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1) News release -- The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) today released The Year in Trade 2021 (Inv. No. 332-345), its annual overview of developments regarding the operation of the U.S. trade agreements program for 2021.

The USITC's The Year in Trade is one of the government's most comprehensive reports available regarding activities related to U.S. trade policies, agreements, and trade laws. This report is the 73rd in a series of annual reports submitted to the U.S. Congress under section 163(c) of the Trade Act of 1974 (19 U.S.C. 2213(c)) and its predecessor legislation.

The publication reviews U.S. international trade laws and actions under these laws, activities of the World Trade Organization (WTO), and developments regarding U.S. free trade agreements (FTAs), FTA negotiations, and U.S. bilateral trade relations with major trading partners in 2021.

In addition to discussion on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and supply chain disruptions on international trade, topics covered in The Year in Trade 2021 include:

-- U.S. antidumping, countervailing duty, safeguard, intellectual property rights infringement, national security, and section 301 cases active in 2021;
-- amendments to the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States, and the operation of U.S. trade preference programs, including the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences, the African Growth and Opportunity Act, the Nepal Trade Preferences Act, and the Caribbean Basin Economic Recovery Act, including initiatives for Haiti;
-- WTO dispute settlement decisions and other significant activities in the WTO and initiatives under the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum;
-- implementation and enforcement matters under the United States-Canada-Mexico Agreement and other U.S. FTAs in effect; and
-- bilateral trade issues with selected major U.S. trading partners -- the European Union, Mexico, Canada, China, Japan, the United Kingdom, and India.

The report also provides an overview of U.S. trade in goods and services during 2021. Statistical tables highlight U.S. bilateral trade with major trading partners and trade under U.S. trade preference programs and FTAs.

The Year in Trade 2021 (USITC Publication 5349, August 2022) will be posted on the USITC's Internet site at https://www.usitc.gov/publications/332/pub5349.pdf.   

A set of interactive, web-based presentations of underlying data is also available at:

-- Interactive dashboard: https://www.usitc.gov/publications/332/yit_2021_interactive_dashboard
-- Interactive Exchange Rate figure: https://www.usitc.gov/publications/332/yit_2021_interactive_exchange_rate
-- Trade Balance: https://www.usitc.gov/publications/332/yit_2021_interactive_dashboard
-- Sector: https://www.usitc.gov/publications/332/yit_2021_sector

News release: https://www.usitc.gov/press_room/news_release/2022/er0829ll1977.htm

2) The Year in Trade 2021: Operation of the Trade Agreements Program (257 pages)

Executive Summary: Global Trade Environment in 2021

In 2021, the international trade community continued to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, which was in its second year. According to aggregate measures of economic performance—GDP growth, manufacturing output, and international trade—the 2021 global economy not only rebounded from 2020 lows but exceeded the pre-pandemic levels of 2019. Yet, as economies adjusted to the mediumterm impact of the pandemic, recovery was uneven both over time and geographically. For example, recovery was interrupted or hampered by the emergence of new COVID-19 variants, uneven distribution of and access to vaccines, and the intermittent return of restrictive measures aimed at curbing the spread of the virus. The resurgence of containment measures in 2021 again contributed to supply chain and labor disruptions prevalent in the previous year, compounded further by existing material shortages, increases in input pricing, and bottlenecks in transportation and logistics. As these challenges persisted and intensified in the latter half of 2021, indicators of economic recovery began to slow.

Although demand trends remained responsive to pandemic-related needs, 2021 also showed signs of normalization toward pre-pandemic preferences. For example, trade in textiles and apparel, as well as communications and office equipment remained above average in the first half of 2021, driven by continued demand for personal protective equipment and work-from-home technology. However, in the second half of 2021, renewed worldwide demand for energy-related products, minerals, and metals outpaced all other merchandise sectors. Demand for services—particularly those related to transportation and travel—remained below pre-pandemic levels, while services related to remote work and mobile finance experienced continued high demand in 2021.


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