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TEXTILE AND APPAREL IMPORT SURGE CONTINUES

 TEXTILE AND APPAREL IMPORT SURGE CONTINUES
 WASHINGTON, May 20 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. textile industry has


been hit by a seven-month surge of double-digit textile and apparel import growth and a record import level in the first quarter of 1992, according to U.S. Commerce Department figures released today.
 The nearly 3.6 billion square meters of textile and apparel goods imported into the United States during the first three months of 1992 represent the equivalent of more than 2 billion dress shirts or nearly 9 billion towels. This import level was 20 percent higher, compared to the same time in 1991.
 In March, more than 1.1 billion square meters of textiles and apparel were imported, almost a 25 percent increase from the level in March 1991.
 The textile and apparel trade deficit in the first quarter of 1992 was $6.5 billion -- 21 percent higher than in the first quarter of 1991 -- compared with the total U.S. merchandise trade deficit of $11.3 billion.
 "This relentless growth in textile and apparel imports is hampering the U.S. textile industry's ability to recover fully from the recession," said M.L. Cates Jr., president of American Textile Manufacturers Institute (ATMI). "We are concerned with what appears to be the government's inability to deal with this type of situation.
 "This is all the more reason why our government should push for changes in the proposed textile draft in the Uruguay Round of trade talks to minimize the devastating impact of these kinds of import surges," Cates continued. "Our government should work with other countries that are also concerned with the textile proposal to bring about needed improvements, such as lengthening the proposed 10-year phaseout of textile and apparel quotas to at least 15 years and vigorously pushing for other nations to open up their markets to our products. It is clear from looking at the huge textile and apparel deficit that our market is wide open to other countries."
 Cates said, "We must demand reciprocity in all trade agreements."
 A summary of the Commerce Department figures follows:
 U.S. TEXTILE AND APPAREL IMPORTS
 (million sme)
 MARCH Pct (YTD) JAN-MARCH Pct.
 1992 1991 Chg. 1992 1991 Chg.
 TOTAL 1,145.2 918.8 24.6 3,581.8 2,983.5 20.1
 Cotton 549.4 409.0 34.3 1,714.2 1,368.9 25.2
 Wool 10.0 7.1 40.8 28.7 21.9 31.1
 MMF 548.9 476.8 15.1 1,706.1 1,491.7 14.4
 Other 36.9 25.9 42.5 132.8 101.0 31.5
 TEXTILES 595.6 482.6 23.4 1,818.3 1,495.4 21.6
 Yarn 97.2 69.3 40.3 301.3 192.9 56.2
 Fabric 334.5 261.2 28.1 971.1 812.8 19.5
 Misc. 163.9 152.1 7.8 545.9 489.7 11.5
 APPAREL 549.6 436.2 26.0 1,763.5 1,488.2 18.5
 U.S. TEXTILE AND APPAREL TRADE BALANCE
 (million customs $)
 IMPORTS MARCH Pct. JAN-MARCH Pct.
 1992 1991 Chg. 1992 1991 Chg.
 Textiles 671 510 31.5 1,913 1,576 21.3
 Apparel 2,181 1,668 30.7 6,994 5,761 21.4
 TOTAL 2,852 2,178 30.9 8,907 7,337 21.4
 EXPORTS MARCH Pct. JAN-MARCH Pct.
 1992 1991 Chg. 1992 1991 Chg.
 Textiles 512 460 11.3 1,429 1,280 11.6
 Apparel 341 269 26.7 922 672 37.1
 TOTAL 853 729 17.0 2,350 1,953 20.4
 BALANCE MARCH Pct. JAN-MARCH Pct.
 1992 1991 Chg. 1992 1991 Chg.
 Textiles -158 -50 219.0 -484 -296 63.7
 Apparel -1,840 -1,399 31.5 -6,073 -5,089 19.3
 TOTAL -1,999 -1,449 37.9 -6,557 -5,384 21.8
 -0- 5/20/92
 /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:


BR-EA -- AT006 -- 2415 05/20/92 15:11 EDT
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Date:May 20, 1992
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