U.S. Trade Representative Mike Froman has asked the International Trade Commission to prepare “as soon as possible” a statutorily mandated report assessing the likely impact of the Trans-Pacific Partnership on the U.S. economy as a whole as well as on specific industry sectors and the interests of U.S. consumers. Froman’s request appears to be part of an Obama administration effort to submit legislation to implement the TPP to Congress early in 2016 in hopes of securing approval before the presidential and congressional election campaigns heat up.

The ITC has up to 105 days from the date a free trade agreement like TPP is signed to submit its economic impact report. TPP has not yet been signed, and the U.S. will not be able to sign it until approximately Feb. 3, 2016, 90 days after the president notified Congress of his intent to sign. If the ITC waited until TPP is signed to begin preparing its report and took the full 105 days to complete its task, the White House would not be able to submit implementing legislation until mid-May.

USTR is clearly hoping to accelerate that process by asking the ITC to start now. Froman said he was providing the ITC with the details of the agreement “as it exists at this time” and would “continue to keep the Commission current with respect to the details of the agreement.” Press reports indicate that the ITC’s review may in fact already be underway in some measure, though the Commission must still issue a formal request for public input as well.

(Click here to learn more about ST&R’s three-tiered TPP Assessment and Compliance Program that can help your company assess TPP duty savings possibilities and, if appropriate, take advantage of them. Click here to register for a 45-minute webinar ST&R will conduct Nov. 12 on the TPP implementation process. Click here to be notified when additional ST&R webinars examining the details of TPP for specific industries and sectors are announced.)

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