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109th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                     109-644

======================================================================



 
    WOOL SUIT FABRIC LABELING FAIRNESS AND INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS 
                             CONFORMING ACT

                                _______
                                

 September 8, 2006.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on 
            the State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

    Mr. Barton of Texas, from the Committee on Energy and Commerce, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 4583]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Energy and Commerce, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 4583) to amend the Wool Products Labeling Act of 
1939 to revise the requirements for labeling of certain wool 
and cashmere products, having considered the same, report 
favorably thereon with an amendment and recommend that the bill 
as amended do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
Amendment........................................................     1
Purpose and Summary..............................................     2
Background and Need for Legislation..............................     3
Hearings.........................................................     3
Committee Consideration..........................................     3
Committee Votes..................................................     4
Committee Oversight Findings.....................................     4
Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives............     4
New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and Tax Expenditures     4
Committee Cost Estimate..........................................     4
Congressional Budget Office Estimate.............................     4
Federal Mandates Statement.......................................     5
Advisory Committee Statement.....................................     5
Constitutional Authority Statement...............................     5
Applicability to Legislative Branch..............................     5
Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation...................     5
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported............     6

                               Amendment

    The amendment is as follows:
    Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``Wool Suit Fabric Labeling Fairness and 
International Standards Conforming Act''.

SEC. 2. LABELING OF WOOL AND CASHMERE PRODUCTS TO FACILITATE COMPLIANCE 
                    AND PROTECT CONSUMERS.

  (a) In General.--Section 4(a) of the Wool Products Labeling Act of 
1939 (15 U.S.C. 68b(a)) is amended by adding at the end the following 
new paragraphs:
  ``(5) In the case of a wool product stamped, tagged, labeled, or 
otherwise identified as--
          ``(A) `Super 80's' or `80's', if the average diameter of wool 
        fiber of such wool product does not average 19.5 microns or 
        finer;
          ``(B) `Super 90's' or `90's', if the average diameter of wool 
        fiber of such wool product does not average 19.0 microns or 
        finer;
          ``(C) `Super 100's' or `100's', if the average diameter of 
        wool fiber of such wool product does not average 18.5 microns 
        or finer;
          ``(D) `Super 110's' or `110's', if the average diameter of 
        wool fiber of such wool product does not average 18.0 microns 
        or finer;
          ``(E) `Super 120's' or `120's', if the average diameter of 
        wool fiber of such wool product does not average 17.5 microns 
        or finer;
          ``(F) `Super 130's' or `130's', if the average diameter of 
        wool fiber of such wool product does not average 17.0 microns 
        or finer;
          ``(G) `Super 140's' or `140's', if the average diameter of 
        wool fiber of such wool product does not average 16.5 microns 
        or finer;
          ``(H) `Super 150's' or `150's', if the average diameter of 
        wool fiber of such wool product does not average 16.0 microns 
        or finer;
          ``(I) `Super 160's' or `160's', if the average diameter of 
        wool fiber of such wool product does not average 15.5 microns 
        or finer;
          ``(J) `Super 170's' or `170's', if the average diameter of 
        wool fiber of such wool product does not average 15.0 microns 
        or finer;
          ``(K) `Super 180's' or `180's', if the average diameter of 
        wool fiber of such wool product does not average 14.5 microns 
        or finer;
          ``(L) `Super 190's' or `190's', if the average diameter of 
        wool fiber of such wool product does not average 14.0 microns 
        or finer;
          ``(M) `Super 200's' or `200's', if the average diameter of 
        wool fiber of such wool product does not average 13.5 microns 
        or finer;
          ``(N) `Super 210's' or `210's', if the average diameter of 
        wool fiber of such wool product does not average 13.0 microns 
        or finer;
          ``(O) `Super 220's' or `220's', if the average diameter of 
        wool fiber of such wool product does not average 12.5 microns 
        or finer;
          ``(P) `Super 230's' or `230's', if the average diameter of 
        wool fiber of such wool product does not average 12.0 microns 
        or finer;
          ``(Q) `Super 240's' or `240's', if the average diameter of 
        wool fiber of such wool product does not average 11.5 microns 
        or finer; and
          ``(R) `Super 250's' or `250's', if the average diameter of 
        wool fiber of such wool product does not average 11.0 microns 
        or finer.
In each such case, the average fiber diameter of such wool product may 
be subject to such standards or deviations as adopted by regulation by 
the Commission.
  ``(6) In the case of a wool product stamped, tagged, labeled, or 
otherwise identified as cashmere, if--
          ``(A) such wool product is not the fine (dehaired) undercoat 
        fibers produced by a cashmere goat (capra hircus laniger);
          ``(B) the average diameter of the fiber of such wool product 
        exceeds 19 microns; or
          ``(C) such wool product contains more than 3 percent (by 
        weight) of cashmere fibers with average diameters that exceed 
        30 microns.
The average fiber diameter may be subject to a coefficient of variation 
around the mean that shall not exceed 24 percent.''.
  (b) Applicability Date.--The amendments made by this section shall 
apply to wool products manufactured on or after January 1, 2007.

