February 9, 2007
News Release 07-015
Inv. No. DR-CAFTA-103-016
Contact: Peg O'Laughlin, 202-205-1819

ITC TO ASSESS PROBABLE ECONOMIC EFFECT OF PROPOSED MODIFICATIONS TO THE DR-CAFTA RULES OF ORIGIN FOR CERTAIN APPAREL GOODS OF COSTA RICA AND THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC or Commission) has instituted an investigation to advise the President on the probable economic effect of proposed modifications to the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA) relating to the rule of origin for apparel containing pocket bag fabric and other modifications to tariff treatment under the Agreement.

The investigation, Probable Economic Effect of Modifications to DR-CAFTA Rules of Origin And Tariffs for Certain Apparel Goods of Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic, was requested by the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) in a letter received on January 24, 2007.

As requested, the ITC will provide information related to the probable economic effect of modifications to the DR-CAFTA's rules of origin and other modifications. The specific proposed modifications are detailed in an annex to the USTR's request letter and can be viewed on the ITC web site at http://www.usitc.gov/ext_relations/news_release/2007/Annex.pdf.

The President has the authority to proclaim such modifications to the Harmonized Tariff Schedule, subject to congressional consultation and layover requirements, but is required to obtain advice regarding the proposed action from the ITC. The ITC will provide its confidential report to the USTR by May 24, 2007, and will release a public version of the report as soon as possible thereafter.

The ITC is seeking input for its new investigation from all interested parties and requests that the information focus on the articles for which the ITC is requested to provide advice. The ITC will not hold a public hearing in connection with the investigation; however, the ITC welcomes written submissions for the record. Written submissions (an original and 14 copies) should be addressed to the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436 and should be submitted at the earliest practical date but no later than 5:15 p.m. on March 2, 2007.

Further information on the scope of the investigation and the procedures for written submissions is available in the ITC's notice of investigation, dated February 9, 2007, which can be obtained from the ITC Internet site or by contacting the Secretary at 202-205-2000 or at the above address.

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