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Korea-US Free Trade Agreement
Page 1

Customs Seized 117 Shipping Containers
Page 1

 PNTR Failed US House Approved
Page 1

Sri Lanka Advised to Promote Good Work Ethics
Page 1

International Lingerie Show
Page 2

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The American Red Cross

 December 1, 2006                                            Issue #182


9/24

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A Korea-US Free Trade
         Agreement?
Industry groups from the US and South Korea are calling on trade negotiators to approve a Korea-US Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA) that is commercially-meaningful for the textile and apparel sectors 
of both nations.
In a joint statement issued ahead of the latest round of talks taking place next week in Montana, the American Apparel & Footwear Association, the United States Association of Importers of Textiles and Apparel and the Korea Federation of Textile Industries urged expanded bilateral trade in a liberalized trading environment. 
KOFOTI chairman Seho Kyong said the FTA should provide increased market access for the textile and apparel products of both countries, and that US textile exports to Korea will grow, particularly in high value added and industrial textiles. 
USA-ITA member companies want a win-win strategy that will increase business opportunities for US companies and for Korean companies through “immediate duty-free access and flexible rules of origin,” said USA-ITA executive director Laura Jones. 


22/24  

Customs Seized 117 Shipping Containers Worth of Fakes
German customs officials in the port of Hamburg have seized what they 
suggested could be the biggest-ever fake goods haul, which included 
almost a million pairs of counterfeit Nike shoes.
117 shipping containers’ worth of fakes have been captured since the 
end of August. The goods, which are believed to have arrived from 
Asia, had a market value of EUR383m (US$490m).
Products found also included pirated Adidas and Puma trainers, fake 
Rolex watches, textiles, toys, and Disney goods. 
The latest hauls, which were apparently en-route to Austria, Hungary 
and Italy, contribute to the nearly EUR500m worth of counterfeit 
goods seized in Hamburg this year. 

             
A model is wearing items by Shirley of Hollywood during
the International Lingerie Fashion Show, October 9-11
                                  in Las Vegas.

              Photographed by Russell VanBrocklen


5/24   
  PNTR Failed US House
          Approval
Legislation granting Vietnam Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) status failed to get the approval of the US House of Representatives after falling short of the two-thirds majority vote.
Despite garnering the support of 228 votes in favor and 161 against, the legislation will now be resubmitted in the hope that it will be in place by the time President Bush makes his first visit to Vietnam next week for the APEC summit of 21 Asia-Pacific leaders. 
Approval of the trade bill granting PNTR is required for US businesses to take full advantage of the market access opportunities that will follow Vietnam’s entry into the World Trade Organization, which is likely to occur next month.
Until it is passed, Congress has to vote each year on whether to confer normal trading status on Vietnam. Making that status permanent would, among other things, remove quotas that limit the amount of textiles Vietnam can export into the US. 
Lawmakers who voted down the measure are concerned that a flood of cheap Vietnamese textile imports could cost their constituents business and jobs. 
However, its supporters believe PNTR will provide the “business predictability” necessary for retailers to expand commerce ties and investment in Vietnam.


7/12 
Sears Increases Stake in 
       Sears Canada
Sears Holdings Corp announced November 28 that its stake in Sears Canada had risen to 70.2%.
Sears’ offer to buy all shares of the Canadian firm expired at midnight Monday, November 27, Vancouver time. An aggregate of 17.9m shares were acquired pursuant to the offer, made through an indirect subsidiary.
An earlier offer to buy out all of the Canadian firm’s equity was turned down earlier this month when 61.5% of minority shareholders voted against the proposal. 
The American firm’s hopes of privatizing Sears Canada were smashed when the Ontario Securities Commission excluded some votes in favor of the proposed takeover and the Ontario Court of Appeal declined to reconsider the matter.   


2/24                Photographed by J. Vrstal

        Sri Lanka Advised to 
Promote Good Work Ethics
"Increasingly British consumers want to know not just where goods are made but also how they are made," said the British High Commissioner, Dominick Chilcott, addressing the Annual General Meeting of the Sri Lanka Apparel Exporters Association on November 29.
"British retailers don’t want to buy goods that British consumers want to avoid," he said, explaining that British consumers are increasingly looking for ‘ethical goods’ that are manufactured without harming the environment and animals and without the use of child labor.
"This is where the Sri Lankan apparel industry enjoys a major advantage," said Chilcott, referring to the good working conditions in factories and labor standards.
The High Commissioner said the garment industry needs to market these good work ethics to the world, to counter adverse perceptions about the country.
“Most of the news that the British public hears about Sri Lanka is pretty off-putting,” he said. 
Sri Lankan exports to the EU grew by 12% from January to September, led by exports to the UK.
The growth is attributed to the EU’s special trade concession to Sri Lanka, the GSP+ that allows duty free exports of garments. 


              
6/12
Textiles Well's Facing Job Cuts
300 production jobs are under threat at French hosiery and lingerie group Textiles Well’s plant in Vigan, southern France, according to union sources.
A total of 438 staff are currently employed at the plant which makes tights and also mid-length stockings sold in large retail outlets. 
By 2008, the workforce could be trimmed to around 100 with only administrative, product design and logistics activities remaining at the plant. 
In September this year, Textile Well announced 149 jobs cuts at the plant in but unions say that the management now plans to relocate its entire production, with contacts already established with potential suppliers in China, North Africa and Eastern Europe. 

                
A model is wearing a garment by Electric Lingerie during
the International Lingerie Fashion Show, October 9-11
                                  in Las Vegas.

              Photographed by Russell VanBrocklen


24/24

La Senza's Q3 Soars 227%
Lingerie firm La Senza, soon to be bought by Limited Brands, announced record results during the third quarter.
The Canadian company racked up earnings totaling C$8.5m (US$7.5m) during the period ended October 28, compared to earnings of $2.6m a year ago. 
Sales, meanwhile, jumped 21.4% to $117.9m from $97.1m last year. All-important same-store sales grew 11.7%. 
For the first nine months of the year, La Senza’s earnings totaled $19.8m compared to $6.4m last year. Nine-month sales were $323.5m compared to $277.5m a year ago. Same-store sales rose 6.7%. 
La Senza signed a deal earlier this month to have its outstanding shares bought by Limited for $48.25 per share. 
The Montreal-based retailer currently has a chain of 318 company-owned stores. There are also 326 independently owned stores operating under license. 


10/24
Pakistan Apparel Forum
Four textile and apparel associations have joined forces to create the ‘Pakistan Apparel Forum,’ which aims to tackle problems faced by the sector. 
Led by the Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers & Exporters Association, the forum also includes Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers Association, Pakistan Knitwear and Sweater Exporters Association and Pakistan Cotton Fashion Apparels Association.
The forum is working toward goals set out in the Apparels Vision 2010 and Apparels Vision 2025.



 1/6
 La Redoute Unions Call for
             Strike
Four staff unions at La Redoute have called for strike action on November 28 at the French mail order firm’s 12 call centers in protest at management plans to close four of the centers in the Paris region.
Early October, details emerged that Redcats was planning to drop the La Redoute brand name and relinquish 9 of its 21 shops as part of a reorganization program.
The funds resulting from the sale of the leases on the nine shops would contribute to financing the launch of the So Redoute brand - 200-sq-m outlets exclusively dedicated to women’s ready-to-wear garments and fashion accessories.

 
                             
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