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TEXTILE, APPAREL IMPORT LEVEL BREAKS ALL PREVIOUS RECORDS

 TEXTILE, APPAREL IMPORT LEVEL BREAKS ALL PREVIOUS RECORDS
 WASHINGTON, March 19 /PRNewswire/ -- An all-time record level of textile and apparel imports in January has been fueled by an import surge of immense proportions, according to U.S. Commerce Department figures released today, and intensified industry demands for immediate government attention to the growing problem.
 In addition, the textile and apparel trade deficit in January of this year accounted for 48 percent of the total U.S. merchandise trade deficit.
 More than 1.3 billion square meters of textile and apparel imports were shipped into the United States in January, compared to 1.1 billion in January 1991, a 20 percent increase. This growth follows a record year for textile and apparel imports in 1991 and marks the fifth straight month of double-digit increases.
 Far Eastern nations accounted for two-thirds of the monthly increase. China and Thailand alone accounted for 40 percent of the increase.
 "If there ever was an appropriate time for our government to address the runaway growth of textile and apparel imports into this country, the time is now," said Neil H. Hightower, president of the American Textile Manufacturers Institute (ATMI). "Our industry is the most efficient and productive textile industry in the world as a result of major investment in new equipment and technology. But imports will continue to rise without proper government policies to deal with import growth from low-wage countries.
 "A large share of the recent growth in retail sales of apparel has been eaten up by imports," Hightower said.
 Hightower said an essential step for U.S. government officials to take in addressing the import surge and long-term import growth is to demand changes in the textile proposal in the Uruguay Round of international trade negotiations.
 Three recent studies have predicted huge losses in U.S. textile employment and production under the textile proposal. ATMI is calling for changes to diminish the potentially damaging effects of the current proposal.
 A summary of the Commerce Department figures follows:
 U.S. TEXTILE AND APPAREL IMPORTS
 (million sme)
 JANUARY Pct
 1992 1991 Chg.
 TOTAL 1,332.1 1,111.9 19.8
 Cotton 632.3 523.3 20.8
 Wool 9.9 8.0 24.2
 MMF 637.8 539.0 18.3
 Other 52.1 41.6 24.8
 TEXTILES 684.9 557.3 22.9
 Yarn 116.6 66.2 76.1
 Fabric 355.0 309.7 14.6
 Misc. 213.3 181.4 17.6
 APPAREL 647.2 554.6 16.7
 U.S. TEXTILE AND APPAREL TRADE BALANCE
 (million customs $)
 IMPORTS January Pct.
 1992 1991 Chg.
 Textiles 665 558 19.1
 Apparel 2,558 2,181 17.2
 TOTAL 3,222 2,739 17.6
 EXPORTS January Pct.
 1992 1991 Chg.
 Textiles 452 407 10.9
 Apparel 269 186 45.0
 TOTAL 721 593 21.6
 BALANCE January Pct.
 1992 1991 Chg.
 Textiles -213 -151 41.3
 Apparel -2,289 -1,996 14.7
 TOTAL -2,501 -2,146 16.5
 -0- 3/19/92
 /CONTACT: Deborah E. Anderson of the American Textile Manufacturers Institute, 202-862-0513 (office) or 703-476-6436 (after hours)/ CO: American Textile Manufacturers Institute ST: District of Columbia IN: TEX SU:


BN-BR -- AT010 -- 9788 03/19/92 15:20 EST
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Date:Mar 19, 1992
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