WASHINGTON — The Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements on Tuesday published its approval of a short supply request by Levi Strauss & Co. under the Caribbean Basin trade law. The preferential import law largely requires U.S. textiles to be used to receive duty-free status and also requires all dyeing, printing and finishing of fabrics to be carried out in the U.S.

But the law allows garments made of non-U.S. materials to qualify for duty-free status if they are not commercially available in the U.S. CITA approved a request for the use of two non-U.S. interlinings, including a knitted outer fusible material and a knitted inner fusible material with an adhesive (thermoplastic) resin coating under the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act. In the petition, Levi’s argued the patented finishing process of the two interlinings is not licensed in the U.S. and therefore must be done in the Caribbean. The two fabrics are used in the waistband of Levi’s pants, shorts, shirts, skorts and other similar products.

The National Textile Association filed the only opposition to the Levi’s petition and claimed substitutes in the U.S. are available.

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