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ATMI Petitions USTR To Drop GSP Benefits

Citing high tariffs, import bans and other restrictions against U.S. textile exports, ATMI sent petitions to the Office of the United States Trade Representative (UStr) requesting that Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) duty-free benefits be withdrawn from India, Pakistan, Egypt and South Africa until they provide the United States with effective market access. "In 1994, this administration promised the U.S. textile industry that it would get access to overseas markets," said Roger W. Chastain, ATMI president, "Its now 2000 and were still at ground zero in terms of access into most countries, and the four countries that were seeking to have GSP benefits removed from are among the worst offenders. We urge the GSP subcommittee to move quickly to withdraw these benefits," he said.The petitions to the UStr cite specifically Pakistans bans on the importation of many textile products; Indias recent imposition of specific duties of as high as 100 percent; Egypts marking rules, customs procedures and recent tariff hikes; and South Africas tariffs on imported textile and apparel products that run as high as 78 percent.U.S. Department of Commerce figures show that in 1999 these four countries exported more than $4.4 billion in textile and apparel products to the United States. In 1999, U.S. textile exports to those same four countries totalled less than $50 million.

October 2000