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Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements
Determination to Accept the Safeguard Request for Investigation of Imports of
Dressing Gowns and Robes (Category 350/650) from China
Based on Threat of Market Disruption


On Thursday, December 16, the Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements (the Committee), which is chaired by the Department of Commerce, agreed to consider a request by a coalition of U.S. textile companies, apparel companies, and a union representing textile and apparel workers for reapplication of a safeguard limiting imports of dressing gowns and robes (Category 350/650) from China. The Committee will now consider whether imports of dressing gowns and robes 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.

The current safeguard limiting imports of dressing gowns and robes from China was established on December 24, 2003 and will expire on December 23, 2004.

Next Steps: The Committee will publish a Federal Register notice that will launch 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. If the Committee is unable to make a determination within 60 calendar days, it has the authority to extend the 60-day period. If such an extension is necessary, 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 for the determination will be published in the Federal Register.

If the Committee makes an affirmative determination that imports of Chinese origin dressing gowns and robes threaten to disrupt 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 such consultations are requested by the United States, a quota will be put in place to limit U.S. imports of dressing gowns and robes. Consultations with China will be held within 30 days of the Government 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.

Petitioners: The American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition, the National Council of Textile Organizations, the National Textile Association, SEAMS, and UNITE HERE! filed their request for reapplication of a safeguard on November 24, 2004. On December 24, 2003, the Committee established a safeguard limit on imports from China of dressing gowns and robes, which will expire on December 23, 2004.

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