•South Korea Free Trade Agreement: The National Council of Textile Organizations is lobbying against the accord because it claims it will lead to more industry job losses. The industry contends that the tariff provisions are unfair and that weak customs enforcement language will pave the way for more textile and apparel transshipments, particularly from China.
• Trans-Pacific Partnership: The industry is pressing for a yarn-forward rule of origin and long tariff phaseout on textile and apparel imports from Vietnam, one of eight countries negotiating with the U.S. for an Asia-Pacific free trade area. Gail Strickler, assistant U.S. Trade Representative for textiles, said the U.S. plans to present a textile and apparel rule of origin proposal by May 6 to the seven other countries — Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, Peru, New Zealand and Chile.The next formal negotiating round is in Vietnam in June, where product-specific rules of origin will be discussed.
• Indian Cotton: The U.S. is considering filing a case with the World Trade Organization against India over its restrictions on cotton and cotton yarn exports, which a coalition of textile groups said has driven up global cotton prices. India recently raised its export restrictions on cotton yarn, but they remain in place on raw cotton exports.
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