U.S. negotiators have reached agreement in principal with representatives of the government of Morocco on proposed modifications to the FTA textile and apparel rules of origin. They reflect preliminary determinations that the U.S. and Moroccan producers are unable to produce certain fabrics and described in the letter below.
On September 8, 2016, the United States International Trade Commission announced a newly initiated investigation concerning proposed modifications of the United States-Morocco Free Trade Agreement (U.S.-Morocco FTA) rules of origin.
The United States International Trade Commission (USITC) is seeking input on a newly initiated investigation concerning proposed modifications of the United States-Morocco Free Trade Agreement (U.S.-Morocco FTA) rules of origin.
The investigation, Probable Economic Effect of Certain Modifications to the U.S.-Morocco FTA Rules of Origin, was requested by the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) in a letter received on August 24, 2016. The letter included an attachment detailing the certain textile and apparel articles affected by the proposed modifications.
As requested by the USTR, the USITC, an independent, nonpartisan, factfinding federal agency, will provide advice on the probable economic effect of the proposed U.S.-Morocco FTA rules of origin modifications on U.S. trade under U.S.-Morocco FTA, total U.S. trade, and on domestic producers of the affected articles.
The USITC expects to submit its advice to the USTR by January 24, 2017. A public version of the report, with all confidential business information deleted, will be released as soon as possible thereafter.
The USITC is seeking input for its new investigation from all interested parties and requests that the information focus on the articles for which the USITC is requested to provide information and advice. The USITC will not hold a public hearing in connection with the investigation; however, the USITC welcomes written submissions for the record. Written submissions 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 October 13, 2016.
Agathon Associates has examined the six specific modifications requested in the letter and has prepared an unofficial summary:
- Certain women's apparel of woven fabric of 100% rayon,
- Women's skirts of woven cotton corduroy,
- Women's skirts of woven polyester corduroy,
- Women's pants of woven bi-stretch fabric of a certain blend of polyester, rayon, and spandex,
- Women's pants of woven fabric of a certain blend of polyester, rayon, and spandex, and
- Women's pants of herringbone weave fabric of a certain blend of rayon, polyester, cotton, wool, nylon, and spandex.
The preliminary determination of "short supply" covers but a subset of the several requests from the government of Morocco submitted from November 2015 through April 2016. The other requests, including those relating to swimsear, are still pending. U.S. manufacturers with an interest in any of the pending requests are urged to continue dialogue with the Morocco apparel manufactures involved and with the U.S. government. Agathon Associates has compiled a list of all the requests and public responses for the convenience of clients. That list may be accessed at www.agathonassociates.com/textile-pri/morocco/short-supply.htm. To access the list you will need your username and password. If you have forgotten your username and password, email David Trumbull at firstname.lastname@example.org.