Congressmen Urge Support For Textiles

Forty members of the U.S. House of Representatives have signed a Joint Resolution urging the Bush
Administration to protect the interest of the U.S. textile industry in dealing with international
trade issues. The resolution is not binding, but is designed to show congressional concern over the
damage international trade is doing and could continue to do in the future. Primary sponsors were
Rep. Howard Coble (R-NC) and John Spratt (D-SC) , leaders of the Congressional Textile Caucus.The
resolution urges President Bush and officials in his administration to: ensure vigorous enforcement
of U.S. trade laws “using all remedies available under those laws;” ensure vigorous enforcement of
existing trade agreements, including the North American Free Trade Agreements and agreements under
the World Trade Organization, take steps necessary to circumvent illegal transshipments; deny
requests from trading nations to change existing trade agreements; and implement strategies to open
foreign markets to U.S. textile and apparel exports.The resolution calls on the President to submit
to Congress annual reports on the ability of the U.S. textile industry to compete with the textile
industries in other countries, and it also addresses one of the U.S. industrys major current
concerns, the fact that devalued currencies are making imports cheaper than ever, and undermining
export markets. It directs the President to take into consideration the effect of devalued
currencies in any future trade negotiations. It says that nations should not receive tariff
concession at times when they are benefiting from devalued currencies.The preamble to the
resolution cites the “serious injury” to the textile industry stemming from its international trade
problems, including job losses, plant closings and loss of markets both at home and overseas.By
James A. Morrissey, Washington Correspondent