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Democrats Call For Textile Trade Summit

James A. Morrissey, Washington Correspondent

Democrats Call ForTextile Trade SummitAll of the top leaders of the Democrats in Congress have called on President Bush to convene a major summit to discuss ways to deal with the impact of the removal of textile and apparel quotas by January 2005. A letter to the president outlining their concerns about what will happen to the US textile industry in a quota-free world was signed by nine of the Democratic leaders, including Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi; Charles Rangel, the Ranking Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee; and Sander M. Levin, ranking Democrat on the Subcommittee on Trade. In part, the letter said: Textile and apparel trade patterns worldwide are likely to undergo a profound transformation after January 1, 2005, when quotas ill be eliminated.. This shift is likely to have critical consequences for economic development abroad, as well as crucial economic implications for American business and workers and important national security implications for the United States. The letter calls for a comprehensive strategy to promote positive outcomes and minimize adverse impacts both here and around the world.The Democratic leaders said the summit should include all significant interests in the United States and all global actors that may be able to play a role in a solution of problems. This would include international development institutions and financing agencies, officials of the World Trade Organization and representatives from key textile and apparel producing nations. By James A. Morrissey, Washington Correspondent December 2003