Apparel importersÆ group blasts æscare tacticsÆ of U.S. textile industry
The United States Association of Importers of Textiles and Apparel (USA-ITA) has urged ambassadors to the World Trade Organization from textile-exporting countries 'to stand firm in your support' for the elimination of textile and apparel quotas at midnight on Dec. 31.
'With only 93 days until the end of the year, now is not the time to support new forms of protection,' USA-ITA said.
'Scare tactics and gross exaggerations today by the very interests that insisted upon the imposition on your trade in textile and apparel products ' should not cloud your memory of history,' the letter noted.
'The groups behind the current efforts to extend protection are the same groups that opposed every free trade agreement that provides any meaningful access to the U.S. market for textile and apparel products,' USA-ITA said. 'These are the same groups that lobbied for the defeat or gutting of every unilateral preference program.
'The end of the quota system is what we have been working toward and preparing for, together, for more than 10 years. There is no 'crisis' other than the one created by those who did not prepare, or who are unwilling to compete without the crutch of protection. We have confidence in the market and in the ability of your industries to compete, and so should you,' the letter concluded.
The letter was signed by Laura E. Jones, executive director of USA-ITA, who said in a statement she wanted WTO ambassadors to see 'behind the mask of benevolence' of the U.S. textile industry.
'The U.S. industry puts out press releases professing to worry about how other countries will compete in a quota-free world, and suggesting that the agreement to end the quotas needs to be changed,' she said. 'But the fact is that all they care about is themselves. These same textile industry associations spent the last 10 years making sure that the U.S. would not liberalize anything.'