WASHINGTON — As the House Trade Subcommittee opens discussion today on a bill to give the Caribbean trade benefits on a par with Mexico under the North American Free Trade Agreement, two members of the House Textile Caucus have complained the bill will cost U.S. apparel jobs and heighten textile transshipping problems.
In a letter sent Thursday to Rep. Phil Crane (R., Ill.), subcommittee chairman and CBI bill author, Reps. John Spratt (D., S.C.), caucus chairman, and L.F. Payne (D., Va.), a member of both the caucus and the trade panel, called Crane’s measure “closer to CBI disparity.” Among their arguments, they charge Crane’s bill would eviscerate NAFTA’s yarn-forward rule of origin, requiring apparel getting free trade benefits be made of fabric or yarn originating on the continent.