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President Obama Approves Tariff Concessions On Components

James A. Morrissey, Washington Correspondent

On August 11, President Barack Obama signed legislation authorizing duty-free importation of some 800 components, including some man-made-fiber products used by U.S. textile and apparel manufacturers in their finished products. The duty-free components are not made in the United States, and, therefore, do not compete with domestic manufacturers, but they do make companies using them more competitive.

The legislation grants a one-year extension to the duty concessions that had expired Jan. 1, 2010. The duty eliminations take effect as of August 11 and are retroactive to the first of this year for items that previously had been approved, but no additional items qualify for the concessions. The duty-free component legislation has generally been considered non-controversial, but its passage was delayed this year owing to a controversy over earmarks, which are special requests made by members of Congress and are added to legislation without the usual congressional hearings and debate.

Included in the legislation are some man-made acrylic and rayon staple fibers and filaments that have been authorized for duty-free treatment in previous years. The legislation has the support of U.S. textile and apparel manufacturers.

August 17, 2010