March 15, 2005
News Release 05-026
Inv. No. Singapore FTA-103-10
Contact: Peg O'Laughlin, 202-205-1819

ITC SEEKS INPUT FOR INVESTIGATION ON POSSIBLE MODIFICATIONS TO U.S.-SINGAPORE FTA RULES OF ORIGIN FOR CERTAIN YARNS AND FABRICS

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has launched an investigation concerning proposed modification of the U.S.-Singapore free trade agreement (FTA) rules of origin for certain yarns and fabrics.

The investigation, Certain Yarns and Fabrics: Effect of Modification of U.S.-Singapore FTA Rules of Origin for Goods of Singapore, was requested by the Acting U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) in a letter received on March 2, 2005.

According to the request letter, U.S. negotiators have recently reached agreement in principle with representatives of the government of Singapore regarding modifications to the USSFTA rules of origin. The changes are the result of determinations that producers in the United States and Singapore are not able to produce certain fibers and yarns in commercial quantities in a timely manner.

As requested, the ITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency, will provide advice on the probable effect of the proposed USSFTA rules of origin modification for certain yarns and fabrics on U.S. trade under the USSFTA, total U.S. trade, and on domestic producers of the affected articles. If adopted, the rules changes would effectively extend duty-free treatment to qualifying apparel articles made in Singapore from the named yarns and fabrics, regardless of the source of such inputs.

The articles covered by the investigation are:

The ITC expects to submit its confidential advice to the USTR by May 27, 2005. A public version of the report will be issued as soon as possible thereafter.

The ITC will not hold a hearing in connection with this investigation, but it welcomes written submissions for the record from all interested parties and requests that the information focus on the articles for which the ITC is requested to provide information and advice. Written submissions should be addressed to the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436, and should be submitted at the earliest practical date but no later than 5:15 p.m. on April 20, 2005.

Further information on the scope of the investigation, the proposed rules of origin modifications, and the procedures for written submissions is available in the ITC's notice of investigation, dated March 15, 2005, which can be obtained from the ITC Internet site (www.usitc.gov) or by contacting the Secretary at the above address.

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