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Congressmen Urge Support For Textiles

Washinigton Outlook

James A. Morrissey, Washington Correspondent

Forty members of the U.S. House of Representatives have signed a Joint Resolution urging the Bush Administration to protect the interest of the U.S. textile industry in dealing with international trade issues. The resolution is not binding, but is designed to show congressional concern over the damage international trade is doing and could continue to do in the future. Primary sponsors were Rep. Howard Coble (R-NC) and John Spratt (D-SC) , leaders of the Congressional Textile Caucus.The resolution urges President Bush and officials in his administration to: ensure vigorous enforcement of U.S. trade laws "using all remedies available under those laws;" ensure vigorous enforcement of existing trade agreements, including the North American Free Trade Agreements and agreements under the World Trade Organization, take steps necessary to circumvent illegal transshipments; deny requests from trading nations to change existing trade agreements; and implement strategies to open foreign markets to U.S. textile and apparel exports.The resolution calls on the President to submit to Congress annual reports on the ability of the U.S. textile industry to compete with the textile industries in other countries, and it also addresses one of the U.S. industrys major current concerns, the fact that devalued currencies are making imports cheaper than ever, and undermining export markets. It directs the President to take into consideration the effect of devalued currencies in any future trade negotiations. It says that nations should not receive tariff concession at times when they are benefiting from devalued currencies.The preamble to the resolution cites the "serious injury" to the textile industry stemming from its international trade problems, including job losses, plant closings and loss of markets both at home and overseas.By James A. Morrissey, Washington Correspondent




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