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Textile and Apparel Short Supply, Safeguard Info Collections Under Korea FTA Being Reviewed

Friday, February 05, 2016
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The International Trade Administration is accepting through March 7 comments on the information collections associated with the interim textile and apparel short supply and safeguard procedures under the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement.

Short Supply. The 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. or Korea. Textile and apparel articles containing these inputs are entitled to duty-free or preferential duty treatment despite not being produced in the U.S. or Korea.

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 fabrics, yarns and fibers. The Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreement collects information about fiber, yarn or fabric technical specifications and the production capabilities of U.S. textile producers to determine whether certain fibers, yarns or fabrics are available in commercial quantities in a timely manner.

Safeguards. The textile and apparel safeguard mechanism applies when, as a result of the reduction or elimination of a customs duty under the FTA, 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, the U.S. may (1) suspend any further reduction in the rate of 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 FTA entered into force.

CITA collects information to determine whether a domestic textile or apparel industry is being adversely impacted by imports of textile or apparel products from Korea, thereby allowing CITA to take corrective action.

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