Textile Machinery Association Cites Impact Of Import Problem

Textile Machinery Association Cites Impact of Import ProblemThe American Textile Machinery
Association (ATMA) has weighed in on the textile trade issue with a report that says US textile
manufacturers have suffered more damage in the last five years than the industry did during the
depression of the 1930s. The ATMA analysis says that during the economic downturn starting in 1929,
US production of cotton fabric dropped from 8.4 billion square yards to 6.3 billion, a decline of
25.3 percent. At the beginning of the current downturn in 1997, cotton fabric production was 5.1
billion square yards, but by 2002 it had fallen to 3.5 billion, a decline of 30.6 percent from
1997.In releasing the analysis, ATMA Chairman Fred Moorhead said, Let there be no doubt about how
much US textile mills and their workers are being hurt by unfair trade imports. They are facing
downturns in business today greater than they did in the darkest days of the depression. Moorhead
placed much of the blame for the problem on China and its currency manipulation, which he said
amounts to a 40-percent subsidy for imports and a similar tax on exports to China. He said the Bush
administration must act quickly to get a market-driven Chinese currency to help the US Textile
industry overcome what he called unfair and inequitable advantages resulting from currency
manipulations. Moorhead said the US textile industry is modern and productive, but cannot compete
in the present atmosphere. He urged US government to do more to give the industry a chance to
compete fairly.Concurrent with the release of the survey, the American Textile Manufacturers
Institute issued a fact sheet saying output by manufacturing industries is experiencing its slowest
recovery from a recession, that costs of producing in the United States are rising sharply due in
large measure to environmental, energy, and health care regulations, and that a decline in exports
share of gross domestic product and a loss of corporate cash has put limitations on companies
ability to make investments in research and growth.By James A. Morrissey, Washington Correspondent
October 2003