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'Restrict Vietnamese garment imports' – US legislators
Jun '11
About 50 US policymakers have pleaded for imposition of restrictions on the access of Vietnam's garments to the US, in the Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement that is presently being negotiated.

26 Democratic and an equal number of Republican representatives have written to the US Trade Representative Ron Kirk saying that a 'mismanaged' agreement may result in the loss of jobs in the US apparel and textile sector.

Besides Vietnam and the US, countries that are involved in the ongoing deliberations on the proposed agreement include Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Brunei, Malaysia, Chile and Peru.

Vietnam is the second largest exporter of garments to the US, next only to China and as per the US International Trade Commission figures, Vietnamese apparel exports to the US jumped 15 percent in 2010 to US$ 5.76 billion.

This year too, apparels have been the largest shipped item until May. Goods valued at US$ 5.13 billion have already been exported, an increase of 36 percent on a year-on-year basis.

The US policymakers have asked for negotiation of special market access rules under the proposed agreement, on the basis of Vietnam's status as a non-market economy and the country having an undervalued currency.

“Vietnam should meet certain market-based economy and transparency requirements in order to be eligible for advantages to its apparel and textile industry,” the legislators wrote.

Since late 2009, the Vietnamese currency 'dong' has been devalued four times. Presently, dong is valued at 20,575 per dollar, as against 19,498 five months ago.

Editor's note-The US has full right to impose 'fair' restrictions if it feels that it is being at a disadvantage. At the same time, it should also take note of the fact that garment exports to the US forms a major chunk of Vietnamese economy and livelihood of several families depend on it.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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