I realize that trade
politics do not always make compelling reading. However, considering how
much international trade affects our economic well-being, it is
mind-boggling to see the lack of attention by importers and exporters
regarding trade politics that could cause the loss of their businesses!
most of the information is disseminated in a manner that only lawyers can
understand, and it is available only on bureaucratic and legislative
government entity websites.
at one of the most critical moments in the textile/apparel industry, which
will change both export and import revenues. The plan to continue and add
more Free Trade Agreements (FTA's) is the bold agenda of this
administration. The new appointment of US Trade Representative (USTR)
Chairman, Mr. Rob Portman, is a clear message that FTA's are going full
in the textile/apparel industry, but you must understand that problems in
the agricultural, biotech, electronic, transportation and other major
industries will all have dramatic effects on the textile/apparel sector.
have two major areas to be EXTREMELY concerned about:
friction exists between the USA and the European Union (EU) as each charges
the other with subsidizing cotton production, aircraft
manufacturing, and the Byrd amendment, all in violation of the WTO
rules. Therefore, if you are an exporter of US apparel to these countries,
be prepared for more penalty tariff restrictions put onto your products.
China and the
safeguards initiating QUOTAS and anti-dumping regulations that will be
submitted prior to the end of this year are critical. I am writing this
article in early May, and a lot of faster moving information will pass after
this article is published.
A notice was published in the Federal
Register on May 9, 2005, announcing that the Committee for the
Implementation of Trade Agreements (CITA) will resume consideration of
threat-based safeguard petitions filed in 2004, which had previously been
blocked by the Court of
International Trade (CIT) on December 30, 2004. This could lead to the swift
imposition of safeguard quotas. I am betting that by the time this article
is published, some of the following categories will have been already have
(cotton knit shirts and blouses) **
(men's and boys
cotton & man-made fiber shirts, not knit)
(man-made fiber knit shirts and blouses)
(man-made fiber trousers
(cotton and man-made fiber underwear)**
(combed cotton yarn).
Federal Register notice will also cover other categories not mentioned
California Fashion Association (CFA) will have already hosted an open
meeting on May 17, 2005, discussing the China safeguard issues. If I were an
apparel manufacturer or an importer and not a member of the CFA, I would
investigate the services that this California organization provides to our
industry and become a member. Call them at (213) 688-6288.
been on speaking engagements, participated in seminars and panel
discussions, and have been invited by my clients and other financial groups
to cover the above topics since October of 2004. Attendees at these events
who listened, evaluated their risk factors and took ACTION can rest a lot
easier. To those who said it would not really happen, I say,
Textile/Apparel Consulting Group at Stonefield Josephson has over 100 years
of experience. Sourcing, logistics, Free Trade Agreements, US Customs
regulations, offshore rules and Do's and Don'ts, are just some of the
services we offer to our clients.
the risk factors and make plans to overcome them. We have the information
that can help your business grow and stay profitable.
** CITA announced on Friday, May 13 that safeguards on these categories will
be imposed before the end of May.