Don Niewiaroski, International Trade Specialist, Office of Textiles and Apparel, U.S. Department of Commerce, (202) 482-4058.
Title I of TDA 2000 provides for duty- and quota-free treatment for certain textile and apparel articles imported from designated beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries. Section 112(b)(3) of TDA 2000 provides duty- and quota-free treatment for apparel articles wholly assembled in one or more beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries from fabric wholly formed in one or more beneficiary countries from yarn originating in the U.S. or one or more beneficiary countries. This preferential treatment is also available for apparel articles assembled in one or more lesser-developed beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries, regardless of the country of origin of the fabric used to make such articles, subject to quantitative limitation. Title VI of the TRHCA 2006 extended this special rule for lesser-developed countries through September 30, 2012.
The AGOA Acceleration Act of 2004 provides that the quantitative limitation for the twelve-month period beginning October 1, 2009 will be an amount not to exceed 7 percent of the aggregate square meter equivalents of all apparel articles imported into the United States in the preceding 12-month period for which data are available. See Section 112(b)(3)(A)(ii)(I) of TDA 2000, as amended by Section 7(b)(2)(B) of the AGOA Acceleration Act of 2004. Of this overall amount, apparel imported under the special rule for lesser-developed countries is limited to an amount not to exceed 3.5 percent of all apparel articles imported into the United States in the preceding 12-month period. See Section 112(b)(3)(B)(ii)(II) of TDA 2000, as amended by Section 6002(a) of TRHCA 2006. Presidential Proclamation 7350 of October 2, 2000 directed CITA to publish the aggregate quantity of imports allowed during each 12-month period in the Federal Register .
For the one-year period, beginning on October 1, 2009, and extending through September 30, 2010, the aggregate quantity of imports eligible for preferential treatment under these provisions is 1,628,793,037 square meters equivalent. Of this amount, 814,396,518 square meters equivalent is available to apparel articles imported under the special rule for lesser-developed countries. Apparel articles entered in excess of these quantities will be subject to otherwise applicable tariffs.
These quantities are calculated using the aggregate square meter equivalents of all apparel articles imported into the United States, derived from the set of Harmonized System lines listed in the Annex to the World Trade Organization Agreement on Textiles and Clothing (ATC), and the conversion factors for units of measure into square meter equivalents used by the United States in implementing the ATC.