ITC studies Trans-Pacific Partnership FTA
The U.S. International Trade Commission 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 Office of the U.S. Trade Representative in a letter received on Oct. 5.
In that letter, the USTR stated Malaysia has joined TPP negotiations involving seven countries (and the United States) that began earlier this year. In June, the ITC 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 ITC 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.
In preparing its advice to the USTR, the ITC will consider each article in chapters 1 through 97 of the U.S. Harmonized Tariff Schedule, 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, the ITC 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. A list of the products is attached to the USTR’s request letter, which can be obtained from the USITC’s Web site.
The ITC expects to submit its report, which will be confidential, to the USTR by Jan. 7, 2011. To help with its investigation, the ITC will hold a public hearing on Nov. 17.