U.S., Mexican Textile Industries to Work Together on China, Customs Issues

At a recent meeting in North Carolina, leaders of the U.S. and Mexican textile industries agreed to work together to increase the competitiveness of the textile industry in North America by focusing on issues including countering the threat of subsidies from China, customs enforcement and regional infrastructure.

Anderson Warlick, chairman of the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), cited the meeting as an important step in coordinating efforts to preserve the employment of more than two million workers across the region, while David Garcia, president of Camara Nacional de la Industria Textil (CANAINTEX), noted that the implementation of cumulation provisions in CAFTA/DR demonstrated that the textile industries in the hemisphere are "inextricably linked."

The two groups agreed they would work jointly with U.S. and Mexican government officials to combat fraudulent shipments into both markets. 

"Customs fraud continues to plague both our sectors, particularly the illegal use of Chinese yarns and fabrics to claim NAFTA and CAFTA origin. Last year, NCTO initiated a Customs Fraud Alert program and we look forward to integrating our data gathering with Canaintex," said Warlick.

Comparing notes on recent missions to China, the two organizations agreed that China will remain a disruptive force in world textile markets and that unfair subsidies to Chinese textile producers remained the most important threat to the competitiveness of North American textile industry.

"China's textile and apparel complex employs more workers than the entire U.S. manufacturing sector and today gets more than five dozen subsidies from the Chinese government," said Warlick. "As a result, China has wreaked havoc throughout the world textile and apparel trading sector each time trade restraints have been removed."

Both organizations called on the U.S. government to extend the current Textile Monitoring Program (TPM) to China. "We are happy to compete against Chinese companies but we cannot compete against the Chinese government," said Garcia.

NCTO and CANAINTEX agreed to work with textile and apparel organizations from the CAFTA and ANDEAN region to coordinate strategy on these and other issues in the years ahead. 
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