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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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Start Preamble April 28, 2005.

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 men's and boys' cotton and man-made fiber shirts, not knit (Category 340/640).

SUMMARY:

On April 6, 2005, the Committee received a request from the American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition, the National Council of Textile Organizations, the National Textile Association, and UNITE HERE requesting that the Committee limit imports from China of men's and boys' cotton and man-made fiber shirts, not knit (Category 340/640). 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 shirts. The Committee hereby solicits public comments on this request, in particular with regard to whether imports from China of such shirts are, due to market disruption, threatening to impede the orderly development of trade in this product. Comments must be submitted by June 3, 2005 to the Chairman, Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements, Room 3001A, United States Department of Commerce, 14th and Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 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 Report of the Working Party on the Accession of China to the World Trade Organization (Accession Agreement) provides that, if a WTO Member, such as the United States, believes that imports of Chinese origin textile and apparel products are, “due to market disruption, threatening to impede the orderly development of trade in these products”, it may request consultations with China with a view to easing or avoiding the disruption. Pursuant to this provision, if the United States requests consultations with China, it must, at the time of the request, provide China with a detailed factual statement showing (1) the existence or threat of market disruption; and (2) the role of products of Chinese origin in that disruption. Beginning on the date that it receives such a request, China must restrict its shipments to the United States 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 month in which the request was made.

On April 6, 2005, the Committee received a request that an Accession Agreement textile and apparel safeguard action be taken on imports from China of men's and boys' cotton and man-made fiber shirts, not knit (Category 340/640). 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. In this case, the Committee notes that imports from China of men's and boys' cotton and man-made fiber shirts, not knit (Category 340/640) have increased from 500,713 dozen in the first quarter of 2004 to 1,925,762 dozen in the first quarter of 2005 (includes preliminary data for 2005). 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 shirts 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 June 3, 2005. 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 expects to 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, however, 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 Start Printed Page 23101determination and the reasons therefore to be published in the Federal Register. If the Committee makes an affirmative determination that imports of Chinese origin men's and boys' cotton and man-made fiber shirts, not knit 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 in accordance with the Accession Agreement and the Committee's procedures.

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D. Michael Hutchinson,

Acting Chairman, Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements.

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BILLING CODE 3510-DS-S

[FR Doc.05-8900 Filed 4-29-05; 4:15 pm]

BILLING CODE 3510-DS-C