PAKISTANI TEXTILE GROUP URGES PASSAGE OF BROWNBACK BILL
The Pakistan Textile and Apparel Group, a coalition of Pakistan exporters in textiles and apparel, has urged Congress to pass the “Pakistan Emergency Economic Development and Trade Support Act,” as quickly as possible.
The legislation introduced by Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., to avert an economic disaster to Pakistan’s economy by providing President Bush with the authority to reduce or suspend existing duties on textile and apparel imports from Pakistan.
Although production and shipment of goods has continued uninterrupted since the U.S. bombing began in Afghanistan began, many American buyers have all but stopped doing business with Pakistan and failed to place new orders for the upcoming spring and summer 2002 season.
The dramatic decline in orders from the United States has already resulted in the layoff of thousands of workers, and factory closings are anticipated in December and January. Many buyers, including those representing major U.S. apparel brands, are still taking a “wait and see” attitude regarding future orders with Pakistani manufacturers.
The United States is Pakistan’s single largest customer, importing $2.2 billion worth of Pakistani goods last year, with clothing and textiles accounting for 86 percent. Pakistan’s textile industry employs 60 percent of the country’s industrial work force.