TPP: Vietnam trade deal called threat to U.S. textiles industry

Smyth McKissick, NCTO, Jul 9, 2013At a hearing on U.S. competitiveness before the House of Representatives Small Business Comittee, National Council of Textile Organizations Chairman McKissick said, “U.S. manufacturing jobs are at stake and it’s critical our negotiators get this trade agreement right. A poorly negotiated TPP will cause widespread job losses in the U.S. and the Western Hemisphere.” A key issue is the “yarn-forward” rule, which means yarn and fabric must be manufactured and assembled in the free-trade partner country in order to enter U.S. markets tariff-free. More than 160 Members of Congress have signed a letter to the U.S. trade representative, asking him to maintain the yarn-forward rule, which has been included in every major U.S. free trade deal for the last 25 years. U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Small Business Hearing on U.S. Competitiveness, Jul 2013.  Read more

TPP: 167 Representatives sign letter to USTR

Patrick McHenry, NC-10They asked that he support strong textile rules in the TPP.  “This agreement must be fairly constructed to protect and maintain investment in the many small- and medium-sized textile businesses in our nation that would be affected by it,” said the co-chairman of the Congressional Textile Caucus and a member of the powerful Ways and Means Committee. The letter, signed by 167 lawmakers, 38% of the 435-member House of Representatives, expressed concerns about positions taken by the Vietnamese government in the negotiations that could have significant negative effects on the U.S. textile industry and its export partners. “The Vietnamese government has attempted to change long standing rules to allow the sourcing of textiles from China to the United States duty free.  This could lead to the loss of more than 500,000 textile jobs in the U.S. and another 1.5 million jobs in the textile supply chains in the Western Hemisphere and Africa. The letter specifically mentions the importance of the yarn-forward rule which ensures that only countries within a free trade region receive benefits from the agreement.  This rule is responsible for over $25 billion of trade between the United States and other countries.  Read more