May 3, 2007
News Release 07-052
Inv. No. NAFTA-103-018
Contact: Peg O'Laughlin, 202-205-1819

ITC LAUNCHES NEW INVESTIGATION ON POSSIBLE MODIFICATION TO THE NORTH AMERICAN FREE TRADE AGREEMENT RULES OF ORIGIN FOR CERTAIN TEXTILE ARTICLES

The United States International Trade Commission (ITC) is seeking input on a newly initiated investigation concerning proposed modifications of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) rules of origin for certain sanitary articles and nonwoven wipes that are goods of Canada and Mexico, and for chenille fabrics that are goods of Canada only.

The investigation, Certain Textile Articles: Probable Effect of Modification of NAFTA Rules of Origin for Goods of Canada and Mexico (Sanitary Articles and Nonwoven Wipes) and for Goods of Canada (Chenille Fabrics), was requested by the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR).

As requested by the USTR, the ITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency, will provide advice on the probable effect of the proposed NAFTA rules of origin modifications for sanitary towels or tampons and nonwoven wipes of viscose rayon staple fibers and chenille fabrics of acrylic fibers on U.S. trade under the NAFTA, total U.S. trade, and on domestic producers of the affected articles. If adopted, the rules changes would effectively extend duty- free and quota-free treatment to qualifying sanitary articles, nonwoven wipes, and chenille fabrics in the specified NAFTA countries, regardless of the source of the specified fibers.

The ITC expects to submit its advice to the USTR by June 15, 2007.

The ITC is seeking input for its new investigation from all interested parties and requests that the information focus on the articles for which the ITC is requested to provide information and advice. The ITC will not hold a public hearing in connection with the investigation; however, the ITC welcomes written submissions for the record. 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 May 16, 2007.

Further information on the scope of this investigation, the proposed rules of origin modification, and the procedures for written submissions is available in the ITC's notice of investigation, dated May 3, 2007, which can be downloaded from the ITC Internet site (www.usitc.gov) or by contacting the Secretary at the above address.

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