Under the 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. See Section 202(q) of the NAFTA Implementation Act. 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 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. See section 202(q) of the NAFTA Implementation Act.
On June 10, 2008, the Government of the United States received a request from the Government of Canada alleging that acrylic staple fiber, classified in subheading 5503.30 of the HTSUS, cannot be supplied by the domestic industry in commercial quantities in a timely manner and requesting that the governments of Mexico and the United States consult to consider whether the NAFTA rule of origin for thread and yarns classified under HTSUS subheadings 55.08 through 55.11 should be modified to allow the use of non-North American acrylic staple fiber.
CITA is soliciting public comments regarding this request, particularly with respect to whether acrylic staple fiber can be supplied by the domestic industry in commercial quantities in a timely manner. Comments must be received no later than July 25, 2008. 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 acrylic staple fiber 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 stating that it produces the acrylic staple fiber that is 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.
R. Matthew Priest,
Chairman, Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements.
[FR Doc.08-0000 Filed 0-00-08; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-DS