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September/October 2014 Sept/Oct 2014

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ATMI Opposes Proposal To Cut Duties On Pakistani Imports

Says Proposal Will Cause More Textile Job Losses and Mill Closures <BR> Offers Alternatives that will not Cause Harm - <BR><BR>WASHINGTON, D.C.The proposal announced yesterday by the Bush Administration to eliminate duties on imports of textiles and apparel from Pakistan is difficult to understand.  The duty eliminations will cause yet more job losses and plant closures in the U.S. textile industry, threatening its 470,000 workers and its suppliers that include U.S. cotton and wool growers and man-made fiber producers.<BR><BR>   ATMI president Charles Hayes 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.  Our estimates show the damage to the U.S. textile industry could reach billions of dollars. <BR><BR> This proposal will put many Americans out of work&

Says Proposal Will Cause More Textile Job Losses and Mill Closures Offers Alternatives that will not Cause Harm - WASHINGTON, D.C.The proposal announced yesterday by the Bush Administration to eliminate duties on imports of textiles and apparel from Pakistan is difficult to understand.  The duty eliminations will cause yet more job losses and plant closures in the U.S. textile industry, threatening its 470,000 workers and its suppliers that include U.S. cotton and wool growers and man-made fiber producers.   ATMI president Charles Hayes 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.  Our estimates show the damage to the U.S. textile industry could reach billions of dollars.  This proposal will put many Americans out of work, some of whom are sending their sons and daughters into harms way in Afghanistan.  Causing yet more economic hardship in the United States, particularly in the Southeast, is not the way to win the war on terrorism. The U.S. textile industry understands the central importance of the textile and apparel industry to the Paksitani economy.  It notes that the Administrations proposal is designed to restore business confidence in the Pakistan economy. As such, ATMI is urging the few importers that have threatened to curtail orders from Pakistan to make a public statement that, as part of their contribution to the war effort, they will continue to order goods from Pakistan.  ATMI is making this public statement despite the fact that U.S. textile companies compete directly with Pakistani companies. ATMI notes that many importers, including Nike, the Gap, the Federated Company, Russell, Warnaco and J.C. Penney have said they will not cut orders.  Eddie Bauer has said it is planing to increase orders. ATMI notes also that if other importers and retailers are not willing to take this step, the U.S. government could easily take other less harmful steps to stabilize the business situation in Pakistan and eliminate the uncertainty that some importers say are causing them to withhold orders.   One effective step would be to authorize the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) to provide government-paid insurance for all textile and apparel shipments coming from Pakistan over the next three years.  OPIC was created to provide political risk insurance and loans to help U.S. companies do business in developing nations worldwide. This would guarantee importers and retailers against any disruptions because of political or economic instability.  This should return the situation to normal and not cause yet more hardship for U.S. textile and apparel workers and companies.ATMI also notes that the day after the September 11 attacks, the U.S. textile industry offered to suspend normal business shipments in order to rush any goods to the U.S. military that were needed.  That offer still stands.The U.S. textile industry continues to ask the U.S. government for help and understanding during its own time of extreme economic crisis.  The U.S. textile industry has already lost over 90,000 jobs in the last 18 months, primarily due to Pakistani and other Asian currency devaluations which have reduced the cost of Asian fabrics by 26 percent and Asian yarns by 30 percent in the U.S. market.   Over 100 U.S. textile mills have been forced to close.  This includes two yarn plants in North Carolina that were closed on Tuesday because of Pakistani yarn imports. The U.S. textile industry is currently facing its worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Hayes added, One important way the Administration could assist the U.S. textile industry during its economic crisis would be to make sure that the industrys needs are met in the economic stimulus package currently under consideration in Congress.  Members of Congress, four Southern governors and companies and workers across the Southeast are on record that immediate urgent assistance from the government is necessary if the industry is to survive.  The proposal announced yesterday could not come at a worse time for the U.S. textile industry and its workers."Editor's Note: The American Textile Manufacturers Institute is the national trade association for the U.S. textile industry.




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