Inside U.S. Trade: "AGOA, CAFTA Groups Warn USTR Against Weak TPP Textile Rules"

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Textile and apparel producers from countries included in both the African Growth and Opportunity Act and Central American Free Trade Agreement are pushing the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to ensure that a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal does not wipe out their benefits by giving Vietnam an upper hand in the U.S. market.

[ July 22, 2015 | Inside U.S. Trade ]

Specifically, the organizations -- led by the African Cotton & Textile Industries Federation (ACTIF) and the Central America-Dominican Republic Apparel and Textile Council (CECATEC) -- are urging U.S. negotiators to avoid granting exceptions to the strict “yarn-forward” rule for textiles and apparel in TPP, and to delay tariff phase-outs.

ACTIF, in a July 16 letter to USTR Michael Froman, specifically raised alarm bells over the prospect of many items being included on a “short-supply” list that would be exempt from the yarn-forward rule in TPP, and over the potential for tariffs to be eliminated on apparel goods within the next decade.

"Should Vietnam gain duty-free access for apparel, not only will the potential investments in Africa's textile and clothing industries stall, but the existing apparel exporters will face almost insurmountable challenges to their competitiveness," ACTIF President Jaswinder Bedi wrote in the letter.

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