Industry Launches Campaign Against Chinese Imports

Industry Launches Campaign Against Chinese ImportsStunned by a rising tide of Chinese textile and
apparel imports, leaders of the six major trade associations representing US textile manufacturers
met in Washington June10 to develop plans to seek government help in stemming the tide. The
industry leaders said they have made an “unwavering commitment to take any and all political steps
to ensure the industrys survival.”Joining in the effort are the American Textile Manufacturers
Institute (ATMI), American Yarn Spinners Association (AYSA), National Cotton Council (NCC),
National Textile Association (NTA), American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition (AMTAC) and the
American Fiber Manufacturers Association (AFMA).With Chinese imports reaching record-breaking
levels, particularly those in the 29 product categories where quota restraints were recently
removed, the association executive said they will seek government action in three areas. Firstly,
they have called on the administration to implement the special “safeguard mechanism” in the
Chinese bi-lateral agreement that permits the US and China to negotiate new bilateral quotas in
cases where market disruption can be shown, and if that is not successful, the US may impose
unilateral quotas. Secondly, the industry officials say the US should not agree to inclusion of
so-called Tariff Preference Levels (TPLs) in future bi-lateral or regional trade agreements. TPLs
permit a given amount of imports from third countries, not parties to the agreement, to enjoy the
duty-free treatment given products made in the participating countries. Finally, the new coalition
will seek government action urging the Chinese government to correct a currency imbalance, which
they say amounts to a 40 percent price advantage for the Chinese. At a news conference announcing
the new effort, the coalition released a report from ATMI
(Download the ATMI report here.)
that says unless the US government acts, China will gain control of between 65 percent and 75
percent of the US apparel market once quotas on Chinese imports are removed on January l, 2005. The
report claims this will “destroy the U.S. textile and apparel industries.” In a press release
issued at the news conference, the coalition said: From twelve months ending in March 2002 to
twelve months ending in March 2003, the U.S. government has stood by while Chinas textile and
apparel exports to the United States have surged 140%, the biggest increase in history. During the
same one year period, the U.S. textile industry closed more than fifty plants and more than 40,000
textile workers lost their jobs. U.S. trade policy toward China is the most important factor
leading to the bankruptcy of many of the nations largest textile companies, the closure of hundreds
of textile and apparel plants, and the loss of 267,700 textile and apparel industry jobs from
January 2001 to May 2003.Moreover, despite pleas by the U.S. textile industry and dozens of other
manufacturing groups, the U.S. government has refused to move against Chinas illegal currency
regime that gives its exports a 40% price advantage over U.S. manufactured goods. At a time when
U.S. manufacturing has experienced its sharpest falloff in employment since the Great Depression,
Chinese exports of manufactured goods have reached record highs. To secure congressional passage of
trade promotion authority (TPA), numerous Administration officials made promises to the U.S.
textile industry. President Bush even issued a statement on December 6, 2001, saying, “In short, I
intend to ensure that the interests of our textile industry and workers are at the heart of our
trade negotiations.” With the textile industry in crisis and in light of the highly damaging
textile bilateral agreement with Vietnam, among other actions, it is critical that the
Administration fulfill its commitments made to the industry in 2001. The six organizations
represented above view the full and aggressive implementation of the special textile China
safeguard as one “litmus test” as to whether those commitments have been fulfilled.Allen Gant, ATMI
Second Vice Chairman and CEO of Glen Raven Mills said, “When Japan and Australia eliminated their
textile quotas, Chinese exports quickly cornered 75% of the market. Unless the U.S. government acts
decisively before Chinas textile quotas expire in January 2005, Chinese exports undoubtedly will
dominate the U.S. market in a similar fashion eviscerating the U.S. textile industry. Concluded
Jonathan Stevens, NTA Vice Chairman and President of Ames Textile Corp., “Chinas massive surge into
the market will render all U.S. trade agreements with Western Hemisphere countries obsolete and
cause the loss of millions of textile jobs from Chile to Canada and every country in
between.”TEXTILE SUMMIT ATTENDEESATMI Press Contact Info:Cass Johnson (202) 862-0545,,www.atmi.orgATMI Summit Attendees:Billy Moore, ATMI Chairman and Executive Vice
President for Governmental and Investor Relations of Unifi, Inc. located in Greensboro, N,C.; Allen
Gant, ATMI Second Vice-Chairman and CEO of Glen Raven Mills located in Glen Raven, N.C.; Parks
Shackleford, ATMI President, Washington, DC;Cass Johnson, ATMI Senior Vice President, Washington,
DCAYSA Press Contact Info:Mike Hubbard (704) 824-3522,,www.aysa.orgAYSA Summit
Attendees:##Jim Chesnutt AYSA President and President/CEO of National Spinning Company located in
Washington, N.C.; George Moretz AYSA Man-Made Fiber Committee Chairman of Carolina Mills located in
Maiden, N.C.; *Mike Hubbard AYSA Exec. Vice President, Gastonia, NC.NCC Press Contact Info:Marjory
Walker (800) 377-9030,,www.cotton.orgNCC Summit Attendees:Kenneth Hood NCC Past
Chairman, Gunnison, MS; Gaylon Booker NCC Immediate Past President, Memphis TN; John Maguire NCC
Senior Vice President for Washington Affairs, Washington, DCNTA Press Contact:David Trumbull (617)
542-8220 x 2,, www.nationaltextile.orgNTA Summit Attendees:Jonathan
Stevens NTA Vice Chairman and President of Ames Textile Corp. located in Lowell, MA; James Robbins
NTA Vice President and President of Elastic Fabrics of America located in Greensboro, NC; Karl
Spilhaus NTA President, Boston, MAAMTAC Press Contact Info:Lloyd Wood (202) 452-8493 or (703)
307-7662 (cell),,www.amatacdc.orgAMTAC Summit Attendees:Roger Milliken AMTAC
Co-Chair and CEO of MillikenandCo. located in Spartanburg, SC; *George Shuster AMTAC Co-Chair and
CEO of Cranston Print Works located in Cranston, RI; Augustine Tantillo AMTAC Washington
Coordinator AFMA Press Contact Info:Paul ODay 703-875-0432,,www.afma.orgAFMA Summit
Attendees:Geoff Schofield AFMA President of Drake Extrusion Inc. located in Ridgeway, VA; Paul ODay
AFMA President, Arlington, VAAlso Attending:Jerry Rowland CEO of National Textiles located in
Winston-Salem, NC; Jock Nash Washington Counsel, MillikenandCo.* Attended meeting via conference
call.## Mr. Chesnutt is also ATMI Fist Vice Chairman. By James A. Morrissey, Washington
June 2003