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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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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Start Preamble July 19, 2004.

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 cotton, wool, and man-made fiber socks, merged Category 332/432 and 632 part.

SUMMARY:

On June 28, 2004, the Committee received a request from the Domestic Manufacturers Committee of The Hosiery Association, the American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition, the National Council of Textile Organizations, and the National Textile Association requesting that the Committee limit imports from China of cotton, wool, and man-made fiber socks (merged Category 332/432 and 632 part). 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 such socks. The Committee hereby solicits public comments on this request, in particular with regard to whether imports from China of such socks are, due to market disruption, threatening to impede the orderly development of trade in this product. Comments must be submitted by August 23, 2004 to the Chairman, Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements, Room 3001A, United States Department of Commerce, 14th and Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20230.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

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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 beginning 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 Start Printed Page 43808months 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; 68 FR 49440, published August 18, 2003).

On June 28, 2004, the Committee received a request that an Accession Agreement textile and apparel safeguard action be taken on imports from China of cotton, wool, and man-made fiber socks (merged Category 332/432 and 632 part). 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 such socks 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 August 23, 2004. Interested persons are invited to submit ten copies of such comments to the Chairman, Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements, Room 3001A, 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 Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m and 5:30 p.m in the Trade Reference and Assistance Center Help Desk, Suite 800M, USA Trade Information Center, Ronald Reagan Building, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC, (202) 482-3433.

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
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James C. Leonard III,

Chairman, Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements.

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[FR Doc.04-16734 Filed 7-21-04; 8:45 am]

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