The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has decided to hold off on tabling a proposal on rules of origin for textiles and apparel in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks because it needs additional time to fully carry out its consultation process with Congress and domestic stakeholders, according to a U.S. trade official.
“We will put forth our proposal when we conclude those consultations,” the official said. At the last negotiating round, TPP partners had agreed to exchange product-specific rules of origin in all areas before the sixth round of talks in Singapore.
Up to this point, USTR has given every indication that it will continue the precedent set in the most recent U.S. bilateral trade deals and push for a “yarn forward” rule of origin. This is supported by U.S. textile producers and opposed by U.S. retailers and apparel importers, who want a more liberal rule of origin, sources said.