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Filipino-American community urged to support SAVE Act
Jun '10
Filipino-American community in the US has been approached by the Philippine government for supporting a bill that will aid in improving the textile and apparel industries in both nations.

Archimedez Gomez, Philippine Trade Representative, while addressing a forum in Las Vegas stated that, the community will have to write to the senators to promote or push forward the bill as the same will help both the nations.

Gomez, who hails from the Philippine Trade and Investment Centre (PTIC) in Los Angeles, had also met the officers of the National Affiliation of Filipino American Associations-Nevada Chapter (NaFFAA NV) to discuss on the proposed rule.

Gomez has also interacted with the Nevada Congressman, Shelly Berkley, who hinted communication with the Filipino community, in order to know their opinions. Therefore, Gomez urged the NaFFAA officers to promote the SAVE Act.

The Save Our Industries Act or SAVE Act is a two-way agreement between the US and Philippines, which permits the Filipinos to domestically export arranged apparels duty-free, provided these are created from fabrics, which are made and purchased from US.

Apparels created from fabrics made of US-produced yarn and natural Philippine fabrics that are produced from abaca or pineapple will be exported to US at 50 percent duty reduction.

Although, the bill has received a bipartisan support in the US Congress, it will now be assessed at the committee level. On this Gomez averred that, once the bill is passed or approved, the Filipino-American community will benefit immensely.

Once the bill is passed, Gomez, on the basis of the Confederation of Garment exporters, said that, within the first two years itself, about $200 million worth of US fabric will be purchased and this amount is likely to touch $500 million in five years.

More so, while around 2,000 people can gain employment in US, the Philippine job scenario will witness a surge of more than 200,000 jobs.

According to Gomez, Philippines has already been affected owing to declining apparel exports to the US as it has failed to compete with other Asian nations, whose goods are priced at a lower level due to lower cost of labour.

In the year 2000, apparel exports from Philippine to the US stood at $3 billion, whereas now it has dropped to $1.2 billion, reasons being Philippine cannot compete. However, if their products are permitted to enter US market without any duty, then they might be able to compete with other Asian nations, informed Gomez.

Another reason for dipping exports of Philippine apparels is it being victimized by increasing globalization, especially after the US put an end to its quota policy and opened its market to inferior and low priced Chinese goods as part of discounts, so as to join the World Trade Organisation.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk - India

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