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Quotas queer garment firms pitch

Oct '06
Local garment companies have been put into a quandary because they cannot set up their production plans as it is not clear whether or no there will be a quota scheme imposed on apparel exports to the US in 2007.

Unlike in the past, this year local enterprises cannot use part of the quotas for next year to fulfill their orders, if the quota scheme is removed in 2007.

The position will be clear only at the end of the negotiations to join the WTO with the US. If Vietnam's admission to the WTO is ratified by the WTO's General Assembly at the end of October or early November while (permanent normal trade relations) PNTR has yet to be granted to Vietnam, the US may not apply WTO rules in its relations with Vietnam.

Granting PNTR to Vietnam was not on the agenda of the US Congress meeting on November 13.

Besides, the expectation that the US Government may impose an anti-dumping mechanism on Vietnam's apparel exports is posing problems for both Vietnamese enterprises and management authorities.

Recently, the export of all the 25 quota-controlled categories of products to the US has seen the rapid growth rate of 30 percent.

As of now, the US is the largest export market for Vietnam, which has imported $2.17 billion in the last nine months, accounting for 54.8 percent of the total apparel exports.

The total apparel export has reached $4.462 billion so far this year, fulfilling 84.2 percent of the yearly target, up by 34 percent over the same period last year.

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