Letters - January 2006


Thanks for Rewarding Experience
Dear Kathy,
It was a pleasure to have met you and your colleagues [at the Apparel Tech Conference in New York]. I would like to thank you for hosting the All-Star Awards ceremony. I really enjoyed the conference and cocktail reception. I also had an opportunity to see lots of old friends from the industry [from my alma mater, the Fashion Institute of Technology]. This was really a wonderful experience for me. Thanks again.
Teresa Corbo, Director of Technical Design, Mothers Work Inc.,
Philadelphia, PA

Editor's Note: The 2006 Apparel Tech Conference and All-Star Awards will be Nov. 8-9 in New York.

U.S.-China Deal Raises New Questions
I've been keeping up with the China problems and CAFTA-DR as well as writing letters and calling my congressman and senators. I keep losing the battles but continue to fight the war for apparel survival in the United States.

I have a question for you. Since we're going to be using the 2005 levels for the basis of newly established quotas through 2008, are we going to be forced to use 2005 levels, which were already 1,250 percent to 1,500 percent over the safeguard mechanism's targets through the first four months of 2005?

Some of the categories were oversupplied by those outrageous amounts, while others were between 100 percent and 700 percent. In any event, this new deal seems to be a capitulation of sorts on our part to a nation that breaks most of the rules even before the ink is dried on the agreements.

My main question and concern is: Are we giving [China] 10 percent, 12.5 percent and 15 percent to 16 percent increases over the grossly inflated shipments of 2005, or [are we sticking to percentage increases over] what were supposed to be its limits in 2005?
Thanks in advance for trying to answer this very important question.
Stephen Hoffman, General Manager, Arizona Textile, Phoenix, AZ

Editor's Note: See the chart on p. 32 for the quota levels for the next three years for categories covered by the new U.S.-China textile and apparel agreement. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has stated that increases allowed under the agreement will keep U.S. imports of Chinese apparel in these categories at lower levels than they would be if the safeguard mechanism continued to be used to curtail imports. Without an agreement, imports could surge beyond the agreement's allowed growth limits before the safeguard petition process runs its course.
Most Chinese apparel did not fall under safeguard quotas until after import levels had surged in the first four months of 2005. The surges that occurred did not surpass any limits in 2005 because limits did not exist.

In the article "Selling into China" in the November 2005 issue, the correct number of Chinese provinces should have been listed as 23. China also has five autonomous regions, four central administrative municipalities and two special administrative regions.

In the article "All-Star Salute: Harry Rosen Inc." in the December 2005 issue, retailer Harry Rosen's CRM system vendors should have been listed as Sage SalesLogix and Cowley & Associates. GERS Retail Systems provides Harry Rosen's inventory system.

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