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'Dominican Republic apparel export to US lagging'
Jul '15
The US International Trade Commission's sixth annual review of the Earned Import Allowance Program (EIAP) for the Dominican Republic shows that six years after the initial implementation of the EIAP, the government of the Dominican Republic and US and Dominican apparel industry sources continue to indicate that the program, as currently structured, is not providing enough incentives to substantially boost Dominican apparel exports to the US market.

The Dominican Republic is a small supplier of woven cotton bottoms (pants and trousers, bib and brace overalls, breeches and shorts, and skirts and divided skirts) to the US, and it continued to lose US market share in 2014.

According to the review, the EIAP provides an uncapped duty-free benefit for US imports of certain woven cotton bottoms assembled in the Dominican Republic from third-country fabric. In order to qualify under the EIAP, the bottoms must be accompanied by a certificate documenting the purchase of certain US-produced woven cotton fabric at a ratio of 2 for 1. Under this formula, for every 2 units of qualifying fabric purchased for apparel production in the Dominican Republic, a 1-unit credit is received that can be used to import apparel made with third-country fabric into the US.

The Commission said the EIAP has not significantly boosted exports of bottoms to the US from the Dominican Republic. Although 13 US and Dominican companies are registered to use the EIAP, only 5 firms are currently using the scheme, the same number reported in the fifth annual review. American imports under the programme leveled off in 2014, after steep declines from their peak in 2010. In 2014, US imports under the programme totaled less than 8 per cent of the value and quantity of imports under the program in 2010, the first full year of the program.

In addition, US exports to the Dominican Republic of cotton fabrics of a weight suitable for making bottoms fell for the third year in a row, declining by 12 per cent by quantity and 19 per cent by value between 2013 and 2014. (SH)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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