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ATMI Sees Currency Manipulation As Trade Barrier

James A. Morrissey, Washington Correspondent

The American Textile Manufacturers Institute (ATM) has presented the US Trade Representative with a broad review of non-tariff barriers to textile and apparel trade, which concludes that currency manipulations have become "perhaps the single greatest barrier" to US exports to China, Taiwan, Japan and Korea.

"Currency manipulation by these governments, in particular by China, has caused prices for exports of Asian textile goods to plummet, literally devastating the US textile sector, and it has choked off exports to lucrative export markets," the report signed by ATMI Executive Vice President Carlos Moore said. Moore urged the US government to make "effective sanctions" against currency manipulation a top priority in the current WTO trade liberalization negotiations.

In addition to the currency manipulation problem, ATMI cited a wide range of non-tariff barriers used in overseas countries to protect their markets. These include restrictive and complicated customs procedures, licensing and labeling requirements, complicated product testing methods and extensive and costly paperwork required. India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Egypt, Brazil and Argentina were among more than a dozen countries cited for their non-tariff barriers.

ATMI concluded that the early elimination of all non-tariff barriers is an "essential complement" to a successful outcome of the WTO trade negotiations.

January 2003