Background

The Department of Commerce is accepting comments through May 30 on the information collection requirements associated with the interim procedures for considering public requests under the textile and apparel safeguard provisions of the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement.

This 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, in absolute terms or relative to the domestic market for that article, 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 (a) suspend any further reduction in the rate of duty for that article or (b) 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 duty rate or the NTR duty rate in effect on the day before the FTA entered into force.

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