TPP Apparel Coalition Continues to Press Negotiators for Flexibility

Following the 14th round of negotiations of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the Trans-Pacific Partnership Apparel Coalition urges negotiators to abandon out of date apparel trade rules in favor of a 21st Century approach to promote and sustain apparel value chains that employ millions of American workers. TPP negotiators wrapped up the 14th round of negotiations Saturday in Leesburg, VA. Representatives of the TPP Apparel Coalition were on hand in Leesburg to meet with negotiators and other stakeholders.

“A TPP agreement that preserves rigid and outdated apparel rules would almost certainly prevent U.S. agriculture exporters from gaining access to lucrative Asian markets, undermine the overall value of the TPP for American families, and deny many American industries the job creating growth that would otherwise result from a successful TPP,”said Sandy Kennedy, president of the Retail Industry Leaders Association.

The TPP is a prospective regional free trade agreement (FTA) between the United States, Australia, Chile, Peru, Singapore, New Zealand, Brunei, Malaysia, and Vietnam. Canada and Mexico are expected to join the TPP negotiations next month.

“We welcome the inclusion of Canada and Mexico in the TPP as both countries will be able to provide first-hand knowledge of how the trade-restrictive and outdated “yarn forward rule” undermines the potential benefits of FTAs. Flexible apparel rules that reflect the commercial realities of global value chains and stress the importance of market access will create jobs, trade and investment here in the United States,”said Kevin Burke, president and CEO of the American Apparel & Footwear Association.

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