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Notice

Request for Public Comment on Short Supply Petition Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)

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Start Preamble March 25, 2005.

AGENCY:

The Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements (CITA)

ACTION:

Request for public comments concerning a request for modification of the NAFTA rules of origin for woven cotton boxer shorts made from certain fabrics.

SUMMARY:

On March 2, 2005 the Chairman of CITA received a request from Alston & Bird LLP, on behalf of Robinson Manufacturing Company (Robinson), alleging that certain woven 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 NAFTA region in commercial quantities in a timely manner and requesting that the President proclaim a modification of the NAFTA rule of origin. Robinson requests that the NAFTA rule of origin for boxer shorts classified under HTSUS 6207.11 should be modified to allow the use of non-North American woven fabrics of the type described below.

The President may proclaim a modification to the NAFTA rules of origin only after reaching an agreement with the other NAFTA countries on the modification. CITA hereby solicits public comments on this request, in particular with regard to whether woven fabrics of the type described below can be supplied by the domestic industry in commercial quantities in a timely manner. Comments must be submitted by April 29, 2005 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 J. Walsh, International Trade Specialist, Office of Textiles and Apparel, U.S. Department of Commerce, (202) 482-2818.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Start Authority

Authority: Section 204 of the Agricultural Act of 1956, as amended (7 USC 1854); Section 202(q) of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act (19 USC 3332(q)); Executive Order 11651 of March 3, 1972, as amended.

End Authority

BACKGROUND

Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), NAFTA countries are required to eliminate customs duties on textile and apparel goods that qualify as originating goods under the NAFTA rules of origin, which are set out in Annex 401 to the NAFTA. The NAFTA provides that the rules of origin for textile and apparel products may be amended through a subsequent agreement by the NAFTA countries. In consultations regarding such a change, the NAFTA 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 Statement of Administrative Action (SAA) that accompanied the NAFTA Implementation Act stated that any interested person may submit to CITA a request for a modification to a particular rule of origin based on a change in the availability in North America of a particular fiber, yarn or fabric and that the requesting party would bear the burden of demonstrating that a change is warranted. The SAA provides that CITA may make a recommendation to the President regarding a change to a rule of origin for a textile or apparel good. The NAFTA Implementation Act provides the President with the authority to proclaim modifications to the NAFTA rules of origin as are necessary to implement an agreement with one or more NAFTA country on such a modification.

On March 2, 2005 the Chairman of CITA received a request from Alston & Bird LLP, on behalf of Robinson Manufacturing Company, alleging that certain woven 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 and requesting that CITA consider whether the NAFTA rule of origin for boxer shorts classified under HTSUS 6207.11 should be modified to allow the use of non-North American woven fabrics of the type described below. Such a proclamation may be made only after reaching agreement with the other NAFTA countries on the modification.

Specifications

Fabric 1
HTSUS5210.11.60
Fiber Content51 to 60% cotton, 49 to 40% polyester
Grams/Square Meter100 to 112
FinishGreige
WeavePlain
Average Yarn No.55 to 65
Fabric 2
HTSUS5210.51.60
Fiber Content51 to 60% cotton, 49 to 40% polyester
Grams/Square Meter105 to 112
FinishPrinted
WeavePlain
Average Yarn No.50 to 60
Fabric 3
HTSUS5210.41.80
Fiber Content51 to 60% cotton, 49 to 40% polyester
Grams/Square Meter85 to 90
FinishYarn Dyed
WeavePlain
Average Yarn No.69 to 75
Fabric 4
HTSUS5210.41.60
Fiber Content51 to 60% cotton, 49 to 40% polyester
Grams/Square Meter77 to 82
FinishYarn Dyed
WeavePlain
Average Yarn No.43 to 48
Fabric 5
HTSUS5210.51.60
Fiber Content51 to 60% cotton, 49 to 40% polyester
Grams/Square Meter92 to 98
FinishPrinted
Start Printed Page 16227
WeavePlain
Average Yarn No.43 to 48
Fabric 6
HTSUS5210.51.40
Fiber Content51 to 60% cotton, 49 to 40% polyester
Grams/Square Meter107 to 113
FinishPrinted
WeavePlain
Average Yarn No.33 to 37
Fabric 7
HTSUS5208.42.40
Fiber Content100% cotton
Grams/Square Meter100 to 105
FinishYarn Dyed
WeavePlain
Average Yarn No.47 to 53
Fabric 8
HTSUS5208.41.40
Fiber Content100% cotton
Grams/Square Meter95 to 100
FinishYarn Dyed
WeavePlain
Average Yarn No.37 to 42
Fabric 9
HTSUS5208.52.30
Fiber Content100% cotton
Grams/Square Meter112 to 118
FinishPrinted
WeavePlain
Average Yarn No.38 to 42
Fabric 10
HTSUS5208.51.40
Fiber Content100% cotton
Grams/Square Meter93 to 97
FinishPrinted
WeavePlain
Average Yarn No.38 to 42

CITA is soliciting public comments regarding this request, particularly with respect to whether the woven fabrics described above can be supplied by the domestic industry in commercial quantities in a timely manner. Comments must be received no later than April 29, 2005. 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 woven fabrics 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 woven fabrics stating that it produces one or more of the woven fabrics that are 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. E5-1398 Filed 3-29-05; 8:45 am]

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