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Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreement's Determination to
Accept the Requests for Investigation of Imports from China of
Socks (Category 332/432 and 632 Part)
Women's and Girls' Woven Shirts and Blouses (Category 341/641)
Skirts (Category 342/642)
Nightwear (Category 351/651)
Swimwear (Category 359-S/659-S)

On Monday, August 1, the Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements ("the Committee"), which is chaired by the Department of Commerce, announced its decision to consider a request submitted on behalf of a coalition of domestic sock producers and textile industry associations for reapplication of a safeguard action limiting imports of socks (Category 332/432 and 632 part) from China. The United States previously established a limit on imports of socks from China beginning on October 29, 2004, and extending through October 28, 2005.

The Committee also agreed to consider four requests submitted on behalf of a coalition of textile industry associations and a union representing textile and apparel workers for safeguard action limiting imports of women's and girls' woven shirts and blouses (Category 341/641), skirts (Category 342/642), nightwear (Category 351/651), and swimwear (Category 359-S/659-S) from China.

The Committee will now solicit public comments on the requests, in particular with regard to whether the U.S. markets for these apparel product categories are disrupted and/or threatened with market disruption, and, if so, the role of Chinese-origin products in that disruption.

Next Steps: The Committee will publish shortly Federal Register notices 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 determinations on the requests 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, as set forth in its Procedures.] If the Committee is unable to make determinations within 60 calendar days, a notice will be published in the Federal Register, including the date by which it will make determinations. If the Committee makes a negative determination, this determination and the reasons therefore will be published in the Federal Register.

If the Committee makes affirmative determinations that imports of these apparel product categories from China are disrupting and/or threatening to disrupt the U.S. market for the products, 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 the apparel product categories with respect to which the Committee has reached an affirmative determination of market disruption and/or threat 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 Domestic Manufacturers Committee of The Hosiery Association, the American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition, the National Council of Textile Organizations, and the National Textile Association filed their request for safeguard action on socks on July 8, 2005.

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 women's and girls' woven shirts and blouses, skirts, nightwear, and swimwear on July 11, 2005.

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