December 6, 2007
News Release 07-122
Inv. No. AGOA-002 and AGOA-003
Contact: Peg O'Laughlin, 202-205-1819

ITC LAUNCHES INVESTIGATIONS ON DENIM FABRIC USE AND AVAILABILITY IN AGOA COUNTRIES

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC or Commission) has begun investigations to determine the amount of certain denim fabric used during fiscal year 2007 in lesser developed beneficiary sub-Saharan African (LDB SSA) countries as well as whether such fabric will be available in commercial quantities for use in those countries during fiscal year 2009.

Amendments to the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) require the ITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency, to make these determinations.

Under the first investigation, Denim Fabric: Use During Fiscal Year 2007, the ITC will gather information and determine the extent to which denim fabric that was deemed to be available in commercial quantities during fiscal year 2007 for use in LDB SSA countries was actually used in the production of apparel articles exported to the United States that received preferential treatment under the AGOA. (When it passed the amendments to the AGOA, the Congress deemed such denim fabric to be available in the amount of 30 million square meter equivalents during fiscal year 2007 (October 1, 2006 - September 30, 2007).) The ITC will make its determination in this investigation in June 2008 and will submit its report to the President by July 1, 2008.

Under the second investigation, Denim Fabric: Commercial Availability in AGOA Countries During Fiscal Year 2009, the ITC will gather information and determine whether certain denim fabric will be available in commercial quantities during fiscal year 2009 (October 1, 2008 - September 30, 2009) for use in LDB SSA countries in the production of apparel articles receiving preferential treatment under the AGOA, and if so, the quantity that will be available. The ITC will make its determination in this investigation in July 2008 and will submit its report to the President and the U.S. Trade Representative by August 1, 2008.

The ITC will hold a joint public hearing in connection with these investigations at 9:30 a.m. on April 9, 2008. Requests to appear at the joint public hearing should be filed with the Secretary, United States International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436, and must be received no later than 5:15 p.m. on March 18, 2008.

The ITC also welcomes written submissions for the record in connection with these investigations. Written submissions (one original and 14 copies) should be addressed to the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, at the above address and should be filed at the earliest practical date, but no later than 5:15 p.m. on April 28, 2008 (date applies to both investigations). All written submissions, except for confidential business information, will be available for public inspection.

Further information on the scope of these investigations and appropriate submissions is available in the ITC's notices of investigation. The notice of investigation for Denim Fabric: Use During Fiscal Year 2007 is dated November 28, 2007. The notice of investigation for Denim Fabric: Commercial Availability in AGOA Countries During Fiscal Year 2009 is dated December 6, 2007. Both notices may be obtained from the ITC Internet site (www.usitc.gov) or by contacting the Office of the Secretary at 202-205-2000.

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