April 23, 2009
News Release 09-032
Inv. No. 332-503
Contact: Peg O'Laughlin, 202-205-1819

EFFECTIVENESS OF DR-CAFTA TEXTILE PREFERENCE PROGRAM IS FOCUS OF USITC INVESTIGATION

Annual Reports on the Earned Import Allowance Program Required by Law

The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has launched an investigation to evaluate the effectiveness of a new program under the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA) that allows apparel manufacturers in the Dominican Republic who use U.S. fabric to produce certain apparel to earn a credit that can be used to ship eligible apparel made with non-U.S.-produced fabric into the United States duty free.

The investigation, Earned Import Allowance Program: Evaluation of the Effectiveness of the Program for Certain Apparel from the Dominican Republic, is required by amendments to the DR-CAFTA that were included in the Andean Trade Preference Act Extension signed into law in 2008.

The legislation directs the U.S. Department of Commerce to establish an Earned Import Allowance Program. The USITC is required to review the program annually to evaluate its effectiveness and make recommendations for improvements in the program. The reports will be submitted to the U.S. House of Representatives' Committee on Ways and Means and the U.S. Senate's Committee on Finance. The USITC will submit its first report to the committees by July 28, 2010.

The USITC will hold a public hearing in connection with the investigation at 9:30 a.m. on November 18, 2009. Requests to appear at the public hearing should be filed no later than 5:15 p.m. on October 30, 2009, with the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436.

The USITC also welcomes written submissions for the record. Written submissions (original and 14 copies) should be addressed to the Secretary to the Commission at the above address and should be submitted at the earliest practical date but no later than 5:15 p.m. on February 24, 2010. All written submissions, except for confidential business information, will be available for public inspection.

Further information on the scope of this investigation and appropriate submissions is available in the USITC's notice of investigation, dated April 23, 2009, which may be obtained from the USITC Internet site (www.usitc.gov) or by contacting the Office of the Secretary at 202-205-2000.

USITC general factfinding investigations, such as this one, cover matters related to tariffs or trade and are generally conducted at the request of the U.S. Trade Representative, the Senate Committee on Finance, or the House Committee on Ways and Means. The resulting reports convey the Commission's objective findings and independent analyses on the subject investigated. The Commission makes no recommendations on policy or other matters in its general factfinding reports. Upon completion of each investigation, the USITC submits its findings and analyses to the requester. General factfinding investigations reports are subsequently released to the public, unless they are classified by the requester for national security reasons.

-- 30 --