The U.S. textile industry has put pressure on the U.S. Government to expand the Textile Monitoring Program (TMP), currently in place on apparel imports from Vietnam, to cover imports from China as well. The program should take start to cover U.S. textile and apparel imports from China beginning on January 1, 2009, the first day following the expiration of U.S.-China textile bilateral signed in 2005.
Seventy-three U.S. lawmakers, ten textile and fibre industry trade groups and the labor union Unite Here have all sent letters to President George W. Bush, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez and U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab, urging an extension of the scheme.
"Extending the TMP program to China once safeguards expire will provide the U.S. government with the necessary resources to effectively track China's import and pricing practices. This will enable it to react quickly if China illegally dumps its imports into the U.S. market and harms our domestic workforce, as well as the vulnerable in developing countries," said Karl Spilhaus, President of the National Textile Association (NTA).
Noting that the White House and Congress in its discussion over a rescue package for Wall Street, have made numerous promises that middle-class America would not be overlooked, American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition executive director Auggie Tantillo said, "To boost the economy it is just as important to help U.S. manufacturing sector like textiles that are under siege from predatory imports from countries like China. We think a great start would be to extend and expand the textile monitoring program to help preserve the 500,000 middle-class American jobs in the textile and apparel sector."
"By extending and expanding the monitoring program, the United States would be sending a clear message that it won't allow illegally priced goods to be dumped into the market," said Ruth Stephens, Executive Director of the U.S. Industrial Fabrics Institute.
Under the textile monitoring program, the Department of Commerce analyzes import data from sensitive textile and apparel categories for signs of possible dumping. If the Department believes that dumping may be occurring, then the Department will open an investigation which could lead to the Department filing a dumping case.
The Department analyzes the data by reviewing preliminary import figures for both volume and price; a typical dumping case would involve a surge in imports accompanied by a significant fall in unit prices. Every six months, the Department does a formal review of the data, which includes industry input.www.fashionunited.com