By  on June 20, 1994

WASHINGTON -- An interagency task force formed to develop a strategy to deal with allegedly massive apparel transshipping will hold a public hearing Tuesday.

Rep. John Spratt (D, S.C.), chairman of the Congressional Textile Caucus, is to testify at the hearings that will begin at 9:30 a.m. at the Interstate Commerce Commission. Others slated to testify include officials with the American Apparel Manufacturers Association, American Textile Manufacturers Institute, the U.S. Apparel Industry Council and the U.S. Association of Importers of Textiles and Apparel.

Rita Hayes, Commerce Department assistant secretary for textiles, who chairs the interagency Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements, said the task force hopes to make its final decisions by fall. These could include recommendations for regulatory action, new laws, revamped Customs requirements or no action at all.

U.S. Trade Representative Mickey Kantor announced formation of the task force in July 1993. Officials with various importer and retailing groups have contended the U.S. continues to exaggerate the extent of transshipping in order to curb legal imports.

Tuesday's hearing will be chaired by Hayes and Jennifer Hillman, U.S. chief textile negotiator. Other task force members include officials with the Departments of Justice, Labor and Treasury, as well as the U.S. Customs Service, which is part of Treasury.

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