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Notice

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 16, 2004.

AGENCY:

Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements (CITA).

ACTION:

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

SUMMARY:

On August 12, 2004, the Chairman of CITA received a petition from Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A., on behalf of Picacho, S.A., alleging that certain woven, 100 percent cotton, napped fabrics, of the specifications detailed below, classified in subheading 5209.31.60.50 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 petition requests 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 this petition, 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 September 2, 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 August 12, 2004, the Chairman of CITA received a petition on behalf of Picacho, S.A., alleging that certain woven, 100 percent cotton, napped fabrics, of the specifications detailed below, classified HTSUS subheading 5209.31.60.50, 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 certain apparel articles that are cut and sewn in one or more CBTPA beneficiary countries from such fabrics.

Specifications:

Fabric 1
Petitioner Style No:62BU1600240A
HTS Subheading:5209.31.60.50
Fiber Content:100% Cotton
Weight:291.5 g/m2
Width:160 centimeters cuttable
Thread Count:24.41 warp ends per centimeter; 16.53 filling picks per centimeter; total: 40.94 threads per square centimeter
Yarn Number:Warp: 25.4 metric, ring spun; filling: 10.16 metric, open end spun; overall average yarn number: 14.04 metric
Finish:(Piece) dyed; napped on both sides, sanforized
Fabric 2
Petitioner Style No:62BU1600240B
HTS Subheading:5209.31.60.50
Fiber Content:100% Cotton
Weight:305 g/m2
Width:160 centimeters cuttable
Thread Count:24.41 warp ends per centimeter; 18.11 filling picks per centimeter; total: 42.52 threads per square centimeter
Yarn Number:Warp: 25.4 metric, ring spun; filling: 10.16 metric, open end spun; overall average yarn number: 13.95 metric
Finish:(Piece) dyed; 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.

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 fabric for purposes of the intended use. Comments must be received no later than September 2, 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 these fabrics can be supplied by the domestic industry in commercial quantities in a Start Printed Page 51270timely 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

James C. Leonard III,

Chairman, Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 04-19018 Filed 8-16-04; 2:17 pm]

BILLING CODE 3510-DR-S