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Textile industry comments on proposed FTA with Korea
Sep '09
The U.S. textile industry is one of the most highly-automated and advanced manufacturing sectors in the country and among the most export oriented, according to comments submitted to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative by the American Fiber Manufacturers Association, the National Council of Textile Organizations, the National Textile Association, and the U.S. Industrial Fabrics Institute.

In the comments, which raise grave issues regarding the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement signed under President Bush and which President Obama has indicated he would like to see congress approve, the organizations representing the U.S. textile industry state that U.S. textile companies invest on average 50 percent more capital in new plants and equipment compared to the rest of U.S. manufacturing. The U.S. textile industry is also the third largest exporter of textile products in the world.

In contrast, they note that, unfortunately, governments including the Republic of Korea have long inserted themselves in their respective textile sectors, and, as a result, the U.S. domestic industry continues to lose thousands of jobs annually due to unfair, subsidized competition and inadequate enforcement of our trade agreements.

The groups conclude that the proposed U.S.-Korea FTA is a major issue for the U.S. textile industry. In contrast to FTAs of recent years, the Korean FTA is the first agreement since NAFTA where the country in question has a large developed textile sector which exports significant amounts of textile products to the United States. As a result, U.S. textile companies have been carefully reviewing the textile portions of the agreement to determine the business impact.

National Textile Association

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