                          Purpose and Summary

    The purpose of H.R. 4583, the Wool Suit Fabric Labeling 
Fairness and International Standards Conforming Act, is to 
amend the Wool Products Labeling Act of 1939 to revise the 
labeling requirements for certain wool and cashmere products. 
The bill will protect consumers and industry participants from 
deceptively labeled or mislabeled wool or cashmere products by 
establishing a legal standard for labeling superfine wool and 
cashmere products based on internationally accepted standards.

                  Background and Need for Legislation

    The Wool Products Labeling Act of 1939 requires that most 
textiles or wool products include a permanent tag conveying 
three pieces of information to the consumer: the fiber content, 
the country of origin, and the name of the manufacturer or 
other business responsible for product distribution.
    Wool products are subject to specific additional 
requirements beyond other textile products. While most fibers 
must be identified only when they meet or exceed 5 percent of 
product weight, products that contain any amount of wool must 
be labeled. Wool products must always be labeled by name and 
percentage of weight, regardless of percentage weight.
    The Wool Products Labeling Act of 1939 defines ``wool'' as 
fibers made from sheep or lamb fleece or from the hair of an 
Angora or cashmere goat. Fibers made from camel, alpaca, llama, 
and vicuna may also be considered wool. The Wool Products 
Labeling Act of 1939 requires only that these fibers be 
identified on textile labels as ``wool,'' although they may 
also be identified as specialty fibers (mohair, cashmere, 
camel, alpaca, llama, vicuna).
    Many wool products are now labeled as ``Super 80s,'' 
``Super 90s,'' ``Super 100s,'' or such designation through 
``Super 250s.'' These super grades identify the fineness of 
wool fibers. The higher the number, the finer the yarn, and, 
consequently, the higher the cost. Despite the common use of 
these labeling designations, the Wool Labeling Act of 1939 has 
not been amended to reflect the current marketing practice of 
using ``super'' terms as an identifier of quality wool 
products.
    In 2000, the International Wool Trade Organization (IWTO), 
an organization representing the interests of the worldwide 
textile industry including the United States, adopted 
definitions and a code of practice regarding the use of 
superfine designations on wool products. The definitions codify 
the exact diameters that each level of ``super'' designations 
should contain. H.R. 4583 would amend the Wool Labeling Act of 
1939 to include the definition of superfine wool designations 
adopted by the IWTO.
    In addition to establishing legal standards for superfine 
wool designations, H.R. 4583 also amends the Wool Labeling Act 
of 1939 to include a specific definition of cashmere in order 
to protect the consumer from deceptively labeled textiles.

                                Hearings

    The Committee on Energy and Commerce has not held hearings 
on the legislation.

