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Request for Public Comments on Commercial Availability Petition under the United States - Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act (CBTPA)

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Start Preamble August 3, 2004.

AGENCY:

Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements (CITA).

ACTION:

Request for public comments concerning three petitions for determinations that certain woven, 100 percent cotton, flannel fabrics cannot be supplied by the domestic industry in commercial quantities in a timely manner under the CBTPA.

SUMMARY:

On July 30, 2004, the Chairman of CITA received three petitions from Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A., on behalf of Picacho, S.A., alleging that certain woven, 100 percent cotton, flannel fabrics, of the specifications detailed below, classified in the indicated subheadings of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), cannot be supplied by the domestic industry in commercial quantities in a timely manner. The petitions request that shirts, trousers, nightwear, robes, dressing gowns and woven underwear of such fabrics assembled in one or more CBTPA beneficiary countries be eligible for preferential treatment under the CBTPA. CITA hereby solicits public comments on these petitions, in particular with regard to whether these fabrics can be supplied by the domestic industry in commercial quantities in a timely manner. Comments must be submitted by August 23, 2004, to the Chairman, Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements, Room 3001, United States Department of Commerce, 14th and Constitution, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20230.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Janet E. 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 213(b)(2)(A)(v)(II) of the CBERA, as added by Section 211(a) of the CBTPA; Section 6 of Executive Order No. 13191 of January 17, 2001.

End Authority

Background:

The CBTPA 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. The CBTPA also provides 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 CBTPA beneficiary countries from fabric or yarn that is not formed in the United States, 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 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 July 30, 2004, the Chairman of CITA received a petition on behalf of Picacho, S.A., alleging that certain woven, 100 percent cotton, flannel fabrics, of the specifications detailed below, classified in the indicated HTSUS subheadings, cannot be supplied by the domestic industry in commercial quantities in a timely manner and requesting quota- and duty-free treatment under the CBTPA for apparel articles that are cut and sewn in one or more CBTPA beneficiary countries from such fabrics.

Specifications:

Fabric 1
Petitioner Style No:4835
HTS Subheading:5208.42.30.00
Fiber Content:100% Cotton
Weight:152.6 g/m2
Width:150 centimeters cuttable
Thread Count:24.4 warp ends per centimeter; 15.7 filling picks per centimeter; total: 40.1 threads per square centimeter
Yarn Number:Warp: 40.6 metric, ring spun; filling: 20.3 metric, open end spun; overall average yarn number: 39.4 metric
Finish:Of yarns of different colors; napped on both sides, sanforized
Fabric 2
Petitioner Style No:0443B
HTS Subheading:5209.41.60.40
Fiber Content:100% Cotton
Weight:251 g/m2
Width:160 centimeters cuttable
Thread Count:22.8 warp ends per centimeter; 17.3 filling picks per centimeter; total: 40.1 threads per square centimeter
Yarn Number:Warp: 40.6 metric, ring spun; filling: 8.46 metric, open end spun; overall average yarn number: 24.1 metric
Finish:Of yarns of different colors; napped on both sides, sanforized
Fabric 3
Petitioner Style No:4335
HTS Subheading:5209.41.60.40
Fiber Content:100% Cotton
Weight:251 g/m2
Width:160 centimeters cuttable
Thread Count:20.1 warp ends per centimeter; 16.5 filling picks per centimeter; total: 36.6 threads per square centimeter
Yarn Number:Warp: 27.07 metric, ring spun; filling: 10.16 metric, open end spun; overall average yarn number: 23.3 metric
Finish:Of yarns of different colors; napped on both sides, sanforized

The petitioner emphasizes that the fabrics must be napped on both sides, that the yarn sizes and thread count, and consequently, the weight of the fabrics must be exactly or nearly exactly as specified or the fabrics will not be suitable for their intended uses. The warp yarns must be ring spun in order to provide the additional tensile strength required to offset the degrading effects of heavy napping on both sides. The filling yarns must be open end spun to provide required loft and softness. The filling yarns must be spun from fibers that have been stock dyed prior to carding and the warp yarns must be Start Printed Page 47916dyed prior to weaving in order to give the desired heather effect.

CITA is soliciting public comments regarding these requests, 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 fabric for purposes of the intended use. Comments must be received no later than August 23, 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 this fabric 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 fabric stating that it produces the fabric that is 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

D. Michael Hutchinson,

Acting Chairman, Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc.04-18112 Filed 8-4-04; 11:49 am]

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