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CBI Trade Enhancement To Take Effect In October

The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed a bill that will provide enhanced trade between the United States and the Caribbean Basin. Beginning October 1, 2000, and lasting for eight years, goods assembled in the Caribbean Basin from U.S. fabric and yarn, whether they are cut in the region or not, will be eligible for duty-free and quota-free treatment in the United States.The bill also contains provisions that expand trade with Africa as well as reversing a tariff inversion on imported wool and correcting a marking rule relating to certain flat goods from Europe."On balance, we believe the outcome of the CBI trade bill is favorable for the majority of our members," said Roger Chastain, president, American Textile Manufacturers Institute (ATMI). "The bill will provide American textile companies with significant new export opportunities, which we have been seeking for years. Some of the changes made in conference will have an adverse effect within our industry, but we recognize that the overall benefits of the bill will be helpful to the U.S. textile industry, and we are therefore not opposed to its passage."Although the Caribbean measures of the bill are viewed generally as positive, the African portion presents some risks, according to Chastain."The potential loss of U.S. textile production and jobs as a result of these provisions causes us concern and is indicative of the continued failure of U.S. trade policy to treat the domestic textile industry equitably."Moreover, the damaging aspects of the bill highlight the need for Congress to reject permanent normal trade relations (PNtr) for China. Chinas entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO), under the terms currently envisioned, could cost as many as 150,000 U.S. textile and related jobs. The damaging provisions of the CBI/Sub-Saharan Africa bill will only add to the damage that China will cause to our industry should it be granted PNtr."


June 2000




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