Skip to Content

Notice

Request for Public Comment on Commercial Availability Request under the United States-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (USSFTA)

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Published Document

This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

Start Preamble May 11, 2004.

AGENCY:

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

ACTION:

Request for Public Comments concerning a request for modifications of the USSFTA rules of origin for apparel items made from certain yarns and fabrics.

SUMMARY:

The Government of the United States has received a request from the Government of Singapore for consultations under Article 3.18.4(a)(i) Start Printed Page 27891of the USSFTA. Singapore is seeking agreement to revise the rules of origin for certain apparel goods to address availability of supply of certain yarns and fabrics in the territories of the Parties. The request covers products that have been the subject of prior determinations made by CITA between November 16, 2002 and March 16, 2004 pursuant to the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act (CBTPA), and the Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act (ATPDEA).

Section 202(o)(2) of the United States-Singapore Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act authorizes the President to proclaim a modification to the USSFTA rules of origin for textile and apparel products that are necessary to implement an agreement with Singapore pursuant to Article 3.18.4 of the USSFTA after complying with the consultation and layover requirements of that Act. Prior to entering negotiations with Singapore regarding its request, it is appropriate to seek public comment regarding the request. CITA hereby solicits public comments on this request, in particular with regard to whether the yarns and fabrics described below can be supplied by the domestic industry in commercial quantities in a timely manner. Comments must be submitted by June 16, 2004, to the Chairman, Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements, Room 3001, United States Department of Commerce, Washington, D.C. 20230.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Martin Walsh, 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:

Background

Under the United States-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (USSFTA), USSFTA countries are required to eliminate customs duties on textile and apparel goods that qualify as originating goods under the USSFTA rules of origin, which are set out in Annex 3A to the USSFTA. The USSFTA provides that the rules of origin for textile and apparel products may be amended through a subsequent agreement by the USSFTA countries. In consultations regarding such a change, the USSFTA countries are to consider issues of availability of supply of fibers, yarns, or fabrics in the free trade area and whether domestic producers are capable of supplying commercial quantities of the good in a timely manner.

The government of the United States received a request from the government of Singapore requesting consultations on the rules of origin for certain products that have been the subject of prior determinations made by CITA under AGOA, CBTPA and ATPDEA, and requesting that the government of the United States consider whether the USSFTA rules of origin for these products should be modified to allow the use of certain yarns and fabrics that do not originate in the territory of the United States or Singapore. The products covered by this request are:

(1) Ring spun single yarn of nm 51 and 85, containing 50 percent or more, but less than 85 percent, by weight of 0.9 denier or finer micro modal fiber, mixed solely with U.S. origin extra long pima cotton, classified in subheading 5510.30.0000 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), for use in women's and girls' knit blouses, shirts, lingerie, and underwear.

(2) 100 percent cotton woven flannel fabrics, of yarns of different colors, containing ring-spun yarns of nm 21 through nm 36, of 2 X 2 twill weave construction, classified in subheading 5208.43.0000 of the HTSUS, for use in apparel other than gloves.

(3) Fabrics classified in subheadings 5210.21 and 5210.31 of the HTSUS, not of square construction, containing more than 70 warp ends and filling picks per square centimeter, of average yarn number exceeding 70 nm, for use in women's and girl's blouses.

(4) Micro-denier 30 singles and 36 singles solution dyed, open-end spun, staple spun viscose yarn, classified in subheading 5510.110000, for use in apparel.

CITA is soliciting public comments regarding this request, particularly with respect to whether the yarns and fabrics listed above can be supplied by the domestic industry in commercial quantities in a timely manner. Comments must be received no later than June 16, 2004. 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 any of the yarns or fabrics listed above 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 stating that it produces a yarn or fabric that is in 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

James C. Leonard III,

Chairman, Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 04-11123 Filed 5-14-04; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3510-DR-S