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'CAFTA-DR textile sector may lose jobs if TPP implemented'
Jul '13
The countries that have signed CAFTA-DR free trade agreement may lose about 100,000 jobs in the textile industry if the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement is signed in its current form, which allows Vietnam to import raw materials from China and export finished goods to the US free of duty, a diplomat has said.
The Dominican Republic-Central America FTA (CAFTA-DR) was the first free trade agreement signed by the US in 2004 with a group of smaller developing economies, namely Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic.
Speaking at a press conference, Salvadoran Ambassador to the US, Ruben Zamora, said if the countries currently negotiating the TPP allow Vietnam to import textile raw material from China for duty-free exports to the US and other nations, about 100,000 jobs would be lost in Central America and 500,000 jobs in the US.
El Slavador alone would lose about 40,000 jobs in the textile sector, which would be detrimental for the Central American country’s economic growth, he added, according to a La Opinion report.
He said he has already raised the concerns with officials of the U.S. Trade Representative. The Presidents of the Central American countries also voiced their concern during President Barack Obama’s visit to Costa Rica in May this year, he added.
The TPP agreement is currently being negotiated by Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, and the United States. 
In the first five months of 2013, the US imported US$ 3.058 billion worth of textiles and apparel from CAFTA-DR countries, showing a year-on-year increase of mere 1.36 percent, according to Major Shippers Report of the U.S. Department of Commerce.
In 2012, CAFTA-DR textile and garment exports to the US amounted to US$ 7.87 billion.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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