ITC LAUNCHES REVIEW OF AGOA SHORT SUPPLY REQUEST
ON BLOUSES AND NIGHTWEAR OF CERTAIN COTTON AND MANMADE-FIBER FABRICS
The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has instituted a review of a request filed under the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) to grant duty-free and quota-free treatment for blouses and nightwear made in AGOA countries from certain cotton and manmade-fiber fabrics.
This review is instituted under the ITC's "umbrella" investigation for all such requests, Investigation No. 332-428, Apparel Inputs in "Short Supply": Effect of Providing Preferential Treatment to Apparel from Sub-Saharan African and Caribbean Basin Countries, which was requested by the United States Trade Representative (USTR). Esquel Enterprises Limited of Hong Kong and Textile Industries Limited in Mauritius filed a request alleging "short supply" conditions for certain cotton and manmade-fiber fabrics and requesting the review with the Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements (CITA), an interagency group chaired by the U.S. Department of Commerce.
The ITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency, will provide advice to the USTR concerning the probable economic effect on affected segments of the U.S. textile and apparel industries, workers in these industries, and consumers of granting duty-free and quota-free treatment to imports of blouses and nightwear made in AGOA beneficiary countries from certain cotton and manmade-fiber fabrics, should CITA determine that certain cotton and manmade-fiber fabrics are not available in commercial quantities in the United States.
The AGOA, part of the Trade and Development Act of 2000, extends duty-free and quota-free treatment to imports of apparel assembled in AGOA beneficiary countries from fabrics made in the United States from U.S. yarns. The AGOA also authorizes the President, on request of an interested party, to grant preferential treatment to apparel made in AGOA beneficiary countries from fabrics or yarns which "cannot be supplied by the domestic industry in commercial quantities in a timely manner," regardless of the source of the fabrics or yarns. Before proclaiming such preferential treatment, the President is required to submit a report to the U.S. House of Representatives' Committee on Ways and Means and the U.S. Senate's Committee on Finance that sets forth the proposed action, the reasons for it, advice from the ITC on the probable economic effect of the action, and advice from the appropriate industry advisory committee. Information on the legislative background of the request process and ITC review of such requests is included in the ITC's notice of investigation for Inv. No. 332-428, which will be published in the Federal Register.
In addition, the ITC has established a special area on its Internet site (www.usitc.gov/shortsup/shortsupintro.htm) where information related to this review (Inv. No. 332-428-002) and the overall ITC investigation is maintained. The public record for this request may be viewed on the ITC's electronic docket (EDIS On-Line) at http://dockets.usitc.gov/eol/public. The U.S. Department of Commerce's Office of Textiles and Apparel (OTEXA) publishes a summary of each request from interested parties in the Federal Register. These notices are posted on OTEXA's Internet site at http://otexa.ita.doc.gov/fr.stm.
The ITC will submit its advice to the USTR in a classified report by April 16, 2001. The ITC will issue a public version of its report as soon thereafter as possible, with any confidential business information deleted.
The ITC will not hold a public hearing in connection with this review. However, it welcomes input from interested parties, including written submissions for the record. The ITC is particularly interested in receiving input from the private sector on the likely effect of the proposed action on U.S. producers, workers, and consumers. Written submissions for the record (one original and three copies) should be addressed to the Office of 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 pm on April 4, 2001. Interested parties seeking more detailed information on the Commission's review of this petition may contact Jackie W. Jones (202-205- 3466; firstname.lastname@example.org), International Trade Analyst, Office of Industries. Additional information on this review and the overall investigation may be obtained 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 USTR, 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 subjects 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 findings and analysis to the requester. General factfinding investigation reports are subsequently released to the public, unless they are classified by the requester for national security reasons.