CITA DENIES TWO MORE SHORT-SUPPLY REQUESTS
WASHINGTON — The Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements has denied two more “short-supply” provisions under the Africa-Caribbean trade law, which largely requires U.S. textiles to be used in order to receive duty-free import status.
The idea of short supply is one of the most contentious aspects of the Trade and Development Act of 2000. That law largely requires garments made in the Caribbean to be made of U.S. fabric and those made in industrially developed African nations to use African or U.S. fabric to qualify for duty and quota breaks.
However, if an apparel manufacturer can prove that a material is not commercially available in sufficient quantity in the U.S., they may be allowed to import the fabric from elsewhere in the world.
Given the pronounced consolidation of the U.S. textile industry over the past decade, with many mills closing and the survivors focusing in on a narrow range of fabrics they can make profitably, there are a number of apparel makers seeking short-supply exemptions.
CITA recently denied a request for the use of certain non-U.S. polyester and wool yarns under the African Growth and Opportunity Act, as well as another request for the use of microfilament fabric of continuous polyester and nylon filaments under the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act.
Stillwater Sales Inc./Metcalf Bros. & Co., a domestic manufacturer of fabrics doing business in Augusta Springs and Goshen, Va., filed the request for the polyester and wool yarns. Freudenberg Nonwovens, which has three mills in the U.S., petitioned for the microfilament fabric request.
About a dozen short-supply requests have been filed since the trade laws took effect. So far, CITA has approved two of them, for certain blouse and nightwear fabrics needed in sub-Saharan Africa and for polyester crushed panne velour fabric in the Caribbean.