WASHINGTON — The Bush administration plans to smooth over rough spots in procedures designed to give duty free treatment to some goods under the Central American Free Trade Agreement, even if they include materials from outside the region.
CAFTA, which promotes commerce among the U.S., El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica, generally requires that goods be made of native materials. Exceptions may be made when the necessary materials are not sold in commercially viable quantities in the region.
The process to determine commercial availability requires that companies check to determine if suitable producers exist before requesting an exception. However, there are communication problems and concerns that certain importers are not effectively looking for suppliers, while some factories are claiming to be able to meet demand when they actually don't have adequate capacity.
"There have been some frustrations on both sides of the coin," said Matt Priest, chairman of the interagency Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements.
Since spring 2006, when CAFTA first began to take effect, the administration has found that 19 types of fabrics and fibers qualified for exceptions.
"It provides flexibility to continue to keep business in this hemisphere," Priest said. "If something is truly not made in this region, it makes no sense to not allow them to bring something in duty free and provide some flexibility."
In the next few days, CITA will request public input on how the due diligence requirement can be adjusted to work more smoothly. Specifically, the committee is seeking comments on how businesses conducting due diligence for a commercial availability should communicate: the types of information companies can ask of potential suppliers, whether the companies should supply samples to each other and how products should be identified.
@juicebeauty, where @gwynethpaltrow holds the title of creative director of makeup, has become one of the foremost labels in the organic beauty category –– with sales on track to hit $100 million this year. What’s behind the rapid growth the brand is experiencing right now? It all started in 2005 when the wellness movement was just getting started. Read more on WWD.com. #wwdbeauty
Stay up to do date with breaking news and trending stories with WWD’s “The Essentialist.” Our newsletter delivers the top news in fashion right to your inbox. Want more info? Link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
"I want to tell a story that inspires people to feel good about themselves, but also I'm making a commentary about the lack of female stories and female directors and saying this should change," said @imheathergraham on her latest project "Half Magic." The comedy feature, which the actress wrote and directed, is based on her own struggles as a woman in show business. Read @andrewnodell's full interview with Graham on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @jgreenery)
@meltcosmetics cofounders @lora_arellano and @danabomar built their brand on a single idea: a true matte lipstick. To set the brand apart, they said they always put their customers first –– including a personalized note in each package. #wwdsummits #wwdbeauty
@moncler unveiled its latest project, #MonclerGenius, yesterday at Milan Fashion Week. The Italian outwear maker gave show-goers a preview of the monthly collections – which were created by eight designers and creative talents including Pierpaolo Piccioli, Simone Rocha, Craig Green and more – that will start rolling out in the summer.