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U S Settles Dispute Over Bangladesh Imports

Washinigton Outlook

James A. Morrissey, Washington Correspondent

The U. S. Trade Negotiator has agreed to permit importation of cotton trousers from Bangladesh in excess of that nations import quota, but the U.S. will cut next years quota by three times the amount of this years overshipment. Some 175,000 dozen pairs of cotton trousers have been embargoed since mid-summer, as the two governments tried to decide what to do about the overshipments. Importers urged the U.S. government to release the trousers, contending that stores needed them in time for Christmas sales. The U.S. textile industry and its supporters in Congress insisted that that quota should be enforced.Bangladesh at first asked that the overshipment be forgiven, and when that was turned down, it asked to borrow from next years quota, as has been the practice in some cases in the past. In the end, the U.S. government settled on releasing the embargoed shipments, but levied a penalty on next years imports.Retailers who had been pressing to receive the goods were satisfied with the compromise, but noted that it presents a problem for Bangladesh. Parks Shackelford, president of the American Textile Manufacturers Institute (ATMI), while pointing out that his organization does not believe overshipments should be permitted, said that under the circumstances, the governments action was a reasonable compromise.