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AAFA joins call for trade preference program reform and renewal
23
Apr '09
The American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) joined a broad and unprecedented coalition of business organizations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to encourage Congress and the Obama Administration to undertake a wholesale reform of U.S. trade preference programs.

Reforming such programs would help the world's poorest countries rise out of poverty, better serve U.S. foreign and economic policy objectives, and give American consumers better access to lower-priced clothing and footwear.

“The apparel and footwear industry stands on the front lines of the global economy by continuously working to provide hardworking American families with access to a wider variety of lower-priced and higher-quality apparel and footwear while fostering opportunities for the developing world to step out of poverty,” said AAFA President and CEO Kevin M. Burke.

“We strongly support Congress' efforts to reform the current U.S. trade preference programs because we believe that comprehensive reform, if done correctly, will better serve American consumers and workers in the developing world.”

The current set of U.S. trade preference programs have short durations, rigid product restrictions, and complex, often contradictory, rules, that lead to immense uncertainty and confusion that has severely limited the benefits of these programs.

Furthermore, trade preference programs like the Andean Trade Preference & Drug Eradication Act (ATPDEA) and the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) are constantly expiring, and are, in fact, set to expire again at the end of this year.

“We look forward to working closely with Congress and the Obama Administration to reform U.S. trade preference programs to make them work better for everyone involved, and to help the people who need it most,” Burke said. “However, in order to have a debate that leads to a successful reform of U.S. trade preference programs, expiring trade preference programs like ATPDEA and GSP must be renewed as quickly as possible.”

American Apparel & Footwear Association

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