June 11, 2004
June 11, 2004 -- One-hundred and seventeen members of congress were represented on the letters delivered to President George W. Bush this week requesting his support for an emergency meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO) to reconsider the wisdom of allowing worldwide quotas on textile and apparel products to expire.
This bi-partisan coalition of signators, 88 representatives and 29 senators, reaffirms the gravity this issue represents to the textile industry in the United States as well as the industries in numerous other countries.
The emergency meeting of the WTO would re-examine the fourth stage of product integration for textiles and apparel and assess whether quotas should be postponed until 2008 or later.
Textile and apparel groups from more than 36 countries support this initiative.
The congressional members stated, ?We believe that such a step would represent the most rational and pragmatic approach to the anticipated dislocation of some thirty million textile and apparel jobs worldwide that will result if the quotas are removed while China continues to use unfair trade practices to heavily subsidize its exports.? China?s unfair trade practices include currency manipulation, numerous direct and indirect state subsidies, export tax rebates and the widespread use of non-performing loans.
The letter concluded by saying, ?Chinese domination of the global textile and apparel trade would shake the economic and political stability of dozens of struggling nations and would risk economic and political instability on a global scale.?
The American Sheep Industry Association along with the American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition, National Cotton Council, National Council of Textile Organizations and UNITE assisted the congressional sponsors in obtaining signatures for the letters.
Staff contact: Peter Orwick, ext. 33