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APTMA's Strike Cost $20M
WTO Probe Threaten Indian Export Subsidies
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April 1, 2010
The McPete Sez Lingerie Newsletter & Women's
Chinese Currency Issue
Apparel experts from different sides of the globe expressed mixed feelings at a conference in Hong Kong today March 30,
about the effect of asking China to revalue its currency.
A leading Indian trade representative has welcomed the proposal, while others believe it is unwarranted.
The US has put pressure on the Chinese Government to allow its currency to rise in value against the dollar.
Speaking at the annual Prime Source Forum, Primal Udani, chairman of India's Apparel Export Promotion Council, said
the measure would be beneficial to Indian trade.
"Our currency in India is not artificially protected and is strengthening over a period of time, and if the Chinese
Renminbi was revalued it would make our exports that much more competitive.
"It would bring more balance and also increase Chinese consumption because imports would open up to the Chinese
However, speaking later at the forum, Janet Fox, director of sourcing at JCPenney Purchasing Corp, said that the US
may be wiser to "back down a little" on the matter.
She said: "Pushing China to try to do this in a unilateral way is probably not the best way to achieve the end goals.
I understand that there's a feeling of unfair advantage but, in the opinion of a retailer, we've got the advantage
of good costing and high efficiency from China.
"I don't think the US consumer is quite ready yet to pay higher prices for apparel and textiles out of China."
WTO Probe Threaten Indian
Indian textile and apparel lines worth billions of dollars
in exports may no longer qualify for export subsidies following a review carried out by the World Trade
The findings of the WTO probe, which was carried out at the request of the US, showed a large number of textile and
apparel lines met "export competitiveness" criteria.
Under global subsidy rules, exports from a poor developing country reach "export competitiveness" levels if they have
a share of at least 3.25% in world trade of that product for two consecutive years.
In such an event, export subsidies on such products would have to be phased out over eight years.
The computations by WTO economists found that products that met the competitiveness threshold included women's or
girls' blouses, shirts and shirt blouses with a 10.5% and 11.4% global market share in 2007 and 2008. Exports were
worth $1bn and $1.2bn respectively.
The WTO figures also reveal other product lines that met the 3.25% share included T-shirts, singlets and other
vests, knitted or crocheted, with a 4.7% and 4.9% global share and shipments worth $1.6bn and $1.7bn.
Also meeting the WTO criteria were women's or girls' suits, ensembles, jackets, blazers, dresses, skirts, trousers and
overalls, breeches and shorts had a 3.3% and 3.6% global share in 2007 and 2008, with exports valued at $1.7bn and
Other product lines reaching competitiveness levels included men's and boys' shirts, knitted or crocheted.
Indian exports came in with a 6.5% global market share in 2007 and 2008, with exports worth $486.9m and $520.2m
Babies' garments and apparel accessories, knitted or crocheted, also qualified with 5.1% and 5.8% share and
exports worth $267.7m and $322.4m in 2007 and 2008.
Quite a number of Indian textile exports, including woven fabrics of cotton and woven fabric of synthetic filament
yarn, also met the criteria, the WTO report reveals.
Both US and Indian trade officials said the WTO computation was being reviewed and
analyzed in Washington and New Delhi.
Senior trade diplomats familiar with the issue, speaking on background, said the date from which the phase-out of any
subsidies would begin could be an issue of contention.
The same sources said differing interpretations of the global subsidy rules, and even of the trade data used,
could also emerge as issue of contention.
A similar evaluation made back in 2003, at the request of the US, also found some categories met the WTO
But differences between India and the US over phase-out terms and over trade data interpretations led the US not to
pursue the issue further in the relevant WTO bodies.
Tia Lyn's NY Fashion Show with beautiful models of ALL SIZES!
Hong Kong & New Zealand
Sign Trade Pact
New Zealand and Hong Kong hailed “a significant step forward” in bilateral trade after signing a Closer Economic
Partnership (CEP) agreement between the two economies on March 29.
The pact is the first free trade agreement (FTA) signed by Hong Kong with a foreign economy, and the second FTA
following its Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement with mainland China.
The trade deal “will take our business and economic ties to a new height,” said Rita Lau, Hong Kong’s Secretary for
Commerce and Economic Development.
“It opens not only a new chapter in our history of international trade but also doors to new opportunities.”
New Zealand sees the agreement as a further step towards strengthening its links with the Asia-Pacific region.
“The CEP complements our existing FTA with China and, given Hong Kong's position as a regional trading and investment
hub, supports New Zealand business engagement with the wider region,” Trade Minister Tim Groser said.
Hong Kong will also benefit from reduced tariffs on products such as textiles, clothing and footwear exported
to New Zealand.
But tariffs on these items are set to be phased out over the next six years to become duty-free by 2016. The staged
access is intended to give local firms time to adjust to increased competition from Hong Kong imports.
Hong Kong is New Zealand's ninth largest market, with total exports worth NZ$820m (US$583m) in the year ended June
The CEP Agreement is expected to come into force in the last quarter of 2010.
First Sale Rule
US apparel and footwear manufacturers have added their
support to a campaign to continue the First Sale Rule, a customs procedure that helps the industry save millions of
dollars a year.
A letter sent to the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committees and signed by 75 companies and 36
industry organizations, is calling on Congress to uphold the policy.
The First Sale Rule allows US importers to value imported merchandise on the cost of the product at the ‘first sale’
in the supply chain rather than the value at the point of importation.
This value is then used as the basis for determining duties on products that come into the United States.
“The First Sale Rule is an important tool that allows retailers to remain competitive in the global marketplace,”
said Stephanie Lester, vice president of international trade for the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA).
While Steve Lamar, executive vice president of the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA), adds: “For the past
20 years, this Rule has helped companies lower costs and pass along savings to their customers.”
US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) first tabled plans to revoke the First Sale Rule in 2008, but changes were
banned until January 1, 2011.
The industry now fears that revocation may be considered again after this date – and are seeking assurances that the
First Sale Rule will continue as a valuation option and give them some predictability in running their businesses.
APTMA's Strike Cost $20M
Member mills of the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association
(APTMA) observed a nationwide strike on March 18, against the restrictions on the exports of cotton yarn from
the country, with the action estimated to have cost US$20m in textile and garment exports.
Around 350 spinning mills all over the country remained closed from 9am to 5pm. More than 200,000 textile workers
held rallies in Raiwind, Multan Road, and Sheikhupura Road industrial areas.
The industrial activities and export shipments remained suspended.
APTMA called off the strike by evening time after the intervention of Salman Taseer, Governor of the Punjab, who
visited APTMA house Lahore and promised to arrange meetings of the plant owners with the President and the Prime
Minister of Pakistan in the next 14 days.
Chairman of APTMA Punjab Gohar Ejaz said that the Governor of the Punjab has promised to resolve all
issues of the spinning industry within this time.
Valentine's Day Boosts UK's
Online sales of underwear were lifted by Valentine’s Day
shoppers in the UK during February, according to latest figures from the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index.
Total online clothing, footwear and accessories sales increased 17% during the month, with lingerie sales up 32%
from February last year and footwear sales rising 47%, research found.
Chris Webster, vice president, retail consulting and technology, Capgemini, said: "It is reassuring to see that
romance hasn’t been lost in the recession, and shoppers clearly haven’t lost the love for online retail.
"The growth of less traditional sectors in February paints an optimistic picture of consumers picking themselves up
following the doom and gloom of the last couple of years. Despite online retail’s maturity, it is still showing
strong growth levels of 13%."
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