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US Backs Vietnam's WTO Entry
Avondale Closing to Cost 4,000 Jobs
Minimum Wage Promised Following Riot
Retailers' Online Sales
Pakistan's Textile Exports to Reach $10bn
Buyers' Best Sellers
Sara Lee to Spin Off Branded Apparel Line
IATIPP Formed to Fight Textile Design Fraud
Mone Loses Lawsuit
United Nigeria Textiles to Cut 1200 Workers
Bangladesh Textile Mill Explosion
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June 1, 2006
Women's Wear Journal
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US Backs Vietnam's
A top US trade official says the United States hopes to sign a trade agreement early next month that will pave the way for
Vietnam's entry to the World Trade Organization – despite protests from US textile trade groups.
According to a US Trade Representative, Washington plans to sign the accord at the meeting of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation
in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam in June.
The two countries concluded a bilateral market access agreement in principle earlier in May laying out the terms of Vietnam’s
membership in the WTO.
The deal will lower trade barriers on a wide range of US industrial and agricultural products and services, as well as continue the
process of political and economic reform in Vietnam.
But US textile producers argue that it will also open the US market to heavily
subsidized textile and apparel. They are also fearful that it overrides a previous trade deal that puts quotas on
Vietnam’s exports to the US and would impose safeguards on Vietnam if it is admitted to the WTO.
Instead, the groups want to see the introduction of a safeguard provision as part of Vietnam’s multilateral talks with other WTO
members. This would allow the US to re-impose quotas on Vietnamese clothing and textiles if imports surge after it joins the WTO.
The National Council of Textile Organizations said it would not support and could “actively oppose" new trade deals unless there
are continued restraints on apparel and textile imports from Vietnam.
Nearly half of Vietnam’s current exports to the United States are in textiles and apparel, and have jumped by more than 5,700% since
2001. Vietnam’s textile and clothing exports to the US were worth US$49m in 2001, rising to US$2.9bn in 2005.
Textile Fair Contracts Double
The 15th Annual Apparel Sourcing Show fetched US$100m in sourcing contracts, up from US$45m in
2005, a spokeswoman for the Guatemalan Apparel and Textile Industry Commission reported.
The fair was a success, she said, with 4,783 participants transacting business in the fair’s showroom, which was opened from
May 16 - 18.
However, the event’s high point came on Thursday afternoon when Guatemala announced it passed the Central American Free Trade
Agreement implementation’s law, a bill that will sharply boost its
A model is wearing garment by Electric Lingerie at the
International Lingerie fashion show in Las Vegas, April 3-5.
Photo courtesy of Bill Miller –
You can see more photos from the International Lingerie
the May 15th issue of
Costa Rica's Textile Exports
to Double with CAFTA-DR
Costa Rica expects textile exports to double in five years if the
government approves the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) in September.
Jose Berliavsky, president of Costa Rican textiles federation Camara Textil Costaricense
said he is optimistic that the country will approve the accord in the autumn.
Costa Rica has come under pressure for delaying action to approve CAFTA, a process that has caused rifts in the trade block where
four of six countries, including Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua and El Salvador have implemented the treaty.
Berliavsky said CAFTA will be a big boost for the nation’s textiles and apparel industry, which last year rung up sales of US$1.1bn.
Costa Rica hopes that CAFTA will help it double exports to US$1.2bn by 2011, up from US$583m last year, Berliavsky said.
He acknowledged that the industry faces stalemate if Costa Rica turns its back on CAFTA.
“The industry will disappear,” Berliavsky said. “All the companies would close because we would be in a great disadvantage with other
Employing 18,000 people in 30 main companies, the Costa Rican textiles industry sends 93% of its exports to the US.
Avondale Closing to Cost
Textile maker Avondale Mills Inc has announced it intends to close
or sell all its plants in Alabama and two other states in a move that could lead to the loss of around 4000 jobs.
The US’ oldest surviving textile manufacturing company, says it plans to close its 18 plants and sales offices in Georgia, South
Carolina and Alabama by July 25.
The vertically integrated operation makes fabrics for denim, sportswear, workwear and fashion end-uses.
The company blames increased foreign competition for the closures, but says a train derailment and chemical spill next to one of its
plants in January 2005 caused so much damage to the plant and its equipment that it was impossible to recover. Nine people were
killed in the incident, hundreds were hospitalized and thousands were evacuated from a one-mile radius around the accident site.
Avondale now says that total closure is the most likely outcome, but adds that it is exploring several options including selling,
restructuring or liquidating the company.
Minimum Wage Promised
The Bangladeshi government is forming a Wage Commission to set a
minimum wage for textile workers following riots in streets near Dhaka.
Tens of thousands of angry workers set fire to factories, blocked roads and smashed vehicles in the country’s Export Processing Zone
and the nearby areas of Ashulia and Savar over a few days.
The agreement was reached during a meeting of senior members of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, leaders
of the garment workers and government officials.
The meeting condemned the violence, during which shots were fired by security forces to disperse protesters, several of whom were
injured, and decided to compensate factories affected.
Workers’ leaders said the violence was caused by grievances brought on by maltreatment and deprivation, alleging that many workers go
unpaid and without other benefits.
Nepal Takes Hit from End
Nepal has been one of the worst hit countries by the end of textile
and clothing quotas, according to a report from the United Nations Development Program.
The report stated that value and volume of textile and clothing exports fell 22% and 28% respectively last year.
US market losses were more pronounced than in the EU, with the value of US exports slumping about 55%.
"Nepal remains extremely vulnerable and locked into the export of a narrow range of items," the report
The country needs large-scale spending on training and human resources improvements, it added, and must concentrate on widening
its range of exports and markets.
Jones Apparel to Pay $600,000
Jones Apparel Group and its Nine West women’s wear retail unit is
to pay US$600,000 to settle a lawsuit alleging sexual and racial harassment of female employees.
The settlement came after a case was filed on the women’s behalf by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in the US
District Court for the Southern District of New York.
The EEOC alleged that two senior managers at Nine West subjected female staff members to “sexually harassing conduct, including
solicitation for sex, unwelcome sexual advances, sexually explicit jokes and
comments, and groping of women’s bodies”.
The EEOC further alleged that the women were insulted with remarks about their Hispanic origin. The incidents are alleged to have
taken place at Nine West’s corporate offices in White Plains, NY.
The company made no attempt to stop the harassment, causing some of the women to leave their jobs, the EEOC added.
Now Nine West and Jones Apparel will have to amend and reissue their non-discrimination policy, providing equal employment law
training to managers and employees.
Wal-Mart to Withdraw From
Wal-Mart is withdrawing from South Korea after agreeing to sell its
business to the Asian country’s leading retailer Shinsegae for KRW825bn (US$882m).
Shinsegae, which has 79 E-Mart hypermarkets in the country, will rename Wal-Mart Korea's 16 stores E-Mart. Wal-Mart will continue to
have a “global procurement sourcing office” in Seoul.
Mike Duke, vice-chairman of Wal-Mart Stores, said: “As we continue to focus our efforts where we can have the greatest impact on our
growth strategy, it became increasingly clear that in South Korea's current environment it would be difficult for us to reach the scale
“We have decided to sell our business to the market leader as we believe this is the best option for our associates, customers and
The agreement is subject to the approval by the Korea Fair Trade Commission.
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