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DOC Reviewing Info Collections on FTZ Application, Korea FTA Procedures

Wednesday, November 25, 2015
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Department of Commerce is accepting comments through Jan. 25 on the following information collections.

Foreign-Trade Zone Application:This form is used by individual firms or organizations to apply for FTZ status, subzone status, production authority, modifications of existing zones, or waivers. The FTZ Act and regulations require that applications for new or modified zones contain information on facilities, financing, operational plans, proposed production operations, need for FTZ authority, and economic impact, where applicable. Any request involving production authority requires specific information on the foreign status components and finished products involved, while applications for production activity can involve issues related to domestic industry and trade policy impact. The latter must include specific information on the customs tariff related savings that result from zone procedures as well as the economic consequences of permitting such savings.

Interim Textile and Apparel Safeguard Procedures Under Korea FTA: Article 4.1 of the U.S.-Korea FTA provides for a textile and apparel safeguard mechanism. This mechanism applies when, as a result of the reduction or elimination of a customs duty under the agreement, a Korean textile or apparel article is being imported into the U.S. in such increased quantities and under such conditions as to cause serious damage or actual threat thereof to a U.S. industry producing a like or directly competitive article. In these circumstances, Article 4.1 permits the U.S. to (1) suspend any further reduction in the rate of duty provided for under Annex 2-B of the agreement in the duty imposed on the article; or (2) increase duties on the imported article from Korea to a level that does not exceed the lesser of the prevailing U.S. normal trade relations/most-favored-nation duty rate for the article or the U.S. NTR/MFN duty rate in effect on the day before the agreement entered into force.

Interim Short Supply Procedures Under Korea FTA: The U.S.-Korea FTA provides for the establishment of a list of specific fibers, yarns and fabrics that are not available in commercial quantities in a timely manner from producers in the U.S. Articles containing these commercially unavailable inputs are entitled to duty-free or preferential duty treatment despite not being produced in the U.S. The list of commercially unavailable fabrics, yarns and fibers may be changed pursuant to the applicable commercial availability provisions. Interested entities from Korea or the U.S. have the right to request that a specific fiber, yarn or fabric be added to, or removed from, the list of commercially unavailable fibers, yarns and fabrics.

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