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TPP to enhance competitiveness of Made in America textiles
Sep '15
Enhancing the competitiveness of Made in America textiles in the Asia-Pacific region is one of the negotiating objectives of the US government on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), according to a detailed summary of TPP objectives released by the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR).

“This report is a detailed look at what we are fighting for at the TPP negotiating table to help unlock opportunity for US workers, farmers, and businesses,” said ambassador Michael Froman in an official statement.

On textiles, the report says that the US textile and apparel manufacturers sold more than $10 billion worth of products to TPP countries in 2013, an increase of 5.4 per cent from the previous year.

“Many US yarns, fabrics, and apparel currently face very high tariffs upon entering some TPP countries. Our goal in the TPP negotiations is to remove tariff and non-tariff barriers to textile and apparel exports to enhance the competitiveness of our producers in the Asia-Pacific region,” states the report.

Besides eliminating tariffs on textile and apparel exports to TPP countries, the report mentions that securing a “yarn forward” rule of origin also as a negotiating objective. The yarn forward rule requires that textile and apparel products be made using US or other TPP country yarns and fabrics to qualify for the benefits of the Agreement.

Another objective is to establish a carefully crafted “short supply” list, which would allow fabrics, yarns, and fibres that are not commercially available in TPP countries to be sourced from non-TPP countries and used in the production of apparel in the TPP region without losing duty preference.

The US government also seeks to secure strict enforcement provisions and customs cooperation commitments that will provide for verification of claims of origin or preferential treatment, and denial of preferential treatment or entry for suspect goods if claims cannot be verified.

The objectives list also mentions establishment of a textile specific safeguard mechanism that will allow the United States and other TPP countries to re-impose tariffs on certain goods if a surge in imports causes or threatens to cause serious damage to domestic producers.

Explaining the reason for releasing a report on the TPP negotiating objectives, chief transparency officer Tim Reif said, “This is another in a series of steps this Administration has taken to share information at every step of the TPP negotiating process.” (RKS)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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