In a letter submitted to U.S. Trade Representative Robert B. Zoellick last week, U.S. textile and fiber organizations stated their wish to re-emphasize their support for Western Hemisphere trade agreements that preserve benefits for signatory countries and deny unnecessary benefits for third countries.
It is the understanding of the groups that certain Andean apparel manufacturers are pressing their negotiators to propose inclusion of Trade Preference Levels (TPLs) in the U.S./Andean agreement. Discussions among private sector U.S. and Andean textile interests suggest a strong common opposition to the inclusion of TPLs in the agreement.
There exists a significant textile manufacturing sector, both in the United States and the Andean region, which could benefit from trade expansion into the Western Hemisphere. However, inclusion of TPLs would prevent these industry sectors from benefiting from the agreement.
Joining the American Sheep Industry Association as signatories to the letter were the American Cotton Shippers Association, American Fiber Manufacturers Association, American Textile Machinery Association, Georgia Textile Manufacturers Association, National Council of Textile Organizations, National Cotton Council and North Carolina Manufacturers Association.