U.S. apparel importers say January figures offer æno surprisesÆ
January's import data for apparel, complied by the U.S. Bureau for Census and released by the U.S. Department of Commerce, had 'no surprises' and showed 'multiple winners for quota-free trade,' according to the United States Association of Importers of Textiles and Apparel (USA-ITA).
'China did increase its trade, but the numbers demonstrate that hysteria about that trade is totally unwarranted,' USA-ITA said in a statement, citing significant gains made by Jordan, Egypt, Caribbean and Central American countries.
Apparel imports from Jordan, which has duty-free access to the U.S. market during a free trade agreement, increased 66 percent in January.
'The quota-free world is showing that there are going to be lots of winners now that companies can finally choose what they know their customers really want to buy,' said Laura Jones, executive director of USA-ITA.
'The domestic (U.S. textile) industry's rigged game plan to gain sympathy for their requests for safeguard relief is now exposed. The actual data shows there is no current basis for safeguard measures, self-initiated or by request from the domestic industry,' Jones said.