TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

US proposes (flexibility in) sourcing of 'scarce' textiles outside TPP-bloc

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Source: Fibre2Fashion

The United States Government has put forward a proposal that allows procurement of scarce yarn, textiles and apparels from countries that are not signatories to the planned Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement.

 

Addressing the 24th annual Textile and Apparel Importer Trade and Transportation Conference organized by the United States Association of Importers of Textiles and Apparel (USA-ITA) in New York, US Department of Commerce’s deputy assistant secretary for textiles and apparels, Kim Glas, said the US Government has suggested creation of a list of yarn and fabrics that cannot be manufactured or sourced from any of the TPP member countries.

 

The Government has proposed that those products that are in ‘short supply’ be allowed to be freely imported from non-TPP countries, while enjoying TPP duty privileges, Ms. Glas said.

 

The US Government has proposed that there be one ‘permanent short supply list’, which include certain types of tweeds that can be sourced exclusively from the UK, and another ‘temporary short supply list’, valid for three years, that will have products that are not currently available in the TPP countries but can be produced in those countries in future.

 

Ms. Glas said the proposal is aimed at appeasing concerns of US apparel importers regarding the restrictive ‘yarn forward’ principle mentioned in the draft TPP agreement.

 

Under the ‘yarn forward’ concept, all the products used in the making of a garment, beginning from yarn and extending to fabric and sewing thread, must have been produced in the TPP member countries to be eligible for duty privileges.

 

The ‘yarn forward’ principle ensures that countries outside the TPP-bloc do not benefit from the agreement.

 

Ms. Glas said the ‘short supply’ list is expected to be completed by mid-2013 and TPP negotiations are likely to conclude by 2013-end.

 

Besides the US, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam are currently negotiating the TPP agreement, and the 16th round of negotiations are scheduled for March this year in Singapore.



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