ZEIST, The Netherlands — December 9, 2013 — The International Apparel Federation welcomes the new
WTO multilateral trade agreement that has been reached in Bali. The ‘trade facilitation’ package,
the prime component of the agreement, is certainly beneficial to the global apparel industry. This
industry has probably the most internationalized supply and demand structure in the world, and with
a growing market share of large retail chains and brands with a global presence,
internationalization is increasing still. The OECD Trade Facilitation Indicators estimate that
comprehensive implementation of all trade facilitation measures agreed to in Bali would reduce
total trade costs by 10% in advanced economies and by 13-15.5% in developing countries. Currently,
complicated border processes and excess red tape raise costs, which ultimately fall on our
businesses and on our consumers. Reducing these costs is a large benefit to the apparel industry.
The IAF also welcomes the fact that this WTO agreement shows that the agricultural sector
does not always block advances in multilateral trade agreements, as has happened too often in this
Doha Round. It also serves as a wakeup call to the apparel industry that despite the real progress
that is being made in multi- and plurilateral trade agreements, the multilateral trade agenda
deserves more attention. The IAF, representing the apparel industry in all continents, will boost
the discussion among its members about the desired direction for the apparel industry of further
multilateral trade negotiations.
With a retail value of over 1.3 trillion US$, much of which crosses borders, the apparel
industry is well placed to reap a large benefit from the Bali agreement and could potentially
benefit from the revival of multilateral trade talks that seems to be emerging from the Indonesian
island of Bali.
Posted December 18, 2013