Global trade in biotechnology food products is a focus of USITC's monthly economic review

January 13, 2003

Washington, 10 Jan 2003

Full text of the review

The Andean Trade Preference Act and trade in biotechnology food products are the main topics covered in the current issue of the International Economic Review (IER), a publication of the U.S. International Trade Commission's Office of Economics.

The current issue (November/December 2002) includes the following articles:

Trade in Biotechnology Food Products -- The United States is the world's largest producer and exporter of modern biotechnology food products. Without generally accepted standards for evaluating the safety of biotechnology food products, sharply different views have emerged -- as between the United States and the European Union -- on the need to trace biotechnology components used in the food production chain as well as on the need for mandatory labels designating biotechnology food products.

Many countries are aligning their biotechnology policies either with those of the United States or the European Union. This article highlights key recent developments in global trade in biotechnology food products. It also discusses trade-related biotechnology policy developments in a number of key trading countries as the Codex Alimentarius, the United Nations-based food standards setting body, is set to consider in June 2003 the first global guidelines for biotechnology food products.

The Andean Trade Preference Act: An Update -- The Andean Trade Preference Act (ATPA) expired on December 4, 2001, and was renewed retroactively on August 6, 2002, under the Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act, which also amended ATPA to cover additional products. During the first seven months of 2002, the loss of duty-free status under ATPA apparently contributed to the decline of U.S. imports from the four beneficiaries. The economic slowdown in the United States also was a major cause.

In addition, the publication reviews U.S. economic performance relative to other major trade partners, U.S. trade performance, and economic forecasts. Comparative economic indicators for major industrialized countries are also provided.

The current issue of the IER (USITC Publication 3571, November/December 2002) will be available in the Publications section of the ITC's Internet site at To request a printed copy, write to the Office of the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, D.C. 20436, or fax requests to 202-205-2104.

To be added to the mailing list for the publication, write to the Office of Economics, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, D.C. 20436, or fax requests to 202-205-2340.

The IER is produced as part of the ITC's international trade monitoring program. The program's purpose is to keep the Commission informed about significant developments in international economics and trade and to maintain the Commission's readiness to provide technical information and advice to policymakers in the Congress and the executive branch. The opinions and conclusions of the IER are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Commission or any individual Commissioner.

US International Trade Commission

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