The Senate Finance Committee voted to approve legislation that would apply permanent normal trade relations with Russia and Moldova, make technical corrections to the U.S./Central America Free Trade Agreement, extend third country fabric provisions to the African Growth and Opportunity Act, renew the Cotton and Wool Trust Funds, and renew the President's authority to maintain the import ban on goods from Burma from entering the U.S. market. These legislative items now move to the full Senate for consideration.
"This action by the Senate Finance Committee to advance these important provisions send the loud and clear message that the United States will maintain its leadership position in the global market," said AAFA President and CEO Kevin M. Burke.
"By establishing permanent normal trade relations with Russia ahead of Russia's upcoming accession to the World Trade Organization later this summer, U.S. companies and their workers will have greater access to new Russian customers and stronger protections offered by the rules based global trading system."
"AAFA has long supported trade liberalizing efforts, like the African Growth and Opportunity Act and the U.S./Central America Free Trade Agreement, and initiatives to support domestic manufacturers through programs like the Cotton and Wool Trust Funds," said Burke.
"The four million Americans in the U.S. apparel and footwear industry benefit from greater ability to both import and export as easily as possible, and these provisions strengthen or renew existing programs to provide for enhanced trade facilitation."
"The U.S. apparel and footwear industry will continue working with congressional stakeholders to see these legislative items passed by the full Senate and the House of Representatives as quickly as possible," Burke said. "For some of these provisions with expiration dates, like the AGOA third country fabric provision, swift action is required."
American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA)
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