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NRF, NCTO, NCC hail agreement to vote on USMCA

Dec '19
Pic: Shutterstock
Pic: Shutterstock
The National Retail Federation (NRF), the National Cotton Council (NCC) and the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) have hailed the recent announcement that the US administration and House leadership have agreed to hold a vote on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). NRF said retailers are encouraged by the development.

The USMCA takes many important steps to modernise the agreement to reflect today’s global and digital economy, NRF said.

“This agreement could not come at a better time and provides certainty for US retailers that rely on the North American market, including those that operate in Canada and Mexico. It also ensures American families can continue to have access to a wide range of high-quality products at prices they can afford,” NRF president and chief executive officer Matthew Shay said in a statement.

NCTO urged the administration and Congress to get the deal across the finish line. “The new USMCA makes several improvements that would greatly benefit the US textile industry and bolster our $20 billion in annual trilateral textile and apparel trade,” NCTO president and chief executive officer Kim Glas said in a statement.

The USMCA updates and modifies the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and makes significant improvements, including creation of a separate chapter for textiles and apparel rules of origin with strong customs enforcement language; and stronger rules of origin for sewing thread, pocketing, narrow elastics and certain coated fabrics.

NCC chairman Mike Tate said: “This trade agreement will provide an additional $2.2 billion in US economic activity and freer markets/fairer trade. Importantly, it will restore important trade certainty in the North American market which represents significant export market share for both US cotton and cotton textile products.”

Mexico is the second largest export market for US cotton textile/apparel products and Canada is the fourth largest for these goods. Mexico also is a top market for US raw cotton.

Tate noted that the USMCA includes a textile chapter that offers significant improvements for domestic textile manufacturers and workers, including a stronger rule of origin for certain regional textile products and strong customs enforcement language.

The NCC also agreed with US trade representative Robert Lighthizer’s statement that this agreement will benefit American workers, farmers, and ranchers for years to come and be the model for American trade deals going forward.

House Democrats recently embraced the new agreement after securing key revisions and announced plans to vote on the deal next week.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)

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