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African & WH textile groups oppose McDermott bill
27
Feb '08
In a letter to House Ways and Means Chairman Charles Rangel, fifteen textile and apparel trade groups from Africa and the Western Hemisphere (WH) urged Chairman Rangel to strike controversial trade sections of the New Partnership for Development Act (NPDA) that would cause devastation in the textile and apparel sectors in least developed and developing countries.

In the letter sent last week, leading textile groups noted that the bill authored by Congressman Jim McDermott (D-Washington) would “result in hundreds of thousands of job losses in our textile and apparel sectors while increasing poverty in the African, Andean, CAFTA and NAFTA countries.”

The groups criticized the NPDA trade sections for giving enormous new benefits to two apparel superpowers – Bangladesh and Cambodia – which have already seen their exports grow by 60 percent during the last three years.

These exports gains have come largely at the expense of struggling textile and apparel sectors in African and Western Hemisphere countries. In their top ten export items, these countries have lost $2.0 billion in orders to Bangladesh and Cambodia during the last three years.

The groups called the Bangladesh and Cambodia proposals “anti-development trade measures” which would transfer trade away from the poorest countries to Bangladesh and Cambodia.

They predicted that approval of the special Bangladesh-Cambodia benefits, coupled with the end of restraints on Chinese exports at the end of 2008, would be devastating: “We fully expect that our sectors would quickly collapse as importers re-allocate their sourcing to four or five major countries.”

Textile and apparel trade groups from Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, South Africa and the United States signed the letter.

National Council of Textile Organizations

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