to the USTR by September 26, 2013.
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