Customs Enforcement Being Stepped Up

The US Customs and Border Protections Service (CBP) appears to be making progress with steps to
combat illegal imports of textiles and apparel. CBP recently hired 45 more people to strengthen its
enforcement efforts, and it reported it recently has seized and denied entry to $17 million in
illegal textile products. Janet Labuda, director of the Textile Enforcement and Operating Division,
says the CBP is using “all available means — trade pattern analysis, on-site verifications, review
of production records, audits and laboratory analysis — to enforce US trade laws.”

In a recent meeting with Washington-based National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO)
representatives, CBP officials said they are using textile production verifications teams to visit
foreign factories in order to review and verify that apparel being shipped to the United States is
actually produced in those facilities. The teams reportedly are uncovering hundreds of violations
and sources for illegal transshipments.

US textile manufacturers have been increasingly concerned about illegal textile
transshipments in view of the removal of import quotas from countries except China, and a bilateral
agreement limiting imports from China. They feel lack enforcement could result in illegal
transshipments of Chinese goods.

Missy Branson, senior vice-president of NCTO, said NCTO is working with the CBP and members
of Congress on a continuing basis to ensure better enforcement. 

February 28, 2006