Working Group To Address Textile Trade And Economic Issues
James A. Morrissey, Washington Correspondent
U.S. Commerce Secretary Don Evans has announced the creation of an interagency textile working group to address some of the international trade and economic issues plaguing the U.S. industry. Evans said the group will address a wide range of issues including trade agreement negotiating objectives, compliance and enforcement of trade agreements, implementation of the quota phase-out under the Agreement on Textiles and Clothing, tariff preference programs, export expansion for textiles and apparel, transshipment and trade adjustment assistance for companies and employees impacted by imports.The interagency group, comprised of representatives of the Departments of Commerce, Treasury, Justice and State, the U.S. Trade Representative and National Security Council, had an organizational meeting February 4, and issues were assigned to various sub-groups.In announcing the formation of the interagency group, Evans said: "Both the President and I are committed to doing what it takes to ensure that this industry can compete in world markets. This administration will work to ensure that we accomplish that goal."Last December Evans issued a nine-point program designed to address some of the issues that are contributing to the dire business conditions in the U.S. industry. He said the administration is committed to conducting efforts to open foreign markets to U.S. textiles and clothing exports and to ensure that other nations live up to their trade agreements. He also said the administration will resist efforts on the part of some countries to accelerate the scheduled 2005 phase-out of textile trade quotas and attempts to weaken U.S anti-dumping and other trade remedy laws. He further promised to conduct more market promotion programs including trade shows and seminars.