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TEXTILE, APPAREL IMPORT SURGE REACHES ONE-YEAR MARK

 TEXTILE, APPAREL IMPORT SURGE REACHES ONE-YEAR MARK
 WASHINGTON, Oct. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- The United States experienced


the second-largest surge of textile and apparel imports in history from August 1991 to August 1992, according to figures released today by the U.S. Commerce Department.
 The U.S. textile industry's national trade association warned that the surge threatens to jeopardize the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
 At 1.23 billion square meters, the level of imports in August was the highest August on record and marked the 12th monthly broken record in a row.
 From January to August of this year, textile and apparel imports from China alone exceeded all such imports from Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America. China now exports to the United States the equivalent of 1,000 football fields a day in textile and apparel products.
 "The Far East threat to the recently negotiated North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is underscored by the growing import levels from countries like China and Thailand," said Henry A. Truslow III, first vice president of the American Textile Manufacturers Institute (ATMI) and chairman of the organization's International Trade Committee. "The NAFTA can provide promising opportunities to the U.S. textile and apparel industry and its workers. But its advantages will be negated if the Far East is allowed to continue increasing its share of our market and if the textile proposal in the Uruguay Round of trade negotiations is adopted.
 "The import surge reported today is second only to a surge in 1983 and 1984," Truslow said. "That previous surge led to demands by the U.S. government to tighten the Multifiber Arrangement, which governs textile and apparel trade, to curb the growth of imports.
 "Instead of looking at ways to address today's surge, the U.S. government is supporting the current textile proposal in the Uruguay Round, which would dramatically increase imports," he said. "Three studies have shown the proposal would cause the loss of some 1 million U.S. jobs in the textile and apparel industry over a 10-year period. Continuing such support, in light of the current import level, would be a grave mistake."
 Commerce Department figures also showed that textile and apparel imports increased by nearly 18 percent from January to August of this year, jumping from 8.2 billion to 9.6 billion square meters. During that same eight-month period, the U.S. textile and apparel trade deficit reached nearly $19.2 billion, a large chunk of the overall U.S. merchandise trade deficit of $51.9 billion.
 A summary of Commerce Department figures follows:
 U.S. TEXTILE AND APPAREL IMPORTS
 (million sme)
 August Pct (YTD) Jan.-Aug. Pct.
 1992 1991 Chg. 1992 1991 Chg.
 TEXTILES 604.2 572.2 5.6 4,914.4 4,197.9 17.1
 APPAREL 632.5 554.3 14.1 4,733.1 3,999.4 18.3
 TOTAL 1,236.7 1,126.5 9.8 9,647.5 8,197.3 17.7
 TEXTILES BY PRODUCT
 Yarn 109.1 105.2 3.7 864.9 627.2 37.9
 Fabric 306.6 298.8 2.6 2,606.8 2,257.0 15.5
 Misc. 188.5 168.2 12.1 1,442.7 1,313.6 9.8
 TOTAL 604.2 572.2 5.6 4,914.4 4,197.8 17.1
 TOTAL BY FIBER
 Cotton 556.6 484.9 14.8 4,561.0 3,651.3 24.9
 Wool 27.8 24.7 12.6 122.0 101.4 20.3
 MMF 605.8 572.9 5.7 4,609.6 4,160.3 10.8
 Other 46.5 44 5.7 354.9 284.3 24.8
 TOTAL 1,236.7 1,126.5 9.8 9,647.5 8,197.3 17.7
 U.S. TEXTILE AND APPAREL TRADE BALANCE
 (million customs $)
 IMPORTS August Pct. Jan.-Aug. Pct.
 1992 1991 Chg. 1992 1991 Chg.
 Textiles 642 603 6.4 5,250 4,516 16.3
 Apparel 3,017 2,541 18.8 20,348 16,562 22.9
 TOTAL 3,659 3,144 16.4 25,597 21,077 21.4
 EXPORTS August Pct. Jan.-Aug. Pct.
 1992 1991 Chg. 1992 1991 Chg.
 Textiles 478 475 0.7 3,829 3,594 6.5
 Apparel 331 292 13.3 2,599 2,034 27.8
 TOTAL 809 767 5.5 6,428 5,628 14.2
 BALANCE August Pct. Jan.-Aug. Pct.
 1992 1991 Chg. 1992 1991 Chg.
 Textiles -163 -128 27.8 -1,420 -922 54.1
 Apparel -2,686 -2,249 19.5 -17,749 -14,528 22.2
 TOTAL -2,850 -2,377 19.9 -19,169 -15,450 24.1
 -0- 10/16/92
 /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:


EA-BN -- AT008 -- 1041 10/16/92 14:52 EDT
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