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Senate's Version Of Trade Legislation Receives ATMI Support

The version of the Sub-Saharan Africa and Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI) approved by the Senate has received support from the American Textile Manufacturers Institute (ATMI), Washington D.C.

Doug Ellis, president, ATMI, said: “The Senate’s strong support for this particular package of trade legislation indicates clearly that its approach to CBI and Sub-Saharan Africa trade is the one that has the best chance of being enacted into law.”

The Senate’s version of the legislation would give duty-free, quota-free treatment to apparel from the Caribbean and from Sub-Saharan Africa that is made from U.S. yarn and fabric. In some cases, fabric containing U.S. thread would also allowed.

Ellis also stated that the bill would generate apparel jobs and production in the Caribbean that would displace Asian apparel imports.

“Two separate studies have shown that under the Senate’s version of the CBI bill, U.S. textile and textile related employment would increase dramatically — in one study more than 120,000,” stated Ellis. “The study also indicated that under the Senate bill, textile shipments would increase anywhere from $7 billion to $9 billion over five years.”

Ellis also stated that the adoption of this legislation would ensure that the nations of the Caribbean and Sub-Saharan Africa would also greatly benefit.

Ellis feels that if the bill is changed, the effects on the American textile industry would be harmful.

“Weakening of the bill’s textile provisions in conference will have an adverse impact on U.S. textile jobs and production, and we would have to oppose any outcome that does this.” (For more on this topic, see Doug Ellis and Carlos Moore’s report, “China And The WTO” in this issue and “News,” ATI November 1999.)

January 2000