June 6, 2006
News Release 06-049
Inv. No. 332-475
Contact: Peg O'Laughlin, 202-205-1819

ITC LAUNCHES INVESTIGATION ON THE IMPACT OF PROPOSED DEFINITIONS FOR CERTAIN BABY SOCKS

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC or Commission) has instituted a new investigation to provide information on the impact of proposed definitions for certain baby socks in the U.S. Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS).

The investigation, Probable Effect of Proposed Definitions for Certain Baby Socks, was requested by the U.S. Trade Representative in a letter received on May 26, 2006.

In his letter, the USTR noted that under a memorandum of understanding signed by the United States and China in 2005, quantitative restraints are imposed on certain textile and apparel products originating in China, to be in effect through 2008. He noted that a question has arisen as to whether certain articles that are currently classified in the HTS as baby socks (and therefore subject to the restraint levels) are instead more appropriately classified as footwear articles (which would not be subject to the restraint levels).

The USTR provided two proposed definitions of baby socks and asked the ITC to provide information on the possible effect of each on U.S. imports from China, total U.S. imports, and on domestic producers of the articles affected. The USTR's proposed definitions and his request letter can be found on the ITC's Internet site at www.usitc.gov.

The ITC will submit its report to the USTR by August 25, 2006.

The ITC will not hold a public hearing in connection with this investigation. However, the ITC seeks written input from all interested parties. Written submissions (one original and 14 copies) should be submitted at the earliest practical date but no later than 5:15 p.m. on July 11, 2006. All written submissions, except for confidential business information, will be available for public inspection. Written submissions should be addressed to the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436.

Further information on the scope of the investigation is available in the ITC's notice of investigation, dated June 6, 2006, which may be obtained from the ITC Internet site (www.usitc.gov) or by contacting the Office of the Secretary at the above address or at 202-205- 1802.

ITC general factfinding investigations, such as this one, cover matters related to tariffs or trade and are generally conducted at the request of the U.S. Trade Representative, the Senate Committee on Finance, or the House Committee on Ways and Means. The resulting reports convey the Commission's objective findings and independent analyses on the subject investigated. The Commission makes no recommendations on policy or other matters in its general factfinding reports. Upon completion of each investigation, the ITC submits its finding and analyses to the requester. General factfinding investigation reports are subsequently released to the public, unless they are classified by the requester for national security reasons.

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