IMRA ASKS ITC TO LOOK BEYOND PRICE IN TEXTILE ASSESSMENT
The International Mass Retail Association has urged the U.S. International Trade Commission to consider “multiple factors in addition to price” in the ITC’s investigation of foreign suppliers of textiles and apparel prior to quotas being phased out on Jan. 1, 2005.
The Uruguay Round Agreement on Textiles and Clothing requires the final phase out of quotas by that date. Meantime, the ITC is assessing competitiveness as certain importers under scrutiny adjust their sourcing strategies.
“Many of IMRA’s members directly import apparel and other textile goods, so they have a keen interest in the Commission’s investigation,” Sandra L. Kennedy, IMRA president, said in a letter to the ITC.
“There will be some shifts of trade, but they will not be simply cost-driven. A great deal of sourcing is art, not science,” Kennedy said. “Retailers will choose colors and fabrics based on styles and anticipated trends.”
“IMRA cannot predict who the specific country winners and losers will be when the WTO member countries cease to manage the quantity of trade in textiles and apparel,” the association said in a statement.
In her letter to the ITC, Kennedy predicted: “the elimination of quotas will probably result in a more secure supply chain with fewer suppliers participating.”