September 15, 2003
ASI Co-Signs Letter to President Bush
A united textile and fiber industry sent a letter to President Bush on July 7, 2003, in which it urged the U.S. government to reaffirm its commitment to a healthy U.S. textile sector by taking strong and specific actions against China, which poses an enormous threat.
A new report by the American Textile Manufacturers Institute (ATMI) reveals that unless the U.S. government acts now, China is poised to seize 65 to 75 percent of the U.S. textile and apparel market once remaining quotas are removed on Jan. 1, 2005. ATMI predicts that new plant closures and worker layoffs are imminent if orders are diverted to China.
The American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) joined 13 textile organizations in the appeal to assure a future for one of the largest U.S. manufacturing sectors ? and nearly one million U.S. textile and apparel jobs.
In related news, a united textile and fiber industry coalition comprised of 14 major trade associations, including ASI, announced during a July 21 press conference the sending of a letter to the Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements (CITA) filing China safeguard petitions.
The textile China safeguard was sold to Congress and the U.S. textile, fiber and apparel industry as a crucial component of China?s accession agreement into the World Trade Organization (WTO). It may be implemented if the U.S. market is disrupted to the point where the orderly development of trade is threatened. Coalition representatives indicate the market is not merely threatened, but rather is under an unprecedented attack from a flood of illegally subsidized Chinese imports.
Chinese imports in the four areas addressed in the petition have increased 920 percent over the past 17 months, from a 5-percent market share to a 32-percent share after quotas were lifted.
CITA will decide whether to invoke the special textile China safeguard.
Additional Wool Sales to Reduce Market Volatility
The Australian Wool Exchange Ltd. (AWEX) recently announced that seven additional wool sales will be held in Fremantle, Australia, in an effort to reduce market volatility.
The AWEX board approved the extra sales in an attempt to alleviate market fluctuations. The board is not anticipating a larger quantity of wool, but rather is trying to create a more stable market to even out the flow of wool. By spreading out the volumes of wool more evenly, AWEX is optimistic that wool can draw a more regular rate and provide growers with more options in the offering of their clip.
New Technique has Potential for Wool
A new technique which eliminates two steps in the wool manufacturing process could open up a new market for wool growers, reports the Australian Broadcasting Corp.
The new technology, called ?non-woven wool,? eliminates the need for spinning and weaving.
Dr. Len Stephens, chief executive of Australian Wool Innovations, says the method will provide an alternative to polar fleece and can be used to make any type of soft padding.