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NTA, AMTAC, NCTO & USIFI oppose duty-free para-aramid fiber
05
May '09
On April 27, 2009, the National Textile Association (NTA), joined by the American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition, the National Council of Textile Organizations, and the United States Industrial Fabrics Institute submitted comments in opposition to an application for Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ), on behalf of FMS Enterprises USA Inc.

The proposed FTZ would allow FMS to import duty-free para-aramid fiber for use in the manufacture of a protective shield used by the U.S. military and law enforcement agencies. The general rate of duty on the fiber is 8.8%. In our comments we argued that:

1. Approval of this application would be contrary to public policy and an executive branch usurpation of congress's constitutional mandate to regulate international trade.

2. The application requests abrogation of government promises to our industry.

3. The application fails to demonstrate a significant public benefit and a net positive economic effect.

4. FTZ procedures have not been developed adequate to the unique issues of the textile industry.

Also commenting on the application was the American Fiber Manufacturers Association which raised serious objections due to competitor inequity, non-reciprocal tariff outcome, and damaging precedent.

Three individual companies also submitted comments.

Composix a composite armor developer and manufacturer which since early 2008 has been owned by NTA member TenCate filed comments in opposition, noting that the "FTZ would unfairly discriminate among the sector's suppliers" and would give ti FMS's nonwoven product a tariff advantage not enjoyed by Composix's woven product.

BGT Industries Inc, a manufacturer of high performance technical fabrics wrote in opposition, stating at approval could put at risk many of the 800 BGT jobs in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. BGT also cited, as did other commenters, the unfair advantage the FMS seeks over other domestic U.S. manufacturers and the chilling effect that approval would have on domestic U.S. research and development in the area of ballistics armor.

Barrday Inc of Delaware filed extensive comments in which the unfair competitive advantage sought by FMS was again raised. Barrday, whose comments were drafted by legal counsel Robinson & Cole LLP, also argued that the application fails to meet the threshold requirements for consideration, inaccurately overstates the net economic benefit, and relies on out of date and inaccurate market data.

National Textile Association

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