From The Editor: Change Is In The Air

From The Editor

Change Is In The AirAlthough the textile industry is one of the oldest industries in modern
history, that is not to say it is a static or rigid business.The recent announcement of the World
Trade Organization’s (WTO) preliminary findings that U.S. subsidies to cotton growers amount to
unfair trade practices prompted many to speculate that this may be the beginning of the end of
heavy subsidies.Turn the table around, the WTO also has heard complaints from the United States
against China regarding subsidies and currencies. In fact, the U.S. textile industry has
successfully asked the U.S. government to use textile safeguards to curb the growth of Chinese
imports.Furthermore, the Istanbul Declaration, initiated by Turkey and the United States to call
upon the WTO to postpone the elimination of textile quotas, has thrown together some unusual
bedfellows. But, while Turkey is asserting its position with the United States, the challenge for
Turkey is how to balance that with its desire to compete for the same export dollars that China is
earning from Western markets, such as the United States.Add to the picture Turkey’s bid to join the
European Union — if it is successful, trade between Turkey and other EU countries will no doubt be
altered as well.With all these changes looming on the horizon, are you prepared?By Carmen Pang,

Summer 2004