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South Africa: Textiles Task Team Revived

Published date:
Friday, 21 January 2005

Durban - The government task team that aims to address the problems threatening to destroy the textile and clothing industries has been revived and will meet on February 1 after five dormant months.

South AfricaThe task team, which was appointed by former minister of trade and industry Alec Erwin, only met three times between May and August last year. The textile industry has lost 30 000 jobs over the past two years.

Brian Brink, the chief executive of the SA Textile Federation, yesterday welcomed the resumption of meetings.

"It is unfortunate that some time has elapsed since the last meeting but it is good that we are resuming dialogue on the very serious issue facing the textile, clothing and footwear industries," he said.

However, Brink said the resumption of talks would not stop the textile industry from pursuing its application to the department of trade and industry's International Trade Administration Commission.

The task team delayed the SA Textile Federation's application for the invocation of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) China textile safeguards. The application, which could have been lodged by July last year, will now only be submitted in February.

The safeguards, which are available to members of the WTO at the request of their governments, allow members to limit imports from China to an annual 7.5 percent increase over the previous year's imports. Increases for wool are limited to 6.5 percent.

Beijing agreed to the clause as part of China's accession agreement to the WTO in 2003.

Willem van der Spuy, the department of trade and industry's director for Asia, said this week that the task team was searching for a lasting solution to the problem of cheap imports from China.

"Safeguards are only a stopgap for a limited period and ... not a sustainable tool," he said. "Within the task team we are looking at how to solve industry problems such as lack of competitiveness."

“AGOA Latest AGOA Trade Data currently available on

Click here to view a sector profile of South Africa’s bilateral trade with the United States, disaggregated by total exports and imports, AGOA exports and GSP exports.

Other regularly updated trade statistics on include: (click each link to view)

  • AGOA-beneficiary Countries’ AGOA and GSP Trade Aggregates

  • AGOA Trade by Industry Sector

  • Apparel Trade under AGOA’s Wearing Apparel Provisions

  • Latest Apparel Quotas under AGOA

  • Bilateral Trade Data for all AGOA-eligible countries individually.

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