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FAR EAST COUNTRIES DOMINATE TEXTILE, APPAREL IMPORT SURGE DURING FIRST HALF OF 1992

 FAR EAST COUNTRIES DOMINATE TEXTILE, APPAREL
 IMPORT SURGE DURING FIRST HALF OF 1992
 WASHINGTON, Aug. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Spurred by a major surge from Far East countries, textile and apparel imports during the first half of 1992 jumped to 7 billion square meters, nearly 20 percent higher than the same period in 1991, according to U.S. Commerce Department figures released today.
 In addition, June, the third-highest month in history for textile and apparel imports, marked the 10th consecutive record month of increasing imports. Textile and apparel imports in June totaled nearly 1.3 billion square meters, compared with 1 billion in June 1991.
 At $12.9 billion, the trade deficit for textile and apparel for the first six months of 1992 was more than 25 percent larger than during the same time in 1991. In comparison, the overall U.S. merchandise trade deficit for the first half of 1992 was $28.6 billion.
 M.L. Cates Jr., president of the American Textile Manufacturers Institute (ATMI), said the growing levels of textile and apparel imports jeopardize the potential success of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
 "ATMI's Executive Committee enthusiastically supports the NAFTA agreement, and will recommend it to our full board, but we are very concerned that Far East suppliers are being permitted to dominate our market before NAFTA is even implemented. This could undercut any trade opportunities the United States hopes to achieve with Canada and Mexico under the NAFTA," Cates said.
 For the first six months of 1992, textile and apparel imports from China increased 20 percent; Thailand 73 percent; India 40 percent; Pakistan 37 percent; and Bangladesh 62 percent.
 "An even greater concern for our industry is the potentially damaging effect the textile proposal in the Uruguay Round of international trade talks could have on import growth," Cates said. "The textile proposal would cause the U.S. textile and apparel industry to lose at least 1 million jobs and much of our production over a 10- year period. These losses would come on top of the kinds of import surges we are already experiencing.
 "Our government needs to act to curb these surges and prevent more losses of U.S. jobs," he said. "Now that the NAFTA negotiations are over, our government needs to tell us what it will do to make NAFTA's potential benefits a reality and as an essential first step what it will do about the rapid growth of imports from the Far East."
 A summary of the Commerce Department figures follows:
 JUNE 1992 FIGURES
 Released Aug. 19, 1992
 U.S. TEXTILE AND APPAREL IMPORTS
 (million sme)
 June Pct (YTD) Jan.-June Pct.
 1992 1991 Chg. 1992 1991 Chg.
 TEXTILES 637.9 539.7 18.2 3,652.3 3,059.0 19.4
 APPAREL 625.6 490.3 27.6 3,383.7 2,827.4 19.7
 TOTAL 1,263.5 1,030.0 22.7 7,036.0 5,886.4 19.5
 BY PRODUCT
 Yarn 114.1 85.5 33.5 629.7 427.9 47.2
 Fabric 343.6 290.5 18.3 1,962.7 1,665.1 17.9
 Misc. 180.2 163.8 10.0 1,059.8 966.0 9.7
 TOTAL 637.9 539.8 18.2 3,652.2 3,059.0 19.4
 BY FIBER
 Cotton 610.8 460.9 32.5 3,350.7 2,652.1 26.3
 Wool 18.3 14.7 24.5 69.0 54.3 27.1
 MMF 584.1 518.6 12.6 3,362.6 2,988.8 12.5
 Other 50.4 35.9 40.4 253.6 191.1 32.7
 TOTAL 1,263.6 1,030.1 22.7 7,035.9 5,886.3 19.5
 U.S. TEXTILE AND APPAREL TRADE BALANCE
 (million customs $)
 IMPORTS June Pct. Jan.-June Pct.
 1992 1991 Chg. 1992 1991 Chg.
 Textiles 693 561 23.6 3,894 3,278 18.8
 Apparel 2,783 2,076 34.1 13,963 11,248 24.1
 TOTAL 3,476 2,636 31.9 17,857 14,526 22.9
 EXPORTS June Pct. Jan.-June Pct.
 1992 1991 Chg. 1992 1991 Chg.
 Textiles 498 465 7.0 2,917 2,696 8.2
 Apparel 353 265 33.2 1,950 1,486 31.2
 TOTAL 851 730 16.5 4,867 4,182 16.4
 BALANCE June Pct. Jan.-June Pct.
 1992 1991 Chg. 1992 1991 Chg.
 Textiles -195 -95 104.8 -977 -582 68.0
 Apparel -2,430 -1,810 34.2 -12,013 -9,762 23.1
 TOTAL -2,625 -1,906 37.7 -12,990 -10,343 25.6
 -0- 8/19/92
 /CONTACT: Deborah E. Anderson of the American Textile Manufacturers Institute, 202-862-0513 or, home, 703-476-6436/ CO: American Textile Manufacturers Institute ST: District of Columbia IN: TEX SU:


BR-BN -- AT003 -- 1400 08/19/92 14:25 EDT
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