U.S. importers oppose restrictions against Chinese textile imports
Four trade associations allied with U.S. importers of textiles and apparel have strongly objected to expected petitions from domestic textile manufacturers to the Bush administration calling for safeguards on goods originating in China after apparel and textile quotas end Dec. 31.
'These petitions would be based on assumptions and conjecture rather than facts, which is not permitted under the safeguard mechanism (of the World Trade Organization),' officials of the American Apparel & Footwear Association, the National Retail Federation, the Retail Industry Leaders Association, and the U.S. Association of Importers of Textiles and Apparel said in a letter sent Monday to Grant Aldonas, under secretary for international trade in the U.S. Department of Commerce.
'Considerations of such petitions ' is contrary to the assurances you provided to us that the administration would manage the transition to a quota-free environment with minimal disruption and harm to our sector,' the letter said. 'Such actions also would represent a complete contradiction of the definitive position of your agency and other agencies that comprise the Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements, as stated in writing just 13 months ago.'
'It is inexplicable and inexcusable for the administration to now reverse that position,' the four associations said, adding, 'policy reversals, especially at such a late stage, only foster uncertainty and do nothing to promote greater use of U.S. textiles or U.S. production.'
The letter to Aldonas was signed by Kevin M. Burke, president and chief executive officer, American Apparel & Footwear Association; Tracy Mullin, president and CEO of the National Retail Association; Sandra L. Kennedy, president of the Retail Industry Leaders Association, and Laura E. Jones, executive director of the U.S. Association of Importers of Textiles and Apparel.
The expected petitions, sources say, will come from the National Textile Association, the National Council of Textile Organizations, and the American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition.