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 July 10, 2003, the Chairman of CITA received a petition from Amicale Industries, Inc. alleging that certain yarns of carded cashmere or of carded camel hair, classified in HTSUS heading 5108.10.60, cannot be supplied by the domestic industry in commercial quantities in a timely manner and requesting that the President proclaim a modification of the NAFTA rules of origin. The referenced yarns would be used to produce woven fabrics classified in HTS subheadings 5111.11 and 5111.19 for use in suits, coats and suit-type jackets classified under HTS subheadings 6201.11, 6202.11, 6203.11, 6203.31, 6204.11 and 6204.31. Such a proclamation may be made only after reaching agreement with the other NAFTA countries on the modification
CITA is soliciting public comments regarding this request, particularly with respect to whether the yarns of cashmere or of camel hair described above, classified in HTSUS heading 5108.10.60, can be supplied by the domestic industry in commercial quantities in a timely manner. The petition states that potential North American suppliers of the referenced yarns would be required to deliver them within 21 days of receipt of a purchase order. To ensure full consideration, comments must be received no later than September 19, 2003. 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 yarns of carded cashmere or of carded camel hair 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 the yarn stating that it produces the yarn that is in 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.
D. Michael Hutchinson,
Acting Chairman, Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements.
[FR Doc.03-0000 Filed 0-00-03; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-DR-S