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ATMI Opposes Removal Of Duties On Pakistani Imports

In response to the proposal by the Bush Administration to eliminate duties on imports of textiles and apparel from Pakistan, Charles Hayes, American Textile Manufacturers Institute (ATMI) president, said: The U.S. textile industry is already reeling from imports from Pakistan and other Asian countries at artificially low prices resulting from devalued currencies across Asia. Eliminating duties will depress prices still further and dramatically increase imports.As an alternative to eliminating duties, ATMI is urging importers to continue to order goods from Pakistan, even though U.S. textile companies compete directly with Pakistani companies. Importers including Nike, the Gap, Russell and JC Penney have said they will not cut orders. Eddie Bauer is planning to increase orders.ATMI notes that there are other steps the U.S. government could take to stabilize the business situation in Pakistan. One step would be to authorize the Overseas Private investment Corp. (OPIC) to provide government-paid insurance for all textile and apparel shipments coming from Pakistan over the next three years. This step would guarantee importers and retailers against any disruptions due to political or economic instability. ATMI believes this move would return the situation to normal and cause no further hardship for U.S. textile workers. December 2001