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“Within the context of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, meeting with President Truong Tan Sang of Vietnam carries the opportunity for President Obama to underscore his Administration’s commitment to domestic manufacturing and more than 500,000 textile and apparel jobs across America,” Cass Johnson stated.
Ongoing trade negotiations are expected to be one of the main points of discussion between the two presidents during their meeting in Washington. In previous Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations the Vietnamese government has supported changes to long-standing textile rules that would benefit their state-owned textile industry. If implemented, these rules would have a devastating impact on the American textile and apparel industry by giving China backdoor access to the TPP and U.S. market.
“NCTO applauds the leadership of the Congressional Textile Caucus for reiterating what 168 of their peers have already made clear: anything less than full support of strong textile provisions, including the ‘Yarn Forward’ rule and effective long tariff phase-outs at its center, by the Obama Administration and Ambassador Froman, will only serve to undermine fair trade principles in the TPP and threaten hundreds of thousands of U.S. textile jobs, and over a million additional jobs in the Western Hemisphere and Africa,” Johnson said.
Recently, congressional leaders released a bi-partisan letter backed by NCTO to the United States Trade Representative (USTR) signed by members representing 40 percent of the U.S. House of Representatives. The letter called for the “Yarn Forward” rule of origin, long tariff phase-outs for sensitive products and strong customs rules and enforcement resources to be included in the TPP agreement currently being negotiated by the United States and 11 other nations.
“The Obama Administration’s continued support of strong textile rules will ensure that third parties, such as China, do not take advantage of the final agreement, and send a clear message that the United States is committed opposing TPP members who seek to cheat on trade,” Johnson concluded.
A copy of the Textile Caucus letter to President Obama can be found here. A copy of the congressional letter to Ambassador Froman can be found here.
The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), headquartered in Washington, DC with an office in Gastonia, NC, is the national trade association representing the entire spectrum of the textile sector.
National Council of Textile Organizations
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