Textile Producers Call For Repeal Of Duty-Free Access

Compiled By John S. McClenahen Citing high tariffs, import bans, and other restrictions on U.S. textile exports, the Washington-based American Textile Manufacturers Institute (ATMI) is asking U.S. Trade Representative Charlene Barshefsky to withdraw duty-free benefits from India, Pakistan, Egypt, and South Africa under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) until they provide the U.S. effective market access. Among the trade barriers specifically cited are Indian duties as high as 100%, Egypt's marking rules and customs procedures, and South Africa's up-to-78% tariffs on imported textiles and apparel. ATMI says U.S. Commerce Dept. trade figures show the four developing countries exported $1.6 billion in non-textile goods to the U.S. duty-free under GSP in 1999 and more than $4.4 billion in textiles and apparel. In contrast, U.S. textile exports to the four nations totaled less than $50 million, ATMI claims.

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