Trade Representative Sees Support For Bush Agenda

US Trade Representative Susan C. Schwab said trade legislation passed in the waning hours of the
109th Congress and signed by President George W. Bush has ushered in a “new era of economic
opportunity and cooperation” between the United States and its trading partners. She says the
legislation underscores a US commitment to advancing trade policies that benefit US consumers and
manufacturers and promotes economic development overseas. She expects the bi-partisan support shown
for that trade package to continue in the new Congress that convened this month.

The first two issues on the agenda will be ratification of already negotiated free trade
agreements with Colombia and Peru. They very likely will be ratified without a fight as both US
textile manufacturers and importers of textiles and apparel area are reasonably satisfied with
them. However, the rhetoric in the congressional debate could signal what the attitude will be as
additional trade issues come to the fore.

Schwab says granting permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) to Vietnam and extending trade
preference programs to Haiti, the Andean nations and sub-Saharan Africa will help alleviate poverty
and create economic opportunities for people in dozens of developing countries, while giving US
consumers more choices for textiles and apparel.

According to Schwab, the Vietnam legislation will result in lower tariffs on goods entering
that country and should improve protection of the intellectual property of US manufacturers. She
said Vietnam’s impending admission to the World Trade Organization (WTO) will provide greater
access to that country’s fast-growing market of some 82 million people.

US textile manufacturers, however, are much more concerned about Vietnam’s imports than they
are about exports, as all US import quotas will be removed upon Vietnam’s official entry into the
WTO. In view of the industry’s concerns, the Bush administration has agreed to monitor Vietnam’s
clothing and textile imports, and if it is determined that there may be dumping or other illegal
trade practices, the US government will self-initiate anti-dumping cases. The US Department of
Commerce’s International Trade Administration last November published proposed procedures for
implementing that effort. The public comment period closed December 26, and the agency is now
developing its final procedures, which will remain in effect until Jan. 19, 2009, when President
Bush’s term in office expires.

January 9, 2007