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U.S. TEXTILE INDUSTRY CALLS FOR 'DRAMATIC' GOVERNMENT RESPONSE TO CONTINUING IMPORT SURGE

 U.S. TEXTILE INDUSTRY CALLS FOR 'DRAMATIC' GOVERNMENT RESPONSE
 TO CONTINUING IMPORT SURGE
 WASHINGTON, June 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Reacting to a record-breaking surge in textile and apparel imports, the president of the national trade association for the textile industry today called for a "dramatic response" from the U.S. government.
 According to figures released today from the U.S. Commerce Department, textile and apparel imports in April were up 23.8 percent from April 1991, marking a record April and the eighth month in a row of import increases of more than 15 percent.
 In addition, more textile and apparel products were imported into the United States in the first four months of this year than in the first four months of any other year in history, totaling 4.68 billion square meters. This amount is the equivalent of 2.8 billion dress shirts or 10 shirts for every person living in the United States.
 "The current textile and apparel import surge is so severe that it calls for a dramatic response from our government," said M.L. Cates Jr., president of the American Textile Manufacturers Institute (ATMI). "Our government needs to use every means at its disposal to deal with this emergency. This should include negotiating new import restraints on the products which are swamping and disrupting our market."
 Textile and apparel imports in the first four months of this year increased from the same time in 1991 from almost every importing country, with the largest increases from the Far East, including Pakistan (up 27 percent), China (22 percent), Thailand (100 percent) and India (45 percent).
 "This surge calls for changes in the textile proposal in the Uruguay Round of trade talks -- extending the phaseout of the Multifiber Arrangement (MFA) from 10 to at least 15 years and requiring other nations to open up their markets to our goods," Cates said. "But in the interim, strong measures need to be taken by our government.
 "With the MFA set to expire at the end of this year and the status of the Uruguay Round uncertain, our government needs to initiate a proposal that would change the current program in ways that would deal with surges we are seeing now and relate import growth to growth of the domestic market," Cates said.
 "This rapid growth in imports, if allowed to continue, threatens to dampen the recovery of the U.S. textile industry.
 "While our industry continues to export more textile and apparel products, those gains are being swamped by the avalanche of imports," he said. "This has resulted in a textile and apparel trade deficit of $8.4 billion."
 Textile and apparel immports in April totaled 1.1 billion square meters, the equivalent of more than 100,000 job opportunities lost in the U.S. fiber, textile and apparel industry.
 A summary of the Commerce Department figures follows:
 U.S. TEXTILE AND APPAREL IMPORTS
 (million sme)
 APRIL Pct (YTD) JAN-APRIL Pct.
 1992 1991 Chg. 1992 1991 Chg.
 TOTAL 1,100.7 889.0 23.8 4,682.5 3,872.6 20.9
 Cotton 519.1 391.4 32.6 2,233.3 1,760.4 26.9
 Wool 9.4 7.4 27.0 38.1 29.3 30.0
 MMF 539.3 468.7 15.1 2,245.4 1,960.5 14.5
 Other 32.9 21.5 53.0 165.7 122.4 35.4
 TEXTILES 602.2 492.6 22.2 2,420.6 1,987.8 21.8
 Yarn 102.4 63.9 60.3 403.7 256.7 57.3
 Fabric 322.2 278.9 15.5 1,293.3 1,091.6 18.5
 Misc. 177.6 149.8 18.6 723.6 639.5 13.2
 APPAREL 498.5 396.6 25.7 2,262.0 1,884.8 20.0
 U.S. TEXTILE AND APPAREL TRADE BALANCE
 (million customs $)
 IMPORTS APRIL Pct. JAN-APRIL Pct.
 1992 1991 Chg. 1992 1991 Chg.
 Textiles 643 573 12.2 2,555 2,149 18.9
 Apparel 2,063 1,591 29.6 9,057 7,352 23.2
 TOTAL 2,705 2,164 25.0 11,612 9,501 22.2
 EXPORTS APRIL Pct. JAN-APRIL Pct.
 1992 1991 Chg. 1992 1991 Chg.
 Textiles 496 469 5.9 1,925 1,749 10.0
 Apparel 332 272 22.3 1,254 944 32.8
 TOTAL 828 740 11.9 3,178 2,693 18.0
 BALANCE APRIL Pct. JAN-APRIL Pct.
 1992 1991 Chg. 1992 1991 Chg.
 Textiles -147 -104 40.5 -631 -400 57.6
 Apparel -1,730 -1,319 31.2 -7,803 -6,408 21.8
 TOTAL -1,877 -1,424 31.8 -8,434 -6,808 23.9
 -0- 6/18/92
 /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:


EA-BR -- AT012 -- 1602 06/18/92 15:31 EDT
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Date:Jun 18, 1992
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