WTO To Consider Textile Phase-Out Concerns
The World Trade Organization (WTO) agreed Oct. 1, 2004, to explore growing concerns regarding the year-end removal of apparel and textile quotas that will lead to massive job losses and domination of global markets by countries such as India and China.
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 such countries as Turkey, Mexico, Bangladesh, Mauritius and Lesotho, which fear the loss of millions of jobs in this industry sector. (A U.S. textile industry study predicts that such a development will cost 30 million jobs worldwide in the next two 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.
Premiere Vision Brings Back Wool
Wool had a tremendous uplift at Premiere Vision, the main European fabric show, in Paris in late September, reports the Wool Record Weekly.
Huge interest was shown in fine suitings and woolen jacketings, which are very much in fashion for autumn/winter 2005/06.
?The feeling of wool is back in all its forms,? said British Wool Textile Export Corp. Director Peter Ackroyd.
The new mood was sufficient enough to propel fine wool prices at Newcastle, where Italian and Korean interests competed strongly for spinners? and best topmaking selections.
?This news may not result in a short-term turn-around for wool,? said Rita Kourlis Samuelson, wool marketing director for the American Sheep Industry Association. ?But it certainly bodes well for potential future wool consumption.?
Woolmark Brand Calls for Financial Support
The team behind the promotion of Australian wool says it may need up to $20 million to ?pep up? its famous Woolmark brand, reports the Australian Broadcasting Corp.
Reactions to the request for money have varied from producers who agree, to others who need to have the value demonstrated to them, to those who say it is a waste of time.
Woolmark Co. President Robert Pietsch says that retailers around the world need to be asked if they think the Woolmark label is worth saving before planning a re-launch of the brand.
AWI Testing Wool Contamination Levels
The Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) has started testing contamination levels in that nation?s wool clip, reports the Australian Broadcasting Corp. Over the next year, AWI will test 1 percent of all wool lots sold in Australia to determine how much dark and medullated fiber is entering the system.
This is the first time this type of information has been collected in Australia. The results of the first test should be available to the industry by November.
U.S. Cotton Will Appeal WTO
The United States will appeal parts of a World Trade Organization (WTO) panel ruling, in which it was determined that payments to U.S. cotton farmers under global trade rules are illegal.
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick says the appeal is being pursued since the facts do not show that U.S. farm programs have distorted trade and caused low cotton prices.
The dispute was brought to the WTO by Brazil as part of an effort by developing and food-exporting nations to push wealthy governments to slash spending on farmers.
During the last two weeks of August, international cotton prices turned around after declining for most of the previous three months. The upswing was partially attributable to weather-related factors in the United States.