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Presidential Document

To Implement The United States-Oman Free Trade Agreement

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Proclamation 8332 of December 29, 2008

To Implement The United States-Oman Free Trade Agreement

A Proclamation

1. On January 19, 2006, the United States entered into the United States-Oman Free Trade Agreement (the “Agreement”). The Congress approved the Agreement in section 101(a) of the United States-Oman Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act (the “Implementation Act”) (Public Law 109-283, 120 Stat. 1191) (19 U.S.C. 3805 note).

2. Section 105(a) of the Implementation Act authorizes the President to establish or designate within the Department of Commerce an office that shall be responsible for providing administrative assistance to panels established under chapter 20 of the Agreement.

3. Section 201 of the Implementation Act authorizes the President to proclaim such modifications or continuation of any duty, such continuation of duty-free or excise treatment, or such additional duties, as the President determines to be necessary or appropriate to carry out or apply Articles 2.3, 2.5, 2.6, 3.2.8, and 3.2.9, and the schedule of duty reductions with respect to Oman set forth in Annex 2-B of the Agreement.

4. Consistent with section 201(a)(2) of the Implementation Act, Oman is to be removed from the enumeration of designated beneficiary developing countries eligible for the benefits of the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) on the date the Agreement entered into force. Further, consistent with section 604 of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended (the “1974 Act”) (19 U.S.C. 2483), I have determined that other technical and conforming changes to the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTS) are necessary to reflect that Oman is no longer eligible to receive the benefits of the GSP.

5. Section 202 of the Implementation Act sets forth certain rules for determining whether a good is an originating good for the purpose of implementing preferential tariff treatment provided for under the Agreement. I have decided that it is necessary to include these rules of origin, together with particular rules applicable to certain other goods, in the HTS.

6. Section 204 of the Implementation Act authorizes the President to take certain enforcement actions relating to trade with Oman in textile and apparel goods.

7. Subtitle B of title III of the Implementation Act authorizes the President to take certain actions in response to a request by an interested party for relief from serious damage or actual threat thereof to a domestic industry producing certain textile or apparel articles.

8. Executive Order 11651 of March 3, 1972, as amended, established the Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements (CITA), consisting of representatives of the Departments of State, the Treasury, Commerce and Labor, and the Office of the United States Trade Representative, with the representative of the Department of Commerce as Chairman, to supervise the implementation of textile trade agreements. Consistent with section 301 of title 3, United States Code, when carrying out functions vested in the Start Printed Page 80290President by statute and assigned by the President to CITA, the officials collectively exercising those functions are all to be officers required to be appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate.

9. Section 604 of the 1974 Act, as amended, authorizes the President to embody in the HTS the substance of relevant provisions of that Act, or other Acts affecting import treatment, and of actions taken thereunder, including the removal, modification, continuance, or imposition of any rate of duty or other import restriction.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, acting under the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including but not limited to section 604 of the 1974 Act; sections 105(a), 201, 202, and 204, and subtitle B of title III, of the Implementation Act; and section 301 of title 3, United States Code, and having made the determination under section 101(b) of the Implementation Act necessary for the exchange of notes, do hereby proclaim:

(1) In order to provide generally for the preferential tariff treatment being accorded under the Agreement, to set forth rules for determining whether goods imported into the customs territory of the United States are eligible for preferential tariff treatment under the Agreement, to provide certain other treatment to originating goods of Oman for the purposes of the Agreement, to provide tariff-rate quotas with respect to certain originating goods of Oman, to reflect Oman's removal from the enumeration of designated beneficiary developing countries for purposes of the GSP, and to make technical and conforming changes in the general notes to the HTS, the HTS is modified as set forth in Annex I of Publication 4050 of the United States International Trade Commission, entitled, Modifications to the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Implementing the United States-Oman Free Trade Agreement (Publication 4050), which is incorporated by reference into this proclamation.

(2) In order to implement the initial stage of duty elimination provided for in the Agreement and to provide for future staged reductions in duties for originating goods of Oman for purposes of the Agreement, the HTS is modified as provided in Annex II of Publication 4050, effective on the dates specified in the relevant sections of such publication and on any subsequent dates set forth for such duty reductions in that publication.

(3) The amendments to the HTS made by paragraphs (1) and (2) of this proclamation shall be effective with respect to goods entered, or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption, on or after the relevant dates indicated in Annex II of Publication 4050.

(4) The Secretary of Commerce is authorized to exercise my authority under section 105(a) of the Implementation Act to establish or designate an office within the Department of Commerce to carry out the functions set forth in that section.

(5) The CITA is authorized to exercise my authority under section 204 of the Implementation Act to exclude textile and apparel goods from the customs territory of the United States; to determine whether an enterprise's production of, and capability to produce, goods are consistent with statements by the enterprise; to find that an enterprise has knowingly or willfully engaged in circumvention; and to deny preferential tariff treatment to textile and apparel goods.

(6) The CITA is authorized to exercise the functions of the President under subtitle B of title III of the Implementation Act to review requests, and to determine whether to commence consideration of such requests; to cause to be published in the Federal Register a notice of commencement of consideration of a request and notice seeking public comment thereon; to determine whether imports of an Omani textile or apparel article are causing serious damage, or actual threat thereof, to a domestic industry producing an article Start Printed Page 80291that is like, or directly competitive with, the imported article; and to provide relief from imports of an article that is the subject of such a determination.

(7) All provisions of previous proclamations and Executive Orders that are inconsistent with the actions taken in this proclamation are superseded to the extent of such inconsistency.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-ninth day of December, in the year of our Lord two thousand eight, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-third.

  Filed 12-30-08; 8:45 am]

[FR Doc. E8-31234

Billing code 3195-W9-P