                        Committee Consideration

    On Wednesday, July 26, 2006, the Committee on Energy and 
Commerce met in open markup session and ordered H.R. 4583 
reported favorably to the House, amended, by a voice vote, a 
quorum being present.

                            Committee Votes

    Clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires the Committee to list the record votes 
on the motion to report legislation and amendments thereto. 
There were no record votes taken in connection with ordering 
H.R. 4583 reported. A motion by Mr. Barton to order H.R. 4583 
reported to the House, amended, was agreed to by a voice vote.

                      Committee Oversight Findings

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee has not held oversight 
or legislative hearings on this legislation.

         Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives

    The goal of H.R. 4583 is to protect consumers and industry 
participants from deceptively labeled or mislabeled wool or 
cashmere products.

   New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and Tax Expenditures

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee finds that H.R. 
4583, the Wool Suit Fabric Labeling Fairness and International 
Standards Conforming Act, would result in no new or increased 
budget authority, entitlement authority, or tax expenditures or 
revenues.

                        Committee Cost Estimate

    The Committee adopts as its own the cost estimate prepared 
by the Director of the Congressional Budget Office pursuant to 
section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974.

                  Congressional Budget Office Estimate

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the following is the cost estimate 
provided by the Congressional Budget Office pursuant to section 
402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                   Washington, DC, August 24, 2006.
Hon. Joe Barton,
Chairman, Committee on Energy and Commerce,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 4583, the Wool 
Suit Fabric Labeling Fairness and International Standards 
Conforming Act.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Susan Willie.
            Sincerely,
                                          Robert P. Murphy.
                               (Donald B. Marron, Acting Director).
    Enclosure.

H.R. 4583--Wool Suit Fabric Labeling Fairness and International 
        Standards Conforming Act

    H.R. 4583 would amend the Wool Products Labeling Act to 
define certain grades of wool that are used to identify the 
quality of wool fabrics. The bill also would define the 
standards for labeling cashmere fabrics. Based on information 
from the Federal Trade Commission, CBO estimates that the cost 
of enforcing these new labeling requirements would be less than 
$500,000 a year, assuming the availability of appropriated 
funds. Enacting H.R. 4583 would not affect direct spending or 
revenues.
    H.R. 4583 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Susan Willie. 
This estimate was approved by Jeffrey M. Holland, Chief, 
Projections Unit.

                       Federal Mandates Statement

    The Committee adopts as its own the estimate of Federal 
mandates prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office pursuant to section 423 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform 
Act.

                      Advisory Committee Statement

    No advisory committees within the meaning of section 5(b) 
of the Federal Advisory Committee Act were created by this 
legislation.

                   Constitutional Authority Statement

    Pursuant to clause 3(d)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee finds that the 
Constitutional authority for this legislation is provided in 
Article I, section 8, clause 3, which grants Congress the power 
to regulate commerce with foreign nations, among the several 
States, and with the Indian tribes.

                  Applicability to Legislative Branch

    The Committee finds that the legislation does not relate to 
the terms and conditions of employment or access to public 
services or accommodations within the meaning of section 
102(b)(3) of the Congressional Accountability Act.

             Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation


Section 1. Short title

    Section 1 designates the title of the bill as the ``Wool 
Suit Fabric Labeling Fairness and International Standards 
Conforming Act.''

Section 2. Labeling of wool and cashmere products to facilitate 
        compliance and protect consumers

    Section 2 amends Section 4(a) of the Wool Products Labeling 
Act of 1939 by adding two new subparagraphs; (5) and (6). 
Subparagraph (5) adds a new definition of misbranding by 
establishing fiber diameter requirements for superfine wool 
designations ``Super 80s'' or ``80s'' through ``Super 250s'' or 
``250s.'' The fiber diameter requirements range from an average 
of 19.5 microns or less to an average of 11.0 microns or less, 
depending on the specific superfine designation. Subparagraph 
(6) adds a new definition of misbranding by establishing which 
fibers may be considered cashmere, fiber diameter requirements 
for cashmere products, and a maximum percentage of fibers that 
may be used in cashmere products which exceed a certain 
diameter.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

