Textile accord reached between U.S and Japan
Staff -- Home Textiles Today, 3/17/2003 12:00:00 AM
The American Textile Manufacturers Institute and the Japan Textile Federation have agreed on a number of critical issues affecting worldwide textile trade.
The agreement covers key objectives in market access, intellectual property protection and customs enforcement. The associations also agreed the current U.S. government tariff-cutting proposal is not practical and needs to be replaced.
Masaki Sakuri, a senior vice president and member of the board of JTF, urged the textile industries of the major developed countries to work together on a common agenda throughout the current round of trade negotiations.
The Japanese and U.S. delegations agreed that, instead of the approach proposed in December by the United States, the World Trade Organization market access negotiations on textiles and apparel should:
Be a separate, sectoral negotiation encompassing only textiles and apparel and not linked to negotiations in any other sector;
Require all countries to eliminate all non-tariff barriers on textiles and apparel within 1-2 years of the conclusion of the negotiations;
Address tariff reductions through a tariff harmonization approach binding on all WTO members.
Address intellectual property violations and customs enforcement issues.
Parks Shackelford, president of ATMI, said ATMI has grave concerns about the U.S. proposal to eliminate tariffs.
"In its current form," Shackelford said, "the U.S. proposal would cause irreparable harm to the U.S. textiles industry and our trading partners in NAFTA and the Caribbean region, as well as with future preferential trade partners."
The two associations said they would work to convince their respective governments of the need to adopt the approach of the JTF and ATMI. They also committed to work with textile associations in other countries to gain support for such an approach.
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