Two new rules of origin under the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA) come in to force today (15 August) to promote regional production.

Under the so-called pocketing amendment, the pocket used in apparel must be formed and finished in the region to qualify for duty-free treatment.

While the cumulation provision permits a limited quantity of woven apparel containing Mexican or Canadian inputs to enter the United States duty-free.

US Trade Representative Susan C Schwab says the amendments "marks another important step forward in the integration of apparel manufacturing in the region.

"The provisions will strengthen our already strong economic relationship with our trading partners in the region, and will create new opportunities for the use of US fabric and yarn in apparel production in the region."