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Textile News

Government Seeks Comments On Textile Tariffs

James A. Morrissey, Washington Correspondent

The office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) is seeking public comments on possible modifications to the list of European products subject to 100-percent tariffs as a result of a World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement regarding beef hormones. Included on the list are two categories of textile products, viscose rayon staple not combed or carded or otherwise processed (tariff classification HTS 5504.10.00) and single yarn containing 85-percent or more by weight of artificial staple fibers (tariff classifications 5510.11.00). The single yarns currently are on the list for retaliation against products from France and Germany, and the USTR is proposing adding the viscose rayon staple fiber

The action dates back to a dispute settlement over a ban in 1996 on certain beef imports by members of the European Union (EU). After it was determined that there was not sufficient scientific evidence to support the ban, the United States successfully challenged the ban in the WTO, and as a result was authorized to suspend concessions and impose stiff tariffs on EU products.

In seeking information, the USTR said it is particularly interested in comments addressed to the effects of the higher tariffs on US small and medium-size businesses or on consumers. An interagency committee of trade experts and economists will review the public comments and make recommendations. The USTR intends to complete the process and announce any modifications to the existing tariffs by the end of the year.

The USTR announcement is in the Nov. 6, 2008, Federal Register, Volume 73, pages 66066 to 66074. The deadline for submitting comments by Fax or e-mail is December 6.

December 2, 2008