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Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements
Determination to Accept the Request for Investigation of Imports of
Cotton and Man-made Fiber Underwear (Category 352/652) from China
Based on Threat of Market Disruption


On Wednesday, November 3, the Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements (CITA), which is chaired by the Department of Commerce, agreed to consider a request by a coalition of textile companies and a union representing textile and apparel workers for safeguard action limiting imports of cotton and man-made fiber underwear (Category 352/652) from China. The Committee will now consider whether imports of cotton and man-made fiber underwear from China "threaten the U.S. with market disruption and [whether] imports of the subject products from China will play a role in that increase and in the threat of market disruption," as alleged in the request.

Next Steps: The Committee will publish a Federal Register notice seeking public comments regarding the request, launching a 30-day period during which interested parties and stakeholders may submit comments on the request. 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 threaten to disrupt the U.S. market, the Committee will request consultations with China. [NOTE: Consultations with China will be held within 30 days of 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.]

CITA 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 of cotton and man-made fiber underwear.

Petitioners: The American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition, the National Council of Textile Organizations, the National Textile Association, and UNITE HERE! filed their request for safeguard action on October 15, 2004.

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