COMPROMISE ON FINAL DRAFT OF AFRICA/CBI BILL EFFECTED

WASHINGTON — Congressional leaders late Tuesday reached an agreement on a measure dropping duties on select apparel imports from sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean Basin, according to sources.
Particulars of the measure weren’t available. A vote on the package in the House could come as early as Thursday.
“We do have an agreement,” said one congressional source, who nonetheless labeled the accord “tentative.” The source said trade lawmakers still must sign off on legislation being drafted Tuesday evening based on numerous details negotiated during several contentious sessions.
The bill would be a compromise between a House measure with broad country-of-origin rules for textiles contained in apparel receiving duty breaks from those regions. The Senate version had a strict U.S.-textile-only rule.
Based on a preliminary agreement reached last week, the final draft is closer to the Senate bill, but with some exceptions carved out for African and Caribbean Basin textiles. After this accord was reached, House negotiators sought even more exceptions.