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Notice

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

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Start Preamble February 26, 2003.

AGENCY:

The Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements (CITA).

ACTION:

Request for public comments concerning a request for a determination that lastol elastic yarn cannot be supplied by the domestic industry in commercial quantities in a timely manner under the AGOA and the CBTPA.

SUMMARY:

On February 21, 2003, the Chairman of CITA received a petition from the Dow Chemical Company alleging that lastol elastic yarn cannot be supplied by the domestic industry in commercial quantities in a timely manner. The petition requests that apparel from such yarns or from U.S.-formed fabrics containing such yarns be eligible for preferential treatment under the AGOA and the CBTPA. CITA hereby solicits public comments on this request, in particular with regard to whether such yarns can be supplied by the domestic industry in commercial quantities in a timely manner. Comments must be submitted by March 18, 2003 to the Chairman, Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements, Room 3100, 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 112(b)(5)(B) of the AGOA; Section 213(b)(2)(A)(v)(II) of the CBTPA, as added by Section 211(a) of the CBTPA; Sections 1 and 6 of Executive Order No. 13191 of January 17, 2001.

End Authority

Background

The AGOA and the CBTPA provide for quota- and duty-free treatment for qualifying textile and apparel products. Such treatment is generally limited to products manufactured from yarns and fabrics formed in the United States or a beneficiary country. The AGOA and the CBTPA also provide for 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 AGOA or 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 yarn 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 AGOA or the CBTPA and directed CITA to establish procedures to ensure appropriate public participation in any such determination. On March 6, 2001, CITA published procedures that it will follow in considering requests. (66 FR 13502).

On February 21, 2003, the Chairman of CITA received a petition from the Dow Chemical Company alleging that lastol elastic yarn, which is a crosslinked, heat resistant elastic yarn having elevated temperature elasticity comprising a cured, irradiated or crosslinked ethylene polymer, classified Start Printed Page 9998under items 5402.49.9005 and 5404.10.8005 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), for use in apparel articles, cannot be supplied by the domestic industry in commercial quantities in a timely manner. It requests quota- and duty-free treatment under the AGOA and the CBTPA for apparel articles that are both cut (or knit-to-shape) and sewn in one or more AGOA or CBTPA beneficiary countries from such yarns or from U.S.-formed fabrics containing such yarns.

Essential characteristics of the yarn in question are:
1. Created from a synthetic polymer, with low but significant crystallinity, composed of at least 99 percent by weight of ethylene and at least one other olefin unit.
2. Heat resistance to temperatures up to and greater than 220 degrees Celsius.
3. Exhibits substantial elasticity.
4. Chemical resistance to the most stringent chemicals used in textile processing today.

CITA is soliciting public comments regarding this request, particularly with respect to whether these yarns can be supplied by the domestic industry in commercial quantities in a timely manner. Also relevant is whether other yarns that are supplied by the domestic industry in commercial quantities in a timely manner are substitutable for these yarns for purposes of the intended use. Comments must be received no later than March 18, 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 yarns 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 yarns stating that it produces the yarns 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, N.W., Washington, DC 20230. Persons submitting comments on a request are encouraged to include a non-confidential version and a non-confidential summary.

Start Signature

Philip J. Martello,

Acting Chairman, Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 03-4957 Filed 2-26-03; 4:39 pm]

BILLING CODE 3510-DR-S