    In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (new matter is 
printed in italic and existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

          SECTION 4 OF THE WOOL PRODUCTS LABELING ACT OF 1939


                        MISBRANDED WOOL PRODUCTS

  Sec. 4. (a) A wool product shall be misbranded--
  (1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (5) In the case of a wool product stamped, tagged, labeled, 
or otherwise identified as--
          (A) ``Super 80's'' or ``80's'', if the average 
        diameter of wool fiber of such wool product does not 
        average 19.5 microns or finer;
          (B) ``Super 90's'' or ``90's'', if the average 
        diameter of wool fiber of such wool product does not 
        average 19.0 microns or finer;
          (C) ``Super 100's'' or ``100's'', if the average 
        diameter of wool fiber of such wool product does not 
        average 18.5 microns or finer;
          (D) ``Super 110's'' or ``110's'', if the average 
        diameter of wool fiber of such wool product does not 
        average 18.0 microns or finer;
          (E) ``Super 120's'' or ``120's'', if the average 
        diameter of wool fiber of such wool product does not 
        average 17.5 microns or finer;
          (F) ``Super 130's'' or ``130's'', if the average 
        diameter of wool fiber of such wool product does not 
        average 17.0 microns or finer;
          (G) ``Super 140's'' or ``140's'', if the average 
        diameter of wool fiber of such wool product does not 
        average 16.5 microns or finer;
          (H) ``Super 150's'' or ``150's'', if the average 
        diameter of wool fiber of such wool product does not 
        average 16.0 microns or finer;
          (I) ``Super 160's'' or ``160's'', if the average 
        diameter of wool fiber of such wool product does not 
        average 15.5 microns or finer;
          (J) ``Super 170's'' or ``170's'', if the average 
        diameter of wool fiber of such wool product does not 
        average 15.0 microns or finer;
          (K) ``Super 180's'' or ``180's'', if the average 
        diameter of wool fiber of such wool product does not 
        average 14.5 microns or finer;
          (L) ``Super 190's'' or ``190's'', if the average 
        diameter of wool fiber of such wool product does not 
        average 14.0 microns or finer;
          (M) ``Super 200's'' or ``200's'', if the average 
        diameter of wool fiber of such wool product does not 
        average 13.5 microns or finer;
          (N) ``Super 210's'' or ``210's'', if the average 
        diameter of wool fiber of such wool product does not 
        average 13.0 microns or finer;
          (O) ``Super 220's'' or ``220's'', if the average 
        diameter of wool fiber of such wool product does not 
        average 12.5 microns or finer;
          (P) ``Super 230's'' or ``230's'', if the average 
        diameter of wool fiber of such wool product does not 
        average 12.0 microns or finer;
          (Q) ``Super 240's'' or ``240's'', if the average 
        diameter of wool fiber of such wool product does not 
        average 11.5 microns or finer; and
          (R) ``Super 250's'' or ``250's'', if the average 
        diameter of wool fiber of such wool product does not 
        average 11.0 microns or finer.
In each such case, the average fiber diameter of such wool 
product may be subject to such standards or deviations as 
adopted by regulation by the Commission.
  (6) In the case of a wool product stamped, tagged, labeled, 
or otherwise identified as cashmere, if--
          (A) such wool product is not the fine (dehaired) 
        undercoat fibers produced by a cashmere goat (capra 
        hircus laniger);
          (B) the average diameter of the fiber of such wool 
        product exceeds 19 microns; or
          (C) such wool product contains more than 3 percent 
        (by weight) of cashmere fibers with average diameters 
        that exceed 30 microns.
The average fiber diameter may be subject to a coefficient of 
variation around the mean that shall not exceed 24 percent.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *