Fashion Intel & Analysis

The African Growth and Opportunity Act Implementation Subcommittee of the Trade Policy Staff Committee is requesting public comments for its annual review of the eligibility of sub-Saharan African countries to receive the benefits of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).  The request includes a note that comments received related to the child labor criteria may also be considered by the Secretary of Labor for the preparation of the Department of Labor’s report on child labor.  Comments are due by noon, Monday, October 19, 2009.

CITA has announced a tariff rate quota of 1.136 billion square meter equivalents for duty-free benefits for apparel made in beneficiary Andean countries from fabrics formed in participating countries from yarns formed in participating countries (including the United States). At this point, the TRQ quota will run from October 1 until December 31, 2009, which is when the duty-free benefit is scheduled to expire under the Andean Trade Preferences Act (ATPA). The participating beneficiary countries are currently Colombia, Peru and Ecuador. (Peru has the benefit of both ATPDEA and the U.S.-Peru free trade agreement, at least through the end of this year.)

 

            This provision has been extended several times, most recently in 2008, when it was extended until the end of this year. The TRQ represents five percent of aggregate square meter equivalents of all apparel entered into the U.S. in the year ending July 31, 2009. Apparel imports from the Andean have been declining, however, and as of the one year period ending July were down more than 27 percent by quantity over the corresponding prior one year period.

 

USA-ITA last week filed comments opposing a proposed revocation by U.S. Customs and Border Protection of a ruling that a cotton pullover made in Singapore from U.S. originating yarn and fabric qualifies for duty-free treatment under the U.S.-Singapore Free Trade Agreement. As reported in the September Customs Overview, CBP proposed revoking the ruling because the pocket fabric, which is also cotton, is not originating. USA-ITA’s comments explain that the original ruling reached the correct conclusion by focusing on the pullover shell, the component providing the essential character of the pullover, without regard to other components such as pockets. For a copy of the USA-ITA comments, contact USA-ITA.

            U.S. Customs and Border Protection has formally announced its tenth annual trade symposium, which will be held in Washington from December 8-10. The symposium will be held in the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. CBP is expected to set up an on-line registration form shortly on its website, www.cbp.gov. Reservations are accepted on a first-come, first served basis

            Certain cotton/polyester three thread circular knit fleece fabrics have been deemed to unavailable in commercial quantities in the CAFTA-DR countries, and as of today these fabrics from non-CAFTA DR countries can be used to make apparel that qualifies for trade benefits under the agreement.

 

            The Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements formally added these fabrics today to the DR-CAFTA short supply list. Two of the fabrics are classified under HTSUS subheading 6001.21; two grades of fabric are included, one with a 67-73% cotton content and the rest polyester, and another with a 77-83% cotton content. The request was made on behalf of Intradeco Apparel Inc. The third fabric, a cotton/nylon/spandex raschel knit open work crepe fabric, is classified under HTSUS subheadings 6005.22.00 and 6005.24.00. This request was from Hansae Co. LTD.