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Trade Advisory Committee Changes Proposed by USTR and DOC

Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and the Department of Commerce are proposing to streamline the current slate of industry trade advisory committees as part of the process of rechartering the ITACs for a new four-year term starting in February. Comments on the proposed changes are due no later than Feb. 5.

ITACs provide detailed policy and technical advice, information, and recommendations on trade policy matters including (1) negotiating objectives and bargaining positions before entering into trade agreements, (2) the impact of the implementation of trade agreements, (3) matters concerning the operation of any trade agreement once entered into, and (4) other matters arising in connection with the development, implementation, and administration of U.S. trade policy. They address market-access problems, trade barriers, tariffs, discriminatory foreign procurement practices, and the information, marketing, and advocacy needs of their industry sector.

USTR and DOC are proposing to streamline the ITACs as follows.

- combining the ITACs on distribution services and the services and finance industries into one ITAC on services

- combining the ITACs on forest products and on building materials, construction, and nonferrous metals into one ITAC

- changing the name of the ITAC on Information and Communications Technologies, Services, and Electronic Commerce to the ITAC on Digital Economy

- discontinuing the committee of chairs of the ITACs

These changes would result in 11 sectoral ITACs and three functional ITACs, as follows.

- (ITAC 1) Aerospace Equipment

- (ITAC 2) Automotive Equipment and Capital Goods

- (ITAC 3) Chemicals, Pharmaceuticals, Health/Science Products and Services

- (ITAC 4) Consumer Goods

- (ITAC 5) Forest Products, Building Materials, Construction, and Nonferrous Metals

- (ITAC 6) Energy and Energy Services

- (ITAC 7) Steel

- (ITAC 8) Digital Economy

- (ITAC 9) Small and Minority Business

- (ITAC 10) Services

- (ITAC 11) Textiles and Clothing

- (ITAC 12) Customs Matters and Trade Facilitation

- (ITAC 13) Intellectual Property Rights

- (ITAC 14) Standards and Technical Trade Barriers

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