CITA AGOA UPDATE: The Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements agreed to allow certain non-U.S. lightweight cotton and cotton blend fabrics used in trousers, shorts, skirts, dresses, handkerchiefs, dressing gowns, boxer shorts and other apparel to qualify for trade benefits under the short-supply provisions of the African Growth & Opportunity Act. Esquel Enterprises Ltd. of Hong Kong and Textile Industries Ltd. of Mauritius filed the short supply request. CITA also deemed Cape Verde — an archipelago nation off the western coast of Africa — a beneficiary country under AGOA, making it eligible for duty and quota breaks on apparel and textile imports. In related news, CITA has granted duty and quota breaks to handloomed fabric and handmade articles from Kenya, if they are accompanied by an appropriate export visa.

WTO RULES AGAINST U.S. DUTY MEASURE: The World Trade Organization ruled Monday that a U.S. law authorizing the government to pay the proceeds from anti-dumping and countervailing duties to U.S. companies that bring the complaints, causing those duties to be levied, is incompatible with its rules governing world trade. The WTO panel has recommended the U.S. repeal the law. U.S. trade officials said Monday that they have no intention of repealing it and plan to appeal the WTO decision. U.S. steel companies are the biggest beneficiaries of the anti-dumping proceeds because they tend to file such cases. This latest ruling, however, could have implications beyond anti-dumping measures taken by steel producers, by adding pressure to other ongoing disputes between the two trade giants. The EU has threatened to retaliate against a broad range of U.S. products, including textiles and apparel in the two unresolved trade disputes.

KELLWOOD VP:Arthur Isaacs has been named vice president of sourcing for Kellwood Intimate Apparel, the company said Monday. He reports to Jim Mogan, president of the Intimate Apparel division. Isaacs, based in New York, will be responsible for sourcing for the pants/daywear and Crowntuft units of the division. His previous positions include director of manufacturing for Inner Secrets and director of operations for Maidenform.

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