January 15, 2004
Wool Roundtable Forms, Elects Chair
The American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) is taking on an exciting new endeavor ? the formation of a Wool Industry Roundtable.
The purpose of the Roundtable is to bring together a diverse group of representatives from various segments of the wool industry, who will provide insight and direction for the advancement of the U.S. wool industry in areas such as wool quality, wool descriptions and trade issues. They also will provide input for research priorities.
In an early November teleconference, members elected Mike Corn of Roswell Wool as roundtable chair and Dan Gutzman of Pendleton Woolen Mills as roundtable vice chair. Other industry segments represented on the panel include growers, research facilities, universities, warehousemen, wool processors/textile industry, top makers and an ASI executive board member.
One of the immediate concerns to be discussed is the abundance of polypropylene in U.S. wool. Since this type of contamination usually is not detected until the final phases of fabric dyeing and finishing, it negatively impacts all aspects of the industry -- as well as that of international marketing.
?The Wool Industry Roundtable will be meeting in January during the ASI Annual Convention in Sacramento,? stated ASI Wool Council Chair Glen Fisher. ?I would encourage anyone interested in the future of the industry and the issues currently facing wool to make arrangements to attend this session.?
Textile Coalition Wins Victory on China Safeguards
The Bush Administration approved on Nov. 17, 2003, three China safeguard petitions filed by the Textile/Fiber Coalition on July 24, 2003 regarding knit fabric, dressing gowns and brassieres.
The approval of the petitions triggers a consultation process with the Chinese to limit the growth of imports to the United States in these three categories. If no agreement on limiting imports can be reached, the United States may limit the level of shipments from China to a level no lower than 7.5 percent above the amount entered during the first 12 months of the most recent 14 months preceding the request or consultations.
The coalition commended the Bush Administration and the 29 U.S. senators and 144 representatives for their strong support of the American textile industry.
?These safeguard petitions send a message that China, with its bevy of anti-competitive, job-destroying trade practices, can no longer take this market for granted,? said Jim Chesnutt, chair of the American Textile Manufacturers Institute. ?As the Administration has acknowledged time after time, China manipulates its currency, subsidizes its exports and smuggles goods across our border. The fight for fair trade has only begun, and the coalition will not cease in its advocacy simply because the China safeguard has been invoked on these products.?
The American Sheep Industry Association?s Legislative Council is an active member of the coalition which filed the petitions.
Australian Wool Growers Back Mandatory 2 Percent Levy
Australian wool growers have voted to continue paying a mandatory levy of 2 percent of the value of the clip to fund research, development and innovative efforts. That?s the word from Wool Poll 2003, which recently released results of the vote that closed on Nov. 7.
More than 57 percent of growers voted in favor of maintaining the existing levels of collection.
Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) chairman, Ian McLachlan, welcomed the results, saying they are a vote of confidence in the current AWI board.
He indicated that AWI?s revenue has fallen over time as the industry struggles with drought and the current price slump.