The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative is seeking input from importers, exporters, domestic producers, and other interested parties on possible import restrictions on large residential clothes washers.

The International Trade Commission recently determined in a section 201 global safeguard investigation that increased imports of such products are seriously injuring the domestic industry, and its recommendation to establish three-year tariff-rate quotas on washers and washer parts is due to the president by Dec. 4. The interagency Trade Policy Staff Committee will also make a recommendation for action that will take into account the ITC recommendation, the extent to which the domestic industry will benefit from adjustment assistance, the efforts of the domestic industry to make positive adjustments, and other relevant considerations. Possible remedies the TPSC could recommend include tariff increases, TRQs or other quantitative restrictions, voluntary restraint agreements with exporting countries, and import licenses.

To aid in the determination of which safeguards to recommend, USTR is accepting views and evidence through Dec. 11 and will hold a hearing Jan. 3 in Washington, D.C. USTR is specifically requesting comments on the appropriateness of any other proposed action and how it would be in the public interest as well as the short- and long-term effects on the domestic residential washers industry, other domestic industries, and downstream consumers of taking or not taking the proposed action.

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