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Notice

Solicitation of Public Comments on Request for Textile and Apparel Safeguard Action on Imports from China

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Start Preamble August 13, 2003.

AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Solicitation of public comments concerning a request for safeguard action on imports from China of brassieres and other body supporting garments (Category 349/649).

SUMMARY:

On July 24, 2003, the Committee received a request from the American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition, American Textile Manufacturers Institute and the National Textile Association alleging that imports from China of brassieres and other body supporting garments (Category 349/649) are, due to market disruption, threatening to impede the orderly development of trade in this product. They request that a textile and apparel safeguard action, as provided for in the Report of the Working Party on the Accession of China to the World Trade Organization (the Accession Agreement), be taken on imports of brassieres and other body supporting garments. The Committee hereby solicits public comments on this request, in particular with regard to whether imports from China of brassieres and other body supporting garments are, due to market disruption, threatening to impede the orderly development of trade in this product. Comments must be submitted by September 17, 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:

William Dulka, Office of Textiles and Apparel, U.S. Department of Commerce, (202) 482-4058.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Start Authority

Authority: Section 204 of the Agriculture Act of 1956, as amended; Executive Order 11651, as amended.

End Authority

Background

The Accession Agreement textile and apparel safeguard allows the United States and other World Trade Organization Members that believe imports of Chinese origin textile and apparel products are, due to market disruption, threatening to impede the orderly development of trade in these products to request consultations with China with a view to easing or avoiding such market disruption. Upon receipt of the request, China has agreed to hold its shipments to a level no greater than 7.5 percent (6 percent for wool product categories) above the amount entered during the first 12 months of the most recent 14 months preceding the request for consultations. The Member requesting consultations may implement such a limit. Consultations with China will be held within 30 days of receipt of the request for consultations, and every effort will be made to reach agreement on a mutually satisfactory solution within 90 days of receipt of the request for consultations. If agreement on a different limit is reached, the Committee will issue a Federal Register Notice containing a directive to the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection that implements the negotiated limit. The limit is effective Start Printed Page 49449beginning on the date of the request for consultations and ending on December 31 of the year in which consultations were requested, or where three or fewer months remained in the year at the time of the request for consultations, for the period ending 12 months after the request for consultations. In order to facilitate the implementation of the Accession Agreement textile and apparel safeguard, the Committee has published procedures (the Procedures) it will follow in considering requests for Accession Agreement textile and apparel safeguard actions (68 FR 27787, published May 21, 2003).

On July 24, 2003, the Committee received a request from the American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition, American Textile Manufacturers Institute and the National Textile Association alleging that imports from China of brassieres and other body supporting garments (Category 349/649) are, due to market disruption, threatening to impede the orderly development of trade in this product, and requesting that an Accession Agreement textile and apparel safeguard action be taken on imports of brassieres and other body supporting garments. The Committee has determined that this request provides the information necessary for the Committee to consider the request in light of the considerations set forth in the Procedures. The text of the request is reproduced in full below.

The Committee is soliciting public comments on this request, in particular with regard to whether imports from China of brassieres and other body supporting garments are, due to market disruption, threatening to impede the orderly development of trade in this product. Comments may be submitted by any interested person. Comments must be received no later than September 17, 2003. Interested persons are invited to submit ten copies of such comments to the Chairman, Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements, Room 3001, U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th and Constitution Avenue N.W., Washington, DC 20230.

If a comment alleges that there is no market disruption or that the subject imports are not the cause of market disruption, the Committee will closely review any supporting information and documentation, such as information about domestic production or prices of like or directly competitive products. Particular consideration will be given to comments representing the views of actual producers in the United States of a like or directly competitive product.

The Committee will protect any business confidential information that is marked business confidential from disclosure to the full extent permitted by law. To the extent that business confidential information is provided, two copies of a non-confidential version must also be provided in which business confidential information is summarized or, if necessary, deleted. Comments received, with the exception of information marked “business confidential”, will be available for inspection between 9:00 a.m and 4:30 p.m in Room 2233, United States Department of Commerce, 14th and Constitution Avenue N.W., Washington D.C. 20230.

The Committee will make a determination within 60 calendar days of the close of the comment period as to whether the United States will request consultations with China. If the Committee is unable to make a determination within 60 calendar days, it will cause to be published a notice in the Federal Register, including the date by which it will make a determination. If the Committee makes a negative determination, it will cause this determination and the reasons therefore to be published in the Federal Register. If the Committee makes an affirmative determination that imports of Chinese origin textiles and apparel products are, due to market disruption, threatening to impede the orderly development of trade in these products, the United States will request consultations with China with a view to easing or avoiding such market disruption.

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Start Signature
Start Printed Page 49453

James C. Leonard III,

Chairman, Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

BILLING CODE 3510-DR-S

[FR Doc.03-21065 Filed 8-14-03; 11:27 am]

BILLING CODE 3510-DR-C