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Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements' Determination to
Accept the Request for Investigation of Imports from China of Men's & Boys' Cotton & Man-Made Fiber Shirts, Not Knit (Category 340/640), Cotton & Man-Made Fiber Sweaters (Category 345/645/646), Cotton & Man-Made Fiber Brassieres (Category 349/649), Cotton & Man-Made Fiber Dressing Gowns (Category 350/650), Man-Made Fiber Knit Shirts and Blouses (Category 638/639), Man-Made Fiber Trousers (Category 647/648), and Other Synthetic Filament Fabric (Category 620)

On Wednesday, April 27, the Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements (CITA), which is chaired by the Department of Commerce, agreed to consider requests submitted on behalf of a coalition of textile companies and a union representing textile and apparel workers for safeguard action limiting imports of seven categories of textile and apparel products from China. The seven categories are: (1) men's & boys' cotton & man-made fiber shirts, not knit (category 340/640); (2) cotton & man-made fiber sweaters (category 345/645/646); (3) cotton & man-made fiber brassieres (category 349/649); (4) cotton & man-made fiber dressing gowns (category 350/650); (5) man-made fiber knit shirts and blouses (category 638/639); (6) man-made fiber trousers (category 647/648); and (7) other synthetic filament fabric (category 620). The Committee will now solicit public comments on the requests, in particular with regard to whether the U.S. market for those products is disrupted, and, if so, the role of Chinese-origin products in that disruption.

Next Steps: The Committee will shortly publish a Federal Register notice seeking public comments regarding the requests, launching a 30-day period during which interested parties and stakeholders may submit comments on the requests. In the past, the Chinese government as well as the textile industry, apparel industry, importers, workers and other interested parties have submitted comments for the record.

The Committee will make a determination within 60 calendar days of the close of the public comment period on whether to request consultations with China. [NOTE: The Committee has the authority to extend this phase if necessary to complete an investigation.] If the Committee is unable to make a determination within 60 calendar days, a notice will be published in the Federal Register, including the date by which it will make a determination. If the Committee makes a negative determination, this determination and the reasons therefore will be published in the Federal Register.

If the Committee makes an affirmative determination that imports of Chinese textiles and apparel products are disrupting the U.S. market, the Committee will request consultations with China, with a view to easing or avoiding such market disruption.

As of the date consultations are requested by the United States, a quota will be put in place to limit U.S. imports from China of those textile and apparel products with respect to which CITA has reached an affirmative determination of market disruption.

Consultations with China will be held within 30 days of China's receipt of the request for consultations, and every effort will be made to reach agreement on a mutually satisfactory solution within 90 days of receipt of the request for consultations.

Requestors: The American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition, the National Council of Textile Organizations, the National Textile Association and UNITE HERE! filed their requests for safeguard action on April 6, 2005.

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