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Philippines awaits US Congress decision on Save Act
02
Feb '12
The Philippines has further reduced the amount of revenue loss to the US, due to waiver under the Save Our Industries Act (Save Act), to US$ 200 million to ensure the passage of the bill in the US Congress. It is now up to the US Congress to decide on the bill, Adrian S Cristobal Jr., Undersecretary in the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), has said.

He said the Philippines Government has done its best to ensure a win-win situation for both its garment industry and the US textile industry through the legislative measure.

He disclosed that the Government has cut another US$ 30 million from the already reduced amount of US$ 230 million.

Originally, duties to the extent of US$ 330 million qualified for waiver under the Save Act, but following the US Congress's prodding to ensure passage of the bill, this was reduced to US$ 230 million per year by reducing the number of garment categories that would qualify for waiver to 9 from the earlier 17.

Mr. Cristobal said irrespective of the outcome in the US Congress, the DTI would focus on enhancing the competitiveness of the country's garment industry.

He added that foreign garment manufacturers have shown renewed interest and some global brands have increased their sourcing of garments from the Philippines.

Until some years back, the Philippines exported garments worth more than US$ 3 billion per annum, but the figure has now reduced to around US$ 1 billion a year. Accordingly, the number of people employed by the country's garment sector has drastically come down from the earlier 600,000 people.

The SAVE Act is aimed at reviving the Philippines garment and the US textile industries. The bill envisages export of garments from Philippines to the US at preferential duty as well as supply of yarns and fabrics to Philippines by the US.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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