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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 15, 2005

  Contact: Meredith Williams or Erlinda Byrd (CBP)
(202) 482-3809 or (202) 344-1780

CITA CLEARS THE WAY FOR TEXTILE IMPORTERS
TO AID VICTIMS OF HURRICANE KATRINA

Today, the Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements (CITA) authorized U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to allow U.S. apparel importers to release any goods embargoed under China textile safeguard actions for the purpose of providing aid to the victims of Hurricane Katrina. CBP will work with relief agencies to appropriately distribute these released goods.  

“Following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, U.S. apparel importers approached CITA asking if their embargoed goods could be donated to the relief effort,” said Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez,   “When people want to help, government should find a way to help them do it.   Today, CITA took action to make this happen.”

CITA authorized CPB to donate embargoed merchandise if an importer gives up ownership rights and the merchandise does not enter U.S. commerce.   An importer must abandon the goods to CBP.   CBP will then donate abandoned apparel goods to appropriate Katrina relief organizations as long as the goods are distributed directly to Katrina victims.   Donated items may not be sold by relief agencies, as the goods will not be permitted to enter U.S. commerce.

Items currently under embargo include cotton and man-made fiber trousers, cotton and man-made fiber knit shirts, underwear, and socks.

This is an example of the Department of Commerce and the other CITA agencies working very closely with the Department of Homeland Security for Hurricane Katrina relief.  

For businesses seeking to be involved, please contact the Department of Commerce Hurricane Relief Call Center at 1-888-4USADOC or 1-888-487-2362.  

For more information about China safeguards, please visit http://otexa.ita.doc.gov/Safeguard05.htm .

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