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Earned Import Allowance Program: Evaluation of the Effectiveness of the Program for Certain Apparel From the Dominican Republic

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AGENCY:

United States International Trade Commission.

ACTION:

Institution of investigation and scheduling of hearing.

SUMMARY:

Pursuant to section 404(d) of the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act (19 U.S.C. 4112(d)), and pursuant to section 332(g) of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1332(g)), the U.S. International Trade Commission (Commission) has instituted investigation No. 332-503, Earned Import Allowance Program: Evaluation of the Effectiveness of the Program for Certain Apparel from the Dominican Republic, for the purpose of submitting annual reports on the effectiveness of the program and recommendations for improvements.

DATES:

October 30, 2009: Deadline for filing requests to appear at the public hearing.

November 3, 2009: Deadline for filing pre-hearing briefs and statements.

November 18, 2009: Public hearing.

November 30, 2009: Deadline for filing post-hearing briefs and statements.

February 24, 2010: Deadline for all other written submissions.

July 28, 2010: Transmittal of first report to House Committee on Ways and Means and Senate Committee on Finance.

ADDRESSES:

All Commission offices, including the Commission's hearing rooms, are located in the United States International Trade Commission Building, 500 E Street, SW., Washington, DC. All written submissions, including requests to appear at the hearing, statements, and briefs, should be addressed to the Secretary, United States International Trade Commission, 500 E Street, SW., Washington, DC 20436. The public record for this investigation may be viewed on the Commission's electronic docket (EDIS) at http://www.usitc.gov/​secretary/​edis.htm.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Project Leader Laura Rodriguez (202-205-3499 or laura.rodriguez@usitc.gov) for information specific to this investigation. For information on the legal aspects of this investigation, contact William Gearhart of the Commission's Office of the General Counsel (202-205-3091 or william.gearhart@usitc.gov). The media should contact Margaret O'Laughlin, Office of External Relations (202-205-1819 or margaret.olaughlin@usitc.gov). Hearing-impaired individuals may obtain information on this matter by contacting the Commission's TDD terminal at 202-205-1810. General information concerning the Commission may also be obtained by accessing its Internet server (http://www.usitc.gov). Persons with mobility impairments who will need special assistance in gaining access to the Commission should contact the Office of the Secretary at 202-205-2000.

Background: Section 404 of the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act (DR-CAFTA Act) requires the Secretary of Commerce to establish an Earned Import Allowance Program (EIAP) and directs the Commission to conduct annual reviews of the program for the purpose of evaluating its effectiveness and making recommendations for improvements. Section 404 of the DR-CAFTA Act was added by section 2 of Public Law 110-436, “An Act to extend the Andean Trade Preference Act, and for other purposes.” It authorizes certain apparel articles wholly assembled in an eligible country to enter the United States free of duty if accompanied by a certificate that shows evidence of the purchase of certain U.S. fabric. The term “eligible country” is defined to mean the Dominican Republic. More specifically, the program allows producers (in the Dominican Republic) that purchase a certain quantity of qualifying U.S. fabric for use in the production of certain bottoms of cotton in the Dominican Republic to receive a credit that can be used to ship a certain quantity of eligible apparel using third country fabrics from the Dominican Republic to the United States duty free. Section 404(d) directs the Commission to conduct an annual review of the program for the purpose of evaluating the effectiveness of the program and making recommendations for improvements. The Commission is required to submit its reports to the House Committee on Ways and Means and the Senate Committee on Finance. The statute provides that the program will be in effect for the 10-year period beginning on the date on which the President certifies to the committees that sections A, B, C, and D of the Annex to Presidential Proclamation 8213 (December 20, 2007) have taken effect. The Commission expects to submit its first report to the committees by July 28, 2010.

The Commission has also instituted this investigation pursuant to section 332(g) of the Tariff Act of 1930 to facilitate docketing of submissions and also to facilitate public access to Commission records through the Commission's EDIS electronic records system.

Public Hearing: A public hearing in connection with this investigation will be held at the U.S. International Trade Commission Building, 500 E Street, SW., Washington, DC beginning at 9:30 a.m. on November 18, 2009. Requests to appear at the public hearing should be filed with the Secretary no later than 5:15 p.m., October 30, 2009, in accordance with the requirements in the “Submissions” section below. All pre-hearing briefs and statements should be filed not later than 5:15 p.m., November 3, 2009; and all post-hearing briefs and statements responding to matters raised at the hearing should be filed not later than 5:15 p.m., November 30, 2009. If, as of the close of business on October 30, 2009, no witnesses are scheduled to appear at the hearing, the hearing will be canceled. Any person interested in attending the hearing as an observer or non-participant may call the Secretary (202-205-2000) after October 30, 2009, to determine whether the hearing will be held.

Submissions: All written submissions, including requests to appear at the hearing, statements, and briefs, should be addressed to the Secretary and must conform to the provisions of section 201.8 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (19 CFR 201.8). Section 201.8 requires that a signed original (or a copy so designated) and fourteen (14) copies of each document be filed. In the event that confidential treatment of a document is requested, at least four (4) additional copies must be filed, in which the confidential information must be deleted (see the following paragraph for further information regarding confidential business information). The Commission's rules authorize filing submissions with the Secretary by facsimile or electronic means only to the extent permitted by section 201.8 of the rules (see Handbook for Electronic Start Printed Page 19593Filing Procedures, http://www.usitc.gov/​secretary/​fed_​reg_​notices/​rules/​documents/​handbook_​on_​electronic_​filing.pdf). Persons with questions regarding electronic filing should contact the Secretary (202-205-2000). Any submissions that contain confidential business information must also conform to the requirements of section 201.6 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (19 CFR 201.6). Section 201.6 of the rules requires that the cover of the document and the individual pages be clearly marked as to whether they are the “confidential” or “non-confidential” version, and that the confidential business information is clearly identified by means of brackets. All written submissions, except for confidential business information, will be made available for inspection by interested parties.

The Commission anticipates that the reports it sends to the committees in this investigation will be made available to the public in their entirety. Consequently, the reports that the Commission sends to the committees will not contain any confidential business information. Any confidential business information received by the Commission in this investigation and used in preparing its report will not be published in a manner that would reveal the operations of the firm supplying the information.

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By order of the Commission.

Issued: April 23, 2009.

Marilyn R. Abbott,

Secretary to the Commission.

William R. Bishop,

Acting Secretary to the Commission.

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[FR Doc. E9-9705 Filed 4-28-09; 8:45 am]

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