Apparel groups applauded amendments to industry laws approved by Congress as well as the possibility of sourcing textiles in Africa and Central America.
Julie Hughes, president of the U.S. Association of Importers of Textiles and Apparel (AMTAC) in Washington, D.C., was supportive in fixes to the Dominican Republic– Central America Free Trade Agreement that were approved by Congress this month.
The fixes included trade corrections, like sewing thread must be produced in the United States or the DR-CAFTA region for clothing to qualify for duty-free entry.
"U.S. apparel brands and retailers are thrilled that Congress has finally renewed the AGOA third-country fabric benefit and enacted the DR-CAFTA technical fixes," Hughes said. "These two provisions will help create and maintainjobs inthe apparel industry both in the United States as well as in our trading partner countries, especially in Africa."
“We are very pleased it passed," said AMTAC Executive Director Auggie Tantillo. "American sewing-thread manufacturers lost business to producers from China and elsewhere in Asia because of this loophole. By closing it, we are confident that U.S. thread producers can begin to recapture market share in the DR-CAFTA region, leading to morejobsand increased U.S. exports." More than 1,800 people are employed in sewing-thread manufacturing in the United States, AMTAC said.
More jobs and clothing made in the United States, we support that too.