November 6, 2008
News Release 08-105
Inv. No. FTA-103-021
Contact: Peg O'Laughlin, 202-205-1819
ITC RELEASES REPORT ON POSSIBLE MODIFICATION TO THE U.S.-AUSTRALIA
FREE TRADE AGREEMENT RULES OF ORIGIN
The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) today released a public version of its confidential report on the probable effect of proposed modifications of the U.S.-Australia Free Trade Agreement (USAFTA) rules of origin for certain yarns.
The report, Viscose Rayon Staple Fiber: Probable Effect of Modification of U.S.-Australia Free Trade Agreement Rules of Origin, was requested by the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR).
In her letter, the USTR noted that U.S. negotiators have reached agreement in principle with representatives of the Government of Australia to modify the USAFTA rules of origin for certain yarns because it has been determined that U.S. and Australian producers are not able to produce viscose rayon staple fiber in commercial quantities in a timely manner. The yarns affected could include blends of viscose rayon staple fibers with synthetic staple fibers, such as polyester, and with other artificial staple fibers, such as acetate.
As requested, the ITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency, provided advice on the probable effect of the proposed USAFTA rules of origin modifications on U.S. trade and on domestic producers of the affected yarns. The proposed modifications were defined in an attachment to the request letter, which can be found on the ITC Internet site at http://www.usitc.gov/ind_econ_ana/research_ana/Ongoing_Inv/RequestLetter_103_021.pdf.
The President has the authority, subject to the consultation and layover requirements of the USAFTA Implementation Act, to proclaim such modifications to the rules of origin as are necessary to implement an agreement with Australia, but must obtain advice regarding the proposed action from the ITC. The ITC submitted its confidential report to the USTR on October 23, 2008.
Viscose Rayon Staple Fiber: Probable Effect of Modification of U.S.-Australia Free Trade Agreement Rules of Origin, (Investigation No. FTA-103-021, USITC publication 4041, November 2008) is available on the ITC's Internet site at /publications/docs/pubs/103/pub4041.pdf.A printed copy may be requested by emailing email@example.com, calling 202-205-2000, or writing the Office of the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20436. Requests may also be made by fax to 202-205-2104.