End Duty-Free Access to the U.S. Market!
The Alliance strongly opposes proposals that would give duty-free access to the U.S. market for imports of all products from least developed countries (LDCs) and African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) countries.
These proposals represent a substantial threat both to U.S. manufacturing, especially the domestic textile industry, and to our preference partners in Latin America and Africa. Several nations that would benefit from passage of this bill are already export superpowers in textile and apparel products. Bangladesh and Cambodia, respectively, already are the third and eighth largest sources of U.S. apparel imports by volume and the fifth and eighth largest sources by value. In 2009, U.S. apparel imports from these two countries totaled nearly $5.3 billion.
Since Cambodia and Bangladesh are not large producers of textile components, the yarns and fabrics used in garments they assemble often are supplied by China. China shipped $2.5 billion in subsidized textile and apparel components to Bangladesh and Cambodia in 2008. With a substantial percentage of apparel exports from those countries going to the United States hundreds of million dollars in Chinese components were included U.S. imports from Bangladesh and Cambodia last year. That figure only will rise at the expense of U.S. producers if Bangladesh and Cambodia gain even more market share as a result of duty-free treatment.