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Notice

Request for Public Comments on Commercial Availability Petition Under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA)

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Start Preamble June 3, 2003.

AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Request for public comments concerning a petition for a determination that certain fabrics, for use in men's and boys' shirts, cannot be supplied by the domestic industry in commercial quantities in a timely manner under the AGOA.

SUMMARY:

On June 2, 2003, the Chairman of CITA received a petition from Ryberg and Smith, L.L.P. on behalf of their clients, Consolidated Fabrics Ltd., Socota Textile Mills Ltd., New Island Clothing Ltd., Aquarelle Clothing Ltd., and Jaysix USA Inc., alleging that certain fabrics, listed below, used in the production of certain men's and boys' shirts, cannot be supplied by the domestic industry in commercial quantities in a timely manner. It requests that men's and boys' shirts of such fabrics be eligible for preferential treatment under the AGOA. 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 June 23, 2003, to the Chairman, Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements, room 3001, United States Department of Commerce, 14th and Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 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 1 of Executive Order No. 13191 of January 17, 2001.

End Authority

Background

The AGOA 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 AGOA 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 AGOA beneficiary countries from fabric or yarn that is not formed in the United States, 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 AGOA 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 June 2, 2003, the Chairman of CITA received a petition from Ryberg and Smith, L.L.P. on behalf of their clients, Consolidated Fabrics Ltd., Start Printed Page 33923Socota Textile Mills Ltd., New Island Clothing Ltd., Aquarelle Clothing Ltd., and Jaysix USA Inc., alleging that certain fabrics, listed above, cannot be supplied by the domestic industry in commercial quantities in a timely manner and requesting quota- and duty-free treatment under the AGOA for certain men's and boys' shirts that are both cut and sewn in one or more AGOA 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 are 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 June 23, 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, N.W., 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, N.W., Washington, DC 20230. Persons submitting comments on a request are encouraged to include a non-confidential version and a non-confidential summary.

Fabrics named in the request:

(a) Fabrics of subheadings 5208.21, 5208.22, 5208.29, 5208.31, 5208.32, 5208.39, 5208.41, 5208.42, 5208.49, 5208.51, 5208.52 or 5208.59, of average yarn number exceeding 135 metric;

(b) Fabrics of subheadings 5513.11 or 5513.21, not of square construction, containing more than 70 warp ends and filling picks per square centimeter, of average yarn number exceeding 135 metric;

(c) Fabrics of subheadings 5210.21 or 5210.31, not of square construction, containing more than 70 warp ends and filling picks per square centimeter, of average yarn number exceeding 135 metric;

(d) Fabrics of subheadings 5208.22 or 5208.32, not of square construction, containing more than 75 warp ends and fillings picks per square centimeter, of average yarn number exceeding 135 metric;

(e) Fabrics of subheadings 5407.81, 5407.82 or 5407.83, weighing less than 170 grams per square meter, having a dobby weave created by a dobby attachment, of average yarn number exceeding 135 metric;

(f) Fabrics of subheadings 5208.42 or 5208.49, not of square construction, containing more than 85 warp ends and filling picks per square centimeter, of average yarn number exceeding 85 metric, or exceeding 135 metric if the fabric is of oxford construction (a modified basket weave with a large filling yarn having no twist woven under and over two single, twisted warp yarns);

(g) Fabrics of subheading 5208.51, of square construction, containing more than 75 warp ends and filling picks per square centimeter, made with single yarns, of average yarn number 135 or greater metric;

(h) Fabrics of subheading 5208.41, of square construction, with a gingham pattern, containing more than 85 warp ends and filling picks per square centimeter, made with single yarns, of average yarn number 135 or greater metric, and characterized by a check effect produced by the variation in color of the yarns in the warp and filling; or

(i) Fabrics of subheading 5208.41, with the warp colored with vegetable dyes, and the filling yarns white or colored with vegetable dyes, of average yarn number greater than 65 metric.

Start Signature

D. Michael Hutchinson,

Acting Chairman, Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 03-14395 Filed 6-4-03; 11:46 am]

BILLING CODE 3510-DR-S