NEW YORK — Although the passage of GATT is expected to sharply increase international competition in textiles and apparel, a study by Lehman Bros. says the negative impact will be limited for a number of companies it follows.
The report, by Josephine R. Esquivel, Lehman’s apparel-textile analyst, notes the GATT agreement “will expedite the failure of less efficient players, which should fall prey to surging imports from least developed countries. But, these companies will find it difficult to compete even if the current GATT is not approved.”
She says there will be a loss of jobs, a decline in production, continued rising imports and a decrease in U.S. investments in the textile-apparel industry. However, she expects benefits to some companies will help to offset the impact. Among textile companies, she notes Cone Mills and Galey & Lord should get some benefits, respectively, from more foreign market access and the rule-of-origin change.
Among apparel manufacturers, Esquivel said, Hartmarx, Tommy Hilfiger, Fruit of the Loom, Russell Corp., Starter Corp. and VF Corp. should see benefits.

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