DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
International Trade Administration

Textile and Apparel Products from Vietnam: Import Monitoring Program; Request for Comments

December 4, 2006.

AGENCY: Import Administration, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce

ACTION: Request for Public Comment – Import Monitoring of Textile and Apparel Products from Vietnam.

SUMMARY: The Department of Commerce (the Department) is requesting public comment on the development of a monitoring program covering imports of textile and apparel products from Vietnam to remain in place for the duration of this Administration. To help the Department develop the program and, at the same time, be advised of the concerns of all interested stakeholders, the Department is inviting the public to provide input on the monitoring program and identify issues or considerations that they believe are deserving of the Department’s attention as implementation of this program proceeds.

DATES: Written comments and electronic files must be received on or before 5 p.m. on December 27, 2006.

ADDRESSES: Persons wishing to comment should file, by the deadline specified above, a signed original and four copies of each set of comments. Written comments should be addressed to David M. Spooner, Assistant Secretary for Import Administration, Room 1870, Department of Commerce, 14th Street and Constitution Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20230. Comments should be limited to 25 pages or less. All comments will be available for public inspection at Import Administration's Central Records Unit, Room B-099, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. on business days. The Department will not accept nor consider comments accompanied by a request that a part or all of the material be treated confidentially because of its business proprietary nature or for any other reason. While the Department requires that comments be submitted in written form, we also recommend submission of comments in electronic form. Comments filed in electronic form should be submitted on CD-ROM, as comments submitted on diskettes are likely to be damaged by postal radiation treatment. Electronic files should indicate that they are in response to the request for public comment on import monitoring of textile and apparel products from Vietnam. Comments received in electronic form will be made available to the public in Portable Document Format (PDF) on the Internet at the Import Administration Web site at the following address:http://ia.ita.doc.gov. Any questions concerning file formatting, document conversion, access on the Internet, or other electronic filing issues should be addressed to Andrew Lee Beller, Import Administration Webmaster, at (202) 482-0866, e-mail address: webmaster-support@ita.doc.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kelly Parkhill at (202) 482-3791.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Department is establishing a monitoring program on imports of textile and apparel products from Vietnam. The program will begin upon Vietnam’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and will expire at the end of the current administration (January 19, 2009). While we seek comment on what textile and apparel goods should be subject to monitoring, we note that items in the following product groups have been identified as being of special sensitivity: trousers, shirts, underwear, swimwear and sweaters. In addition to monitoring import volumes and values, the Department will develop, in close cooperation with interested parties, production templates to assist it in its biannual evaluation of imports of these products to determine whether sufficient evidence exists to initiate an antidumping investigation consistent with U.S. law and our international obligations under the WTO.
The Department is aware that such a program has an impact on a broad array of parties (e.g., domestic textile and apparel producers, retailers, workers, importers, and the Government of Vietnam) and is seeking input from all interested parties who wish to comment. This is the first step in our outreach to interested parties and will be followed up with other outreach efforts as we progress. If you have any thoughts on what the most effective means of outreach would be, please feel free to comment.

GUIDANCE ON COMMENTS: The following is a list of issues and questions on which we are requesting assistance and comment. This is not a questionnaire; it is simply for your convenience. Please feel free to comment on any or all of the issues outlined below as well as provide additional comments that you believe will assist the Department in developing this monitoring program. Please be as specific as possible in your comments, especially with respect to product categories and HTS numbers. When responding, please identify the name of your company. Also please provide contact information including address, phone number and email address.

CONSULTATIVE PROCESS WITH INTERESTED PARTIES PRODUCTS PRODUCTION TEMPLATES DOMESTIC INDUSTRY INFORMATION BIANNUAL EVALUATION PROCESS PUBLIC DISSEMINATION OF INFORMATION ADDITIONAL COMMENTS

David M. Spooner
Assistant Secretary
for Import Administration