The U.S. International Trade Commission today announced its determinations in connection with its investigation Commercial Availability of Fabric and Yarns in AGOA Countries, Inv. No. AGOA-07-001. The determinations are the first that the Commission has made under amendments to the African Growth and Opportunity Act that the President signed into law in December 2006.
The Commission's determinations relate only to denim fabric and estimate the amount of regional African denim fabric that will be available during the 12-month period beginning October 1, 2007, for use in less developed beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries in the production of denim apparel receiving U.S. duty free treatment. The Commission reported its determinations to the President and the U.S. Trade Representative.
All six Commissioners found that the subject denim fabric will be available in commercial quantities during the upcoming 12-month period. Chairman Daniel R. Pearson, Vice Chairman Shara L. Aranoff, and Commissioners Deanna Tanner Okun, Charlotte R. Lane, and Irving A. Williamson found that the amount available will be 21,303,613 square meter equivalents (smes). Commissioner Dean A. Pinkert determined that the subject denim fabric will be available in commercial quantities within a range from 21,303,613 smes to 25,017,171 smes during the 12-month period.
The Commission's determinations are made in the context of a statutory provision that allows apparel made in less developed beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries from third country fabric to enter the United States duty free.
The statute requires the Commission to make a determination in response to a petition, and if the determination is affirmative, the Commission must make an additional determination in each subsequent year through 2012 as to the amount available in the next year. The statute also requires the Commission to determine, after each year for which it determines the fabric to be available, how much of the available fabric was actually used in apparel receiving U.S. duty-free treatment.
In the case of denim, no petition was filed. Instead, an investigation was initiated after Congress deemed denim fabric to be available in abundant supply in the amount of 30 million smes during October 1, 2006-September 30, 2007. The Commission's determinations here are with respect to availability and the amount available during the next year (the year that begins on October 1, 2007).
In coming months the Commission will be required to determine how much of the 30 million smes of denim deemed to be available during the 12- month period ended September 30, 2007, was used in the production of denim apparel receiving U.S. duty-free treatment. Any unused amounts will be added to the amount the Commission just determined will be available during the year beginning on October 1, 2007. The statute also sets forth circumstances when the President may or must remove duty free treatment if regional fabric is available in commercial quantities to make the apparel, but is not used for such production.
The Commission's public report, Commercial Availability of Fabric and Yarns in AGOA Countries (Inv. No. AGOA-07-001, USITC Publication 3950, September 2007) will contain the views of the Commission and information developed during the investigation.
The report will be available by September 30, 2007, and will be posted on the ITC web site
Copies can be obtained by calling 202-205-2000 or from the Office of the Secretary, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436. Requests may also be made by fax to 202-205-2104.