Textile Trade Groups From Around The World Urge WTO To Extend Quota Phase-Out

Textile Trade Groups From Around The WorldUrge WTO To Extend Quota Phase-Out

In an unprecedented move, 39 textile associations from 31 countries have joined forces to
call on the World Trade Organization to convene for an emergency meeting and to delay the textile
and apparel quota phase-out process until the end of 2007.What has come to be known as the Istanbul
Declaration was originally issued by a handful of trade groups in the United States and Turkey.
Over the past months, the Committee of the Cotton and Allied Textile Industries of the European
Communities (EUROCOTON), an organization that represents textile and apparel groups in Europe, and
the Federation Textil Andina (FTA), an organization that represents textile industry groups from
Andean countries, also have endorsed the declaration. The groups said the move is to “prevent a
global takeover of textile and apparel trade by a few large supplier countries.”The declaration
argues that circumstances associated with the textile and clothing quota have changed since the
adoption and initiation of the phase-out process in 1995. It singles out China’s admission to the
WTO as the key to “disruptive change in circumstances.”Other charges made against China include
deliberate currency undervaluation, state subsidies, proliferation of non-performing loans and
rebate programs.Auggie Tantillo, the Washington coordinator of the U.S.-based Manufacturing Trade
Action Coalition (AMTAC), one of the original signers of the declaration, said: “Every national
textile association in this coalition faces a three-dimensional threat from China’s highly
subsidized export machine. Coalition members face the loss of significant market share in their own
domestic market, in first-world markets, and in critical developing-world markets.”

Summer 2004