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NTA responds to Singapore short supply requests

18
Mar '10
On October 29, 2008, the Government of the United States received a request from the Government of Singapore asking that several knit and woven fabrics be declared "short supply" under the U.S.-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (USSFTA). Normally, under the USSFTA, in order for garments to enter the U.S. duty-free they must satisfy a yarn forward rule of origin similar to that in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

As Singapore has little yarn or fabric-making capacity, that means, in effect, that a substantial portion of the apparel entering the U.S. from Singapore must be made of U.S. yarn and fabric if it is to get the duty-free benefit. But if these requests are approved, Singapore will be able to ship to the U.S., duty-free, unlimited quantities of apparel of any and all types made of fabrics from China (and other third-country sources). The deadline for comments on the requests was today, March 17th.

The National Textile Association has filed comments opposing these requests from Singapore on the bases that:

(1) The request include irrelevant and unenforceable specifications such as specifying rayon made from bamboo, whereas the source of the rayon should not matter, and the requests are made with regard to fabric when, in fact the fabric and the yarn to make the fabric are both available and it is certain fibers that are not made in the U.S.

(2) The requests include unjustified specification that appear to have been concocted solely to describe fabric not made in the U.S. when very similar and substitutable fabric is made here.

(3) The requests place on what would likely be a permanent short supply list a number of fabrics that were temporarily unavailable from U.S. sources but which the U.S. can, and intends to, make.

(4) the requests includes several fabrics known to be production in the U.S. currently.

National Textile Association


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