October 8, 2004 -- The World Trade Organization (WTO) agreed last Friday to explore growing concerns that the year-end removal of apparel and textile quotas will lead to massive job losses and domination of global markets by countries such as China and India.
According to reports, governments from nearly 30 countries around the world persuaded the WTO to undertake an urgent review of the impact of the quota phase-out and propose solutions to prevent the impending crisis. The Council of Trade in Goods devoted seven hours to hear from countries including Turkey, Mexico, Bangladesh, Mauritius and Lesotho, who fear that tens of millions of jobs may be lost in this industry sector.
There is a safeguard that allows WTO members to continue quotas for another one to three years. U.S. manufacturers are taking the unusual step of asking their country?s trade experts to utilize the special China Textile safeguard before the remaining quotas are lifted.
A U.S. textile industry study predicts that such a development will cost 30 million jobs worldwide in the next two years.