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Apr 12 -- The U.S. Trade Representative and the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) have established a new four-year charter term ending in February 2026 for the Industry Trade Advisory Committees (ITACs) and are accepting applications from qualified individuals interested in serving as members. The ITACs provide detailed policy and technical advice, information, and recommendations to the Secretary and the U.S. Trade Representative regarding trade barriers, negotiation of trade agreements, and implementation of existing trade agreements affecting industry sectors, and perform other advisory functions relevant to U.S. trade policy matters. There currently are opportunities for membership on each ITAC and we will accept nominations throughout the charter term.

Section 135 of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended (19 U.S.C. 2155), establishes a private-sector trade advisory system to ensure that U.S. trade policy and trade negotiation objectives adequately reflect U.S. commercial and economic interests. Section 135(c)(2) (19 U.S.C. 2155(c)(2)) directs the President to establish sectoral or functional trade advisory committees, as appropriate, including representatives of industry, labor, agriculture, and services, including small business, in the sector or functional area concerned, to provide detailed policy and technical advice, information, and recommendations regarding trade barriers, negotiation of trade agreements, and implementation of existing trade agreements affecting industry sectors, and perform other advisory functions relevant to U.S. trade policy matters as requested.
 
The ITACs provide detailed policy and technical advice, information, and recommendations to the Secretary and the U.S. Trade Representative on trade policy matters including:

Negotiating objectives and bargaining positions before entering into trade agreements.
The impact of the implementation of trade agreements on the relevant sector.
Matters concerning the operation of any trade agreement once entered into.
Other matters arising in connection with the development, implementation, and administration of the trade policy of the United States.

The nonpartisan, industry input provided by the ITACs is important in developing unified trade policy objectives and positions when the United States negotiates and implements trade agreements.

The ITACs address market-access problems, trade barriers, tariffs, discriminatory foreign procurement practices, and information, marketing, and advocacy needs of their industry sector. Twelve ITACs (ITACS 1-12) provide advice and information on issues that affect specific sectors of U.S. industry. Three ITACs (ITACs 13-15) focus on crosscutting functional issues that affect all industry sectors and include specifically appointed members along with non-voting members from the industry specific ITACs to represent a broad range of industry perspectives. The ITACs may address other trade policy issues, e.g., government procurement and subsidies, in ad hoc working groups.

When the U.S. Trade Representative and the Secretary organize the ITACs, the Trade Act requires that they consult with interested private organizations and consider:

Patterns of actual or potential competition between U.S. industry and agriculture and foreign enterprise in international trade.
The character of the nontariff barriers and other distortions affecting such competition.
The necessity for reasonable limits on the number and size of the ITACs.
That the product lines covered by each ITAC are reasonably related.
 
The Secretary and the U.S. Trade Representative have established new four-year charter terms for the following ITACs, that began on February 24, 2022, and will end on February 24, 2026.

Committee of Chairs
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 Critical Minerals and Nonferrous Metals
ITAC 6 Digital Economy
ITAC 7 Energy and Energy Services
ITAC 8 Forest Products and Building Materials
ITAC 9 Small, Minority, and Woman-led Business
ITAC 10  Services
ITAC 11  Steel
ITAC 12 Textiles and Clothing
ITAC 13 Customs Matters and Trade Facilitation
ITAC 14 Intellectual Property Rights
ITAC 15 Standards and Technical Trade Barriers

Each ITAC consists of members with experience relevant to the industry sector for ITACs 1 through 12, or the subject area for ITACs 13 through 15. All ITAC members serve in a representative capacity (there are no special government employees (SGEs)) and present the views and interests of a sponsoring U.S. entity or U.S. organization and the entity's or organization's subsector (if applicable). In selecting members, the Secretary and the U.S. Trade Representative consider the nominee's ability to carry out the objectives of the ITAC, including knowledge of the industry and of trade matters relevant to the work of the ITAC, and ensuring that the ITAC is balanced in terms of points of view, demographics, geography, and entity or organization size. The Secretary and the U.S. Trade Representative also are committed to achieving diversity in ITAC membership to the maximum extent permitted by law and consistent with the need for balanced industry representation. The Secretary and the U.S. Trade Representative may seek additional nominations as necessary to attain membership balance and demographic diversity. Appointments are made without regard to political affiliation and in accordance with equal opportunity practices that promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility.

The Secretary and the U.S. Trade Representative appoint all ITAC members for a term of four-years or until the ITAC charter expires, and members serve at the discretion of the Secretary and the U.S. Trade Representative. Individuals can be reappointed for any number of terms. Appointments are made at the time an ITAC is re-chartered and periodically throughout the four-year charter term. Appointments expire at the end of the charter term, in this case, on February 24, 2026.

The ITACs meet as needed, depending on various factors such as the level of activity of trade negotiations and the needs of the Secretary and the U.S. Trade Representative. On average, each ITAC meets six times a year in Washington DC or via teleconference.  

NOTE: The applicant must represent either:

a. A U.S. entity that is directly engaged in the import or export of goods or services or that provides services in direct support of the international trading activities of other entities; or
b. A U.S. organization that trades internationally, represents members that trade internationally, or, consistent with the needs of an ITAC as determined by the Secretary and the Trade Representative, represents members who have a demonstrated interest in international trade.
 
FRN: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2022-07743

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