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Notice

Request for Public Comments on Commercial Availability Request under the United States-Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act (CBTPA)

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Start Preamble Start Printed Page 78424 December 20, 2002.

AGENCY:

Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements (CITA).

ACTION:

Request for public comments concerning a request for a determination that certain shirting fabrics, for use in blouses, cannot be supplied by the domestic industry in commercial quantities in a timely manner under the CBTPA.

SUMMARY:

On December 18, 2002, the Chairman of CITA received a petition from School Apparel, Inc. alleging that certain shirting fabrics, classified in subheadings 5210.21 and 5210.31 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), used in the production of women's and girls' blouses, cannot be supplied by the domestic industry in commercial quantities in a timely manner. It requests that blouses of such fabrics be eligible for preferential treatment under the CBTPA. CITA hereby solicits public comments on this request, in particular with regard to whether such shirting fabrics can be supplied by the domestic industry in commercial quantities in a timely manner. Comments must be submitted by January 8, 2003, to the Chairman, Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements, room 3001, United States Department of Commerce, 14th and Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20230.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Janet Heinzen, International Trade Specialist, Office of Textiles and Apparel, U.S. Department of Commerce, (202) 482-3400.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Start Authority

Authority: Section 213(b)(2)(A)(v)(II) of the CBTPA, as added by Section 211(a) of the CBTPA; Section 6 of Executive Order No. 13191 of January 17, 2001.

End Authority

BACKGROUND:

The CBTPA provides for quota-and duty-free treatment for qualifying textile and apparel products. Such treatment is generally limited to products manufactured from yarns or fabrics formed in the United States or a beneficiary country. The CBTPA also authorizes quota-and duty-free treatment for apparel articles that are both cut (or knit-to-shape) and sewn or otherwise assembled in one or more CBTPA beneficiary countries from fabric or yarn that is not formed in the United States or a beneficiary country, if it has been determined that such fabric or yarns cannot be supplied by the domestic industry in commercial quantities in a timely manner. In Executive Order No. 13191, the President delegated to CITA the authority to determine whether yarns or fabrics cannot be supplied by the domestic industry in commercial quantities in a timely manner under the CBTPA and directed CITA to establish procedures to ensure appropriate public participation in any such determination. On March 6, 2001, CITA published procedures in the Federal Register that it will follow in considering requests (66 FR 13502).

On December 18, 2002, the Chairman of CITA received a petition from School Apparel, Inc., alleging that certain shirting fabrics, specifically fabrics of subheadings 5210.21 and 5210.31, not of square construction, containing more than 70 warp ends and filling picks per square centimeter, of average yarn number exceeding 70 metric, cannot be supplied by the domestic industry in commercial quantities in a timely manner and requesting quota-and duty-free treatment under the CBTPA for women's and girls' blouses that are both cut and sewn in one or more CBTPA beneficiary countries from such fabrics.

CITA is soliciting public comments regarding this request, particularly with respect to whether these fabrics can be supplied by the domestic industry in commercial quantities in a timely manner. Also relevant is whether other fabrics that can be supplied by the domestic industry in commercial quantities in a timely manner are substitutable for the fabrics for purposes of the intended use. Comments must be received no later than January 8, 2003. Interested persons are invited to submit six copies of such comments or information to the Chairman, Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements, room 3100, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th and Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20230.

If a comment alleges that these shirting fabrics can be supplied by the domestic industry in commercial quantities in a timely manner, CITA will closely review any supporting documentation, such as a signed statement by a manufacturer of the fabrics stating that it produces the fabrics that are the subject of the request, including the quantities that can be supplied and the time necessary to fill an order, as well as any relevant information regarding past production.

CITA will protect any business confidential information that is marked business confidential from disclosure to the full extent permitted by law. CITA will make available to the public non-confidential versions of the request and non-confidential versions of any public comments received with respect to a request in room 3100 in the Herbert Hoover Building, 14th and Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20230. Persons submitting comments on a request are encouraged to include a non-confidential version and a non-confidential summary.

Start Signature

James C. Leonard III,

Chairman, Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 02-32540 Filed 12-20-02; 2:06 pm]

BILLING CODE 3510-DR-S