The U.S. International Trade Commission initiated a Section 332 investigation to determine the state of competition in the U.S. foundry products market. ITC general Section 332 investigations oversee matters concerning tariffs or trade. Known as "Foundry Products: Competitive Conditions In the U.S. Market (Inv. No. 332-460)," this new investigation follows a May 4 request by requested by the U.S. House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee.
The resulting report will convey the ITC’s findings and independent analyses on the subject investigated, but it will not recommend any policy or response. The report will be returned to the Committee and made available to the public (unless it is classified for national security reasons.)
Non-Ferrous Founders’ Society executive director Jim Mallory noted "This investigation is certainly welcome, even if a bit overdue. … And, it’s also far too early to declare victory. There’s too much ground that will need to be covered between now and the report that will be filed by May 2005."
The Ways & Means Committee requested that ITC prepare an overview of the industry and analyze in detail selected key iron, steel, aluminum, and copper-based cast products representing the industry’s major segments. ITC plans to provide a five-year review that includes:
- a profile of the U.S. foundry industry;
- trends in U.S. production, shipments, capacity, consumption, and trade in foundry products, as well as financial conditions of domestic producers;
- a profile of major foreign industries including, but not necessarily limited to, Brazil and China;
- a description of relevant U.S. and foreign government policies and regulations affecting U.S. and foreign producers as identified during the investigation by the producers and consumers of foundry products, including, as appropriate, investment, tax, and export policies; environmental regulations; and worker health and safety regulations;
- a comparison of various factors affecting competition between U.S. and foreign producers such as the availability and cost of raw materials, energy, and labor; level of technology and changes in the manufacturing process; pricing practices; transportation costs; technical advice and service; and an analysis of the how these factors affect the industry; and
- an analysis of the purchasing patterns and practices of downstream (customer) industries.
The Commission will hold a public hearing in connection with the investigation October 14. Requests to appear at the public hearing should be filed by September 24 with the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E St., SW., Washington, DC 20436. ITC also will accept written submissions for the record. Written submissions (one original and 14 copies) should be filed by no later than 5:15 pm on October 22, 2004. All written submissions, except for confidential business information, will be available for public inspection.