By  on August 6, 2012

MEDELLIN, Colombia — Beleaguered Colombian apparel and textile firms hoping the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement will lift them from a seven-year slump are pinning their hopes on two trump cards: geography and innovation.

Manufacturers interviewed here said they harbor no illusions that the pact will level the playing field with Asian competitors. But they do expect the trade deal — which went into effect May 15, eliminating tariffs on most binational trade, including fibers, fabrics and apparel — will open just-in-time market niches, lower the cost of U.S. cotton imports and bring certainty to long-term planning.

 

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